Friday, June 25, 2010

The little things we do to tide us over....this week.

So meet Giraffe. He is a quiet little fella, but he'll do just fine. When I was having my crappy day the other day, Wes and I went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants (Cheddars....their Spinach dip is to die for!). After that we headed over to Target for a few minutes because I felt like buying something for our baby. As we walked through the baby department, I saw Giraffe. He plays music, which is not my favorite, but he was too cute to pass up. I was also thinking that perhaps we could send Giraffe on a plane to Ethiopia, once we get our referral, so he can keep him/her company until we get there. I think he'll do just fine.  Now all we need is a referral, so Giraffe can make his first big trip overseas.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Waiting Woes...

So inevitably, after my post about encouragement and support, comes a post about discouragement and tears.  Well, it's probably not that drastic, but the sentence structure was nice.  Honestly, yesterday was quite the crappy day for me.  I woke up just feeling in the pits.  I sat at my computer, working on an engagement photo book, and my heart was just weeping.  Yes, you will hear the same tale of woe from almost every adoptive mother-to-be. 

In literature and even in movies, there are often inanimate or intangible things that seem to become a character in the story, and play an active role in the life of that story.  Many of you have seen Castaway with Tom Hanks, and you will remember his buddy Wilson.  Yup....that bloodied volleyball that became his best friend while he was on the deserted island.  I remember toward the end of the movie when Hanks' character attempts to sail away from the island, and when a storm destroys his raft, he loses Wilson.  I cried when he lost that stupid volleyball.  It had become a part of the story, and a part of his life.  When he mourned the loss of Wilson, so did I.

I think one of the main characters in anyone's adoption story is the wait.  It seems to take on a life of its own, and we never know what to expect from one day to the next.  Nine months ago, when we started the process to adopt internationally (i'll leave out the year we tried to get pregnant, and then the discovery of cancer, and then the year we tried to adopt through the State), the wait seemed so bearable.  I felt ready for it, and I was excited.  I knew it might take a long time, but I felt strong.  Fast forward nine months, and from time to time I have days like I had yesterday.  My heart ached, and I longed for the wait to end.  I felt exhausted by it, and tortured.  I cried and just wanted Jesus to wrap me up and hold me tight.  The wait takes many forms, and at times is the greatest protagonist....the good guy....for we know that we wait for a reason, and at the end of the wait there is the greatest gift:  a child.  Of course, it often feels like the antagonist of our adoption story too, because it is the one thing keeping us from the very thing it seems to promise us:  a child.

So at the end of the day, you accept that every once in a while, the antagonist wins.  But for the majority of our days, we realize that the protagonist is ever more popular and much more enjoyable to spend time with.  So today I will try to embrace the wait with the strength that is being renewed within me, because I love it when the good guy wins.

Friday, June 18, 2010

7777....and it's just perfect.

So I dropped by my blog and saw that I was visitor 7777!  Wow, could it be that many have stopped by here in the past couple of years?  Well, 7000 of those hits were probably by my mother, who is admittedly my biggest fan, but I'll take the other 777 visitors with great joy also.  Plus, I kind of like all the 7's.  :)

I feel encouraged today, because I got to spend time on the phone talking with another amazing adoptive mother.  She is a beautifully loud voice in our adoption community, and I was overjoyed to finally speak with her and pray with her.  We both agree that we are destined to meet and work together in some capacity at some point in the future.  I can't wait!!!

My point is, we all need each other so much.  When we feel like we are in the dumps, and the last thing we want to do is call someone, that is exactly what we should do.  The enemy is trying to thwart our every last effort at caring for the orphan, and he would like nothing better than to see us crumpled up in the corner in a heap of defeat.  We must not concede.  As believers, we are connected to such a vast network of people.  Add to that all of us who are connected to adoption in some way or form, and the network gets even tighter and stronger.  I LOVE the Body of Christ! Why don't we tap into it more often?  It's called a Body for a reason.  No part functions at its fullest potential without all the other parts at work too.

So if today is a tough adoption know the kind where you don't know if you can stand to wait another day for a referral....or the kind of day where you wonder if your new baby will ever bond with you....or the kind of day where you wonder if you will be able to raise up your little one to be a strong man or woman of God....if today is one of those days, don't go through it alone.  First, tap into JC, because there ain't nothin' better....and THEN, tap into the Body that is standing ready to come to your aid.  Call a your favorite adoption something.  Just don't do it alone.  We need each other, and if we start truly taking hold of all that God has to offer with His big ol' family, only then will we realize that there is nothing that can bring us down. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Buy a T-Shirt and help my BROTHER bring home his Ethiopian Angels...

