Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Unknown/Unpopular

 As I sit down to write this post, please know that this was actually something meant to stay private, because privacy is always a safe place where I have full control. Full control? Now that's a joke!

Recently, however, I have felt convicted that if we are to be the change in this world, I need to have the courage to lay my life out for all to see what Christ is doing, no matter the cost. Sometimes the effect of this is new friendship or helping/encouraging someone I have never met. A lot of the time, however, it is a lonely road full of critics, people that turn their backs, friends that don't mean to be hurtful but just don't think about how to talk or consider including you because they don't know how/see the opportunities since "you're not normal".

The unknown...
The different...
The unusual...

There is so much in life that I do not understand or can even comprehend. God has placed me and my family on this journey of adoption and the burden to care and advocate for orphans. This road started with infertility, pain, heartache and suffering. Over four years later now and there are times when it still pains me to see someone overly giddy with the anticipation of their first biological child because it's something I will never experience. The moments are shorter and more fleeting, but nonetheless tears are still shed. I remember when I realized we would never have a biological child, I mourned things that I never even thought about. Breastfeeding. What? Seriously? I mean come on, don't most people enjoy the convenience of a bottle? Shouldn't I rejoice that I don't have to "deal with that"? The problem was, it was one less way I was going to be able to bond with a child. It meant I wouldn't be able to share something so precious between the two of us.

As I began emerging myself into all kinds of resources to better equip myself for this second adoption I stumbled upon reading about adoptive mothers breastfeeding. Seriously? You mean it can be done? What?!?! How?!?! And is it a practical option???

The unpopular...
The second looks...
The empty silence of a friend withholding their opinion...

 I was encouraged by a friend to not worry about what other people thought and just read more about it to make an informed decision. I stumbled upon this article and then read several testimonials of other adoptive moms that have chosen this route. It was amazing to me that most of these testimonials were written several years ago! Then I met some new friends just last night that know people going through this right now! You mean I'm not alone? I'm not that unique? You mean...I could do this?

I cried myself to sleep last night, but the tears shed were tears of joy. See, you have to understand that one of the most painful griefs I had was the idea of not having this bonding opportunity with our newborn child. I prayed that God would help me find some way to experience this deep bond with our adoptive child even though I could not breastfeed. Through all of this reading/research/talking to others; God has showed me that He is giving me a gift of being able to experience something I never thought I would.

Okay, there, I said it. It's now typed, in print and there's no turning back. 

I pray that this post will encourage other adoptive moms out there that haven't thought of this yet or are scared to talk about it. I pray that the minds and hearts of those weirded out will begin to soften and open up. I pray that God will use me and others out there to share His love and grace through our actions. I pray for courage...

I love when King David gave these wise words to his son Solomon:
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished."
1 Chronicles 28:20 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A drop in the bucket...

We were blessed over the past two weeks by friends and family that have generously given to our adoption fund via donations for the garage sales AND monetarily! Most people don't realize that adopting can actually cost money and others think it's so astronomically expensive it can never be done. It's honestly somewhere in between. The process we are going through right now is not cheap, but we know that God will provide! 

Between the past two weeks, we had enough to do 2 garage sales! 

We were able to raise $1,977!!!

This might only be a drop in the bucket, but we know that every penny came from our Provider and only He knows how He will meet our every need!

Over the past two weeks it has been even more obvious that we are taking a journey that God planned prior to our knowledge. The numerous amount of people that have asked us about adoption or just questions about the process has been too many to count. It has opened the door to share our testimony of following God's will in adopting Kiir and we have seen several hearts softened to the pull of God leading them down the same path! We have had people ask the awkward questions that everyone is thinking, but few are courageous enough to ask and God has been so good in giving us the gracious words to share with them. We know that His plan is greater than ours and I am excited to see how it unfolds.

Yesterday I got to meet an adoptee that was shopping with her baby. She was so kind to share the sweet story of meeting her birthmom when she was a young adult with me and then gave us all of the extra money she had left after shopping to go toward our adoption. Another sweet foster mom just had a placement in the wee hours of the morning and was shopping for her two new children. She also left what little she had left to go towards our adoption! We were blessed with the generosity of grandparents that have an adopted grandson and wanted to bless us too! Another woman wanted to let me know she would be praying for us and the birthmom as we continue in our journey! Others came to look around (like a dear friend of mine from junior high) and just left with a hug and a donation to "the cause". The love God showed us yesterday was profound, and yet I wouldn't expect anything less from HIM!

We still have a ways to go, but we know we are in sync with His footsteps!

If you would like to donate toward our adoption, 
you can send donations our way by several methods:

1. Donate via PayPal!
We have a PayPal button on the top right of our blog
and you can pay via credit card, bank transfer, etc.

2. Donate to our adoption fund through our agency!
Gladney Center for Adoption keeps track of everything we still owe towards the adoption of future baby Carson and can accept any form of donations to go towards our account!
You can contact our case manager: 
Melissa Thompson at (817) 922-6000

3. Send donations via snail mail.
If you do not have our address but would like to choose this method, 
comment on a blog post and I will email you back with our address.

Thank you all for the many prayers and love you have given generously! We know that we serve a GREAT and FAITHFUL LORD and that this journey has incredible things to come in the future!

This morning we sang this song in worship and as usual, it contained every word I needed to sing to Him! My favorite part is the chorus:

Oh, my God,
He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through
Always, always!!!
If you have never heard it, here is the YouTube video: