Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Have You Considered...???

I have been attempting to write this post for a while. Encouraging others to consider adoption is something that can hit some nerves. Some people just don't want to hear about. Some are excited to hear and are considering adoption themselves.....

As I look into the beautiful face of my baby boy I have decided to live life stepping on toes. The statistics on the amount of orphans in the world is overwhelming. I do not by any means believe that it is every families calling to adopt a child but I do believe that it is every families responsibility to care for the orphans of our world in one way or another. And I also believe that adoption is the right choice for more families than choose it. I just can not beleive that it is in God’s plan that so many children remain without loving homes. We are to be God’s hands and feet. We are his solution to the orphan crisis. Adoption will not solve the problem for many of the children that will be orphaned in the years to come. This will take incredible worldwide social change and an end to the events that cause children to be orphaned. We, as the people of God, need to work hard to eliminate the circumstances that cause children to be orphaned. This is the long term solution. But for those children caught in the middle, loosing families due to poverty, war, sickness or a number of other reasons, adoption is a beacon of hope. You may not be able to solve the orphan crisis for the millions of children in need, but could you be the answer and hope for one?

Adoption is a beautiful thing. It is an amazing reflection of the love that has been given to us to share with others. We were created to love others. So have you considered? Especially for those of you that are beginning the conversation of "should we have another?" or "are we ready to start our family?". Traditionally, adoption has been seen as a way to grow ones family in the case of infertility. Any reason that a child is provided a loving family is a good one. But I am really encouraged to see how many families are choosing adoption not as their second but as their first choice in growing their family. Have you considered? I mean REALLY CONSIDERED. When you are having the conversation about starting or growing your families is adoption an option that is being discussed? What reasons do you have to push it aside? Are they good reasons? Or does fear and doubt creep in and make you close yourself to the possibility that this may be what God has for your family. Here are some of the reasons we had; or we know others have that cause them to shut the door when it comes to adoption:

“Money” - This was the most difficult thing for us to get past when we were deciding whether or not to adopt. The high costs of adoption seems overwhelming. John was still in school, I was working part time and we had only a couple thousand dollars in savings. Because John was in school, we had access to student loans to get us started. We really questioned if going into debt to adopt was a smart decision but now that I look back, I would go into as much debt as needed to bring a child into our home. We go into debt for much less important things in life. And then the next step for us was to have to rely on others to help us bring our son home. My first phrase in life was "Me do it". I hate asking for help. Raising the money was the most difficult but also the most rewarding part of the process for us. Money is so important in our culture so giving it to others really means something. There were so many individuals that were intimately involved in our adoption process because we were forced to ask for help. And help we received!! From so many places we would have never expected. When you say "we can't afford it" have you really looked at your finances? Are you willing to humble yourself and ask for help to give a child a home? Are you willing to make some sacrifices? Maybe now really isn't the right time due to finances, will you consider when you are more financially sound??

“I don’t need to, I can have kids of my own” – So could we. Infertility was not an issue for us. But just because you can, it is the right choice for your family? Is there a child out there that needs you or a mother that is desperately hoping for a loving family to raise the child she can not take care of herself?

“I don’t know if I can love a child that doesn’t look like me” – You can. Love isn’t about looks or blood, it is a choice. Choosing to love brings so many blessings.

“What if they have serious problems? I hear horror stories about adoption” – Yes, there is risk to adopting a child. But there is also risk to birthing a child. You could be given a child with autism, a child with a birth defect, a child with a personality you don’t like, or any number of things by adoption or birth. Having children is risky business. We are all messy. Yes, there are horror stories out there about adopted children. But for every one of those, there are a hundred families that have been blessed beyond imagination from adopting. I can connect you with some of these families if you want to see.

“The paperwork is overwhelming” - Yes, it is...... but so is labor. It is a pain but it is doable. I can help you through this if you need it!

“People are on waiting lists….I hear how long they wait…this must mean there are not enough children to go around….there isn’t really a need for me to adopt” – False. The reason there are waiting lists is because the process to adopt takes a while and getting children through the system in an ethical way takes time. There will always be children out there in need of homes. Telling yourself that there isn’t a need, just isn’t the truth.