Yes, that's right. My brother and sister-in-law are adopting two precious ones of their own from Africa. How awesome are our family gatherings going to be in the future?!!! I can't wait!  They started their process a little earlier than us, but are now just waiting for the funds to send their paperwork out.

Well, they are currently working on a two week fundraising blitz. They need to raise around $5000 to get their dossier to Ethiopia (the dossier is ready to go! They just need the money to send it!). SO, here is another wonderful opportunity to be a part of making the world short of two more orphans!

Oh, and here's the link to where you can purchase the shirts. 
There is also a little surprise with the t-shirt order, but you won't know what that is until you get the shirt!  :)

Be radical and make a difference by simply buying a T-Shirt!  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting Messed Up in Adoption

So many that know me have heard me say, "Adoption will mess you up!"  And
everyone that knows me, knows that I mean that in an absolutely good way.  I think if I ever write a book about our adoption story, that's what I'll call it:  Adoption Will Mess You Up.   Will you buy it?

So yeah....I am SO messed up in a big fat wonderful way.  Wes has watched me go through these last 9 months (that's about when we started this whole process), and with each month, he sees me cry more and more.  Even if you take away how freakin' hard this adoption process is, with all the paperwork, waiting, home studies, waiting, fingerprinting, waiting, wishing....did I mention waiting???....well, yeah, even if you take away all that, you are still left with this big, ginormous, overwhelmingly huge awakening in your heart for orphans, and pretty much everything that surrounds them, and can't help but cry.  I think people have started to think twice about clicking on any link that I post on facebook, because 99% of the time, it will make your eyes go bonkers with tears, and not everyone wants to cry every day.  But for me it  I feel alive.  It is not the kind of crying that makes you depressed or causes you to lose hope.  Not at all.  The tears I have shed over this past year are tears of revelation.  They are tears of a new recognition of a piece of God's heart.  And up until a few days ago, my heart and my tears were purely for the orphans who are being joined with forever families, and are orphans no more.  My tears have been for those families who have longed to be joined with these children without even knowing their names or faces.  Well, a new little piece to this adoption tapestry has been woven into my heart and understanding.

A friend of mind recently loaned me the book, There Is No Me Without You.
It is the true story of an Ethiopian woman who lost her family.  She was so depressed and lost without them that she was about to go into seclusion, when a local church asked her to take in a young girl who had no one.  And from there began her new story.  She began to take in one orphan after another.  She loved and loved and loved.  And as Wes and I were driving to a friend's house the other day, I was reading this book.  For the first time I was blown away by the stories of the parents of these children...the parents who were dying of AIDS or other fatal diseases....parents who loved their children dearly, but knew the only chance their children would have at life was to go and live with this amazing woman.  And from out of nowhere, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I started sobbing, and Wes looked over at me and asked me what was wrong.  Once I was able to contain myself enough to speak intelligible words, I told him that I was so ashamed.  I was ashamed of myself for all the times I have been walking through the streets of Ghana, India, Nepal....all the times I saw these adults begging for money or for food, and I felt nothing.  I even judged without knowing their stories.  Yes, there are people all over the world that may just be pulling the wool over your eyes, but there are SO many more who have real needs.  And for the first time I thought of the biological parents of our future children.  I thought of how difficult it will be to give their precious babies to difficult it will be to say good bye.  Many of these parents are loving individuals who adore their children, but because of health or economic status, can no longer care for them.

Please don't misunderstand me.  I am not sitting her wallowing in guilt and shame because of my past complacency.  Rather, I feel even more alive.  Once again, God is revealing His heart to me, and He is making one itty bitty teeny part of my heart a little more like His.  That is amazing to me. 

On our own adoption story, there is not much to tell right now. We are waiting, waiting, and waiting. Our agency gives us no indication of where we are in line compared to anyone else, nor do they tell us how many families are adopting from Ethiopia through them, so we literally have NO clue when a referral might come. We are literally in the dark now. Some days are so very hard. Everything feels so heavy. But many days ( i like to think more often than not), I feel filled with hope and excitement at what is to come. When I had my little cry fest, Wes looked at me and said, "God might just have a little more for us in Ethiopia than our children." Yeah....He just might. :) So who knows what will happen next.

I had a dream a couple of days ago that our agency called us with a referral for 10 month old twins: A girl named Charlotte (who knows why?), and a boy named Jember (actually an Ethiopian name, meaning sunset). It was awesome, and I woke up with my heart racing with excitement. In passing, I laughingly mentioned the dream to our agency's program coordinator. She said that pretty much never happens, and made it evident that it was not likely to happen for us either (in a very nice way, of course). But who knows?! I will be happy with ANY referral! Let it come soon!