our work

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mercy is Spoken Here

Let me get one thing straight.

I NEVER intended for this blog to become a "RAD blog".   I had no plans to be the author of one of the most widely-circulated
adoption disruption stories on the internet.  www.bringinghomezeke.blogspot.com/2011/02/adoption-disruption-down-and-dirty.html

This is NOT the type of notoriety an adoptive mother longs for when bringing a beautiful new child into her family.

I simply shared my son's agonizing story and it resonated with more than 50,000 readers.  I poured out my heart in that post for catharsis but primarily because I had turned over every stone online and in the professional world of adoption-focused literature looking for help in the painful choice of whether or not to disrupt this child's entire world for a for a fourth time and all I found was ridicule and

I read articles regarding disruption and the comments under the articles scared the confidence right out of me.
". . . treating a child like a pet . . . "
" . . . what if he were biological? You can't give him back them . . . "
" . . . should never have been allowed to adopt in the first place . . . "
" . . . should have ALL her children taken away . . . "
" . . . should be put in prison for abandonment . . . "

And I knew some of YOU must have been in that same desperate place hoping to find some kinship after that Reactive Attachment Disorder diagnosis darkened your world.

No warm, safe place existed for a family struggling with whether or not to disrupt a failing adoption.  No listening ears and sympathetic hearts were available to the mother who simply could not spend one more night sleeping with all her children in her master bedroom except THAT ONE and the door locked for fear that he might come in and harm them.   No gentle encouragement for the couple who's marriage is in tatters because THAT CHILD has triangulated them in the worst way possible and they blame one another all the way to court while the child sits, satisfied, on the sidelines and enjoys the show.  And he is not to blame. He is broken from the inside.

I wanted to be that place.  And after I hit "publish" on that article in February of 2011, I had no idea how my world would change.

You came, meekly at first, asking me if it was okay to email privately about your children.  You broke my heart and drove me to my knees before God with your stories.  I prayed for you.  I wept for you and I wept for your broken children.  You trusted me, a virtual stranger, with sacred parts of your hearts because there was not one other place in your life where it was okay to talk about how you really felt about that child you adopted.   Your in-laws had already said "I told you so" one too many times. Your church friends told you over and over how "lucky" you are and how "cute" he is and you wanted to shout "I CAN'T STAND HIM" and run from the building. . . I get that.

And I want to say "thank you" . . . to every Mama who wrote me a private note and thanked me for the risk of my post.  THANK YOU to every person too afraid to sign an email in which you bore your soul and asked for help.  Jesus knows every intimate detail, Anonymous Mom. . . He cares and He loves your family, even when it doesn't feel like it.
 I took a gamble that talking about "the 'D' word might just fill a niche left open by everyone too afraid to mention it.
"You've never thought of disrupting your adoption? Yeah, me neither  . . .just thought I'd ask . . .crazy question . . . I must be tired"

And if you followed my precious son's story, you already know that our gracious, good, kind Heavenly Father brought healing after six years of brokenness and acting out by our boy.   I would love to promise you that if you can just hang in there for six years, your child will receive healing, too.

But it doesn't work that way.  Some children are healed and some stay broken. In THIS life.

For those of you reading this who have seen great improvement in your children, I am BLESSED to hear those stories, too.
Remember to show mercy to those Mamas who are still in the throes . . .

For those who are still trudging along the painful path of RAD,  waking up in the morning wishing it was bed time already, you have my ear, my heart and my deep gratitude.  You are still walking, even if you feel dragged, you're doing it . . .

For those who have chosen to disrupt and are living with the pain of wondering if that child hates you, remembers you, understands that you did your best . . .for YOU I pray the most often.   The Enemy loves to accuse you, doesn't he?
But our son CAME to us from a Mama just like YOU . . . from a family that wanted so much to help him but became paralyzed by his gigantic needs.   A family that wanted to make the world a better place and give an orphan a home but got swallowed by his pain and anger and needed an escape hatch.  I have to believe someone, somewhere wants to thank you for giving them their miracle.

