Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our Stair Steps

We look at our family ~ our stair steps ~ and feel very blessed. But God has chosen to bless us more than we could even dream. There is quite a jump from our "Robbie step" to our "Jack step." God has chosen to fill that gap with an 11 year old, a very special young man who eagerly awaits joining our family. We are crazy.... crazy in love with our new son.
I prayed for God to burden my heart with what burdens His. He gave me a heart for older child adoption. When I first stumbled upon this young man's face, I saw it with a mother's heart. One of only three sweet little Chinese faces that I have seen and felt a familiarity, as if they had been written on my heart. In the adoption community, I see sweet little faces daily and while I wish I could bring them all home, this was a face through which God spoke to me. As a volunteer for An Orphan's Wish, I am intimately familiar with many sweet little faces that I wish I could help find a family, but this was a face that God kept bringing to the forefront of my mind. I thought about him daily. He began showing up in my Face~book newsfeed as other adoptive moms were advocating for him. He even showed up on a blog that I follow. Financially and practically, it just did not seem possible. So I prayed. I shared this young man's story with my husband, my children and my parents and asked them all to pray for his hope, his spirit and to pray that a family would come forward for him. He continued to be on my heart so I prayed some more. My mom asked me about him a few times. I called my agency to see if he had been adopted, but he was still on the shared list. So I prayed. When I had a question, God would answer it. When I wondered how we would communicate with him, I got an email stating that Chinese lessons were being offered after school next year at my children's school. When I wondered Why Us?, God responded with Why Not? I talked with a family that adopted with us our previous two times and found out that they felt called to adopt again. We wondered about the possibility of God's sweet will allowing us to travel together again and promised to pray for each other. They shared a blog with me that they follow. (Blogger will not let me link to the blog so I will just post the link here... ) I visited it periodically, but one day woke up with a nudge to check it. The author was calling for a day of fasting and prayer. My heart was heavy with so many issues in the lives of those I cared about and this seemed like a perfect time to lay all of these requests at the feet of our precious Lord. The fast was for the next day. Readers were to comment with their prayer requests and then to pray for each other as well as their own personal requests. I g00gled fasting and prayer and came up with a plan that would work for me. I woke up the next morning excited to sacrifice for the Lord in the name of those I love. I read the requests on the blog, I wrote in a prayer journal, devoured scripture that was appropriate for the things that I prayed for, and spent my day (kids and all) in prayer. It was life changing and I look forward to doing it again. I, of course, included this young man in my prayers. I prayed that a family would adopt him and that he would not be discouraged. I knew that God was telling me that we were that family, but I prayed that He would also tell my husband. We had discussed it at one point. I told him that I felt God calling and that all He required was my obedience. My husband understood, but looked at the situation from a practical, head of the household perspective. I understood and respected that as well. We had only a few other discussions about it. What seems like a crazy decision to the outside world, seems peaceful to me. For me, becoming a mom for the 6th time is not a selfish act or even a worldly one, it comes only from the One above. So, I prayed. And waited. For my 40th birthday, Russ threw me a surprise party. Instead of gifts, my friends gave me money to use toward orphan care in any way I saw fit. Russ and I had a discussion on the way home about how that money could be best used. We thought about giving it to friends who were adopting. We thought about giving it to An Orphan's Wish. We also thought about somehow donating it toward an older child adoption. We never discussed using it for our own adoption, though I am sure it was the 500lb elephant in the room (or car as in this scenario). That was the beginning of July. The week before we left for the beach, I read the blog again. Her post had me in tears and I shared it on my FB page. It was very touching. Russ saw the link, follwed it, and sent me a message saying that he was moved. We discussed some of the wonderful things about this family and bonded and joked over things we both noticed. A few days later, Russ took me into the backyard, pulled up the picture of this 11 year old boy whose face had lit up my heart, and said, "He's our son. I know it. God knows it. I have told my mom and dad and I have called our agency." That was 2 weeks after my birthday. Since then, we have joined groups of fellow parents who have adopted from his same SWI. We have found out what we already knew in our heart... Our son is a very special little boy. He is being advocated for by name. His character is one of love, helpfulness, humor and friendliness. He has charmed everyone who has met him. He has many friends and is loved by all who meet him. Why has he not already been adopted? Maybe because God knew we were his family. God's timing is always perfect... and always better than ours. We have started on our paperchase. Please pray that things go smoothly and according to God's will and timing. We would leave tomorrow if they would let us, but the international adoption process has it's ups and downs and we are looking at early Spring next year. Please pray that God will protect our family and our new son as we are in this process.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just two short months ago...

I wrote this post back in May, hoping it would get me started back into the blogging world. That was two months ago so.... maybe it was just a start. Fast forward two months later and we now have an idea of what God has in store.
"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 a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
I believe it has been almost two years since I last posted on our blog. I got sucked into the wonderful world that is Face~book. I began posting my pictures and updating our adventures there and since all of my blogging friends and family were there too, it just seemed redundant to post on our blog as well. Recently, I have felt a tug. A tug that led to a nudge. A nudge that led to a shove. And a shove that led to an all out, tripping over yourself, push. I have a renewed passion to live like Jesus. To abandon the pursuit of the American Dream and to be the hands and feet of our precious Lord and Savior. I have no idea what His plan for us is, but our plan is to glorify Him. We want to live each day as an example to our kids and the world around us. My heart is burdened for the orphans of China. People often wonder, "Why China?" My only answer is because China is what God laid on my heart. And thankfully, on my husband's heart as well. I feel that God has big plans for us and I cannot wait to see what He has in store! Of course, in the meantime, we will just continue to embrace life with love and laughter.... and a lot of carpools, baseball games, dance lessons, Scout trips, spend the night parties, homework....
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16