"If I were to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, I am SURE He would ask me the same ..."

author unknown

About Us

My name is Jessica and my dear sweet hubby is Kelly. We have three beautiful girls, big sis and little sis plus our newest little baby sis :) Welcome to our site where we will blog about our journey to grow our family through adoption in Africa.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Adoption is NOT God's "Plan B" - repost

So, I wrote this post back in March and lately I have been so sad at some responses I have had toward adoption. Not mean or nasty responses, just flippant, "I'll never give that a thought" responses. Comments that leave me knowing that person is thinking "good for her, but I would never consider adoption"...all the while knowing that they have never considered adoption. I wanted to repost this one because it speaks this clearly to my heart. I would like to add that we as Americans are able to ignore this calling so much easier because it's hard to really see these children unless you go to an orphanage, we are so detached from it, it's easier to ignore.

Disclaimer: I know that we are not all called to adopt. But, I feel very strongly now that we are all called (if we consider ourselves Christians) to consider adoption, and we are called to ask God if this is something He would like for us to pursue. Then, if His answer is no, adoption is not the plan I have for your family......we still all have an obligation to care for orphans in some shape or form (sponsor a child, help a family adopting, visit an orphanage and love on those lonely babies, something) - see the James scripture below :)

Make sure you see my last additional note at the bottom too!

I love it, but I can't take credit for it. It was said on a video during our adoption seminar by Brian Luwis of AWAA. It was kind of an aha moment for me as he talked about thinking early in the marriage that adoption was "plan b" for when "plan a" didn't work. Though I never actually thought it or said it, I probably would have gone with this idea.

Adoption was for those couples who tried and tried but couldn't have babies of their own. Since Kelly seemed to just walk past me in the hallway and I would get pregnant (okay, so not really...but you really don't want me talking about that here, do you?) I just never thought of adoption. We had 2 beautiful girls the "regular" way, I loved being pregnant (yes, I'm one of THOSE women!) and I had wonderful babies (wait, wait, don't leave! what if I tell you they were terrible 3 yr olds, will you stay?!)...I had just never considered adoption for us.

One of Brian's points was from James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

God knew what He was saying, if we take care of the orphans, God knew that there would be some kind of imprinting on our hearts, we would walk away different people. We couldn't go back to our lives unchanged. One of those orphans that you actually had contact with would steal your heart, and you would go back for them. God's plan, but not "plan b". Brian used this scripture to bring this point home, some who know me, may know this scripture is one of my favorites. Near and dear to me since our very hard year that Kelly was away in Iraq.

Psalm 139
(one of my favorite parts)
vs. 1-5
LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
You understand my thoughts from far away.
You observe my travels and my rest;
You are aware of all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
You know all about it, LORD.
You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me.

(scripture to Brian's point)
vs. 16
Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all [my] days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began.

God knows when a child is not going to live with his or her birth parents. We know that sin is the reason this world is broken and God has a plan for each of us before we are knit together in the womb. Boy that makes me smile! I am so glad that someone knows the game plan. And even though I am a control freak, and God continues to teach me, He is in control, I am glad He knows the plan, I would fret and try to fix everything if I had it laid out for me ahead of time. Come on, I know most of us would try a little "fixing" if we knew what was coming ;)

So adoption isn't "plan b", God knew what He was doing! If your not convinced yet, let me finish with one more point. I sure hope adoption is God's first and foremost plan for me, because I am adopted and so are all the other Christians I know. Unless you can trace your ancestors to Abraham (how cool would that be!), then you are adopted into the family of God.

He calls us sons and daughters and tells us that we are co-heirs with Christ.

Yeah baby, that's adopted at it's greatest!!!!!

I truly believe we all need to prayerfully ask God, "Lord, what would You have me do for the "least of these"? We need to stop asking why are these children suffering so? (grab a tissue and go look over here) We need to ask, "What an I going to do about this?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Adoption Happenings

So, I added a bunch of dates to our timeline yesterday, but I thought I'd update what is going on with our paperchase. Our homestudy social worker emailed yesterday to tell us that the bulk of our homestudy is written, yea! She just needs to meet face to face with us one more time and she needs a couple last papers from us. One paper that I didn't realize she would be needing was my discharge papers from the military. It didn't even dawn on me because it's been 4 years since I was officially discharged. Anywho, I knew I had the paper but forgot to look for it right after she told me that she needed it.....and now we can't seem to locate it.

Please pray that we can find this paper that I know is in this house somewhere.

Kelly and I both know it's here somewhere....

we think it's in a big manilla envelope.....

