Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Rant of an Adopting Mama

No, this is not my typical rant.  I'm NOT going to go on and on about how we've been waiting forever OR about how I'm wondering if our caseworkers tremble, scream, and roll their eyes when they see yet another email from "that crazy Holland lady" (my words, I'm so sure it's not theirs. No, of course not. It's all in my head).  No, today is a different rant. Grab some popcorn, some Rasinets, and a drink...
Did you know that there are OVER 120,000 kids in foster care RIGHT NOW who are legally free for adoption? Did you know that there are many, many more Christian families in the U.S. right now? Each of those families could answer the call to be " a father to the fatherless" and end those numbers. While I know not everyone is called to open their home to a non biological child I find the numbers interesting.
What I find horrifying is that in the process of our adoption search I've seen MULTIPLE sibling groups get split up because people are not willing to adopt multiple children, a sibling with medical/emotional/educational needs, or possibly the older siblings of a group. I keep seeing it over and over.  It just breaks my heart.  Half the time I've noticed that siblings not only get spread out over different parts of a state but in different states altogether!! Again, my heart aches.
I can't even imagine how many times we've been looked over because we don't make enough money or we have a small house. SO?  We'd love them to pieces, fight for their education, plant seeds of faith, surround them with family and church family who would spoil them to death in a great way.
Today, I was looking on the photolistings and saw yet another group we had looked at being split up.  Four kids now destined to go to four different homes. Seriously?
I've been re-reading Tony Merida and Rick Morton's "Orphanology", a wonderful book that's not only GREAT theology about how we should answer the call to help in orphan care because we too are adopted--but also has heartwarming stories and paths to get started in  various forms of orphanolgy. Wonderful book. Add it to your Amazon wish list. ;)
 Merida and Morton talk about various ways that families can assist in orphan care beyond bringing a child in the home--one of which is assisting an adopting family--financially, babysitting, bringing by meals, helping with laundry, yard work...you get the idea.  While I'm not dreaming of 19 kids and counting, I know that we have many people in our lives that would be more than willing to help us in various ways if we were able to adopt a large sibling groups or even more than one sibling group. Adopt us kids recently sent us the link to a success story of adoption where two dads have been able to grow their family through adoption--up to 14 kids ( http://www.today.com/news/superdads-couple-adopts-14-kids-foster-care-4B11187918 )  I'm happy that these kids get to stay together and at the same time it upsets me because we keep getting emails saying that they're sorry but they do not allow more than five or six in a home. Or that we were not chosen because we do not have enough rooms to let each child have their own room. (I have a house, not a hotel....j/s)  I'm sorry but sometimes you have to let go of numbers and think about what's best for the kids. I would imagine that keeping siblings together should trump going over your number by a kid or two.   (Before you answer my rant with your own...yes, I am aware that some families get foster kids for the check.  We're not one of them so let me have my Mama soapbox for a minute!  And again, yes, getting more kids than you can provide for is not good either. Not like we're asking for welfare from our government...which I guess wouldn't be that hard...anyone want a free cell phone??????)

So, back to my original thought...splitting up siblings= No Bueno!!  Helping families who are adopting in some form or fashion = Fantastico!   Any questions?

Oh, and if you know of anyone wanting a small home in the middle of Tupelo, send them our way.  We're apparently going to have to upgrade. I'm considering buying 12-15 shipping containers, hot gluing them together, adding a little modge podge and some glitter....I'm sure Pinterest will give me some ideas.  It's that or find a coupon for 50% off one home!!  Let me know if you see any of those just lying around....

As always, we value your prayers.  I apparently need some for sanity...
We're still waiting. Seeking a flashlight to see what the path has for us. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as they heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55: 8-9

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Valleys Fill First

Down in the Valley

I heard a great sermon this morning that I’d like to share with you.  It came from 2 Corinthians 1:1-12 and was on Comfort from God.  I know I cannot do it justice with the way Andy spoke or even with how the ideas wove together in my mind as he spoke. 
 Here’s a link to the NLT I read this morning:

Many Christians repeat the idea that God will never give us more than we can handle.  It’s a nice idea.  I think it comes from the idea that we know He is always with us, guiding us and bringing us comfort. But can you imagine losing a child? I don’t even want to.  It’s like I wouldn’t have air to breath.  Like I’d need to claw my heart out of my chest to make the pain stop. (Okay, yes, that would CAUSE more pain and, of course, the removal of a heart would cause a little something called death…but if you’re a parent you probably get the idea.)  At my school, we have several people who have recently lost either a child, sibling or parent. I can’t be told that that isn’t something that is more than a person can handle.  Even Paul says in this passage that he was “…crushed and overwhelmed BEYOND our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.”
Wow Kate.  Morbid much?  I know. Right.  But I AM getting to my point.

