Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Two weeks ago I was thinking about what I could do to get our names out there to more people that might have connections to women and/or couples that were looking to place their baby for adoption. I was thinking about writing local pastors, as many of them do counseling, as well as just brainstorming in general. Today however, we are planning on finishing up our application and sending it in to the agency that baby J is through. At this point, God has not provided any additional money, but I still feel in my heart that switching to international is the way He wants us to go and that He will provide the money some way, some how. It seems crazy considering at this point we can't even afford to contract  with this agency, which basically means we can submit our application, but then we will be at a standstill. We do however have some fundraisers in the works for this spring/summer that will hopefully help us achieve this goal. Also, if any of you know of someone that we can contact in the Lowville area that would have chicken BBQ pits, that would be awesome!

On a side note, since I don't have too much to write on adoption, I wanted to share with you this thing that I'm doing. During the Lenten season, I am participating in the "40 days of water" challenge through Blood Water Mission. This is an amazing organization that was started by the band "Jars of Clay". The idea behind this challenge is that throughout lent you only drink water (except on Sundays when you are allowed to enjoy whatever you want) and then donate the money that you would have spent on that beverage to the Blood Water Mission. The money then helps them build wells for communities in Africa that would otherwise have to have residents walk up to 20 miles a day for water that wasn't even necessarily clean. They also work with HIV/AIDS in Africa, which is a passion of mine, and one reason why we are so drawn to baby J.

 When I started this challenge I didn't think it would really be much of a challenge at all. I drink mostly water anyway so I figured that giving up my morning coffee and evening tea wouldn't be that big of a deal. For the most part, I was right. It wasn't until I was about two weeks in that I was so tired and just wanted a cup of coffee. I hadn't been sleeping well with trying to figure out how we could make international adoption work and I was just exhausted. I hate to admit that I even considered cheating, but I knew that this was the day that for me it really counted. I needed to do this especially when it was tough, otherwise what was the point of choosing this challenge over just donating money? I had to remind myself that even in my struggle, that I could walk to my tap, turn it on and have clean water. I didn't have to worry about getting sick, which I experienced first hand in Bolivia. I didn't have to walk 20 miles. I didn't even have to carry a bucket of water, which after being in Gambia, I learned is not easy, even for a short distance. So I made it through the day and told myself that I could have coffee on Sunday. The next day was tough too, but I persevered.

This challenge has not only reminded me of how much we take clean water for granted, but it has also reminded me of why I am passionate about international adoption. Please don't get me wrong, I don't view the United States as the "promised land" and I think that there are amazing things that we miss out  on here that developing countries embrace. That being said, they have a set of struggles that are unlike anything that we have to experience here. I wish that there were no orphans to need to be adopted, but that is not a reality. We now have the opportunity to provide one of the "least of these" with a family to call his own. We can provide him with proper medical care, clean water and way more food than he would even need. Most of all, we can provide him with love which is invaluable.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

There is this baby...

There is this baby, for now we will call him baby J. I didn't want to write this post before talking to Elias since sometimes I think with my heart instead of my head. But Elias agreed, so I am going ahead. Baby J is a beautiful baby boy in The Congo waiting for his forever family. I came across baby J while I was researching adoption from the Congo and viewing the waiting children through this particular agency. According to his picture, baby J is less than 3 months old and happens to be HIV+. I don't want to share too many more details out of respect for baby J and the agency that he is available through. You'll just have to take my word that he is super sweet :).

 When Elias and I started getting more serious about adopting, God had laid a passion on my heart to adopt a child with HIV. According to the information that I have found regarding adopting a child with HIV, this condition, in the U.S. is very manageable. It is now considered a chronic condition and even more manageable than diabetes. Check out this link about adopting children who are HIV+:

We woud love to adopt baby J. It would mean that we need to switch our homestudy to international adoption, which shouldn't be too hard, but it also means that we would have to apply to a different agency. Then we would have to complete a dossier and a number of other forms. There is a part of me that wants to abandon our pursuit of domestic adoption and dive head first into pursuing adopting baby J. I keep thinking that if we do, God will just provide the money, even though I have no idea how. This baby needs a home. He needs the medical care that he won't have access to in The Congo. We already deal with a chronic condition on a regular basis, we are already used to quarterly doctors appointments and researching assistance programs for people with chronic conditions. I think we could be great parents for baby J. If God provides the money, we will make the switch, if He doesn't, we won't be able to and we will take that as an indication that baby J is meant for someone else. If you feel as though God is calling you to help us make the switch to bring baby J home, you can donate to our Smarty Pig account through the link on the right, mail us a check to Elias or Jessica Zehr 710 Old State Rd. Poland, NY 13431 or make a tax deductible donation to our Adopt Together account at If you can't donate, please continue to pray for us as we discern whether or not to switch to international adoption. Thank you again for your love and support.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Some days this journey isn't so bad. I would be hard pressed to say that a day doesn't go by that I don't think about becoming a mother, but I can go about my day to day tasks, functioning normally and most of the times, even be content.

Then something will bring me down. It might be a new pregnancy announcement on Facebook, a pregnancy massage at work, or a family event where I feel like we are the only ones unable to move forward with this part of our lives. Sometimes it just comes out of nowhere and I find myself knocked back down, aching and desperate to become a mother. These periods usually last a few days, sometimes longer, where it seems as though the desire to adopt consumes me and I begin raking my mind to figure out how I can expedite this process or even how I can make it work out at all. I'm not sure what to compare this ache to, but it is a deep gut wrenching ache that at times takes everything in me just to keep breathing. I pray, but it still hurts, and while I know that God understands and that He is holding me close, the ache remains.

I was feeling this way a week or two ago and a song came on the radio that deeply resonated with my soul. The song is called "Worn" by Tenth Avenue North. Ironically it came out of a time when the lead singer and his wife where struggling with their daughters not sleeping through the night and just feeling worn out all the time. For me though, it described perfectly how I felt about our journey at that time. I just felt emotionally worn out and exhausted. These feelings have lead me to question the plans that God has for us. Are we on the wrong path or have we just not waited long enough? Are we supposed to be pursuing domestic adoption or should we be pursuing international, which seems that much more impossible? I know that adoption is where we are supposed to be, but have we been pursuing it incorrectly? Or is all of this Satan trying to cloud my mind? Is God speaking to my heart, or is my heart preventing me from hearing God's voice?

God has broken my heart for the orphans of this world. I can look at waiting children photolistings and sit there in tears desperately wanting to provide these children homes and families to call their own. Please continue to pray for us as we seek clarity and that I will not drive my husband crazy in attempt to sort this out. We can't thank you enough for your love and support. Have a blessed day. Below is the link to the song Worn if you want to check it out.