Otherwise I will have to submit a written request to have one sent to me and if you know anything about the military, I cringe to think how long we might wait for that. Right now, I want to have this homestudy done so that we can get our fingerprint appointment with immigration in the works.

We are also waiting on our marriage certificate. The wonderful state of NC has had our request since June 4th and I was told that it takes 2-4 weeks to process........and it hasn't been processed yet :( I guess they are planning on waiting till week 4.

I have felt an urgency to get these things finished probably because a bloggy friend just went to Ethiopia this last weekend to meet her son.....and another bloggy friend is meeting their birthmother TODAY and could have their son in their arms TOMORROW. I am so happy for these families, but it makes me long to hold our son all the more.

The other day Kelly and I were talking about sleeping arrangements for our new son and it make me long to once again have a sleeping person snuggled between us.........oh wait, I have had that every morning around 5 or 6 am.........thanks Little Sis for snuggling with your mommy

(would someone please tell my 6 year old that we have a king sized bed and she doesn't have to snuggle me all the way to the edge!) ;)

So, that's what's going on in adoption world for us. Please pray for endurance as we run this race. June is a long month with swim team for the girls. As a homeschool mom I am accustomed to being at home all day for at least a couple of days out of the week. (I am more and more a homebody the older I get!) But with swim practice 5 days a week and a meet once (or twice) a week that lasts from 5-10pm, add to that that Big Sis and I have both been sick in the past two weeks.....what can I say, June is a little crazy for us (and my gas budget doubles!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Snap-shot

Exactly what my whole family needed....R & R time together!
.....to splash, laugh, swim, and just be together.

A Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there and especially to the greatest dad, my sweet hubby. I can't get enough of him and my children adore him!

Here they are, waiting for the perfect wave!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lots of handmade items for auction

An adoption blog auction is going on here! Go check it out and help this family bring home their child.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Father to the Fatherless

Don't forget our Father to the Fatherless weekend! You can click the link and download the brochure, email it, print it, and pass it on to people you might know...maybe your Sunday school class, your small group or others in your church. You can read my original post here.

I want the world to know that we are called to all support these sweet children in some way!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This sweet girl turned 6 on Monday...not sure where the time went! Here are some of my favorite shots!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The table that we sold twice

So, in our very first round of yard sale donations, a friend donated a cute kids' table and chairs set that is made of solid wood and painted white with different colored chairs. It was a great donation since furniture gets people out of their cars at yard sales, plus there was the sentimental aspect of "keeping it in the circle of friends" and passing it on to the next friend of small children, but what better way than that, but to bring home a new family member? At the sale where we got rained on (you can read about that here), we had several people look at it, but no one really made an offer. Then, after we were almost packing up and feeling a little discouraged, a lady pulled up quite excited about the table set. She was so excited that we were adopting and introduced us to her two foster care adoptive children that were in the backseat. She said the table was perfect and promptly paid me for it, then asked me if she could pick it up from us. She said she lived out of town ( about an hour), but that she could get it tomorrow with her truck and we agreed to bring it in the van to church and meet her afterwards. I gave her all our info and Kelly even tried offering to put part of it in the back of her SUV. She said no and said she'd see us tomorrow.

It's funny looking back, but I think God was whispering to me that we would never see her again. I wondered if she was my angel for the day (it sounds silly, but truly...that is what I thought.)

She never called, we never did hear from her.

And finally, this weekend....almost two months later....we put the table back in the sale.

And sold it again!

It's funny, it was almost the same scenario............... but this time, they did manage to come back and actually take possession of the table and chairs, YEAH!

What a blessing! The table that sold twice!

I am blessed!

So, I was down in the dumps the past couple days, this morning during my quiet time I tried to focus on what I was thankful for and then as I was driving home later today that I ought to write down my blessings for you all to see how God has blessed me and so that I can come back and reference (cause you never know when you might slip back down to the valley!)

Oh! How the Lord has blessed us! I know when I feel the opposite, it's Satan's lies, but...the Word doesn't call him the father of lies for nothin.

The Lord blesses abundantly:

I have a wonderful husband and the worst arguing we could think of for the homestudy was how he loads the dishwasher "wrong" and it drives me a little bonkers ;)

I have two healthy, smart, beautiful children.

I have a roof over my head and the mortgage is half of some people I know ;) yet I have electricity, running water, and no dirt floors...we are doing better than over half of the rest of the world!

I am able to stay at home to be a mom and teacher to my kids....with my hubbies blessing.

