Thursday, April 28, 2011

and then, there were two!

I'm skipping ahead of some blog posts that need to be written, because I wanted to share some news.  Last week, we dropped our agency because after a year and a half of waiting, they had done virtually nothing with the adoption.  We thought it was the government, red tape, etc., but found out they simply weren't doing their job.  Once we dropped them, things started moving like crazy!! I can't wait to share that post with you!  But today, I am jumping ahead to share some news that we just can't keep quiet any longer!

Kadiri has a brother!!

Yep, we were shocked!  Remember from a previous post that we wanted an only child, so we chose him?  Well, God had other plans!  Our agency didn't give us the correct information, so last week, when a new friend, Carrie,  (cool story to share soon) called the orphanage on our behalf to inquire about Kadiri, she found out about the brother.  Carrie then called us and said that the Director wanted to know if we wanted to adopt Kadiri, or Kadiri and his little brother!!

Oh. my. OH MY!!

Let me go back a few days:

April 17  (Sunday)
I posted this on facebook:
dear friends: we would be grateful if you would pray with us over the next couple of days for wisdom and a clear sign of direction from God concerning our adoption. (we know God has called us to adopt, and believe it is a particular child, but we have been at a standstill for quite sometime and are asking God's clarity and direction in our current situation). thank you ♥

Minutes after that, my friend Jenny "introduced" me to a friend of hers on facebook.  I met Heidi Weimer and fell in love with her story and ministry. Her blog is called "We have room" (gets ya right there, doesn't it??) and they have 11 children, more than half of which are adopted!  You can find it here .
After reading it, God pierced my heart with the idea of adopting another child. I felt this was very strange as we didn't even have this adoption completed.

The next day was Monday (April 18), and it so "happened" that I had a Dr's appointment 2 1/2 hours away. (check up with my specialist from my auto-immune disease)  Chad was going with me, so we had a lot of time to talk.  I started telling him about Heidi and her family.  He listened, then looked at me and said, "Are you trying to tell me something?"  I was looking straight ahead and said, "Well, just that I think it might be cool to adopt another child someday that is also from Ghana."  As I said that, I looked at him out of the corner of my eye to gauge his reaction.  He smiled and said, "Okay, I could see that someday."  And so, I tucked that away, not realizing the issue would resurface in three days with a decision to be made!!

On Thursday (April 21), when we heard the news, we spent a few hours in shock, but yet knowing that God had ordained the days previous.

One of the things that struck me on Heidi's site, were these words: "My life is not my own."  Every time I came up with my own excuses as to why this wouldn't work, God popped that phrase in my mind. I knew this was the prayer He wanted me to seek Him on:

Lord, if I truly say I am Your follower, if I truly believe that you are Sovereign God, then I need to release my plans to you. I need to release my control.  To release what "makes sense" to me.  If my heart is truly Yours, then so is my life.  If my life is truly yours, then, I need to live like my life is not my own.  So, Lord, I want your will.

After prayers, discussion and a little freaking out ;)  we made the decision to pursue both.  So, soon, we will have two more added to our four.  Kadiri (age 11) and his brother Ata, who is 6!

Am I nervous? Scared? Excited? Overwhelmed? At peace? Yes!  Do I know how this will all work out?  No.  We don't even have a vehicle that we can all fit in!  We live in a 3 bedroom, bath and a half that we need to sell and find a home that will fit our family better.  Finances?  Do I serve a God of the IMPOSSIBLE??? YES! A resounding yes!  I am not expecting it to be easy, but I do know that God will be there, and has already prepared the way.

Will you follow along and watch as God works the impossible?  Will you join us in praying home our boys? Oh, I started crying as I'm writing this.  What an honor.  What an honor to be a mom  to two precious boys who long to belong.

here we go... ( big smile)

meet kadiri!

I'd love to introduce you to our son...

The first information we received on him was that he was healthy, 10 years old, and was doing well in school.  After deciding to pursue him, the agency sent us this info:

His best subjects are "Science" and "English Language"
At the last terminal examination held in December 2009, he placed as 4TH. in a class of 26 students.  He does not know what professional he wants to be in future but he wants to study some aspect of science.

He is very healthy and athletic.  He is a strong and enthusiastic soccer player on the soccer team at the orphanage.
He is also a dedicated Christian who never misses going to church on Sundays.   He loves to sing and worship the Creator.
He is a handsome young man who respects himself and all others.  He gets reciprocal respect from everyone.
He has a promising and satisfactory academic performance.
Mary (the director) states further that he is very supportive of the adoption of Kadiri and would highly recommend him to any family that is interested in adopting him.

I already had a bond with him, but after reading this, God began to knit Chad's heart with his.   You see, Chad is a Chemist!  Also at the time of this info, he was coaching our son's soccer team!  Ethan loves soccer and has played since he was little.  English is his other favorite subject?  That just made me smile.  Don't you love how God works?  His heart is for the orphan. He is placing Kadiri in a family who will naturally be able to encourage his dreams!  Our God delights in the details!

I love that Kadiri already has knowledge of our Saviour and loves to sing to him.  I think of the precious children from his orphanage in church every week, singing out their hearts to our Lord.  Can you picture it?  Precious.

