Monday, February 27, 2012

It's A Boy!!!!!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  ~1 Samuel 1:27

On Mother's Day 2010, we announced we were adopting from Ethiopia.  In August 2010 we officially submitted our application to our agency and began the paperwork stage. April 2011 we completed our dossier and after some revisions it was submitted to Ethiopia on July 6th, 2011.  February 9th, 2012 we received notice that wait times were increasing and we had some options to consider.  One of those options was to adopt older.  This was something we had always been open to but thought due to having a younger child in the home, we wouldn't be able to and would need to stay in younger than Jalen.  When we looked further into it we found out we could in fact adopt older if we were approved to, if our social worker approved and a few other things happened.  Our hearts were soon radically changed to become not just open to adopting older but excited to.  We were blessed to have 2 precious Ethiopian boys (aged 11 and 13), stay with us from His Little Feet and it was confirmed, we could not wait to adopt older children!  We started looking on the waiting child list and requested information about a child who was stated as 6-8 years old...

February 18th, 2012 we were given information on this child and for the past week all we have been doing is praying for God's direction in everything (I could write a book on all that occurred in the past week, all the devotional readings, scriptures, people we have talked with and praying all day and night, not to mention I didn't sleep through the night for the past week because apparently I was thinking while I was sleeping too).  It became very clear to both of us yesterday, February 26th, 2012 that this was our child and we let our case worker know right away.  

As of this morning, we have officially asked to move forward with our boy!!!
We can't give out too much information until we pass court and he is officially ours but what I can tell you is we believe he is turning 8 years old this year, is sweet, shy, a gentleman, and likes to play soccer.  We are blessed to know some other families in our agency who have met him while they traveled to meet their child and are learning more and more about him.  We cannot reveal his name so we will refer to him as "big brother" on here as he will be the big brother in the family :)   We are so excited but at the same time are guarding our hearts because with any adoption, especially international, there are no guarantees that he is ours until we pass court. 
So, what is the next step for us????  A few updates in paperwork, updated home study and some USCIS stuff, fundraising and awaiting a court date in which Jason and I will travel to Ethiopia for about 1 week to meet "big brother" and hopefully pass court right away.  This may not be for several months from now though so in the mean-time we could use prayers for patience.  We know everything has been in God's timing and has been perfect so far and we aren't worried that it won't continue to be but we still need reminding of this now and again. 

If you see us in person we can show you a picture of him but for now his name, photos and any identifying information cannot be posted anywhere.  We can't wait to meet him and can't wait to introduce him to all of our wonderful friends and family!  Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Adopting Older

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:40
We are not adopting because we can’t have kids, because we have a boy and want a girl, because we think babies are cute and want one, we are adopting because it is in our hearts and there is no other way to explain it.  Children are a blessing from God and every child deserves a family to love them.  If you haven’t seen Depraved Indifference, please take a few minutes and watch it now, It expresses exactly why we are adopting better than I can put into words.

With that said, why does adopting an older child turn so many people off, so many Christians off?  They are children too and I have truly come to have a BIG change of heart from hoping for a child under 18 mths to really just hoping for the child God wants for our family and secretly praying for older.   There is something so special about an older child.  They know what is going on, they know their culture and it is so precious to have them share it with you, they just have so much to offer and I just pray that more people see this.  For our family, adoption is NOT going to be a one-time thing to say that we did it and move on, this will be ongoing for us and if is years from now that we adopt a girl or a younger child or if it never happens it truly doesn’t matter anymore.   I also want to say something about “birth order” and keeping with it when adopting…truthfully it is not even an issue in our minds anymore.  Reading blogs and articles about birth order lately, it has been brought to my attention that we focus on the birth order of the biological children in the home but not of the orphans.  What if a family has 2 children and adopts a child that was the oldest child in their family but is now the youngest or middle?  As long as that child is younger than the biological’s family’s youngest child does it really make everything easier for all?  The orphan is adjusting now to a new home, family, possibly country or state, a whole new life AND birth order.  Jalen is an only child and he really acts more like a “baby” than an “oldest” in my mind and I know he would adjust to either a young or older child being brought into our home but in my heart he needs some older siblings.

It is funny how God can change your heart so quickly to the point that when I hear anyone snicker at adopting an older child or hear the immediate negatives, it just makes me sick at heart and sick to my stomach.  I just wished they would really think about what they are saying.  What if you were a 12 year old who had lost your parents or couldn’t be cared for anymore, how would you feel if someone could so easily write you off because you are a few years older than what they wanted and thought was acceptable?  I’m just going to put this out there so you all know.  We are planning on adopting an older child now and we are beyond excited about it.  We don’t know who our child or children are yet but we know they will be older.  I am asking that if you don’t agree with it but love us, please just keep that to yourself.  If you truly would like to understand more about adopting older and have questions that we can answer, we are more than happy to share but let’s play by the rule of if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Believe me, you are not going to educate us any more than we already are on things we should consider about adopting older.  If you are new to the adoption world I can tell you, families have to have a lot of adoption education before they can pursue a child and we are very well prepared, probably more so than we were to become parents to Jalen.  There were no books read before he entered this world, no online and in person workshops were attended, just in the blink of an eye we were parents and he was here.  When he has his own problems, tantrums, issues, we deal with them in the best way we know how and will do the same for our future children.   I really hate that I have to say these things to people who are adults and often to those who are our friends but we get criticism like every adopting family does and after a while it just gets really old and becomes very hurtful.    I ask that you keep our family in your prayers as we have been on a emotional roller coaster lately but it is all good things and we are so looking forward to the day when we can introduce our child or children to you all, as soon as God reveals them to us.