Psalms 68 5:6

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Church, where have we been?

Church, Where Have We Been? (part 1)

I am not about to let this post go without putting it on my blog. The words this fellow adoptive mother put on her blog are straight out of every adoptive parents' heart. It is how we all feel. I am so ignorant about a lot of things but I know enough to realize we as Christians are not doing nearly enough. I wanted to post this to help others realize the dire need of orphans and that we are commanded to look after them. Please read with an open mind and heart. I got this off of
November is National Adoption/Orphan Awareness Month.  Most people don't know that about November;  At one time we didn't know...but we do now!  When I tell others that it is National Adoption/Orphan Awareness Month, the response that I normally get is, "Oh, that's nice."  I'm not satisfied with that response.  Here's why...There are millions - MILLIONS - of children with no mother or father.  They have no one to kiss them goodnight and tuck them into bed.  They have no one making sure that they have enough to eat.  Millions of children have nothing to call their own, not even the shirt on their back (if they have one) is their own.  Orphans are caring for orphans.  They're not allowed to just be a child.  When they are sick, there is no one to take care of them.  There is no medicine to make them feel better.  One million children are trafficked every year - CHILDREN being raped 30-40 times a day by men.  I could go on and on...  So an answer like "Oh, that's nice" is not enough for me. 
Their cries haunt my dreams, even when I'm awake.  I can't live like I don't hear them.  And yet, I feel powerless to help silence their cries.  So I speak...I tell people that it is National Adoption/Orphan Care Month.  I tell them that children need them.  I tell them that the Church is God's plan for the orphan.  And as much as I think I say it, it just isn't enough. 
I am going to say something that may offend some.  It may sound judgemental (I truly don't want to be, and have, with all sincerity, prayed that God would convict me when I am judging another).  So, with all love for the Body of Christ I want to know....CHURCH,  WHERE HAVE WE BEEN?!?  Why are there millions of orphans?  Why aren't we fighting for these children?  How can we go about our lives, and completely ignore what is going on - the absolute terror that children live under?  The orphan crisis is OUR crisis!  These kids are OUR matter what country they live in!  I know that this sounds strong.  I just don't know any other way to write it.  My dear friends, the Church IS (WE are) God's plan for the orphan.

"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

"Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute."  Psalm 82:3

Well, there is much more to say about this...much more that would bring hope.  And I would like to take the time to write about the hope this week.  Because there is hope!  God is at work....

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Don't Know!

I am blogging because I don't want to do anything on my to-do list today. It involves paying bills and menial housework. I am blogging because I am sick of writing thank you notes and cleaning up puppy pee. Every time I cross a name off my thank you list I remember someone else I need to add to the list. So I thought I would take a small break and blog. I'm feeling inspired. Funny how that happens when I should be doing something else. In nursing school when I had a test coming up to study for, my closets would always get organized, my underwear drawer: color-coded, the cans in my lazy-susan would be disinfected, my dog's teeth: flossed, you get the picture. I am a master at procrastination.

So this morning, I am pondering the whys and wherefores of life. Certainly this is a task I am up for after 6 cups of extra strong coffee and Dayquil. Who knows? I may re grout the bathroom later. Today I am entitling this "I don't know".  A lot of my quandaries come after a recent healthy dose of reality TV.