My DH has a job, to boot, he just started a better job with a big raise (yea God!)

I have a wonderful church that fits our whole families needs.

I love that I get to drive past a field with cows on the way home from anywhere.

I love my big backyard.

I am married to a technology geek (oh yes, this is a blessing girls, someone in this house better know how to work all these gadgets!)

We have been blessed by family, friends and strangers in this adoption in small and big ways that include baking, cash donations, and yard sale donations.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I am glad tomorrow is a new week...

I am in a bad place, simply a bad place.

I have been going nonstop, I am physically tired, I have been sick this week, and now I have a child on the verge of an ear infection (with no medical insurance till tomorrow, but even then won't have a policy # or card for a least a few days), not to mention that my youngest will get to spend her birthday morning at the clinic so that sister can see the doctor. Satan has used this to whisper lies to me and to twist truths in my head and quite frankly, I am struggling to not pay attention to him. I hate it, because he feeds me something and I know it's him and that it's not completely true, but I pause and think....hmm, there's a good point....at a point like this I simply rely on the Holy Spirit to intercede for me cause I just can't. I need God to put on that helmet of Salvation that for me includes ear muffs that is Satan-proof...they block out this whispers.

Part of my bad spot is because one of the two women that I confide in and spend time with has moved and the other is absent...well, for a whole host of reasons that will not be shared here. I feel right now like I have a whole lot of acquaintance and not many friends. I know a lot of people who I adore and (I think) they like me, but between the times we see each other, it feels like not much thought is given towards me. Right now, I hate living in the South for so many reasons.

Number 1 reason is it's only June and today it reached 100 degrees and the humidity was about as high as it could get....and did I mention that we planned a b-day party...outside....at 4pm....gross!

Number 2 reason, everyone in the South (I know this is a generalization, but it feels like everyone right now) has their extended family around the corner. To help with everything from watching the kids for date night, to setting up with a yard sale, to celebrating special days like your youngest is turning 6. And if it's bad enough that I am envious of this, I feel like those people assume we don't need any help....like setting up for a yard sale or celebrating our daughter turning 6. I would love for people to just help because they are my friend with out me feeling like I am begging for help! I hate that I feel like a new transplant, like I just moved here. Part of the problem is that we have changed churches, we have switched to homeschool and our good friends moved. All that equals.... making new relationships...which is fine....but it takes time. And right now, my time seems to be less and less. I feel like I am an hour short every day and a day short every week. I simply feel lonely....lonely for friends, I have plenty of people who are around, plenty of people who care, but I want people who know my business....

without me feeling like I'm complaining to someone who doesn't really know me. :(

I am also lonely for my daughter. Not lonely to be around her...I see her everyday, but I am lonely for her. You see, along with the family that moved, went her best friend. Her little friend that was so much like her in personality, her friend that never looked at her judgmentally when she acted a little crazy, she just went right along with it. Her friend that she absolutely loved and adored. I knew this was a terrible loss back in March. She seemed to handle is okay, but I wondered. Then this week, her Sunday School teacher confirmed what I had feared by mentioning that she was struggling making friendships in class. That's because they all have their little cliques (not really bad cliques, but groups of friends all the same) and she used to have her own group....with her little friend...who is now gone. So, once again I am mourning the loss of my DD's best friend, which makes me mourn the loss of my friend; all the while praying desperately for God to help my sweet girl make a new friend. Oh how I am praying.

Number 3 reason is the mosquitos, I hate them and they love me.

I would just like to go back to January, everything was as it should be then.

And did I mention half of this pity party is probably all hormonal, so please....take it with a grain of salt.

God did bless us yesterday with our yard sale, we had two sweet people bake for us and a lady who is also adopting helped set up in the morning. It was so hot and humid and Kelly swears we are not doing another all summer long... ;) but we made $500 minus lunch. Thank you God for always being faithful even when I have a grumbling spirit.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Father to the Fatherless

Next week we will be celebrating our fathers, the men in our lives that have loved us, protected us, and provides for us. Since God's heart is for all of the fatherless to have a forever home, I thought you all might like to join us this coming Father's Day in raising awareness of our adoption and the need to support families that are adopting finacially.

You can do a couple things to help:

* Pray for us this week - We are burning out with the gruling schedule of late that includes yard sales, home visits, paper chasing and VBS. I know the Lord will give us the strength to endure this task.

* Print our brochure below (or ask us for copies) and pass it out to your Sunday School class or your small group.

