Monday, March 26, 2012

Gold Seals

I love getting gold seals. In third grade I got the most gold stars in a math quiz competition and won. Funny now, since math is not my strong suit. Getting gold means winning and I equate that with the red ribbon (which means first place in Canada) and I earned many in track and other competitions throughout my life. Well, today gold seal means my work is complete in the world of adoption. We are given a list of documents we have to dig up from birth certificates to financial statements. Friends write their recommendations for us, we have pictures taken of our family and we write a letter to Ethiopia telling them why we want to adopt. Then we get them notarized. There are special requirements for the notary and we finalized them last week. Today I sat in the DMV for 60 minutes and had a man approve my notaries and made my paperwork all official. Then, I copied every page four times. You'd think I would be a pro at all this since this is our second time around. We originally had to collect these documents two years ago when we initially sent off our request for a child. Paperwork is daunting for me but after my initial shock of having come through two years and find out it's all going to expire in two months, I got right to it.
I've been praying for my daughter all day. I've had a smile on my face and feel like I would do anything for her now that we have a face and name to this girl. Our updates are encouraging in the fact that things are still moving forward. Still no court date though. I would never tell anyone not to adopt because of time and paperwork.
The hard does not minimize His goodness but allows us to experience His goodness in a whole new way. - Katie Davis
God has got this and I'm so glad because I'm sure I would mess it up if it were up to me. I love when people ask about the process and love when others are anxious and even upset. It gives me a chance to give God the glory. It's ok and we will have our daughter soon enough. As for now, we have filled her room with a friend of Jacob's who needed a place to stay and I am volunteering one day of the week in a kindergarten class and I'm studying Nehemiah with a great group of ladies and training for a half marathon and full later in the year. So, I'm awarding God a gold seal for constantly reminding me of His love and His control and His goodness.
Jeremiah 32:17 - Lord and King, you have reached out your great and powerful arm. You have made the heavens and the earth. Nothing is too hard for you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Family Challenge

Week after week we are challenged at church to live our lives more fully to bring God glory but throughout this Hole in our Gospel series we were rocked by how little we care. We have been in the process of our adoption for two years. We already said Yes to God in this area but I know God wants more.
Winter Break was three weeks ago and Scott was taking Jacob to Utah with some dads and sons so Blaire and I wanted to do a Mother/Daughter trip. We decided on San Francisco and tack on a visit with a lifelong friend of mine. Scott sat us down around the kitchen table to have a family meeting before we left. He handed each of us some money and said we can spend it however we wanted except 10% had to go to someone in need. I have to tell you that this totally put a new spin on vacation. It wasn't just for ourselves but we prayed to be open-handed with our money and looked for a need.
We found the airport wasn't full of people in need. Mostly business men who were too into their cell phones. On the plane we didn't sit by anyone who looked needy. (mind you it's hard to talk to someone when you have earphones in your ears most of the trip watching a movie on the ipad). Oops! But once downtown and walking around the streets of San Francisco we definitely saw people sleeping outside and carrying their possessions on their backs. Blaire decided we should buy them some food...and decided to give half her money! I don't know if she saw the need was so great but I couldn't complain. We went to Subway and bought 10 subs and started our mission to hand them out. Our first stop was an elderly lady that we soon found out was named Barb and when Blaire handed her a sandwich her face lit up. We decided to chat with her and ask her where she was from and where she would spend the night. Blaire handed her some money as well. It was great to see her be so giving. We stopped at another woman named, Dawn,who maybe was a little younger than me. She was crouched down on the street corner where everyone gathers at the street light. I bent down to chat with her and she couldn't really look me in the eyes. When she received the sandwich she immediately started to feed her two dogs. They are the reason she can't sleep in a shelter at night but they were her 'babies'. I gave her some money and told her I hoped she would keep warm that night. The smiles were what Blaire noticed that night. We continued down the street with our sandwiches and they were all very appreciative. I remember these individuals like it was yesterday. What makes them different from me? They all have a story, they all matter! Why can't I go down to my very own city and get involved with people more often? Life gets in the way? Why is that?
I know this challenge brought me back to when I was young and headed down to Toronto to do projects like that. Except I don't want this to be 'a project'. It must be apart of my everyday life. Even more importantly I need to begin each day asking who will God place before me today? I'll leave you with the words of a great Brandon Heath Song
Give Me Your Eyes

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me Your heart for the one's forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Finding a blog for your needs

Do I take my blogging seriously? Not at all. That's why I want to refer you to another blog. It reminds me of Miracle on 34th Street when Kris Kringle refers the Macy's customers to shop at Gimbels for their shopping needs. I came across this blog one day while I was jumping into another conversation between two bible school friends of mine. They were talking about one's recent trip to Africa and then I found out one of them is adopting. The person they were sharing information about is Katie Davis and I immediately found a youtube interview of her. After inviting my husband to watch and later my son, I couldn't get enough information about this 22 year old who is affecting so many lives in Uganda. I know her faith, obedience and compassion will move you. She has a book called Kisses From Katie and her blog is I found her book in our local grocery store and read it in a couple of weeks. I cried, I rejoiced and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it. She is very candid about her feelings of leaving her loved ones in the U.S. however, when she returned home for a short while she found her heart and life was in Uganda where she has now adopted 14 girls. Now do I have your attention? The way she writes about each of her girls and everyone she meets is inspiring and makes me want to know people more deeply.
We have finished a month long challenge at our church reading the last book I recommended by the president of World Vision. The Hole in Our Gospel. I have seen friends sponsor children, sign up for a mission trip, commit a day a week to serve in our community, volunteer for community outreaches, teens go dirty and hungry for a week to raise money for Haiti. All getting out of their comfort zone. Hopefully people will be moved to commit to adoption too. I'm amazed at what God is doing.
Matt 25:31-40
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “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.’