  • I don't know what the age limit for skinny jeans is, but as far as I'm concerned, 29 ain't it.
  • I don't know how a woman doesn't know she is pregnant.
  • I don't know why some people think facebook is the appropriate venue to air theirs and their family's dirty laundry.
  • I don't know why the man on "Man vs. Food" doesn't weigh 7000 lbs.
  • I don't know why my son thinks it's OK to fart like it's his job. Seriously, why must this be passed off as "boys being boys"? Can't they hold it in at all?
  • I don't know why potatoes can't come out of the skin mashed. How great would this be, GRITS?
  • I don't know how my hair knows the moment I apply lip gloss. In a hot second it's all adhered to my mouth. Lip gloss, you and I have what is called a love-hate relationship.
  • I don't know why half the customers in Wal-Mart look like a genetic experiment gone terribly awry. Unless you are Kid Rock, mullets and leather jackets with fringe went out in '94. And no, I don't think your butt is "Juicy". It looks like you were beaten in the rear with a sack of nickels. They sell perfectly appropriate apparel there. Buy some in your size.
  • I don't know why the kids on Nanny 911 aren't in a zoo and the parents in jail. What a freak show.
  • I don't know why males can't put the seat down AND flush. What is so hard about that concept?
  • I don't know why my phone only gets lost when I have it on vibrate.
  • I don't know why leg hair regenerates in 3 seconds after exposure to cold but it takes 2 years to grow out a bad haircut.
  • I don't know why patients mistake RN for waitress. I did not go to school for 4 years so I could fetch snacks and water at precise temperatures of your choosing. What is it about being sick that makes all self-sufficiency go out the window?
  • I don't know why people living in the US refuse to learn to speak English. Why must I learn your language to be able to communicate with you?
  • I don't know why you think I want to hear your phone conversation when I sit next to your table in a restaurant.
  • I don't know why you can't talk to me for 5 minutes without texting 7 other people. Really? Can it not wait? Or am I just that uninteresting?
  • I don't know why people feel the need to ask me in hushed tones, "Will she be... black?", upon finding out we are adopting from Ethiopia. Of course!!!  If she's not black I'm gonna be worried! And black is not a bad word.
  • I don't know why people feel the need to ask me "Why not adopt here?" I don't have to give you my list of 278 reasons why not here.
I feel better. I'm getting off my soapbox now. Feel free to send me some of your quandaries in the comment section. I'd love to hear them! I'm sure there will be more to add in a later installment. For now, I guess I should get on with my tasks and go find some dog's teeth to floss.  ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blogging and Bellyaching

The thing I am discovering about blogging is that when you feel inspired, you are capable of hammering out tons of blog-worthy material. But, when you aren't feelin' it, you would rather have your eyeballs sand-papered than to blog about anything. This has been one of those weeks.

I have made a personal vow to myself and a select few, (Jesus) to stop belly-aching about all this darn fundraising conundrum. I may be living and breathing it, but you probably don't want to hear it. So, for the time being I am putting my "Show me the money" routine on the back burner. Upward and Onward!

Which I guess is why I am having such a time trying to think of anything to say. Hmm...

On the paper pregnancy homefront, I was able to cross off another item on our dossier-to-do-list today. Local police background checks are officially complete and notarized. Cheers and applause are appreciated and expected. There is nothing like getting one step closer to saying "My paperwork is all done and ready for Addis Ababa." That could be the last phrase I utter before I die. At this point, it seems likely that it will be. I am not really cut out for all this paperwork. Assembling the neccessary documents for an Ethiopian adoption is about as fun as herding cats. Let that mental picture sink in.

In that regard, it could also be said of housebreaking a puppy. Anybody want a full blooded brindle Boxer? He's cute and cuddly and loves to chew. 7 weeks old and VERY ready to be a part of someone's family. Our 3 year old, Brett Favre, sired him and he was our breeders fee. Lucky us. He looks just like his daddy, who, admittedly , is not the most intelligent of dogs. My carpet and Uggs are pleading for relief. All proceeds from the purchase of said puppy go to Stanley Steemer. He would make a child very happy and a certain mommy very happy in his absence. Only $150 to a loving home.

Moments before this was taken one of the dogs broke wind, hence expression on Christian's face.

Next week is Layla's Christmas Bazaar. We will be setting up tables at my sister-in-law's gymnastics gym. This is the brainchild of Meredith, my dear and much-appreciated social worker. There will be tables set up for vendors of Pampered Chef, 31, Canyon Candle Company, along with my homespun wares and possibly a jewelry company. All proceeds from this go to you-know-what.

Next week is also my 29th birthday or what I like to think of as my last official birthday that I will ever aknowledge. I feel it too. My left ankle is and has been swollen for 3 weeks thanks to full contact church volleyball. I have acquired a mysterious cold-like ailment that leaves me feeling like I was stampeded in a dryer by a buffalo with a seizure disorder. My week will be celebrated by utilizing vacation time and raising money. My husband has prior commitments because he obviously has no concern for his well-being and has scheduled his entire weekend at a church event. At some point in our lives he is going to learn that all I want and ever will want is a special date night, maybe weekend, for my birthday. I wouldn't care if it was to Taco Bell and the nearest Motel 8. Quality time is my love language. Unfortunately, he is not fluent.

Hopefully, dear readers, my creative mojo will kick in or I will be stricken with fantastic news that I must share before our next meeting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oh ye of little faith. :(

I do believe on my evening run I had an epiphany. Sometimes these little glimpses of intelligence and grand conveyance of knowledge are good. Sometimes, like now, they serve as a sobering, cold, smack in the face. I have a confession to make.

