This blog is a chance for us to tell our story and shine the light on the God who wrote it.

It is also a place for me to bring into the spotlight the millions of orphans around the world who are waiting for the Body of Christ to fulfill God's command to "care for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27)

Soli deo Gloria... (All Glory to God Alone).

4.27.2011

What About the Kids You Already Have?




My big boy just turned 8!!! I wanted to take a minute to tell you a story about our oldest son, whom I decided to label "Nutty Professor" because I cannot use his initial without constantly being confused, seeing as how it is "I". Nutty Professor is fitting since he is super silly and super smart all rolled into one :-)

When S and I were in the very early stages of considering this new adoption, Nutty Professor overheard a teeny bit of our conversation in the car in which I was expressing my hesitations or doubts. As soon as the car stopped in the driveway, Mr. Nutty jumped up from the back seat, made sure he had my attention, pointed his index finger at me, and declared in a sweet, yet firm voice: "Mom, if God is calling you to do something, you'd better do it!" And, of course, he was right!

I teared up with gratitude that God would speak to me through my son (not the first time) and also with love for this amazing little boy God has given us. Then I remembered the voices from way back when we adopted 'B'. "Think about the kids you already have. What about them? What if this is too hard for them?"... "This could ruin your family"... "What about college? How will you send them all to college?" And for a second, I got nervous... I wanted to 'protect' what we already have- these precious, amazing, totally undeserved gifts from God.

Then I remembered. I remembered that I love them too much to 'protect' them in that way. I love them so much that I want to live the life of faith in a way that declares to them 'God is faithful! You don't have to worry or fear! You can take risks... we can take them together, because we have a loving God who is guiding us!'

Does this mean that I don't care about the impact another adoption will have on them or that I don't care about their education? Not at all. In fact, the adoption of our youngest son, while not always easy, has been a priceless gift to our older children. For these are the gifts I long to give them- faith, hope, love for others, a purpose beyond themselves, deeper dependence on God- the things that last for eternity. (Not to mention, the gift of 'Big B' himself and all the laughter and joy he brings to our home!)

As for the college education... someone else once wrote about that in a way that pretty much sums it up for us. I think it hit home for alot of Christian parents, since it had already had like 10,000 hits when I ran across it around a year ago! Check it out here.

In the meantime, Happy Birthday, Nutty Professor. You are my sunshine ('sonshine'- you know what I mean, "I") If you know Mr. Nutty, leave him a comment- he'd be thrilled!

4.26.2011

Sweetness




Just wanted to share this photo of little M. I am not on any level tech savy and am very intimidated about this whole blog thing 'cause I have no idea how to do the computer side of this :-) So I haven't figured out how to put pictures on the sidebars and all that fun stuff. Then I saw there was a way to upload this picture to a post and thought I would throw it in!

And I was just thinking about how an innocent picture started this amazing journey we are now on. I mentioned in an earlier post that a friend now uses her blog to advocate for waiting children in China. These are precious children of God who need a home and a family to call their own. Maybe this isn't the right time for you to adopt, but would you take a moment to check out her blog and pray for these little ones? We are steadfast believers in the power of prayer and I just think that your prayers, offered up on behalf of these children can truly make a difference. Visit her at www.sharinglifeandlove.blogspot.com.


P.S- Final part of the story of finding little M to come soon!

4.15.2011

Everything in Here is Crazy

Well, as you have probably guessed by now, S did not freak out. I decided to tell him on our car ride to see family over the weekend since the kids would be engrossed in their books or DVDs. And he didn't freak out. His attitude was that if God is calling us to this, then He would make that clear and take care of everything. I was so sure he would freak out that it freaked me out that he didn't freak out. I handled it all very maturely by telling him he was crazy and climbing into the back seat to hang out with slightly more sane people. At which point, I kid you not, S calls out "Hey kids, you wanna adopt a sister into our family?" This was met with a rousing cheer from the back.

Now I was really mad! This is not how we normally handle family decisions!

But I was beginning to get excited, too.

After talking about it some more, I agreed to find out more about "Mandy" acknowleding that God was probably calling us to be an advocate for her and help her find a family. When I inquired, we found that Mandy had found her family.