I thank both of my son's disrupted families here and now.   I know you read this.  Thank you "M" and "E" and  your families.
I pray you have no guilt about the life of this boy.
He is one of my my treasures!
He was worth those six years . . . and then some.
It took a long time to be able to say that with such certainty but I say it now.
He is a prize.   He belongs here, with us. He is ONE OF US.  He is mine . . .
He just took the long road...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Great Faithfulness

I have been singing a song off on and for the last few days . . . "Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. . . all I have needed THY hand hath provided . . . "
And I love contemporary Christian music.  I choose it over hymns on a daily basis but when I see God doing big, God-sized things, it's those old hymns I learned as a child that come bubbling out.

And here is why I am praising . . .

This is the ear of a profoundly hard-of-hearing child in The Philippines. Notice how it does not have a hearing aid inside?

 THIS is the beautiful child who is attached to  the ears that do not have  hearing aids inside but should.  She is standing with my husband on Evaluation Day when he was meeting visually impaired children for The Bartimaeus Project. But her caring staff had hopes that we might help a deaf child, too.

 THESE are the hearing aids donated and paid for by my precious friend and fellow adoptive mom, Martha, her friend Lillian and donors who read about sweet "Ella" and felt moved to help!!!!!! These are also the batteries, cleaning supplies and other needed items to make sure beautiful "Ella" will be able to hear for a long time to come.   GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS!!!!!
This is THOUSANDS of dollars' worth of equipment that came together in the span of 48 hours. Because God's people care and they want to help, if they can just see the need! 

 And this is the little boy that stole my family's heart as we learned he possibly had congenital glaucoma, a seizure disorder and little hope of developing anything close to normal communication.  He is sweet and shy and cooperative with a tentative demeanor.
This is also the very boy that The Bartimaeus Project sent to a pediatric eye doctor with a tinge of sadness only to discover this sweet angel just needs a patching regimen, no surgery and does NOT have glaucoma after all!!! Great is HIS faithfulness!!!!

So we now extend our arms to this little blessing below. She has what appear to be benign tumors on the surface of both eyes. Possibly cysts, and we seek the Lord in prayer for her as we work to get the help to her that will insure she grows up with her eyesight in tact.
Please pray with us that her needs can be met as quickly as the needs of the two beautiful children above.  If she needs surgery, the Bartimaeus Project will stand beside her all the way through.  She is in a wonderful, loving children's home that will make sure she is surrounded by support as her treatment continues.  We all have high hopes that her story will end with perfect vision and a loving family. We can rest in HIS Great Faithfulness as we move forward with helping her.

These blessings are the top three in a deep stack!
Donations continue to come in as our family prepares to move full-time to The Philippines.
Our home repairs are almost complete so we can place our US home on the market.
The peace of God engulfs us as we start selling our worldly goods and making the needed connections abroad.
We have been asked to speak at three different locations in the next month and share the project with Believers!

If you have donated to The Bartimaeus Project, we just can not thank you enough. On behalf of these children and the many others who stand in line for vision services "thank you" is not enough.   I pray that you feel in the depths of your spirit, the magnitude of what our Great and Faithful Father has done and will do through your giving. 

If you are praying about partnering with us, please do it!  I can assure you of two things:
1. Your gifts will benefit the children above, and others like them, for a lifetime.  Children with restored and preserved vision have an exponentially greater chance at being placed in adoptive homes than those who remain visually impaired.
2. When your gifts help us move permanently, we will be even more effective in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and in getting more children to pediatric eye specialists.  Please help us get there!

To learn more about donating to The Bartimaeus Project, visit our web site at:  www.bartimaeusproject.org
All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501c3 in partnership with The Community Foundation of Carroll County

If you feel God tugging at your heart to do more than give financially, if you want to come spend time with our family in The Philippines after our relocation, let us know!  We can use any extra hands God sends and just the encouragement that comes from time with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  You can bring your children, too!  The Philippines is a visitor-friendly country and you will have access to medical care if needed.
If you have another gift or talent you would like to offer The Bartimaeus Project, we are all ears! We welcome you to come alongside us and get in on what the Lord is doing.  

Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving.  THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING and I have to pinch myself!!!!