Sunday, October 28, 2012


I've been trying for days to write a politically correct and humble post about adoption. I had references and statistics and persuasive words and then cringed because it sounded too preachy, so I watered it down until it became boring and predictable and failed to communicate what's in my heart. So this is the raw, rambling, unedited version.

I think more people should adopt. 

Specifically, I think more Christians should adopt.

People don't like to be told what they should do, especially from someone who hasn't actually done it, yet. I get that. I don't like it either, but children are dying while I try not to offend.

There are children wasting away in institutions in Bulgaria, or scrounging for food on trash heaps in The Philippines. There are kids in orphanages in Ukraine who have caregivers paid to provide them with food, but not paid enough to keep them from the abuse of an older child. Here in the United States, children in foster care are exposed to all kinds of trauma making them at high risk for suicide. There are teenaged girls aging out of orphanage life in Russia who will directly enter the sex slave trade. 
Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don't stand back and let them die.  Don't try to avoid responsibility by saying you didn't know about it. For God knows all hearts, and he sees you. He keeps watch over your soul, and he knows you knew! And he will judge all people according to what they have done.  Proverbs 24:11-12    

I've not yet parented a kid with a past, but I've read a lot and talked to enough adoptive parents to know that it's not easy.  Most orphans have some kind of special needs. For some, it's why they were abandoned. For others, it's because they were abandoned. It's difficult for kids to emerge unscathed from what they've endured. 

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3,4 

I've been told by many Christians, in essence, they couldn't handle adoption given their present circumstances.

Being the queen of "I can't handle it," I get that, as well. In fact, I've said that very thing several times during this adoption process.  We like to be in control. We like for things to make sense and to do the responsible, socially acceptable thing. 
“Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.” -Francis Chan   
Some of us already have a lot of children and it makes zero sense to take on more. Some of us have empty nests and it would be outrageous to start over. Some of us have not yet had biological children and it would be crazy to start our families with adoption.

But when does God call us to things that make sense? To things that we can handle?

If we can handle our lives, where is God's glory in that? 

It's a myth that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. In fact, God delights in doing just that because it forces us to kneel at His need include Him in our lives. 

When we do that, He has promised that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, that He has given us all we need for life and godliness, and that He will meet all our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.

Church, "I couldn't handle it" is not a valid reason to avoid considering adoption. 

I know, I know....not everyone is called to adopt, but aren't we all called to be willing to adopt?  It's time to have the conversation, to ask your Father, "What do you want me to do for orphans?"  
What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world. James 1:27
I was recently told that I can't change the world. True, but I can change the world for this child. How about you? Can you open your heart and your home and change the world for one?  

Disclaimer: I know there are those of you who LONG to adopt and it is not yet God's timing for you. You are helping orphans by paying forward and helping others to follow God's call to adopt. I know this because you've so generously helped us. God sees your willing heart! Don't give up. Continue to advocate, continue to give, and believe that He WILL give you the desires of your heart! And for those of you who are willing, but have not been called, thank you for helping others, for sponsoring children, for loving on the neighbor kids whose parents are always at work...for doing what He HAS called you to do!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

When Random Turns to Warfare

Random emotions are rolling in my heart. Random thoughts are swirling in my brain. 

We are in a holding pattern in our adoption process. Just waiting on the translator to finish up and deliver our missing documents to the Ministry. (Got an email this morning telling us they will be delivered Wednesday.)

In the meantime, here are a few things that I've discovered:
  1. I don't wait well.
  2. I am weak.
  3. Did I mention that I don't wait well?     
I really don't wait well, but I'm finding that it's actually been somewhat of a relief not to have to think about anything adoption related. (Well, until one of the five hundred well-meaning people I've encountered just this week asks me about it.) 

But, in the waiting, I have lots of time. Lots of time to question, "What the h--- are we thinking?!?" Which brings us to number 2.

I am weak. I am passionate, compassionate, and just, but, conversely, I am impulsive, wimpy, and angry. I am weak. Just given time, I have worried that I am not brave enough to tackle this and that I have acted rashly in moving forward to rescue a child we've never even seen.

But then, in re-reading Adopted for Life by Russell Moore, I realized that I'd forgotten something important.

Adoption is warfare.

The protection of children isn't charity. It isn't part of a political program fitting somewhere between tax cuts and gun rights or between carbon emission caps and a national service corps. It's spiritual warfare...
The universe is at war, and some babies and children are on the line.  The old serpant is coiled right now, his tongue flicking, watching for infants and children he can consume.