* Consider making a love offering for Father's Day towards our adoption - helping the fatherless.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Homestudy

Okay, so...I want to first off say that I should have made this appointment weeks ago! Yes, people, weeks! But, you know, we had a ton of things going on, we had yard sales galore and my house was a wreck and the idea of some lady coming to "inspect" our home and "interview" us seemed a little intimidating. We didn't think we were ready.


So, I have been spreading mulch like crazy (okay, so I would have done that anyway) and we cleaned like crazy(so, I would have done that anyway, also...but maybe not quite as thoroughly.) Do you know, our homestudy social worker barley glimpsed my sparkling kitchen and only sat in one room the whole time!(the living room!) She didn't even see the clean, but bathing suit and beach towel laden bathroom! We scoured for a lot of nothing.....it's all good, I have a clean house....at least till....well, at least Monday because we'll be gone all day with church and a pool day tomorrow....yes! clean house for 3 days!

The other part I didn't really stress about, but probably deep down inside; I was wondering about the "interview" part.

Ha! (again)

What was I thinking?! Kelly and I love to talk! And we got to talk the whole time...about ourselves, he, he, he. JK! No, really, isn't that the point ;) It was really great getting to tell all about what brought us to adoption, how we met (almost 9 years ago!), telling all about our family and what we like to do together. We got to tell her how we are opposites, but that we get along so well and how much we love each other. We are not shy or bashful, so this was easy! The time flew by and the kids were great! We just finished the second Harry Potter 2 weeks ago, so they watched the movie while we had our interview.

I am looking forward to Thursday where she and I will get together again to chat about my childhood (we didn't get to that today) and I am so excited to have this homestudy typed up so that we can get it finalized!!!!

And....just so I am not the only one enjoying my clean living room, I thought I'd share ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blog Raffle

Don't forget the Blog Raffle that will end tomorrow night!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pictures are working! well how about 4 out of 5???

I did have one more picture, but it just wouldn't load. So, if you don't know what I'm talking about, go 2 posts down and you can see the original post.....minus pictures!

This binder has all important adoption paperwork in it now. :) In case of an emergency...please grab kids...and then the green binder :)
My hard work at spreading mulch!!! In'it pretty?

And lastly...this is the veggie garden a couple weeks ago....
and this is it this week.....

I want to address this now...

I want to get this out of the way. I want to tell this to my son, so that he can look back and know my heart.

I recently came across a blog that led me to a news article that brought out the passionate and the mean people from everywhere. Some of the comments that were particularly hurtful were:

"People who adopt babies of a different race do it to get attention. "

"A child is not a fashion accessory!"

"White people adopt black kids to make themselves feel good... A black child needs black parents to raise it."

I can't imagine what I would actually say if these kinds of things were spoken to my face, since just reading them in the comfort of my home, not even having met my sweet boy, makes me want to smack someone. ( I will be praying that God keeps my tongue glued to the roof of my mouth and my hands full, if and when I am faced with malicious words like this.)

But after the anger subsides, I have a slight twinge of fear....fear that my son may wonder if some of the hurtful comments posted to a news article, some words spoken by a stranger, (or God forbid a friend or family member)....could be true, or have a half truth.

So, I thought I would put it down here. For anyone who might be secretly wondering, but mostly for future reference for a little man....so that he will know his mamma loved him. So he will know that he is not a fashion statement. He is a product of our love (Kelly and mine) and our love for our Savior (who actually adopted us too!) My regular prayer is for God to break my heart for what breaks His heart. He just happened to to put a burning desire in me for another child right before he started opening my eyes to the story of the worldwide orphans. He said clearly to both Kelly and I, "Sure, you can have more children. Why don't you adopt? Why don't you get on an airplane to get your son instead of physically giving birth? Why don't you have a child, born of your heart?

Sure, pregnancy is something that I love, I am THAT women who says she loves being pregnant, she loves to give birth (well, maybe not love, but I'd do it again), please don't hate me...I simply have easy pregnancies. But this paper pregnancy is an adventure for all of our family...not just mommy's body ;) My kids are learning about sacrifice, saving money, another country, learning about poverty, and they will learn about unconditional love, that knows no blood relation, but family born of our hearts.

Also, I want him to know that adopting him is not a good deed so that everyone can pat us on the back. No, I see adopting as a blessing to him and us.

Matt. 25: 40

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "

Mind you, I am still not looking for brownie points, not from anyone. But I do believe that we are called to care for those less fortunate than us. For us, an easy way to do this is to adopt. We want to have another child....somewhere there is a little boy that wants a family. It's a match made in Heaven!

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