Tuesday, January 22, 2008

care for the helpless


I would really love it if everyone who loves me would listen to this little talk above! Let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

and we wait.

I went yesterday for a meeting with Carolyn, our original caseworker, to go over our service plan and our preferences about everything and to turn in 4 copies of our profile. I am so tired from working on that thing! I have been working some night shifts which also makes me tired and then working on it at the same time and trying to find the right lettering and the right folders....I am glad it is complete! Eric was reading through it again today and found some places where I left out a word or something...and I really didn't care!!! Hopefully whoever is reading will get the idea. Some of you have been asking about what I mean when I say "preferences" so for anyone else who is wondering.... When a birthparent is in need of an adoptive family, there are many different things to be considered as far as which profiles (families) to show her. For example, if she is wanting to meet with the family and the child monthly or to exchange last names and phone numbers and we are not willing to do these things, then we would not be a match for her and would not be shown to her. This is so that what the birth parent wants is able to happen and the adoptive family is able to be comfortable as well with the arrangements. Keeps it from getting messy, I would think. So we filled out a 3-4 page list of preferences about the situation with birthparents, about her drug or alcohol usage, about her family history, about what we are okay with as far as meeting her before hand and being at the hospital when baby is born, about traveling to other states....etc! At first I felt bad about making preferences. But, Carolyn helped me understand that we are not trying to meet the needs of every birth parent, but only one. And, these decisions will effect us the rest of our lives. So, we have to be honest with ourselves about what we want.

Now that we have done all of this, we will just wait. From now on, we will only hear from Bethany when:
  1. A situation with a birthmother closely matches our preferences and they want to show our profile but we had put that we would consider something, but would want more details at that time..... they would call us with those details of her situation and decide whether we wanted to be shown or not.
  2. An office from out of state calls and we are a match to be shown. They will not just send our profile to other states without telling us because there are different laws in other states and sometimes even more fees. They will first call us and tell us what the laws and fees are in that particular state and then we will decide if we want to be shown.
  3. We are chosen!!!! At this point it would mean that a birthparent has been matched with us, viewed our profile and decided that she wants us to adopt her child. We will then, ideally meet with her sometime prior to the birth. If everything goes well, then we will be her adoptive couple unless she changes her mind during the revocation period (the 10 days after she signs the waiver of her rights, which is signed 72 hrs after the birth)

This is a lot of legal stuff going on, huh?! I know this is long, but I wanted to share something else. I have been experiencing some major negativity in regard to us adopting from people here lately. Just this past weekend, several random people and especially people from work, have been questioning it, giving their unwanted opinions and so on. I have been asked, "why do you want to make your life harder?" and "there is major legal risk when you adopt...have you thought about this?" I have been told, "children ruin your life" and "you don't get to do anything you wanna do...ever" and "being a mother kinda sucks" seriously, this is just a few of the comments, but some good examples. At first, I must admit, I was letting it get me down a little. Then, I started to think about how really selfish we are as humans. These people who are saying these things to me are basically saying that I shouldn't mess up my life while I still have the chance. I could type forever about this, but I guess mainly, I just want to say that I am so thankful first of all for my parents who did not feel this way about children or about me. It is evident that they loved me and wanted me and I am who I am today because of them. It makes me wonder what these people are like as parents and with their kids. Second, I want to say again that I believe God is preparing me to be an adoptive mom. With this preparation, comes persecution, because Lord knows we will experience plenty of this in our lives, whether we adopt or not....just being a christian and striving to live a Godly life is reason enough for persecution in this world. It is kind of disturbing to see such a selfish attitude regarding their own children and it just reminds me how much we ALL are in need of God's forgivness and of the blood of Christ. I know that parenthood is a huge challenge, and that life will not be the same after children. I know that there will be hard times, good times, bad times and happy times. But, as I told many people this past weekend, the alternative to adoption, is that these children are either aborted or they go to orphanages and/or are in and out of foster homes for the rest of their lives. Adopting a child seems small to me when I think of what Christ did on the cross. The Almighty God took a chance on little old me with no gaurantee that I would choose Him, even if He sent His son to die, but He did it anyway to give me a choice of eternal life or death, of slavery or freedom, of love or isolation. These people just don't get it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

still profiling...

