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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Excuses!

I am currently recovering from the most unpleasant illness I have EVER experienced in my life! I have strep throat. I don't just have the "regular" version, which is nasty enough. I have the kind of strep throat you get when you should have been on antibiotics for days and were too stubborn and busy to go to the doctor. For three solid days, my fever was rarely below 103! I took bath after bath and sat in the broiling sun to get warm on those days and even that wasn't sufficient to stop the chattering teeth and muscle aches. I can shine a flashlight down my throat while looking in the mirror and see scabs on my tonsils . . . okay, I'm venturing into "TMI" land (Too Much Information) aren't I?
Today is the first day I've left the house in 5 days and it was glorious! I almost broke into song in the isles of Wal Mart while deciding which style Hot Pocket my teens would like for their co-op lunches this week! I have a much greater understanding of human suffering. I know that sounds melodramatic but it's true! By day 3 of the fever, chills and stabbing pains with each swallow, I began to feel despondent. I prayed, begged and maybe even tried to bargain with God for some relief. He answered by slowly healing me through the wonders of Penicillin. I was praying for a "put your hand on the TV and repeat after me and you will be healed" type thing - no dice!
While lying in bed this week, I finished the book "Radical" by Dr. David Platt. It rocked my world! It convicted me about the pursuits of my heart and my lack of true brokenness for the lost. I felt very ashamed that, in light of our friend's financial issue, I was ready to throw in the towel on pursuing the adoption of Francis from The Philippines! I am weak and easily discouraged, I guess, but I want to be that young man's mother and I believe he was created to be in this family. If the funding for his adoption is not coming to us in one giant check with no effort on our part, does this mean we are free to walk away? Absolutely not! In light of all that God has done in bringing us 5 amazing children and the testimonies that come with each one, we can not assume that God has said "no" because one door has closed. With renewed health and renewed purpose, we are asking, once again, for more than we deserve - another miracle from the Lord. The Bible is clear that "you have not because you ask not". I am asking . . .no begging . . . for God to do another "radical" work in our lives and make a way for us to adopt this young man before he ages out of the system - time is short and so are funds but praise be to God, he controls them both!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Has He Spoken?

I am sad and yet resigned as I type this entry . . . the friends who so generously agreed to pay for our adoption of the older child in The Philippines are no longer able to do so. It is through NO fault of their own, honestly! I wish I could share all the details and it would be plain to see that our friends truly intended to take care of this adoption. We are not sure what this means for us or for the young man who waits, in his final year of availability, for a family to call him their own.
Should I begin to advocate for him in the online adoption community? Certainly anyone reading his file would love to have such a teen as a son. Should we wait on the Lord to provide another way or has God spoken and this adoption is not to be? I just can't fathom it!
Please pray. More than anything, I want this young man to have a chance to live and grow up in a family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On The Road Again

We just returned from a road trip that took us from North Carolina to the heartland of America, Nebraska. I was born in Omaha and both of my parents have family there.
I have a precious 90 year old grandmother who is battling cancer (and winning!) and plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins in Nebraska that I would love to know better. We had a wonderful time swimming, eating, playing cards and just sitting and chatting. We put about 2400 miles on our mini van and visited at least 20 rest areas on this little jaunt. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about traveling with Ezekiel. He is two and he does not love the car seat. He actually did surprisingly well and didn't actually "melt down" until about 9pm last night (we arrived home around 10:30 so imagine what the 9:00-10:30pm segment of the trip consisted of . . . wwwaaahhhhh!!).
Between the snacks, DVD, frequent restroom stops, books and toys we carted along, everyone survived the drive and dare I say, some may have actually ENJOYED it? I know I did. It provided lots of time to just sit, pray, think and talk to my husband - all things I generally neglect on a "normal" busy day around the house.

One of the most delightful parts of the trip was meeting a cousin who, until just a few years ago, I didn't know existed. She was given up for adoption by my uncle and his then girlfriend just about two years before I was born. She found her birthparents (my uncle and his ex-wife) through the placing agency and they reconnected. I had so many questions that I wanted to ask an adult adoptee. I tried to prioritize them so as not to overwhelm or monopolize her but the biggest question I wanted answered is "do you think it was for the best that you were placed for adoption?". She graciously answered that it was absolutely for the best. She knows her birthparents were young and unprepared and she was adopted by a loving family who longed for her. I know every person is different and some may resent being adopted while others may feel "incomplete" until they meet their birth family.
I don't know what impressions my boys will have about their "life before me" but I can only pray that as they grow and mature, they have the wise perspective of my cousin and the understanding that adoption represents the ultimate act of love, first by a birthparent and then by adoptive parents.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Knowing You

"But whatever gain I had, I count it all as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." Philippians 3:7-8

Once again, God has done it and I'm not even surprised! He has raised up the finances for another adoption!!!!!! He has laid it on the heart of a dear friend and fellow Believer to help us bring our almost 15-year-old son to the United States! I am thrilled and humbled. We will formally begin the process the last week of August!
I know Philippians 3:7-8 seems an odd scripture choice to pair with such wonderful news and yet, I see the relevance as clearly as if I were reading a commentary on the passage.
Adopting again is marvelous! Being blessed with a huge sum of money by someone we already love and respect is miraculous! Bringing a young man to the states just as his hope and time are waning is beyond glorious but knowing Christ is the reward.
For our family, adopting children is the vehicle He uses to show Himself to us and
I am so glad it is!
Thank you, Jesus for the far-reaching effects of your goodness! Your faithfulness and greatness are endless and your mercy is new every morning. Thank you for letting us know you.