Sunday, January 25, 2009

How do you know it's from God?

To my adoptive friends, do you ever get this question? I suppose you could and probably do get this question for any number of things that you do purely from an "obedience to God" standpoint, but let's use adoption as a specific.
The question is asked out of sincere concern. Honest fear that choosing to add children to your family is somehow going to be unfair to the the children who already live with you. While I realize the questioner thinks they are asking out of love, the question always appalls me. I struggle with the desire to scream about "what's fair". Is it fair that there are children who have to watch their parents die because there is no medicine available? Is it fair that a mother feels compelled to place her child for adoption because her husband has died, 2 of her children have also died, and if she doesn't seek help from an orphanage NOW, this precious child whom she loves will die as well? Is it fair that people are starving to death even as food rots in my refirgerator? That I can pay $10 and see a doctor whenever I want to, much less need to? Is it fair that I keep getting to be the mom who loves her kids so much that I get to be the one who hugs, and kisses, and raises them, and each time some other woman has to be the one who loves them so much that she has to be the one to let them go?


So the questioner is asking if it is fair to give this child a home when it will require 3 kids to have to share a room.


I take a number of deep breaths and simply say that I don't think it's wrong for kids to share a room. That personal space is not my highest priority.

But it is so much more than that. The person really means well in asking the question. Really feels that she is being an advocate for my children. I know that, but it breaks my heart that none of the stuff about the children I am bringing home is even a thought in her head. Those problems aren't real to people who ask this question. They haven't heard, haven't seen, and more importantly, aren't looking.
Well my eyes have been opened. I can't un-see. I can't un-know. And I don't want to. I need it to be an open wound that never goes away so that I don't ever stop doing what God wants me to do.

So to answer the original question- How do I know it is God asking me to do this and not satan whispering in my ear to destroy my family?

I know because the Bible says so:
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, .....The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'.--- Matthew 25:35,40

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God sets the lonely in families.--- Psalm 68:6

John 14:18
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Religion that God our Father Accepts as pure and faultless is this:to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.--- James 1:27

This is my answer. This is how I KNOW.

Any questions?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ask me if the shoe tastes good

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing you say comes out right? Or more accurately, are there ever days when you actually can say anything and have it come out right?
I was blessed with the good fortune to spend five hours on a Friday afternoon with two of my very wonderful girlfriends. We had a fabulous time: lunch, treats, griping and comforting. Well, the other two were comforting. Everything I said came out arrogant and condescending. Not everything, and I was able to clarify, but it was getting ridiculous. Luckily, I was with such great friends that they could just laugh at me as I digested what I had said. Over and over. They just started giving each other a look that said, "Wait for it... There it is!" As I began to sputter and blush.
I hope today that you have friends like that. People who can see past your words and understand what you were really trying to say. Who can poke a little fun while they do it.

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble.

This is the kind of friend I want to have and the kind I want to be. One who overlooks the fact that I have put my foot in my mouth and offers to share the shoe with me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

raising our children

I have been hit with a specific verse a lot lately. Maybe because I have been praying a lot lately about Hana and Biruk and the type of parenting they need. Also because as a new homeschooler, I am struggling to make sure I nurture the strengths that Julia, Andy, and Mel have.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

I always thought this ment to put them on the right spiritual path and when they are older, even if they stray, they will come back to God. I keep getting broadsided with the fact that I may have been looking at this passage wrong. The original word for "train up" means to develop a thirst, and "way" means manner or mode or bent. This whole phrase reads more accurately as "develope a thirst in your child according to his way". "Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it"

Charles Swindoll writes in his book You and Your Child:

In every child God places in our arms, there is a bent, a set of characteristics already established. the bent is fixed and determined before he is given over to our care. The child is not, in fact, a pliable piece of clay. He has been set; he has been bent. and the parents who want to train this child correctly will discover that bent.

Max Lucado says that in our children God doesn't give parents manuscripts to write, but codes to decode. As I contemplate Biruk and Hana's arrival, I think about all I don't know about them. Their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, what makes them tick. Recently people who have met them have told me that they are smart and kind and have tender hearts and are leaders. The director of Hannah's Hope (the orphanage where they currently are) said and I quote," I think Biruk and Hanna are the perfect children in the world, and I am not kidding." I won't hold them to it, but that is quite an endorsement. It gives me hope and encouragement. I have missed 2 thirds of their upbringing. I want to do this next part right.

Lord, help me to delve out the strengths and interests of my children. Help me encourage and coax and strengthen. Help me to recognize their bent, and find the right path for each of them.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the photos!!!

Many of you have seen these, but now I can post them!!! Our beautiful children.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Trumping the last entry

I don't think I have ever posted twice in one day, but this is important.
drum roll please....................................................................

A little more about Christmas

I realize that with our ski trip so close on the heels of Christmas (we left on the 26th), I failed to mention my Christmas gifts. I think it is always important to share what I got for Christmas. I like to let people know just how much better my gifts were than theirs. I am only kidding. I really don't participate in gift trumping, but I think if I did, I would win this year. Na Na Na.
To prove it, I was given a scratch off lottery card. It's value was $10,000. When I looked at it, I said, "Wow, wouldn't that be cool? We need about $10,000 to complete our adoption."
I got a coin and started scratching.
1st number: $10,000
2nd number:$10,000
not too excited yet, they always tease you like that with 2 matching numbers. I have 6 numbers in total to scratch off.
3rd,4th and 5th numbers: not $10,000
6th number:$10,000.

I look again. $10,000

look one more time $10,000

I WON $10,000!
I WON $10,000!
I WON $10,000!

By this time Scott realized that I am not joking. The kids are trying to get the card and look at it but Scott shoos them away, he doesn't want anything to happen to the ticket.

I WON $10,000!

Then I get this feeling like this can't be real. I look at my in laws, the darling gift givers, and I say, "This isn't real, Is it?"

That's right folks, totally fake.

TOTALLY FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who are the sadistic jerks who came up with this idea? It has to be the cruelest thing I have ever experienced.
I played it off really well. Even Scott didn't realize how crushed and foolish I felt. Seriously foolish. Talk about the donkey ears award. That's what I really got. Donkey ears. Hee Haw!
So that is one of the gifts I received.
Care to top it?