Adoption Update

journeytolovebug

I know I haven’t updated in awhile about the status of our adoption. There is not a lot noticeably happening in our process, but there is much happening under the surface.

I have always harbored a desire to adopt so when we jumped into this journey… OK, we actually carefully and slowly waded into the pool… I feel like I was naive. Well-intention-ed but naive.

As I have learned about adoption ethics, the terrible state of the adoption process in a lot of countries, and orphan care as a whole– adoption is not the only answer of how Christians could and should be caring for the orphan– it’s like scales have fallen from my eyes. This journey is painful and messy. It’s hard and long and sanctifying and worth it.

I have a lot to say, but I’m not ready to say it yet.

Just know, my heart has been broken and changed and reformed and God is doing something miraculous inside of me. If anything, I have realized that this adoption will not only change the life of one orphan girl who finds a forever family and a forever home with us– it is irreversibly changing her mother as well. And for this I am grateful.

 

Dearest Lovebug,

journeytolovebugIt is starting to drive us absolutely crazy that you aren’t here with us, baby girl! We had a few weeks recently of thinking we had found you, and our hearts quickly tumbled ahead of us with dreams and plans and excitement and joy and preparations… but alas, it wasn’t you. And so we came back to earth and we continue to wait.

Your brother (Stinkbug) and your sister (Ladybug) are tremendously anxious to meet you. Stinkbug points out the empty chair at our table and says that it’s where you’ll sit when you get here. He asks when you’re coming. Your sister prayed such sweet words at bedtime tonight, pleading with Jesus to bring you home quickly because she “doesn’t know what it’s like to have a sister and already has you in her heart”.

(Your smallest brother, Doodlebug, is two and a half and calls you “baby sister”, but has many other things to worry about right now like how to smear as much red mud on his jeans as possible before I make him come inside, and how to avoid big boy underwear at all costs. He’s kind of a handful. You’ll love him, I promise.)

I also find myself wondering about you. Each morning I wake up wondering if this will be the day your picture pops up on my screen and my heart shouts YES! THAT’S HER! ???? As full and messy and joyful as my life is now with three kids, I feel your absence constantly.

I wanted you to be with us last week when we went on vacation and were swimming indoors and stayed in a hotel all smooshed into two beds (It sounds more picturesque than it was, thank goodness it was only two nights!) And we ate donuts for dinner one night (I know, baby girl! We are crazy sometimes, you’d better get used to it!) and I wondered– would you have picked the jelly-filled donut like your sister? Would you like chocolate milk or white milk to wash that donut down? Or maybe you don’t like milk at all?

When we hunted for Easter eggs a couple weeks ago, I wanted to see you chasing after your brothers and laughing with glee when you spotted a colorful treasure hidden in the grass. I wanted to see you in an Easter dress, spinning and twirling like all princesses should. I wanted to have a picture of us all dressed up and ready for church. I wanted you with us.

At dinner each night I wish I was setting another plate. Another cup. Another fork. Instead one chair stands empty.

I don’t know where you are now, and that’s almost too much for my heart to bear. I need you here beside me. In my arms. In your sister’s room. In our bathtub. At our table. In your Daddy’s lap during family worship each evening.

We love you, Ladybug. We pray for you every day– that God would protect you and provide all your needs and that He would bring you home quickly.

Because your family is waiting.

The Big Sister

We’ve had some dramatic outbursts with Ladybug around here lately as we talk and pray about Little Sister coming via adoption. Today she cried about us loving her less when her new sister comes. We calmly tried to explain that as mommies and daddies our love grows with each new child God adds to our family, and our love for her won’t change. She wept as she told her daddy, “But your love for me will have to move over in your heart to make room for her.”

After some time alone in her room crying and talking to herself (not so quietly), she came out with some scribbles on a yellow legal page and asked if she could read me what she “wrote”. Of course, Ladybug!

Dear Little Sister,

Please feel welcome into our family. Please feel welcome and comfortable.

Love,

Your Dramatic Sister

 

Accepted!

My heart is bursting today… we have been officially accepted by Hopscotch Adoptions as prospective parents! They deemed us acceptable to work with to help us bring Lovebug home! We are beyond thrilled… our eyes are a bit dazed with all the $ signs we are seeing for our agency and our home study next month, but we are trusting our Big, Amazing, All Powerful, Mighty God to provide the way for Lovebug to join her forever family!

Recently I was reading Genesis 22, and was just blown away by Abraham’s faith in the Lord’s provision. We certainly don’t have the money to bring Lovebug home in the bank right now, but sometimes I think God calls us to something bigger than us for bigger, better purposes than we could even imagine. If we could write a check and simply hand it over, somehow we would miss out– God is able to provide. God is ready to provide, and He is allowing us this chance to trust Him, for our own benefit, our own blessing.

I am hopeful. And amazed. And excited about what will happen next.

We’re coming Lovebug…

The Beginning: Part 3

The next step for us was to seek counsel from godly people in our lives. We asked many people who know us to affirm this call on our family, to speak about any concerns they had/have, and to share godly wisdom and advice they may have about adoption with us.
And we continued to pray.
This season ended up taking six months which we know is simply a glimpse of the rest of the process. The theme of international adoption seems to be: Hurry up and wait!