There is an enemy of our souls that does not want us to embrace this child into our lives. He will stop at nothing to see that it doesn't happen. He knows that complacency works well with me to stall me in my tracks.

I've been passively waiting, thinking that I had no choice and almost congratulating myself for not freaking out, when I should be on my knees fighting to get this kid HOME! I should be storming the gates of heaven and asking for favor to be granted, obstacles to be overcome, mountains to be moved, translators to move quickly, paperwork to be in order, protection over our son...

In the back of my mind, I was lulled into thinking that since we took the steps to put things in motion, our work here was done until we brought him home. I forgot to be his mother NOW. He needs me to do everything I can to get to him and all I can do right now is pray.  

So that's what I'm doing. Will you join me? 


Monday, October 15, 2012

What Choice Do We Have?

We were given very basic information (first initial, sex, and birth year) on four kiddos with Down syndrome from the Ministry. Although we are approved for a child aged birth - eight-years-old, they gave us info on kids aged two - four-years-old, as that's what we originally requested.

They are still waiting for some additional information from us before they will come forth with more details about these kids, but we do know a little bit.

Orphans, all of them. Rejected simply because they were dealt an extra chromosome. 

My excitement that we are moving forward was quickly replaced by this huge burden. I was overcome with .... I don't even know how to describe it ... grief? responsibility? .... for these kids.

How do you choose a child? 

I know which gender that we would prefer and which age range. But, should preferences even have a place in such a decision? In preferring one set of characteristics, we're excluding real, live children. Kids who have little hope that anyone will ever come for them. 

How do we decide that? How do we decide that this child deserves a family while the others may face lifelong institutionalization...cold bars, abject neglect, forever sameness?

It is gut wrenching.

And then a friend saw my heart and prayed for me. And, in her prayer, I saw the truth.

This child, my child, has already been chosen for our family. This is God's plan, after all. He will be faithful to show us who He has for us, when the time comes. I have no choice, but to rest in that knowledge.

He has a plan for the others, as well. He sees them. I know He does. I pray that someone will come for them, too. In the meantime, I pray that they will be safe, and that they will feel Jesus close to them. The Bible says that He will be a Father to the fatherless. I pray that He surrounds them with people who see them and will tell them that they matter, that they are loved, that there is hope.

I am excited to meet our child and to bring him/her home to our forever family. 

BUT, it seems like such a tiny drop in such an ocean of a bucket.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Eon is growing...ME!

Today is the first day of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I have been mulling over all I have learned by having Eon in our lives and am convinced that, without him, we would not be pursuing adoption, not just because we would have no idea or vested interest in what happens to kids with Down syndrome in other countries, but also because his life has so changed our perspective and even our world view.

Having Eon has taught me that we have so very little control over what happens in our lives...not nearly as much as we think we do. That is alternately terrifying...and freeing! When Eon was having heart surgery, I wrote that there is a fear born of faith. I have faith enough to know that God is in control, yet fear that His ways are not my ways. But, disability and surgery forced me to explore what I really believe about God and His goodness. In November of 2009, 10 months after Eon's birth, I wrote:

Even if my world changes tomorrow and the unthinkable should happen, it's going to be ok. Nothing surprises God. His grace is sufficient for me. He has promised to meet all my needs and He is here, with me. That's what Immanuel means, you know...God with us.

Having Eon has taught me that conventional wisdom is a crock.  Conventional wisdom tells us that having a child with a disability is a bad thing. Our experience, and that of thousands of others, has proven that to be false. In fact, the opposite is true. When a perceived negative turns out to be a positive, it opens up a whole world of opportunity! The fear has been removed and our hearts are freed to pursue adoption.

Having Eon has taught me that the real disability lies in the minds of individuals. People are afraid of what they've not experienced and that fear prompts them to place limits where none should be. 

And Eon, himself, teaches me things every day:
  • People should be greeted enthusiastically whenever they arrive, no matter how long they've been gone.
  • We really should weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, just like the Bible says.
  • All cookies should be Oreos or they are not worth eating.
  • Coffee with a loved one is so much tastier than coffee alone.
  • If you can't figure something out, keep trying. If you still can't get it, seek help.
  • Books are awesome, no matter how many times they're read.
  • Communication can happen in so many different ways that don't actually involve words.
  • Pitching in to help can be fun.
I feel like he's grown me so much in three short years. I am so blessed to be his momma and so proud of my little man! I can't wait to meet his chromosomally enhanced brother and see what he brings to the table, as well.