Saturday, May 21, 2011

Have You Ever Prayed for a Garage Sale?

This past year I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a pretty amazing family. They have started an organization called Feeding The Orphans. They are working to feed orphans in Ghana. Who knows, maybe they are feeding our children now. I do know that they are feeding God's children.

I have been hopeful for a chance to be a part of what they are doing and I think I have found a way. They are sending me purses and jewelry made in Ghana. I will be selling them on Saturday June 11th. You see, our town does one big garage sale every year. I would estimate that 25% of all houses have a garage sale going on in their driveway. All on the same day. It draws a big crowd from up to an hour's drive away. It's pretty crazy.

My hope is to sell everything they send me and have nothing to send back but lots of money. So can I ask you to pray for this garage sale? I know it might sound like a strange request at first but this is about much more than just a garage sale. I will also be handing out information on Feeding The Orphans in hopes of building more support for this ministry. I am really excited about this opportunity to be a part of God's work. I hope that somehow in all of this I will find how I might be able to be a part of Feeding The Orphans in the future too.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Overly Sensitive?

Not too long ago we read a book called Adoption is a Family Affair. I asked my parents to read it also, which they did. (In fact, most of our family has read it by now.) My Dad and I were discussing the part where adoptive parents were telling some of the thoughtless things that people have said to them. We agreed that many examples were valid and in some cases people were being overly sensitive.

Often times when people hear about our plans to adopt, they say "your kids will be so lucky". I know that this is normally said with the intent to be supportive. And I greatly appreciate the immense amount of support that we have received. But you should know that most parents don't really like this compliment. I can imply that the child doesn't deserve everything that they have and that they don't have a right to normal childhood behavior like tantrums and teenage complaints. Most parents will reply "no we are the lucky ones". Now if someone says this to me "your kids will be so lucky", I usually just smile and say "thank you" as I know their intentions are good. After all, why be oversensitive.

Just this week a good friend referred to an adoptive mom as having 2 children "of her own" and 3 adopted. Now I know she was just trying to tell about why this woman is a special woman and I didn't correct her. But it really is a big deal. Why? Because the 3 children were adoptED. Past tense. They are no longer different than the other 2 children. They are all really her children and nothing less should ever be implied. Now this family was not around. But what if a child near by was adopted and you didn't realize it. Could you do damage with your words? Absolutely.

I have always realized that there are two categories: words that are said to us/parents and words that are said in front of our (someday) kids. Recently I read a blog post that really explained why the latter is so important. I hope you will read it. It was written by Tracy. I found Tracy through the world of blogs. She was the first person that I had ever heard of adopting 4 siblings at one time. When our first agency was not supportive of our hopes to adopt 4 siblings at once, it was Tracy that I turned to for advice. Here is a little bit of what she wrote and a link to her blog:

I'm not at all questioning anyone's motives, just informing them that, in their ignorance, they are being used as a tool of Satan to plant doubt and mistrust into the mind of a child.

but whoever causes one of theses little ones who believes in Me to stumble,
it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck,
and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

Orphans are serious to God--those who have been redeemed have an incredible call and purpose in their lives and the enemy is continually out to cause them to stumble.

So, since we all have questions---

Here is a small dose of enlightenment---simple facts that can shine light on some of the wonderings about adopted kids, mine are from Africa, but it could apply to anywhere:

Friday, May 13, 2011

So your paperwork is done, right?

So your paperwork is done, right? Ummmmm... nope...

I have gotten this question a few times in just the past few days. You would think that after this much time that we would have all of our paperwork done. So what do we have left? The dossier. We were 99% done with our dossier for Ethiopia when we switch over to Ghana. Dossiers are country specific but most of the documents are the same. So it shouldn't be too much work. I just need to sit down and figure out what I don't have. Without a referral yet I haven't felt much hurry to do this, but I really need to just get this taken care of and out of the way.

So you might wonder what all this paperwork looks like. Well here is a look. Now keep in mind, I am kind of a nut and so I have everything in sheet protectors. But to my defense, there is not a sheet protector for every page, just for each group of related papers or duplicates. (We have 4 notarized copies of our homestudy.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baby Envy

I have made so many friends, many whom I have never met in person, who have gone through or are going through the adoption process. A few months ago, one such person got the word to head to Ghana and pick up her girls. I was so envious. I watched her blog and facebook, drooling over the details and wishing for that day that it would be me. Just a couple of days ago I learned that a dear friend was selected by a birth mother to be a mommy to her baby. I was thrilled for her but again I was envious too. I hesitate to admit this because the last thing I ever want is for a friend to hold back in sharing their joy for fear of hurting my feelings. I'm not really sure why I am admitting this, except to be honest and to tell my story as it plays out.

It is a little difficult for me to think that we have been at this for over a year now. It was Mother's Day 2010 when we first sent in our application. Our big day could be right around the corner or much longer. We don't have any news except to say that we continue to wait. But life is good and it is busy. And I enjoy making these many new friends and watching their adoption journeys play out.

If you are praying for us, as I know many of you are, please pray that we might listen carefully for God's plan. We think His plan is to find 4 siblings, but it is so important that we be able to hear His voice in order to know His plan, whatever it might be.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Hole in our Gospel

After 4 years of textbooks, I have finished my first for-pleasure-reading that I can remember in what seems like forever. The book? The Hole in our Gospel.

The Hole in our Gospel is written by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision. He sets out to try to answer the question "what does God expect of us?" God has blessed most Americans with so much. And the world is full of poverty. So what does God expect of us? We can't do everything. And yet we can't do nothing. So what does God expect of us?

I strongly recommend this book. I believe that this book will change the way that I view my life and hopefully will change the way I choose to live it. I believe in the value of this book so much that I am going to offer to give away 10 copies. 10 free books!

If you would like a free copy, please comment twice on this post. The first comment saying that you are interested, which I will publish. The second comment with your mailing address and email address. I promise not to publish this second comment and only use it for shipping. I will purchase the books (used) on and have yours shipped directly to you.

There are 2 conditions to my offer:
1. That you actually read the book, not just let it gather dust. I hope to hear from you within 3 months as to what you thought of the book.
2. If you like the book half as much as I did, I ask that you find someone else willing to read it and pass it on to them.