We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Waiting for My Mission

There's a lot I can't get past today.  I'm writing this with a pit in my stomach.  God has placed a HUGE burden on my heart, and I'm not sure what to do with it.  The cause of the orphan is always simmering in my heart.  I can't let it go.  I thought I'd get to a place one day where I'd say our house and hearts are full enough - there is only so much room in a house, we are only so young, there is only so much money in the bank account - and all those things are true, so what am I supposed to do with all of these feelings that are left over as we come to the end of our final adoption?  I was watching the Audio Adrenaline video "Kings and Queens" and looking at the faces of the children, I can see the face of my children in them.  It literally pains me!  What can I do, how can I help?  What will make my God happy?  What can I do so when I get to heaven, He will say "I'm glad I placed this desire in you, because look what you have done with it!  Look what you have done in my name!"

Audio Adrenaline - Kings & Queens - YouTube

We sponsor two Compassion Children.  Both in Ethiopia.  Both potentially could be orphans if not for our sponsorship. That's not bragging.  How could it be bragging when in my mind I feel like it's not enough?  It's so little.  There are still millions of orphans.

I post pictures of orphans on Facebook with pleas to people who probably are sick of seeing the pictures and pleas - with the hopes of ONE, yes, just ONE child finding a home because I posted a picture.  It sound ridiculous as I type it.  But I did say it.  ONE?  Seriously, only one?  I'd be happy if ONE child found a home?  Actually, I would, but what does that say about me?  That I set my goals so low in hope of accomplishing them... to feel like I've done something.  It's still only ONE.  

Add that to the two Compassion kids and I'm now up to three (maybe - that is assuming that one child I advocate for finds a home).  

I talk about adoption - to anyone and everyone who will listen.  I know of only one family who has adopted somewhat because of an influence that I had in their life.  They adopted two little girls domestically.  Two kids.

Add that to the three from above and I'm now up to five.  Five kids.  

I have two former "orphans" in my home - forever my daughters, and Lord willing, the process to bring our Isabella home will continue uninterrupted and we will soon bring our third former "orphan" home.  (I hate that word - it hurts just to type it).  Three in my home.  Three now, or soon to be, my daughters.  Three.

Add that to the five I mentioned above and I'm now up to a grand total of eight.  EIGHT.

It's pretty much all the influence I can come up with.  We helped a friend trying to bring two children home from Ethiopia.  One of the two siblings had medical needs.  We contributed to a fund to help bring them home.  Due to some issues, the family was not able to bring these two home.  The money stayed with the children, but I don't know if the kids ever found a new family to call their own.  Maybe there are nine, possibly ten kids out there who no longer orphans because of something directly related to an influence of mine.  

TEN.  It's not enough.  In the amount of time it is taking me just to write this post, there are probably 10 more orphans in the world, if not 10 times 10 more.  My efforts are not enough.  I can't bring enough children home.  I don't have enough money to give to the world to help all who want to bring a child home, bring them home.  I don't have enough people to talk to who will open their eyes to adoption just because I speak.  In fact, I know nothing will happen just because I speak to them.  Adoption, in my mind, is a God-thing.  God asks me to plant the seed, but then the work is His and the individuals to figure out.

So, where does that leave me.  Ten kids no longer homeless....yet the burden remains in my heart.  What do you do with a passion so strong.  It feels like it's burning a hole in my heart due to inactivity on my part.  I need to find something.  I don't know what though...

I'm not even sure what brought this all on today.  Yesterday I started the day with a new picture of our Isabella.  It brought JOY to my heart to see my sweet girl.  She has the prettiest smile and the brightest eyes.  She is such a beautiful girl.  Today I started the day with another e-mail from our agency - not pictures this time, but relinquishment papers.  Isabella's mother signing over Isabella for adoption.  I should have just read the documents and left it at that - but that's not how I'm wired.

What do I do instead?  I imagine what she was feeling the day she gave her declaration to relinquish her child and what it felt like when she placed her fingerprint on the document, sealing the deal.  It states in the document that she understands that if/when Isabella is placed for adoption either in Ghana or Internationally, that she will not have contact with her or see her again.  And still, her situation was such that she was compelled to ink her finger and place it on the document.  I can't imagine.  I tried to, but I can't.  I'd vomit.  Thank GOD my situation is not such that an action like that is required of me.  She is brave.  She is selfless.  She wanted more for her child than what she could give her.  It must be a pretty desperate situation for a mother to get to that point.  

So, all this to say that, the relinquishment papers is what really got me thinking today.  I can't seem to get thoughts out of my mind.  I need to do something.  I need to do more... but I don't know what I can possibly do.

Adopt another child?  No... Tim has already told me that this is our last one (seriously our last one - our whole Journey group heard it last night..... although we all also talked about going to Belize and I said I need to get immigration paperwork ready :).  Ok, this is our last one.  And no, it's not because Tim said so, making him the mean one.  It needs to be our last one.  With my eye sight situation the way it is, and what is financially feasible considering what we have committed to our children in terms of education, etc - finances are not endless and this needs to be it.  

So, what's next?  I'm left feeling empty.  Normally there was paperwork on the horizon.  I was either finalizing an adoption in the US by doing a domestication, getting paperwork ready for a new adoption, doing post placement reports - sometimes at the same time as preparing paperwork for a new home study... but now all that feverish work is coming to an end.  Sure, I'll have post placement reports once a year for the next 14 years for Sara - but not much else.... and that's not much.  Besides that, it does nothing for another child.  Well, I guess it does... it keeps adoptions open for other families who come behind us, but isn't there something more I can do?

I wish I could be part of a team - a team who can go and help.  I wish I could sit with the orphanage children, immerse myself in them, color pictures with them, bring the girls dresses, do their hair, paint their finger nails and toe nails, hug their sweet necks, bring the kids a snack.  I don't have much to offer other than that. 

I think about the teams from our church going to Belize.  Maybe I could go with them, but I feel like I would just be in the way.  They go on medical missions.  I can't help much in that regard.... all I know is that God did not give me this heart to waste.  God gave me compassion for the orphan for a reason.  Right now I guess my action is to pray.  Pray for God to reveal to me what exactly this burning passion in my heart for the orphan means, and what He wants me to do with it.  My prayer is simple - show me Lord, because I desire to do something with it!

Waiting for my mission....

In Christ,


Scarlett Knight said...

What a beautiful post~ Thank you for sharing you heart, not only with us, but for children that are in need of a forever home! You and Tim are so special and selfless.....

And as far as Belize goes....you would never be in the way! There are ALWAYS mobs and gobs of children waiting to be seen that would absolutely love some extra attention! That would be extremely helpful!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't undermine your role as the loving mommy to the children that the Lord has blessed you with. I find it hard sometimes as well to be sure I have the same fire for my own children as I have for the hurting and the lonely in the world. "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." Don't underestimate your influence on your children. Say each of the four of them grow up and adopts four more children and advocate for the orphan just like you, the numbers helped multiply. God calls you to have compassion (you do) and to help (you are) in the capacity that you are able.

Erika Chapman said...

I can't wait to send this post to my friend Jennifer Danford. You didn't even know that there is a little group of women around the corner from you with the same passion burning in their hearts. We have plans girl...plans and dreams the Lord has placed in our hearts to support and encourage families that have adopted, are adopting or want to adopt...and plans to educate and empower people that want to fulfill the commission of James 1:27 in other ways! I can't wait for you to meet these wonderful ladies and be apart. Of course you are going to be pretty busy for the next year or so:) But we will get there! God is raising up a team to bring lots of little ones home to their forever families! So stinkin' exciting!!