What Paul was telling the saints of Corinth (and us) about the comfort (not relief—hey, He’s not a genie) that God brings. That we go through terrible things so that He can comfort us—when we stop relying on ourselves and learn to only rely on God.
Jesus took on our sins and our suffering.  He TOTALLY gets what we’re going through.  That’s why He stands shoulder to shoulder to us as we walk through the hard times. He has brought others through suffering so that they can bring us comfort (From God through Jesus) to us in our suffering. So when we’re suffering we should not hide it away like it’s an embarrassment, a chink in our armor. We confide in someone we trust who will pray for us and with us through the hard times.  Joy will come in the morning. Eventually.  We don’t always know what the spiritual warfare is that’s going on around us (Think Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness”).  It reminds me of Caedmon’s Call’s song, Valley’s Fill First.
This is the valley that I’m walking through
And if fells like forever since
I've been close to you
My friends up above me don't
understand why i struggle like i do
My shadow's my only,only companion
and at night he leaves too

Down in the valley, dying of thirst
Down in the valley, it seems that i'm at my worst
My consolation is that you baptize this earth
When I'm down in the valley, valleys fill first

Down in this wasteland I miss the
mountaintop view
But it's here in this valley that
I’m surrounded by you
Though I'm not here by my will
it's where your view is the most clear
So I'll stay in this valley it takes 40 years

And it's like that long Saturday
your death and the rising day
When no one wrote a word,
wondered is this the end
But you were down there in the
well, saving those that fell
Bringing them to the mountain again

We’ve been waiting for “The Call” for almost 2 years. We’ve had many, many, many replies to our inquires come back “I’m sorry. Your family was not selected for this child/sibling group.”  Did I say “many”? Cause I really mean a Freaking Boat Load.
Yes. I know. They weren’t the right ones. God has our future children already chosen for us and we have to wait for the right timing. Yep. Heard it. Read it. Got the t-shirt and repurposed it into a pretty scarf thanks to Pinterest. Phrases like that bring no comfort.  Sorry folks but it’s true. Kinda like 10,000 spoons when what you really is a knife. Just saying.
Instead, I’ve gotta find my comfort in God.

And, in the meantime…I’ll gladly accept your prayers. For me and Adam. Cause he’s got to put up with crazy lady!

And if any of you have an Easy Button…send it my way!
Thanks y’all

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vocabulary of the Adopted Family

As many of you know, we've adopted before. When we first talked about starting a family we decided to adopt first and go back and forth from there. We had heard people make comments about other families having bio kids first and adopting last and referring to it as "they were done having their real kids then decided to adopt. How nice of them."  Many people assumed that we adopted because we could not have "our own" kids. Because that's the only reason to adopt. (?) 
 Because our family is made up of both Caucasian and Hispanic it is more obvious that we have adopted--although people are not always sure who is who since Luci has some features that look like me and Lorelai is blond with blue eyes---opposite of my brown hair and hazel eyes. My students and people in public will often ask us which child is our "real" child.  My first thought tends to circle around something like, "Oh, that's right. I did make one of them up!".  It's like when they talk to Howard Wolowitz on Big Bang Theory about  getting a real girlfriend-one that doesn't blow up. Well, neither of my kids are inflatable or cardboard. If they were my house wouldn't be as messy. (Just saying.)

Pinocchio had the problem of "real" status. He was a puppet who wanted to be a "real boy".  Children who are adopted already have enough rolling around in their head about if they really belong to their family as well as possible attachment and trust issues. Hearing someone ask which one is the "real" child is not helpful. We are a real family--not because we look a like but because we love each other.
So, when I overhear someone talking about "real" kids I try to help them with their vocabulary. Biological and adopted are the terms we use in our family-not real. Luci was adopted but she became our "real" child the minute I saw her in our caseworker's car five years ago. As soon as Adam walked through the door that day she bolted across the living room and held her arms up to be picked up. Her face was so smug when Adam picked her up. Yep. Ours. It didn't matter that we couldn't make it official until after months of waiting for the rights of her previous "parents" to be taken away AND wait for an open court appointment to make it legal. She was ours June 4-the day she entered our lives. It just became official later. 

I look forward to when the next one(s) come into our lives and become ours. I can't wait to find out their names, ages, interests. I look forward to buying books for them about their home state/culture. I can't wait to take a picture of them in front of the "Welcome to Mississippi" sign. To start building scrapbooks. To have hectic mornings of getting everyone ready for church or school. To snuggling up together on family movie nights. To not being able to hear each other talk about our day because we have a houseful of kids singing/laughing/arguing/screaming...well, you get the idea. I'm ready for the good, the bad, the crazy, and everything else in between. I'm ready for the call. Doesn't really seem like we're going to get one. All the kids we've inquired about have been placed with other families or with biological family members. Not sure what God's plan is for this. We'll see. 
As always we ask for your prayers....for us to get a call, for the kids' hearts to be prepared to come to our home, for their hearts to be ready to hear God's word, that we'll be able to get our tiny house ready for more little people (or that someone who flips houses will knock on our door and say, "I must have your home! I'll pay full price!"). 

Just so you know....elephants are only preggers for 22 months. We're at 21. 

This one too:  :)