Friday, October 23, 2009

"Trust and obey, for there's no other way . . ."

As some of you may know, we have been talking, thinking and praying for several months now about the possibility of adopting two siblings or a single child. Our hearts' desire from the beginning of this process was to adopt two children, whether siblings or unrelated. We chose an age range (0-3 yrs.) for the children based on our children's ages, advice from experienced and knowledgeable friends, and Ethiopia's standards/requirements. A few months into the process, we were informed that our agency does not allow adoptions of two unrelated children within that age range, and that siblings within that age range are very rare. We were advised to leave the option open of accepting a referral for a single child.

And so we began to think, talk and pray. Had God put that desire in our hearts to adopt two, or was that sincerely just our own desire? Our homestudy approved us for two children and we have absolutely no doubt that God is faithful and will supply all of the wisdom, strength and resources needed for us to raise two more children . . . if that is what He wants for us.

So there is the struggle (probably more for me than Joe). We truly believe with all of our hearts that God is sovereign and can provide a sibling referral if and when He wants. We truly believe that God has lead us into this journey and will continue to lead and provide as we "Trust and Obey". Our hearts still desire to adopt two siblings and would be thrilled to do so . . . but we can't even begin to think that we can care for the four children God has given us already, let alone two more, if we are working outside of God's desires. It scares me to even think about that!

Sometime in the near future we should be receiving an "on deck" email from our adoption agency. At that point, we will have three choices, (1) take whatever referral is there when we are up for referral (siblings or single child), (2) wait for a sibling referral for whatever time we specify, or (3) wait indefinitely for a sibling referral. In talking, Joe and I both feel that option #2 is out for us - either God has laid it on our hearts to adopt or not, and either He wants us to wait for siblings or not. We don't think He is into playing games with our heads! :o)

So, do we feel strongly that God only wants us to adopt siblings and that that is His clear direction? And, as much as I hated to admit it, the answer really is "no". As I've said, it is still our hearts' desire, but we don't know whether that is from His heart or our heads. We are choosing to trust in God's sovereignty, and we are confidant that He will bring the child or children that He has for our family, the same way He did with our biological children. This is not to say that God does not clearly lead some families to wait indefinitely for siblings. I just know for myself at this point, whenever I begin to think that we should wait, it is truly about what I want and how I can control the outcome . . . sounds like it might work, until I remember Who it is I am actually trying to control!

The bottom line is, we don't know God's mind - we can't even discern our own minds accurately (Jer. 17:9) - but we can trust His leading. And so, when we receive our on deck email, unless God radically changes our hearts between now and then, we will let them know that we will take a referral for siblings or a single child. We are truly overwhelmed and thrilled by all that we have learned and seen through God's hand throughout this process, and we are at complete peace knowing that we and our children are in those same hands! God has never disappointed us (despite the many times we disappoint Him), and we know we will be completely full to overflowing with whoever God adds to our family!!

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9


For an update on "the PUZZLE", click on the link on the right-hand side of this page.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some have asked where we are in the process. Well, to put it simply, just waiting! We have nothing to do for the adoption right now, other than our own saving, reading, educating, and preparing. Depending on the length of our wait, there's a possibility that we may need to update some of our paperwork, such as our homestudy, but for right now, we wait!

Meanwhile, God has been so faithful in continuing to provide the needed funds for the next step. We are so encouraged and praising our Heavenly Father for all of the friends and family who have chosen to step out in faith and join us in this ministry of adoption!

What is the next step? At some point, our agency usually sends out an "on deck" email letting you know you are close to referral. Then we wait for a referral (a picture and information on a specific child or children available for adoption). Our next set of fees will be due when we accept a referral.

To see what God has been doing through "the PUZZLE", click on the link in the right-hand column, then on the tab marked "Photo Update".

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why Are We Adopting??

by Joe

What is adoption? Wow, so much to write so little room! Since I have recently been introduced to this important subject I have come to find out how much it has to do with my Christian faith. Adoption is a physical demonstration of a spiritual reality. By deliberately choosing to rescue children who are fatherless, hopeless, and helpless; we reflect our God who chose to rescue us from our hopelessness and helplessness. By sacrificially, denying our comfort and contentment for the good of other children reflects our God who sacrificially gave up His Son because of His love and kindness to us. By recognizing and embracing that non-biological children can be part of a family as true sons and daughters reflects our God who adopted us into His family as "sons and daughters". Simply put, as Russell Moore puts it in his book Adopted for Life, "Adoption is the gospel."

So, why are we adopting? Good question, once in awhile I'll ask myself that same question! It usually sounds like this, "you've got to be crazy; not enough going on in your life right now? Four children isn't enough mouths to feed?" But it doesn't take long before it leads to heartfelt thanksgiving to our Father for this awesome opportunity to have our faith tested and multiplied as we take this step of faith in saving children, both physically, and hopefully spiritually. With responding in obedience, to God's leading in adoption, we have already been given numerous opportunities to give an "answer of the hope that lies within us". Through adoption we have had the opportunity to teach our children that loving others is not only more pleasing to God, but eventually more satisfying than pleasing self. Through adoption we have had the opportunity to "lay up treasures in heaven and not on earth" and to teach and demonstrate this investment principle to our children as well.

So adoption gives us an opportunity to please God, portray the Gospel, and to promote our growth in Him. Please pray with us that God would be glorified as we respond biblically to his leading in our lives in this particular area of adoption.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Puzzle Update

For an update on "the PUZZLE", click on link in the right-hand column. Then click on the tab at the top of the page that says "Photo Update".

Joshua's 3rd Birthday!

Yay! Blew out all 3 candles!

Loves his new bug-catcher's belt!

VERY excited to get "guys" like Joey and Gracie play with!!!