Friday, August 20, 2010

A Walk to Beautiful

In November, Hubby and our older two will be traveling to Ethiopia with Children's Hopechest. They will be visiting several carepoints. One of the places they visit will be the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. To be honest, I had no idea what the word 'fistula' meant. After looking at this website I had learned enough to break my heart. As a mom of seven, I cannot imagine the sorrow of these precious women. First, in most cases, to lose their baby and then to bear the shame of this condition. I invite you to view this video. It is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

When Dad and the kids go, they are planning to take gifts to these beautiful women. If anyone has a desire to send something, they will gladly deliver it for you face-to-face. Some suggestions would be: chapstick, pretty scarves, cloth handbags or other pretty items. The hospital has also expressed a need for baby and toddler clothing.

Each of the travelers on the trip are allowed two, 50lb. pieces of luggage. Our plan is to pack lightly in order to have a bag and a half each for donations to the carepoints. If anyone is interested in sending donations, please contact me for suggested items. Children's Hopechest has given us a pretty detailed list with a wide variety of items.

Don't forget to scroll down and pause the music at the bottom this page. . .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Prayers Coveted

We would be so grateful for your prayers as we WAIT (patiently . . .) for our I-171 to arrive. It is the last piece of paper we need to complete our dossier and send it off to Ethiopia. Once our dossier is complete and received, we then wait for our referrals. Once the referrals are accepted by us, we will wait on a court date to state before a judge that we indeed do commit to loving, protecting and raising these two little ones up in our family. Our hearts are overflowing with anticipation for that day.

Our officer at the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security is a gal who, it seems, doesn't really have a 'passion' for her job. No sense of urgency, no real concern for just being efficient. I'd take slightly efficient at this point. I talked to her yesterday, and after first stating that she didn't know where our file was, she then back-pedaled when she realized how long she had had it in her possession. It went from being "somewhere in my office to yes, it's here on my desk." When I asked her if she had any idea of when she may get to it, she said she couldn't really say.

So . . . we are asking you to pray specifically for our Officer 'S'. Pray that she would wake up tomorrow loving her job; that she would get a new or renewed passion for the opportunity she has to bring orphans into forever families; that she would look down at her desk and see our file staring back and PICK IT UP and efficiently and favorably complete it and send it back to us.

We appreciate it so much!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Advice from a 5-Time Adoptive Momma

I had a friend once tell me that you will know you are fully living a Christ-centered life when people begin to question your sanity. It made me laugh at the time and then once I thought about it, I realized how true that really is.

Basically we all have the same choice: to live a self-centered life or to live a Christ-centered life. There are no other choices. When you choose the Christ-centered life you will find the world begins to lose its appeal because now it is Jesus, and what He wants, that becomes important in your life and this will look a lot different than the self-centered life. So those around you will question you, because the choices you make, the lifestyle you live, will no longer 'match up' with what the world says is good and with what the world says is popular. And it will make people wonder. And for some, it will even make them mad.

Today we live in a world that tells us that the ideal family size is 2.5 children. (Can someone explain to me how you even have a half a kid?) So, when you see a family walk in the door with 9 children, all from different races and ethnic groups- they begin to question. And for some, they feel justified to insult. Large adoptive families often get labeled. I have heard them called everything from 'child collectors' to being accused of being 'addicted' to adopting. I have been told that we can't save the world and asked when enough is enough.

All I can say is, if I was into collecting- I can guarantee you it would be one of those kind of nice collections you simply display on a shelf and look at. It would require little work, perhaps just an occasional dusting. It would be something rare- not 147 million of them waiting to be found.

As for adoption being an addiction- I will say one thing I know for sure- I can think of lots of things that would be a lot worse to be addicted to. Things that don't bring God glory. While yes it is true, I cannot save the entire world- that doesn't mean I shouldn't do what I can do. Imagine yourself inside of a burning building, lying on the floor, trapped, unable to help yourself. Someone dials 911- but the firefighters on call responded by saying 'Oh well, we can't save them all' and don't come to your rescue. There are 147 million orphans in this world trapped and unable to help themselves. How are you going to respond to the call? . . .

. . . Often times, besides the cost of adoption, the thing that stops people from saying yes is, you know, because it might be hard. People might look at you funny. The way you live your life might be changed or interrupted. You might have to give up something to make room for another. And, what if the child God places in your home doesn't look, act, or fit into the image you had hoped for?And, well, that would be hard. And hard is something we avoid. But can I remind you for just a minute how hard the price of our comfort is on them?

I often wonder where Christians came up with the idea that being a Christian resembled anything close to easy? I often wonder how so often we miss the entire point of what Jesus is all about? He is so much more than going to church on Sunday, memorizing verses of the Bible, wearing a cross around your neck, and praying at the dinner table.

And can I just tell you something else? Life is never going to be easy- regardless of how hard we try to put up those walls of protection, regardless of our attempt to make all the right decisions and all the right plans. And can I remind you that the greatest gifts in life did not come easy either?

When you claim to know the Lord and you call yourself a Christian you are not signing up for easy. As a matter of fact, I can almost guarantee you that God will call you out of your comfort zone, out of your ordinary existence and into a life that you never imagined for your self. It will be a life that is all about HIM...a life that that glorifies HIM- not you. So go ahead and love your God so much that you are willing to get out there, get a little crazy, not worry about what anyone thinks...Get your hands dirty




Make your life COUNT. You might get hurt, you might be uncomfortable, you might not be popular-you might not even recognize yourself when He is done... but the one thing I can promise you is that it will be worth it. All.

- Amy Block