(read the newest post for the latest update~ some big news! just click on "newer" or go to the top and click on the title - waiting here, hearts there- to find it)

Monday, April 25, 2011

october 13, 2009. a day that would change our lives. forever. (part 3)

Junk mail, delete. Junk mail, delete. Junk mail, delete. Next I opened up an email from an agency of a child that "matched" our profile. We wanted to adopt a boy from Africa who was 9 or 10 years old. We also wanted him to be an only child, as we had 4 children already, and were just looking to adopt one.

When I saw his picture, my heart skipped a beat and I knew he was to be our son. It was the strangest, yet most peaceful feeling. I had looked at hundreds of pictures of waiting children, and had been moved by their faces, but never like this. I wanted to shout it out and call everyone, post it on facebook and tell the cashier at the supermarket that day! ;) But there was something almost sacred about "finding" our child that led me to ponder it in my heart. My thoughts went to Mary when she was told the news that she was carrying the Messiah. Scripture tells us that she pondered too.

According to this site, you were supposed to have a completed home study before you inquired, but I couldn't help myself! I emailed the agency that represented him to ask about him further.

I showed my husband, Chad, the picture later that day, but knew he wasn't quite at the place where I was with the idea of adopting. I didn't say that this was our son (lol), but just that I was interested in this little boy. Immediately I could tell that he wasn't ready for that, so I knew I needed to let it go. He wanted to adopt, just not this soon. I knew deep in my heart that if this was to be our son, that God would hold him for us until we could.

So, I prayed. If there is one thing that I have learned in our 15 years of marriage, is that I know how to manipulate and get my way with my man. Horrible? Yes. But true. (Anyone out there with me here?) I've also learned that that is a sin that I have to put to death. So. I prayed some more. I wasn't going to manipulate. If we were going to adopt, we both had to be in this 150%. I knew if it was God's will and the timing was right, that God would change his heart or mine. Weeks went by and I continued to pray for God's will, and for our son in Africa. I continued to feel at peace that we were to adopt and God knew which child.

During this time, Chad and I had various conversations about adoption. On a date night, we went to see The Blind Side. What we didn't know was that it was a moving story about adoption! We still laugh about it as Chad asked if I planned that. If I had known, I certainly would have tried!! ;) Anyway, that led to a deeper discussion which Chad shared that he was ready. I wanted to immediately call and find out if "our" child was still available. I was dying, but knew it was all in God's hands. Later that night :) I emailed the organization. The next day, I received an email that although several people had inquired, no one followed through and he was still needing a home. And that was all it took... (coming next: meet Kadiri!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

the number one question (part 2)

"What led you to adopt?" We often get asked this question. Although it may sound cliche~ God did.

We had always thought that four would be the perfect number of kids. However, through various avenues, God started to work on our hearts and so we thought one day, when our kids were older, we'd adopt a sibling set.

Time went by, and we were immersed more and more into the global orphan crisis. We both read "The Hole in our Gospel" and God used that book to bring about some major changes in our families life. One of those being to search out the answer to this question: "What does God want our family to do in response to the orphan crisis?" After reading that book, and studying scripture, we knew we had a mandate to do something. We knew that if we wanted to be in sync with God's heartbeat, then we had to get involved. For His heart is for the orphan, the widow, the least of these.

So, we took the scary step and began to pray about our responsibility as a family. We told the kids that we needed to know what God wanted us to do to help orphans and we wanted them to pray too! And boy did they! There were many ways that we started to get involved: sponsoring a child, giving money to organizations, donating to others who were adopting and supporting them. Even giving back with our businesses. But God continued to call for more.

God began to press the idea of adopting on our hearts. We kept pushing it aside with our excuses, but He kept bringing it back. He has a way of doing that! It was at the times when I was open and consistent in my walk with Him that He was speaking. Because, well, I was listening. It was easy to get busy and just not really hear His voice.

Finally, we decided to take a first step. We sent for some information from some adoption agencies. Next step, we attended a meeting with a local agency. We started to consider a domestic adoption. After talking with our kids (ages 12, 10, 8, & 3 at the time), they were totally up for it. We all decided a boy, close to our sons age (he was 10) would be perfect.

But one road after another kept closing. We began looking at waiting lists and started to look a bit at international adoption... (next: october 13, 2009. a day that would change our lives. forever.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It all began with a little boy (part 1)

"Mommy, I want a brovah." (brother) Our 3 year old, Ethan, told me after his second sister was born. We laughed about it and told him, maybe someday!

When he was 6, I was pregnant again, and he said he was going to pray for a brother. We had a discussion about the fact that God had already chosen what was best for us, and that might be another sister. He didn't seem too enthused with that answer. Months went by, and sure enough, it was another sister. :)

After Elliana was born, we felt our family was complete, but Ethan was not convinced!

"Mommy, can I pray for a brother?"
"Well, umm, we're not planning on having any more children, Eth."
"Okay, but can I still pray for one?" (how do you answer that??)

Three years later the prayers of a little boy were beginning to be answered... (next: the number one question)