Friday, April 27, 2012
Sorry I haven't blogged in a while! We have been knee deep in garage sale stuff! You guys ROCK! We have been beyond blessed! Our sale is next Saturday (may 5th)!! If you love a good garage sale - come on out! If not, send someone who does love a good sale :) It is going to be a good day! We are still accepting donations for the sale and we would love any fold up tables we could borrow!
We are currently waiting on our home study to be finalized. Our social worker has completely finished writing our study and it is officially in the hands of our coordinators (both America world and new beginnings). They are reviewing the home study and will hopefully finalize it soon. Our coordinator said it usually takes about 3 weeks. So praying in another 1 to 2 weeks it will be FINALIZED!!
THEN we finish up our Dossier. More on that at the appropriate time :-)
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
So where are we now? Well, officially everything has been turned in paperwork wise for our home study so we are praying that our homestudy will be finalized either this week or next!! Then, hopefully our Dossier can be submitted not too long after that. By "not too long"... I mean like a month or two. Hopefully not 3 :)
Don't forget about our garage sale coming up May 5th! We have already received a lot of donations and hope they continue to pour in. Please pray for us regarding this fundraiser. You can specifically pray for 1) spreading the gospel 2) beautiful weather 3) God's blessing and favor.
So why did I title this blog "meditating"? Well, I just returned home from Tuesday Morning Bible Study at the church. Let me just tell you.... I am so so very thankful for all the wise, wise women in that group and even more thankful for how the Spirit is faithful to move each week. I love it when God completely catches me off guard and shifts my thinking!
This morning the discussion shifted towards parenting. It began with us talking about how important it is for us to teach our children about God (something the Israelites in Judges 1 & 2 failed to do and the results were devastating). All morning I kept feeling like there was more to it, there was more to what God was trying to reveal to me. Then, my Bible Study leader told this story:
My Bible Study leader said she would never forget her friend telling this story of what they felt and prayed when God called her and her husband to step out in faith. They felt the Lord calling them to move to Brandon and be on staff at Pinelake. However, they had children, one of which was a Junior in High School. You know.. we hate to disrupt our children's lives because they LOVE their life. They love their friends and their school and we hate to "disrupt" all that. But instead of feeling guilty over obeying the Lord and "disrupting" her children's lives, she saw this as one of the first opportunities for her children to exercise their faith. Both of her boys are believers, but up until this point they have never had to really rely on God. They had always just relied on their parents. She saw this as an opportunity for the boys to grow near to the Lord and trusted that God would be faithful to their obedience. The results.... amazing! The boys flourished.
As mamas we think that we are doing our kids a favor by protecting them from any form of pain. In essence, we teach them to seek "security" in the things around them. True security is found only in the Lord. When God calls us to step out in faith - He is really calling us to Himself! There is no greater reward than intimacy with the Lord, regardless of the circumstances. So the "take away" from today was to pray that our children are always "bent towards saying YES to the Lord", regardless of how scary the task may seem. However, how can our children learn that if they do not have parents that say YES to God, even when it means we have to disrupt our lives and our children's lives?
:))) Yes.... Meditating... that's all I can say about that! I've got some mental re-adjusting to do regarding the way I see life!
To constantly attempt to "protect" my children from any form of pain, may actually mean that I am keeping them from doing the will of God. Then spiritually I leave them as "sitting ducks" just waiting to be devoured by the enemy because they have not learned how to WALK out their FAITH. They've only learned stories.
Again.... meditating :)) I am sure I will be slow to learn (as always!)
Saturday, April 14, 2012
I like simple and to the point. How 'bout you?
--We ALL are completely excited about meeting and loving on Malachi.
--Malachi, however, has NO idea that we are coming! He is not "anticipating" our arrival. The concept of adoption is beyond his comprehension.
--No matter what age Malachi is when we meet him - he has already experienced a LOT of loss! Loss of the only person he really knew (his birth mother). Loss of familiar surroundings - from a minimum of mom's belly to first orphanage then transition home. This is the minimum in switching of surroundings. It could be greater than this.
--Malachi will not automatically love us and be bonded with us - after all, not only are we strangers, but we are COMPLETELY different from anything he has every known - our skin color, our smell, the sound of our voice and the language we speak.
--Bonding will take hard work and time (we will need your support!!!)
--We will meet Malachi, spend approx a few days with him, then come home WITHOUT him :( very sad!
--A few months later, once all the legal paperwork is complete, we will return to get him and bring him home.
--Let's look at this from his point of view:
He has essentially lost everything he knew and was bonded to. He has been switched between at least 2 orphanages by the time we meet him. He meets us, complete strangers who look different and speak a different language. We love on him! Then we leave. A few months later, we return and take him with us. He barely knows us!
TRAUMATIC? yes! Were we prepared? The best we could be. Was he prepared? Absolutely not. He's an infant/toddler. Is it better for him to stay at the orphanage than to have a forever family? ABSOLUTELY not! Will the transition be hard? YEP. Will it be worth it?? YESSSSSS!!!!
I don't mean to sound so "doom and gloom" however, becoming an orphan is not the most beautiful thing in the world. It is sad. It is brutally sad. It is sad for the birth parents, for the child, for the caregivers, for the adoptive parents and for God. And although up until now I have not mentioned HIM in this blog..... HE makes ALL the difference! You see - God can take something so devastating, sad and hopeless and turn it ALL around! That's what He did when he adopted me into his family. I was much like Malachi! Spiritually I was lost - being tossed from one sin to the next trying to find a place to belong. Of course there are obvious differences - I chose my sin, Malachi didn't choose to be an orphan, but THANKFULLY.... oh so THANKFULLY... my Father was doing behind the scenes work to prepare for my adoption into HIS family!
