Friday, May 31, 2013

Catching up

Hey everyone! I know that I've been MIA for awhile and for that I apologize. A couple of weeks ago I was just feeling really overwhelmed by life and it was just one of those times where it felt like everything was going wrong all at the same time. Thankfully we have a great God who takes care of us and our needs. In addition to that, I just don't have much of an update. We are still just waiting. So in the meantime we are planning fundraisers, such as our yard sale that we are accepting donations for, and we recently got accepted by an amazing organization called "Lifesong for Orphans" for a fundraising project. The project is called a Both Hands project where in effort raise funds for our adoption, we and 10 volunteers work on a widow's house for a day. It is an amazing way to care for the widow and the orphan and give back to someone in our community. It looks like we will be doing this project on August 3rd, so if you or anyone you know would like to be a volunteer please let us know!

Other than that, I have been checking photolistings of children in the foster care system to see if I feel like God has chosen one of them for our family and looking up both domestic and international adoption situations. At this point we are trying to remain as open as possible to whatever God has in store and what we feel like He is calling us to. I actually read a quote today that really touched my heart. It was from a 15 year old that said "Even at 15, my dream is to have a mom". Sometimes I get so caught up in how difficult it is to have to wait to be parents, yet I know that it will happen someday, that I forget about how hard it must to be a child that may never have parents. The foster care photolistings are full of children with specials needs or over the age of 7, many of them teenagers, who will likely never be adopted. They will age out of the system and never have parents to call their own. This makes me so sad and is a burden that God has been placing on my heart more and more recently. Please keep these kids in your prayers, that they will be adopted or find loving people that will treat them as their own children.  Please keep praying for us as we wait for the child that God has planned for us and please pray about whether or not God is calling you to volunteer for our Both Hands project. I promise that I will post sooner next time. Blessings!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day

This morning I read a beautiful post by a woman who has struggled for years with infertility and she wrote about how she chooses to love Mother's Day. Mother's day is probably the most difficult day of the year for women struggling with infertility and I love that she chose to come to God, pray for a miracle and choose to love this holiday.

I have the utmost respect for this woman, she has learned so much on her journey and has been a huge blessing to so many other women in our position, while also educating so many on the pain and struggles of infertility. I however, am taking a slightly different approach this Sunday. Not because I don't agree with her post, but because I have not yet experienced the healing that she has and I want to allow God to heal me while giving myself the space to do so. So, I am going to celebrate my mother and mother-in-law for the women that they are and all that they have done for Elias and I. I have invited them to our house for a BBQ and maybe some fishing if the weather holds out. I want to love on them and honor them for who they are while just having a fun time where I am not focused on what I don't have. Instead we are choosing to focus on what we do have. On the other side of things however, for the first time on this journey, I am choosing not to go to church on Mother's Day (stick with me now). I am making this choice to allow myself to have the space that I need to grieve on this day if I need to grieve. Church services on Mother's Day are beautiful in they way that they honor mother's, but in every church there are women who for a number of reasons, are struggling on this day. There are women who have chosen to not have children, some that have not yet had the opportunity to have children, some that cannot have children, some that have lost children, some that have placed children for adoption and know that they made the best choice for their child, but still mourn that loss, or women who have had abortions and are struggling with the emotional and maybe even physical scars of that decision. On this day, these women tend to be forgotten and many of them suffer silently while women smile and receive flowers all around them.

This year I ask that you recognize all women on this day. We don't know everyone's story, but I can guarantee that all women should be celebrated and you could completely transform the pain of Mother's Day for a woman by telling her how much you love, respect and honor her for who she is and what she has done. If you know a woman who may be struggling this Sunday, be intentional about reaching out her in some way. Most of us who are not mother's in the literal sense, have found other ways to mother. So shower all the women you meet this weekend with love, it could deeply touch a life.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

God's blessings in the form of an iPad mini raffle

So today I am really excited to tell you all about our results from our iPad mini fundraiser. Once all was said and done, we ended up raising over $500! I want to thank everyone who entered and contributed to helping us get one step closer to being able to provide a child with a family of his/her own. I also wanted to share how this raffle was not only a huge blessing for us, but also a blessing for the winner! We obviously would have been happy for anyone who won, but it was so rewarding to hear how God used this raffle to bless the woman who did win.

The winner was our friend Jess Mengel from Pennsylvania. Jess recently return from serving a short term assignment in India and plans on returning this winter to serve as a long term worker. She has been contemplating purchasing something like an iPad mini to take back to India with her to assist her in her work there and to help her stay connected to friends and family back home. From personal experience in both Bolivia and Gambia, I know how important it is to stay connected to home and to have technology to conduct research on the field that may enhance the work that one has been called to do. I also know how financially difficult it can be to return from an assignment where you weren't actually making a regular income and feel as though you need to spend several hundred dollars on something to enhance your work while also keeping you connected to your loved one at home. Congratulations again Jess and many blessings to you!

Thank you again for blessing us with your entries, I wish everyone could have won, but you are all winners in our book for helping us provide a child with a home and family :). Blessings to all of you and we will continue to keep you all up to date on our journey!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Understanding our role as adoptive parents

I have been trying to write this post for awhile, but I have been busy and then sick and I am just getting around to it! For a good part of this adoption process I have struggled with really feeling like we, as a couple, were needed for domestic newborn adoption. There are actually more couples waiting to adopt a newborn than there are babies being born. On the flip side however, as a couple we also felt for a long time that we weren't ready to adopt a child between the ages of 2-5 which is most common in international adoption and resulted in us choosing domestic newborn adoption. The past few weeks however, I feel like God has been hammering me over the head with the importance of domestic newborn adoption and where we as a couple are needed. Now, before you think I'm just flip-flopping back and forth between domestic newborn and international, I should state again that at this point, our paperwork is not finished for international and we are remaining open to both for the time being.

The past few weeks God has been stressing to me how important it is for couples to step up and support women who choose adoption rather than abortion for their babies. We need to be willing to step up at any time and say that we are willing to adopt these babies. Just like in international adoption, this could be the difference between life and death for a child. I truly believe that most women do not want to choose abortion, but they are scared and unfamiliar with the adoption process. They think that it will cost them too much, but they don't realize that it won't cost them anything, the adoptive parents cover all of the legal fees! They also don't realize that they are not "giving their baby up", they are placing their baby with a family that can care for that baby in a way that they can't at that point. They are in control of deciding what type of adoption they want, whether that be closed with no contact, some contact with pictures and letters or open to the point where they can visit their baby and be part of their child's life.

I know that abortion is a touchy topic, and I would never judge anyone who has had an abortion, but I think that everyone reading this blog probably knows where I stand. I also believe that there is a lack of education surrounding abortion and the emotional effects that it ultimately has not only on the mother, but the father as well.

Parents who choose to place their children for adoption are incredibly brave and deserve the utmost respect. They also deserve a community of people that will support them throughout their pregnancy and their decision to give their child life. I now understand that that is our role in domestic newborn adoption.