But we both knew that God was doing something in our family, so we began to pray and read scripture, seeking His will. My heart began to be softened and eager to follow wherever God was leading us. But I was still scared. At first, all I could see was my own weaknesses, limitations and inabilities. But day after day of drawing near to God, I found that I was seeing things more from his perspective. And everything changed.

And I do mean everything. Not just my desire to follow his will, no matter what. But the way I looked at my day and my kids and my house and my husband. The further we went on this journey, the more I was throwing off all these things that had hindered me from stepping out in the first place. Worry. Fear. Selfishness. Doubt. Discontentment with what I've been given or how my day goes. All of a sudden things that used to seem such a big deal- a missed nap, a temper tantrum, the flu, potty training, a migraine... they were all things that I could laugh in the midst of. Because, slowly, I was seeing it all through a different lens.

And that lens was Truth. It was the Word that I said I believed and loved but now I would have to live. It was the God I said I trusted but never had I been asked to trust so much... And He was so very patient with me in my doubt. So very gracious to continue to meet me when I asked for Him to show me the way.

I remember specifically one night when I was focusing my thoughts on what others would think of our decision to adopt a child with 'special needs'. I was holding my Bible open again.

"God, this is crazy. Seriously. This is crazy."

And just as clear as day, this is what came to my mind... a patient, gentle voice, but firm...

"Haley, Everything in here is crazy."

And I looked back down at the Bible and thought "Did I hear that right?" So I began to think through all the stories of the Bible I could think of. And it is true. From a human perspective, everything in there is "crazy". Everything.

It was a significant moment for me. Because I knew that I believed it all and God had confirmed it over and over again in my life. So if what was Good and True and Love and the Way of Jesus was "crazy" in the eyes of man, well... then call me crazy.

Not On Our Radar

(So I'm gonna leave you hanging here as I am planning on writing this in a few posts so none are too long :-) )


Adopting M was not our idea. We both knew that we wanted to adopt again and had our ideas of what that would look like. We would adopt a girl, maybe about four years old.. from Ethiopia or domestically... and we would wait until B was in Kindergarten. Because God knows we have our hands full right now. I mean, if everyone that sees me in the grocery store with all three kids remarks that I have my hands full, surely God knows, too. That is what I thought. Because that is how I looked at it then.

But then one night I was looking at this girl staring back at me on a computer screen. She was a 'waiting child' from China. I had not intended to see her. (It is easier if you do not see.) I was innocently checking a blog to see an update on a friend's new daughter from China. I did not know that she primarily uses her blog to advocate for waiting children in China.

So there I sat, looking at “Mandy”. And I knew why she was there. Only “special people with a unique calling” adopt children like her. She had special needs. It should have been really easy for me to pass her by. And, believe me, I tried. I simply closed the computer and went on my way. But I could not stop thinking about her. Days went by and I convinced myself to not think of her. I was 100% sure that we could not adopt her and that God would never call us to something like that. He knows me. He knows I am too weak. So I forgot about it.


One week later. I sat on my porch, Bible opened, praying. Asking God how I had gone from feeling so very close to Him in previous months to all of a sudden feeling distant, disconnected somehow. I wondered if I had done something to distract myself from seeing God. Lord, I really want to know. What is it that has come between you and me? And only one word came to my mind. Mandy. For real?!? What am I supposed to do about her? I am certain you would not have us adopt a little girl that is going to need heart surgery. We have three young children, one income, a small house, and you know I am too weak. That is just simply not possible! But there were no more answers. Just Mandy.

That night I looked at her picture again. This time with my Bible open in my lap. I would look and then in my heart say “This is just my silly emotions. I am just being a 'bleeding heart'.” I listed off one by one all of the reasons why even considering the adoption of a child with special needs, like Mandy, was ridiculous. After each one, I opened my Bible to whatever page it opened to and I read. And each verse was a direct answer to the doubts I had just expressed.

“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”Luke 1:45

But how, Lord?

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you... For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:35,37


By now I was a little angry, to be honest. This was someplace I did not want to go with God. Yes, I wanted to adopt again, but this was too much and I am not enough and I did not want to get in over my head and drown...