“I just don’t feel God calling me to adopt” – This is the only reason that I can hear that makes sense to me. We are not all called to the same things in life. But we are all asked to be open to God’s leading. Are you really open to adoption or does fear make you keep this option out of reach?

I urge you to be open to it. If there is even a part of you that reads this and feels some sort of tugg at your spirit, start exploring your options. Talk to families that have adopted. Spend time with them. Ask questions and be honest about your fears and reservations. Those of us that have adopted probably had the same fears and can share how we stepped past them. Maybe your reservations are valid and they are the reason you will not adopt. Or maybe, this is just the beginning of an amazing journey that God has you on. A journey that will begin with a tugg and end with a sweet child in your arms that becomes your own. A daily reminder that LOVE WINS!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trip to the Beach

At the end of May, we had the opportunity to go to Myrtle Beach. I had conference for work for a couple of days and then we were generously offered a condo to use for the remaining part of the weekend. We had such a great time on our first vacation as a family of four. This was Johnny's first time sleeping outside of our house since being home. He did great!

Here is my attempt to get a picture with the two kids both looking. Hmmm.....almost impossible...

Notice Johnny's scrunch face. It is my favorite expression he makes. If we tell him no, he will look at us and scrunch up his face and sniff at us. Every time he does it I start laughing so now he does it to make us laugh. Emma can get him to do it on cue. So cute!!

When at Myrtle you have to go to Broadway at the Beach and our favorite restaurant there is Margaritaville. It has become a tradition for us to each there each year. The kids love it as there is loud music and really tall people walking around making balloons for the kids..

And they have carnival rides. Emma was in heaven...

Johnny was not so sure about the beach at first but then figured out that he could crawl around and shove shells in his mouth. I didn't get great pictures at the beach as it was a full time job making sure Johnny didn't actually swallow any shells or too much sand. The beach was beautiful and the weather was great the whole time we were there...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 151

Johnny spent his first month of life with his birth mother and then lived at Hannah's Hope as we waited month after month to bring him home (150 days to be exact). During this time, he grew attached to his environment at Hannah's Hope and came to love his special mothers. He was very happy and so well taken care of. We are so thankful for the love and care he received while at the orphanage.

When we picked him up, Johnny took to us as his parents quickly. He was very affectionate and interacted with us without fear. But there was a part of him that he kept guarded. It is difficult to explain as the changes we have seen in him have been so subtle but each month John and I have been able to see him open up more and more and trust us with who he is. It is nothing big, just small seemingly insignificant moments when he seems to let go and trust us with another piece of himself. Children are amazing. Trust comes so easily. It would have taken me years to open up the way Johnny has and trust that my environment and the people in it were worthy of my love. That I could trust them to be there for me as time passed. But children understand what it really means to love and give and receive it freely.

Today marks the day that Johnny has been with us longer than he has been with anyone else. It is today that we have surpassed the previous caregivers and will continue to daily show him that he is ours and we are his. Though he is completely unaware that today is Day 151, I cherish this day. We do not take for granted the trust that he has given us as his parents. We are his forever home and are blessed completely by this son of ours...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pappy Comes to Visit!!

My dad was teaching in Virginia so drove down to spend a couple of days with us before flying home. We took advantage of having him here and went to the children's museum which they both loved...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Misc. Pics

Emma in a pretty dress and fancy shoes....

One of her new favorite things is to do is to paint her nails. She sits very still and lets me paint them and will even sit and let them dry..better than I do. She is a girly girl.
My two sleeping boys....

A couple of weeks ago we joined a group of moms and kids from our MOPS group
and visited took a farm that Emma, Yaya and I visit last spring.
We had a great time feeding the animals and riding in the wagon.

This is the food you can buy to feed the animals. Johnny decided that he would like to eat it too. When I was attending to Emma, he somehow got one in his mouth and I couldn't get it out before he had eaten most of it. Oh well, I guess if a giraffe can eat it, so can he....

Juggling two kids in a wagon by myself. I have come a long way from being proud to make it out of the house by 11am!

Friends from our MOPS group.....we look forward to another year getting to know these kids and their moms.