We heard from Bethany again and we have an approved homestudy!!! For all you people who don't know about all this stuff, this is a really big deal! From this point on we potentially can adopt at anytime. Really big deal. So, needless to say, we are excited...at the potential and just at being DONE with the homestudy!!! I am going next Wednesday to go over our service plan and give her our profile. The service plan is the necessary tool for our social worker to help know us and know what we want and don't want in a child and in the situation. Eric and I are in agreement on all of the service plan which, if you know us well, you know that that is in and of itself a big deal...we don't always agree :-) Anyways, today I have been working on the profile again and I really just don't like what I have done so far. It is SO difficult to try to communicate on paper who we are as a couple. There are so many things that I would say to her if we were able to sit in front of her, and so many things I want her to know about us. However, there is limited space in this thing and I don't want to be too wordy, like I can tend to be. Everytime I think I am doing good, I think of more things I want to put in there, that are important and then I end up starting over, or rearranging, or something. I did not expect this to be that hard. Also, the page size is 8.5 x 11 instead of the scrapbooking size which is 12x12. There just isn't enough room! I am about to work on my letter to the birthparents right now, but I just wanted to blog real quick. My friend Laurie has agreed to help me narrow done and organize tonight, so I am excited about that. I have one week to finish!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

a christmas story

I have been waiting to get a picture of this awesome event that happened on Christmas so that I could share with you all. The entire Christmas holiday was wonderful for us. We got to see ALL of Eric's extended family, which we don't usually get to do, and it was great. I didn't have to work this year, which was also great. This time last year had a very different feel to it. God has really brought us a long way in the past year and it is good to have reminders of where we've been so that we can be thankful and humbled by where we are today. So, when we really didn't think Christmas could be any better, and we were about to go to Amy and Bryan's to celebrate with them and love on Aubrynne :)... my brother asks me to go sit by Eric and everyone got really quiet. I didn't know what was going on. Someone handed me a card and as I began to open it, with my mind flooded with all the possibilities of what could be about to happen, I heard Courtney say something that neither I or Eric ever expected to hear. "We are giving yall a money tree," she says.... I turn around and there she stands with a little baby Christmas tree with baby necessities as ornaments and a baby toy as the star on top. I look closer and realize there are $100 bills stuck down in the ornaments on the tree. I then began to realize what our sweet family had done. They had all given money to go into our adoption fund! The thought of this generosity, as you all can imagine, brought mine and Eric's eyes to tears and truly filled our hearts with humility and love. Then, they gathered around us and prayed. We prayed for our child, for the birthparents, for our hearts as we enter a waiting phase, and for us as parents. They prayed for peace and guidance for us as we make decisions. We thanked God for His faithfulness and love for us. I know I was thanking Him for His care for this child that He will be bringing to us. It was such a sweet time and we are blown away at the thoughtfulness and the generosity and graciousness we have been shown. We want to largely thank everyone, AGAIN, for this Christmas event and then to everyone who has prayed, sent money, loved on us, kept up with this blog, and just for everything. We are SO blessed to have such strong people surrounding us, praying for us and suppporting us. I don't know what we'd do without you all.

I also want to just say that this caused me to think about when we first thought of adopting and began feeling led to it. We were both so overwhelmed by the money that it took and did not know where it would come from. We tried to figure out ways to get all the money and figured out how long it'd take to save it all up, and then I felt sad and uneasy, because I just knew that this was where we were supposed to be and felt that this was the right timing. The more we worried over it and thought about it, the more we wanted to step down and decide maybe we should just wait a few years and then try and adopt. Not to say that it would've been a bad choice, if we had waited, but I definitely see God's faithfulness to the financial side and in our decision to move forward with it regardless of it not making total financial sense. We have been given at least a third of what it will cost and we just feel SOOOO grateful, blessed, extremely humbled and honored. I am praying that I will continue to be this mindful and this intentional with events in my life for all my days on earth, cause it's so much better to know God, to see Him working, to grow in my relationship with Him and to experience His goodness.

"He upholds the cause of the oppressed...He sustains the fatherless and the widow" -psalm 146:7&9