"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."
If you are a BELIEVER... you were adopted! Study it for yourself if you don't believe it :) You were "grafted" into God's family. He made a way for you. Jesus died on the cross SO THAT you would be adopted and become a child of God. THAT is the reason we are adopting!! Because our Father did it first. He created adoption. He can make anything new... he gives hope to the hopeless!
Short little "mini sermon" to break up the blog :)
So back to the point!
--When we arrive home with Malachi, we barely know him and he barely knows us. There is some bonding that needs to take place!
--This will look different than bonding with Miller. The moment Miller was born he recognized Lee and I as his parents. He knew our voices! We took care of his every basic need - food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, etc.
--Malachi does not know we are his parents. We can't just tell him who we are and expect him to respond, we have to create that bond, the dependent bond between babies and parents.
--Adoption experts advise that for a "season" (which could mean weeks, months, etc depending on the child) that ONLY Lee and I provide his basic needs! Bottle, diaper change, calming him if he cries, etc.
We pray that y'all will be considerate and supportive of all of the above. We do not have a clue what we desire for the structure of those first few months home with Malachi to look like, however, we have 2 years to study, pray and continue this ongoing conversation about our transition from "journey 2 Malachi" to "life with Malachi."
But for certain, structure number 1 will be that only Lee and I (unless we have an extreme reason) will feed, clothe, change his diaper and calm him when he cries until we feel he is successfully bonding.
Thankfully... this will only be for a season!! So please be patient with us! We know y'all want to love on him! We WANT y'all to love on him! However, I read this quote somewhere and loved it.
"The long term needs of the child outweigh the short term desires of adult family and friends"
Malachi needs to know who his parents are and to form a bond with them. We thank y'all ahead of time for being supportive in this transition for both him and us! It's only a season!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
CoupAide.com has partnered with Restaurant.com to help non-profit organizations fundraise. The founder of CoupAide.com contacted me recently and explained how the fundraising works. Lee and I decided to give it a try!
Basically... you pay 20$ and receive a 50$ gift certificate to a participating restaurant (you can type in your area code to see what restaurants are in your area... Julep and Mint are two of my faves in the Jackson area). Of the 20$ you paid... we get 10$ towards our adoption process!! It's a win-win situation :)
To buy a certificate click HERE!
Or you can go to the web version of our blog (located at the bottom of the home page for mobile versions) and we have a button on the sidebar that you can click and it will take you to our fundraiser page. Thanks in advance to all of you who support us through this fundraiser!
We also have a PRAISE for today! This morning I sent off our last payment to the Home Study Agency so our home study is completely paid for! Thankful to God for HIS provision so far! Thank you to all you sweet people who obeyed the Lord's call to help support us!
Oh and I had a "sweet kiss" from the Lord this morning. Want to hear??
Miller (who has recently learned how to crawl) watched me walk down our "L" shaped hallway. As I was coming back into the kitchen I could hear him crawling down the hall after me. My heart leaped with joy at the thought that he wanted to follow me and be where I was. I stood there behind the corner, listening to him, and excitedly waiting on him to round the corner. I could tell by the sounds he was making that he would crawl a little bit...fall down.. kick a little... make some noise... get up again and repeat the same cycle. He was slow to get there but he kept coming! I couldn't wait any longer... I rounded the corner with a big smile on my face which met the smile on his face. I scooped him up and kissed him bunches! At that moment it was like God said "THAT is how I feel about you! That is how I feel when you follow after me and simply desire to be in my presence. I do not care how many times you fall or mess up... as long as you keep seeking me! I wait in anticipation to embrace you!" MMMM.... What a good Father I have! Oh how HE loves me!
"I love those who love Me; And those who diligently seek Me will find Me."
- Proverbs 8:17
Sunday, April 1, 2012
What's going on with us? Finishing up paperwork, online training course and trying to do some fundraiser stuff. It's so exciting to know that we are nearing the end of the first leg in this journey. Time goes by so FAST! Our home study is almost complete and before we know it our Dossier will be flying across the ocean to Ethiopia. What a good day that will be! As for our household... Our Miller man is already crawling! I have very mixed emotions about this! My baby is growing up too fast!
Can I just brag on the Lord for a minute? He is SO faithful!! He knows what we need even before we realize the need ourselves. When we began this journey - Nov. 2010 - we did not know ANYONE who was adopting, much less anyone who was adopting from Ethiopia. And just this week I received an email from sweet Alison Schmelzer that was titled "Ethiopia Mamas coffee night!" It was sent to 8 mamas who are adopting from Ethiopia. 8 mamas who live in the Jackson area!! 8 mamas who will be gathering together at Primos right across the Spillway from my house to love on each other, encourage and pray for one another! It's so awesome to be surrounded by like-minded people. I am so thankful that the Lord continues to place people in our path to encourage us!
I feel like I could type this a million times and it would never get old. We cannot wait to meet Malachi. To have him home, safely. To love on him, kiss on him, and to hear him laugh. In all the craziness of the journey... My heart is reminded of why we are doing this every time I stop and think of the end result... OUR SON!