I am a doubting Thomas. How many times has someone said to me, "God will provide." or "Just have faith.". I hear them but I don't hear them. I have at times been, ashamedly so, been putting the brakes this adoption. I have haltingly taken each step as of late. I am afraid. Scared to the point of paralysis that we will get in over our heads and the funds won't come. As I was running the words to a Casting Crowns song, "Somewhere in the Middle" starting playing in my head. I ran even faster to get home so I could listen to it. For some puzzling reason that one isn't on my ghetto MP3 player. (I don't have an Ipod, and pathetically I stole the MP3 player from my son when he won it in 1st grade in a reading contest. Really, what 7 year old actually needs that?) I have come to the conclusion that if Casting Crowns or Taylor Swift haven't recorded a song about a situation that I'm in then it's not that big of a deal. Weird I know but this is my internal dialogue. Welcome to my world.

This is my epiphany and how the song fits into it. 

I did not wake up one day and say, "Hey, honey why don't we scrap our efforts to get pregnant, adopt. Not just from anywhere but let's make it super hard and go international. Let's adopt an orphan from Ethiopia and put our lives on hold, go in debt $30,000 and donate every waking minute to trying to raise money and jump through hoops of 2 governments. Whaddya say?'

Not once did I have any of those crazy thoughts. Nor did my husband. We never planned on adopting, certainly not from Ethiopia. I did not watch The Lion King and reap a burning passion for Africa. God placed all of these events in motion. Down to the smallest detail. Why is it that I can place my faith and trust in Him for my life, my salvation, and my eternity but not to provide for this adoption when it is clearly His will. Today I am asking for forgiveness for my doubt and unfaithfulness. It is absurd and stifling and I am over it.

 Mark11:22-23 And Jesus answered them saying, Have faith in God for verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Jesus said that. Not just some ordinary guy, THE GUY said it. I'm tired of being caught in the middle. I'm ready to trust with reckless abandon and go forward with an unparalleled faith. I'm ready to move mountains. It's OK, He told me I could. :)

It's November? Seriously?

  OK so I have not been very johnny-on-the-spot. That's not news to me. I have always been gifted in the field of procrastination and generalized laziness. My attitude is the sole responsibility of one Miss Scarlet O'Hara. The old "I'll not think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow." Well if it only affected me that would be alright I guess. But now I have to also consider that with each passing day it's another day that my child has to go in an orphanage. And not to mention, if I got my butt in gear, said child would also have a face. We have been on this adoption carousel since June. I'm ready to get off. I'm getting dizzy.
  On the bright side, all our home study lacks is 2009 tax return and a copy of Jarrod's license. There is that light at the end of the tunnel. And if I really put my mind to it I could have all my dossier cranked out by the first of December. But let's be honest, that's like 4 weeks away. I have plenty of time.
  My main reason for the procrastination is that there is not enough money in the ole adoption account to cover the fees. Once this ball gets rolling there is no stoppin it. I awake at night in a dead fear that I will come up empty handed and they won't give me a child because I don't have the funds. Funny. This is where faith should come in. But I'm a worrier. Guess you didn't know that yet. Worrying is a sin. I wish that mattered to my subconscious.

  This week I am concentrating on more fundraising. The mall is having a craft fair and since I'm so crafty, I have signed up to host a table. Now this seemed easy enough. Salt scrub, doggie neckerchiefs, UK and Breast Cancer Awareness ornaments, and microwaveable rice bags.(like homemade heating pads, not for human consumption.) I have learned that the seemingly easy things usually aren't though. I won't even get into how difficult arranging this stuff has been. But we have it all mostly ready to go. I just pray (and worry) that we sell a lot of product. I am hand writing thank you notes with this blog address on about 100 cards to hand out with purchases.
  I am deeply thankful to my mother who once again has come to my rescue to help with all the assembly and sewing. And to everyone that buys something. A thank you seems so simple but I truly am grateful. Every dime gets us one step closer to her. Right about now it seems like I am about a tragamazillion steps away.
  So I tell myself that this week I am focusing on the craft show. Next week , maybe H&R Block. Who knows, perhaps the next week I may even wheedle enough time out of my schedule to get some medicine for my dog's inoperable cancer.