Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Leap of Faith

I've been encouraged by all the interest in adoption lately and have fielded many questions from prospective families.   So many families ask the same thing - how do you know?  How do you know which child, when the time is right, and when to "take the leap of faith?"  And the answer is always the same - "you just know."  When you see your son or daughter, you are compelled to move forward - both husband and wife - and obstacles fade in the light of your desire to bring that child home.

For this adoption, the timing seemed all wrong; two kids off to college in the fall, the expenses involved in tuition, and hubby’s overwhelming workload.  Yet when we saw our child, we found ways to overcome those objections easily. 

When our second daughter became available, we were at the end of our problem solving ability.  The money wasn’t there – wasn’t going to be there – and there was no more margin to fund the expenses.   The international adoption doctor gave a gloomy prognosis, and recommended against going ahead.  But all we could think about was the glimmer of hope in the medical report, the wonderful assessments by those who knew her, and the desire she had to be part of a family.  All we could see was a young girl who needed a mom and a dad to tell her she’s beautiful. 

And so we took the leap of faith.

It wasn’t the smart thing to do, or even necessarily the “right thing” to do, but it was the ONLY thing to do.  And the funny thing is that God has graciously confirmed the decision many times in the past week – providing for our paperwork and financial needs in unexpected ways.    After using Sarah’s adoption fund to pay for Jenny’s paperwork expenses (scary), a check arrived a week later in nearly the exact amount!  As a fairly self reliant person, I wept at God’s provision.  He’s daily teaching us to rely on Him and to trust His leading – even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. 

We know that God will lovingly care for each member of our family as they adjust to the big changes – and we continue to walk with joy along the path He’s appointed.  When we encounter an obstacle we now look up rather than to ourselves – to the One who’s economy is unlimited and who’s grace is sufficient. 


Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Difficult questions...

This week, someone asked the question, “Why not just provide the cost for medical care in country and let children stay with the foster families who love them?”  Since I had pondered this as well, I thought I’d share my response:

Both of our daughters are from foster homes that at least the littlest one does not want to leave. If it were just the medical issues, then I agree that it would be better to allow them to stay with those they love. But there are other things to consider.

Often children are returned to the orphanage later in life for various reasons - including changes in the foster family, cost of schooling them, etc. , which makes it very difficult for them to find families. In our one daughter's case, she is a likely candidate for a syndrome that presents degenerative illness
later in life - and that diagnosis is likely why many have overlooked her file. Foster families may be surprised when an otherwise healthy looking child begins to develop problems they didn't anticipate - or can't cope with - and the child may be returned to the orphanage.

Most importantly in my mind, is the ongoing view of orphans in society. "Luck" is a prevailing virtue to many, and an orphan is considered "unlucky" - not someone you'd welcome as an inlaw or worker. With competition for work fierce, visually disabled children will be less likely to make the cut - making their
future dim. While their foster families may love them, the child will eventually have to make their own way - and there are few opportunities without good schooling and connections.

Last but not least -my youngest daughter came from a foster family who took good care of her. She knew, however, that she was not on the same footing as their biological children. She has never looked back. I don't think this will be the case with our newest daughters - but it is true nonetheless. They have no legal protection, family name, or standing as joint heirs - theirs is a precarious existence dependent on the goodwill and continued health of their benefactors.

We know they will not see it this way - and expect they will grieve deeply. In this current reality, however, it is the best for them and their futures.

Blessings, Kim

He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will...
Ephesians 1:5

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Introducing another blessing!

We are adding one more blessing to our lives - a beautiful 10 year old girl who needs someone to put a smile on her face. :) She has some facial paralysis that makes her self conscious about smiling - but we think that the silliness here will make it impossible to keep a straight face.  :)  She is reportedly a good student who is determined to study hard and do well.  We will be visiting MUSC's cardiology department again as our newest daughter has some heart issues as well.  We know the folks there can solve almost any problem and we look forward to seeing them again.  Please pray that the One who made us all wonderfully will give this child the healing she needs and the courage for the upcoming transition.  We are all excited about meeting her and can't wait to get her home.  Please pray for both her and Sarah as they get ready to leave everything familiar and start new lives here. 

Blessings, Kim

Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows we know and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Berries are In!

We've been having a great time in our little town, picking berries, cooking, swimming and lots of other outdoor activities in this beautiful weather.  As usual, Hubby and I overdid it and I had to raid the Walmart Pharmacy for heating pads, cold packs, and ace bandages since we're both limping from various dare devil attempts that we're too old for, lol!  Apparently, doubling the mileage of my bike rides combined with killer Maine hills was a bit too much for my "pushing 50" knees, and Perry's slalom "hot start" off the dock landed him a pulled hamstring.

For Consolation, I've made an Almond Pound Cake for Church tomorrow, and we're expecting another fun day of skiing and swimming - with the kids starring - and not us!  

While on summer break, I've had time to catch up on some friends' adoption blogs.  One post stuck out in its honesty and clarity.  The mom was talking about the whirlwind of bringing home two adopted boys into a busy house of many other children, and the exhaustion and difficulty of everything that had to be done.  She summed it up perfectly in these words:

I have come to realize something that is hard to admit.  Their arrival has revealed the level of selfishness still in all of us, the lack of true patience, the limits of our love, the shallowness of our peace, the hold that circumstance still has on our joy, basically-- the degree to which Christ has not yet been fully formed in us.

As we enjoy our peaceful days on vacation, we know that much will change in the Fall when we add our beautiful Sarah Grace.  Her hospital visits will fill our schedule, her English transition will be hard, everyone will have to find their "new place" in the family food chain, and my days will be consumed with helping her adjust to life in our home and in a new culture - all while making sure everyone else is getting their needs met as well.  The mother above expressed the root of our difficulties and distresses so beautifully -  our unfinished state in Christ.

May God give us all strength and wisdom for the change, compassion for our new daughter/sister who is leaving all that she knows, and a love that overcomes all difficulties. :) Blessings, Kim