I slammed my Bible shut and closed the computer. But I was forming a plan that would get this taken care of really quick. I would simply tell S. He would be totally blindsided, agree that I was just being idealistic or emotional to even entertain the thought, and basically just freak out. That would be the end of that!

4.06.2011

I Was Adopted... (Keep Reading, Mom)

A lot of people have asked S and me why we have chosen to grow our family through adoption. We have given a lot of different answers, because there are a lot of different reasons why we think adoption is a wonderful thing.

There are 163 million orphans in the world.

Every child deserves a family and to know he or she is loved.

As Americans, we are among the richest 1% of people in the world.

We wanted more children in our family, and I had a rough pregnancy with our daughter.

God calls his church to care for orphans in their distress.

We love children.



But we have been convicted recently that we weren't really answering the question truthfully a lot of the time. While it is true that we think there are a lot of wonderful reasons to adopt a child who needs a home, there is only ONE reason why we chose to actually do it. And why we're doing it again. And probably will again, if the Lord allows us to. (My mom just fainted.)

So I'm going to be very clear this time (and hopefully every time I share about our adoption plans from now on.) This is the ONLY reason why we chose to enter into this world of caring for orphans.


We know in the core of our being that we are loved by God.

That's it. I know it sounds like that has nothing to do with adoption. But it has everything to do with adoption. 'Cause guess who invented adoption? Check this out-


“In LOVE, (God) predestined us to be adopted as his sons
through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his
pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace,
which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
(Ephesians 1:5-6)



Scott and I believe with all our hearts that this scripture is true. That we were once separated from our Creator God. We were 'orphans' in a sense. And that in the greatest act of sacrifice and love imaginable, God sent His Son Jesus to rescue us- to pay the price that we could not pay- in order for us to be a part of God's family. In essence, he adopted us. As you can see from verse 5 above... it was His plan from the beginning.

So that is why we adopt. Because we were adopted by God. We are so absolutely convinced of His love for us that we are compelled to show that love to others. We are so secure in His love for us that we are free to do risky things, like adoption, with the complete peace that He will take care of us and provide everything we need. What Jesus has done for us in securing our adoption as God's children is truly indescribable. We are filled with awe and wonder... and the more we understand and believe these truths, we are filled with LOVE. HIS LOVE.


“We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19


So that's the truth. The whole truth. Of course, not all who are convinced of Jesus' love for them are called to adopt. (Although we are all called to care for orphans!) But for us, it was out of this place of knowing that we are loved by God that we were able to hear His call to adopt and to move forward with it despite the risks involved. For us, it is His Plan, Our Joy.

4.03.2011

His Plan. Our Joy.

Thank you for checking out our blog! I hope that our story will be a source of encouragement to you. We are a very ordinary family seeking to live out God's Plan for our lives... and finding ourselves surprised by His Joy. Soli deo Gloria (all glory to God alone).


In 2008, we adopted our son from Ethiopia and our little world got a little bigger. But it all really began for us in 2007 when God met Scott and me in the same moment at a missions conference and showed us His mission for our family. In those moments our hearts were completely overwhelmed with love for orphan children. For a second, maybe we saw a glimpse of how God sees them. We knew our first step of obedience was to begin with one simple adoption (turns out that is actually an oxymoron!)

But we knew this was just the beginning. This blog, for me, is a chance to share our story and shine the light on the God who wrote it. It is also a place to bring into the spotlight the 163 million orphans around the world who are waiting for the Body of Christ to fulfill God's command to "care for the orphan and widow in their distress" (James 1:27)

I am writing for love of "the least of these" ... because my God identifies with those in whom the world sees no value. (Matt. 25:45)   Above all, I am writing for love of my Lord... any love we have to give is because "He first loved us."

So today the story continues... with a twist we were not at all expecting! I cannot wait to share with you how God has turned my resistant and doubt-filled heart to a heart of trust and joy as we submitted to His plan for our lives... the adoption of a little girl from China with some special needs. (Turns out I am the one with "special needs"...) More to come on little M soon!

 "Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1