We reached the six month point of waiting and praying on August 4, 2011, and felt like the Lord was giving us freedom to move ahead into researching specific country programs and adoption agencies, and gathering paperwork for our homestudy. We don’t know much more than that right now. It feels like every time one question gets answered about adoption for our family, two more pop up in its place!
I can tell that this adoption process going to stretch me (as a fairly impatient person!) and as much as I dread playing the waiting game, I am confident that the Lord knows our adoption process. He isn’t sitting here beside me looking into a dark, foggy future, He sees the end! He sees past the tears that will be shed, the sleepless nights that will be spent, the prayers that will be uttered, the anxiousness that will be experienced, the elation that will be felt, the discouragements that will rise, the Scriptures that will be quoted… He sees Lovebug home. And even special-er in my mommy heart, He sees Lovebug now. (Wherever in the world that is!)

So, of course our story is “to be continued”… but for now, you’re mostly caught up. We’ve barely dipped our toes into the middle of the story… so we wait as anxiously as you to see the next part unfold in God’s timing.

The Beginning: Part 2

The Beginning: Part 1

I was ready to adopt, Hubby was ready to adopt. It was time to let our families know.

Living overseas puts us in a weird predicament when breaking news to people we love. Do we call? Skype? Email? Snail Mail? Facebook? Tweet it? Blog it?

We decided to compose a letter letting our families know of our plans…and emailed it out.

February 5, 2011
Mom & Dad,
      We wanted to share some news with you, and to save you from dropping dead from a heart attack on Skype, we thought we’d send you some warning first!
      We are starting the process to adopt a little girl.  Adoption has been on Sheila’s heart for a long time, and yesterday Andrew took a day away to seek the Lord specifically in the area of adoption for our family and we are now ready to proceed (though we are prepared for the process to take 1-2 years).
      Here are some reasons why we are choosing to adopt:
  • So we can better understand our own adoption into God’s family.
  • To show that our family is undeniably pro-life by rescuing a life that was born and not aborted.
  • So that we can give God the glory when He provides the resources needed for the adoption of a little girl.
  • To bring a life into our home to share everything with, especially the Gospel of Jesus.  To raise another child to be a lover of God and a disciple of Christ.
  • To save a little girl who would otherwise live a life of poverty. To give her a home, a hope, a future, a family.
  • To set an example (for God’s glory) to other believers that caring for the orphan and the widow is true, undefiled religion and is necessary for followers of Christ.
  • To open up spiritual conversations with unbelievers about why we choose/chose to adopt.
You have loving supported us in everything we have ever done, even when it was hard and costly for you, and for that we are so grateful.  We hope you will be our biggest cheerleaders through the adoption process, and that you will pray for and love our daughter just as you have Ladybug, Stinkbug and Doodlebug.
We love you!  Call us today!

Big news always seems a little more official after you tell someone. And our families are great big news-getters! They have exclaimed and laughed with joy after each pregnancy announcement, and the adoption announcement was no different!

Truly, I don’t think there exists parents who more dearly love, support, and encourage their children than ours. They are straight from God and an absolute joy to call Mom and Dad (and Mom and Dad!)

So, now someone else knew. It was time to take the next step.


To be continued…

The Beginning: Part 1

I’ve always wanted to adopt a child (or children). I distinctly remember telling my parents that I did not want to have biological children, so I hoped they would love the rainbow of children I would add to our family. (For the record, I was probably less than 15 years old when I declared that.) Hubby says he always kinda figured we would adopt in the future, but that always seemed like a ways away.

                                                                              
At the beginning of 2011, the serious talk about adoption began. Doodlebug was here, and he was/is our last (planned) biological baby, so adoption naturally surfaced in conversation. Was this really something we wanted to do? More importantly, was this really something God was calling our family to do? 
There are plenty of things to think and pray through before one makes any kind of serious decision… and the thinking and praying had started for us.
  • Though we believe all Christians are called to care for the widow and the orphan, is God calling our family to adopt right now? (There are many facets here: is He calling us to adopt as a way to care for? is He calling us to adopt right now?)
  • Lady, Stink and Doodle are pretty close in age, so we knew if we were going to adopt a little girl to complete our family, we didn’t want a huge age gap between her and our other children. 
  • The adoption process for some places around the world can take 2-5 years! (And man, I thought 40 weeks was a long time to wait for a new member of the family!)
  • This is a permanent decision. If we pursue adoption and bring a baby/child home, it’s the same as getting pregnant and bringing a baby home- it’s forever. 
  • Are we spiritually/emotionally/physically ready to enter into a possibly emotional/tumultuous/uncertain/ever-changing adoption process?
  • What are the implications for adopting internationally while living abroad? How do we find an agency to work with?
So, Hubby and I spent time talking, thinking, praying, searching, wondering, dreaming, explaining, praying again… and on February 4, 2011, he told me he felt like God was indeed calling our family to adopt a little girl. Our Lovebug.

To be continued…

Something New/Some News

It is with a heart full of joy and anticipation that we announce…
We are expecting a new addition!
The Lord has been working in our hearts for awhile now, and we feel called to begin the process to adopt a little girl into our family. I can’t wait to share this journey with you…

 

We don’t know many definite details now about where/when/with whom… we’ve been in a season of praying, seeking godly counsel, researching options, and waiting on the Lord. Stay turned for news and updates as we journey to bring our daughter, Lovebug, home!