Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life keeps moving!!!!

I don't know if I have much to share.  We are on the rollercoaster of the adoption world.

We are being presented to another family who is expecting a Down Syndrome little girl and is not able to parent her.  I am trying so hard not to get too excited.  We have been presented several times now, but if this comes together, the baby is expected late December/early January.  The agency that contacted us was thrilled with us as a prospective family for this child, and we are able to agree to what the birth family would like - which is to meet us/talk to us prior to the birth, and to have an open adoption.  I know that the agency is pleased, but what the birth family might think is unknown.

I am trying not to get too focused or think too much, but we so hope this might be our daughter.  Okay, Steve, being a guy isn't totally focused on this - generally he waits to commit himself emotionally until things are a go.  Probably a good thing, given the ups and downs and peaks and valleys.  I am not so good at that.

I am the one who could not keep any pregnancy a secret or any exciting event.  I try not to think too much about possibilities, but I am also the one who is "keeper of the schedule" such that it is.  If we are traveling several states away, or I and/or Steve are going to be gone, things must be arranged.  I am one of those people who likes to have things somewhat sorted out so I have a plan on how I might get it all managed.

So, we are trying to keep in mind that we are open at any time for a huge change in our lives.  We have decided to directly finish all our fundraising/funds collecting as soon as possible, in order to be ready any time we are needed.  Thankfully, once we turned it over to God, he has shown his hand.  Our prayers have always been that he would make his will very clear.  We prayed, responded to the call we got, agreed to be presented, and have asked God to show up if it is his will.  Well, ladies from a bible study I have been part of had an envelope for me, with funds to seed our progress in an adoption!  And they have let others know of the goal.  And a lady I have never met responded yet again.  I sent a total sum to our agency, that totaled what I had gotten in the envelope, added in a five dollar refund check, and in faith sent another $20.  This is one of those weeks that it is a reach.  But I sent it. And then the lady I have never met sent exactly what we needed to cover the extra.  I am stepping out in faith again and sending that total amount plus some tomorrow.  We are nickel and dime-ing it, but we are making forward progress.  It is a tiny drop in the bucket of what we could need by the end of December, but it is forward progress.  God has made his will very clear and direct.  Literally day to day.

So, we are open to what might happen.  If this one does not go through, we will have assembled funds and continue to assemble funds so we will have the amount in total as soon as possible, whenever God decides.

You will notice a button on the left sidebar that is labeled "want to help?".  Any funds donated go directly to a special needs adoption.  Not to budget, not to toys, not to clothing, directly to an adoption fund.  If for some reason we are unable to adopt, all funds will be donated to a family who is in process to adopt.

On that note, we are seeing other families being called to adopt and are so blessed to be walking with them on this road.  It is very daunting for most, not only to consider parenting children they have never met, but to look at the funding needed.  Most families don't look at having that amount just hanging around.  So, the reality is that somehow, this money must be located or earned or whatever.  We are teaming up with families not only to lend our knowledge and experience, but to tangibly band together to help fund adoptions.  My dream is that we could make a system where we could fund a homestudy for a family, and when their child is home and they get their adoption tax credit the next tax year, that they would then put the money back so another homestudy could be funded for another family.  Once a homestudy is done, then the family can apply for grants and loans and what not.  But sometimes getting the homestudy done can seem like the first big stumbling block.  We shall see where this goes.  Right now we are hoping to work with several families to help them get going on the financial and paperwork end.  We shall see where God takes this!

I am also going to do a post shortly about adoptive parents and how we feel about our children and God's will.  It is a bit complex and I don't have a simple answer, so I hope you check back so I can explain more fully!  It has been on my mind a lot lately, and I hope I can put it in a way that makes sense.

There will be more fun posts, but thought I would let you in on the rollercoaster.  Winter is coming and we have more that we need to get done, but I don't know if that ever changes!  We still are hoping to get kittens to new homes (hint, hint), but things are settled down - or at least will be once our plays are done!

Kiley and I am in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and that opens this Thursday and runs through Sunday.  We have seven performances and so are very tied up with that.  Kiley makes an amazing Imogene and I cannot wait to hear what folks think about it.  (I am just one of the telephone ladies, the same one I was last year, but am having fun with it, and I think doing better.)

Alex and Zeri both have smaller parts in A Christmas Carol, that runs the first two weekends of December.  And Faith, Solomon and Tsion have parts in the church Christmas play.

(Hubby looks over and says "Good gracious, quite a long post."  But I never seem to do these in short blurbs.  Oh, well, I guess I ramble on!)
Goodnight!
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

God certainly knows what he is doing!

I shared at the end of my last post how hard it is to be in the position to wait to be needed.  You know how sometimes you just beg God for a view from above to "get it"?  Well, today I got a bit of a view.

We had been presented to a birth family a while back - we have been presented to at least three that we know of in the last four months - and there were only two families presented.  It seemed like a good chance, right?  Well, I follow lots of blogs, and I recognized when I read one of the blogs, that they were obviously the other family and had been selected by the birth family (we knew the place, baby's sex, due date, diagnosis, etc).  I went through a bit of time trying so hard to not be jealous of them, praying that God would grant me the spirit of peace about it, that there were reasons, and this child was not the one who needed us.  But it was hard.  At times my arms ache more than I think I can tolerate, the helpless feeling totally overwhelms me and I just want to DO SOMETHING!!!!  But, I was able to follow their journey and see photos of the baby.  

Well, today I was checking in on their blog.  This baby is in the hospital several states from here, has been from birth and it looks like he will be for at least another month.  The parents are traveling back and forth, switching off with their crew at home and their son in the NICU.  Oh, my!  And we are even farther away!!!  We would do exactly the same thing, but the stress!!!  The needs of our kids, the financial stress of the travel and all, the entire situation.  

I literally felt like God was saying "This would be so very difficult on your family, this would be too much.  This child and situation is not for you.  I have a better plan that is better for all ten in your family."  The peace I got was finally the peace I had begged for.  This was not our plan or our walk.  The weight off my shoulders, the feelings of envy were totally gone.  I could see the big picture.  We were not chosen for God's good and divine reason, his plans for the best for us.  Not that we could not find a way to do what needed to be done, but it was not our walk (and I was so relieved).  I have prayed for that family, but now I pray for them with an entirely new outlook and heart.  I don't know how they do it.  I don't know how we could possibly do it.  We couldn't move all of us there, we have the farm, the kids need me here, on and on.  I know that God could create a way.  I KNOW that he would if he called us to it, but today, I am so grateful that he didn't.

I still have arms that ache and an empty crib, but I know that my dearest Lord knows what is best for us, for all of us, and won't let us rush into something that would be harmful or not his plan for our growth.  I am at peace with that. 

And still waiting for the phone to ring with "the CALL", but I am trusting that God has his plan for our family.  

So, we are redecorating (in a very simple and functional way), enjoying our youngest daughter's 11th birthday today - now we officially have four 11 year olds! - and trying to continue our fundraising, decluttering, visiting resale shops (to drop things off), and enjoying life.  We have had some little visitors and really learned a lot and solidified what we believe in about child rearing, and have enjoyed it.  I hope we have been a blessing to the little visitors and we sure were blessed.
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11