A Letter to Our Potential Sons

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

So today I just submitted a letter to the boys. We were requested to write a one-page letter and include 8 or so pictures of our family, house, etc.

We’ve done things like this before. When we submitted our Dossier (our paperwork to Bulgaria) during our last adoption, we had to do something similar to show the government who we were. We’ve also had to do it for our foster license, including writing a letter to a child that might be coming to our home.

This letter, however, was different. It wasn’t a government agency. It wasn’t a child who would be forced into our home (although, I doubt they ever used that letter at all). This time, it is going directly to the boys to see if they want to come.

It is a strange feeling trying to promote yourself, but be completely honest. I love our family. Every strength and flaw. It was hard to choose the right pictures that define our relationships. And a letter and a few pictures only give them a snapshot of who we are.

But I guess it is similar to what we’ve seen of them. A few videos. Some pictures. A few pages of description. This whole process probably has less information that an internet dating site. This is when leaning on God becomes so essential. So I pray if this isn’t his will, the boys will turn us down.

 


 

On another note… We are still raising money for our home study. Once we get the green light, we are going to jump right in. My first go at a fundraiser isn’t progressing as well as I hoped.  And I admit, we are trying not to feel discouraged. We are still $500 away from starting the homestudy.

That is one probably with being a writer with an overactive imagination: I can imagine huge things happening, hundreds of people stepping forward to donate.  I can see it all in my mind!

So seeing the slow progress instead does cause some anxiety. Not that God won’t make it happen. We still have ideas in the works and He is in control. But it truly is faith to step out with something big and not know where the money is coming from.

And I know people could look at it as our problem. I mean, WE are the ones going through this. We could have adopted here in the United States for free! However, that isn’t where God is leading us. We’ve actually tried that path multiple times over the years, and it always felt wrong. It is far easier… especially financially, but God’s paths aren’t always the easiest. Sometimes we have to ignore the dollar signs and do what God wants us to do. In the end, doing what God wants always turns out for the best.

And as far as it is our problem, our choice, our responsibility… God commands everyone to take care of the widows and the orphans. Not just a few.

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

Looking after widows and orphans isn’t a calling. It isn’t a spiritual gift. It’s not something that you do once and check off your list. I mean, it is tempting to feel that way. We adopted. We did foster care. We did our part. We did more than most. And trust me, we tried to ignore God’s prompting and say we were done with everything.

Taking care of widows and orphans is our responsibility as Christians. Does that mean everyone should adopt? No. Does that mean that everyone should give all their money to orphans? No. Should everyone do foster care? No.

What that means for each person is different. God called us to adopt. But for others, it could be to pray for those who are called. It could be making a meal for a foster family and offering support. A pure and faultless faith is one that does something.

If you can’t think of a way to serve God in this way… feel free to pray for us!

 

 

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God Can Move Mountains — A Road Back to Adoption

 

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The last few weeks, Pete and I have been going through a jumble of emotions as we maneuver through the possibility of adopting again. There have been a few children that have caught our attention. You can see those posts here, here, and here.

After prayer and the boys feeling right for both of us, we’ve made the first step toward adding older boys (13 and 10) to our family. Just yesterday, our new adopting agency send our letter of intent to two waiting children in Eastern Europe.

So now we wait to see what the government says. And if they say yes, then we will need to write a letter and send pictures to the two boys to see if they want us. 🙂

Adopting older children is very different than younger children for sure. Poor Lukas didn’t know what happened to him and was blindsided when he was literally ripped from his foster mother’s arms. When the children are older, they know what is going on. I can only imagine how it would feel. Probably both exciting and intimidating with the prospect of leaving the country they’ve known their whole lives and being tossed into a culture where they don’t even speak the same language.

If they say yes… Well, that is when mountains will start to move. To get officially started, we will need over $5,000. As I mentioned in a previous post, we don’t have the money for an expensive, international adoption. But we are taking a step that God will provide the nearly $40,000 that we will need in this next year.

Not to mention the emotional obstacles. Not everyone in our family is on board. We can understand. Adding more to our family is a big change. And adding older children has the potential of a whole different chaos than adopting a toddler (which, is still chaos…and still is pretty much every day). But there are risks involved when with a child who has experienced trauma. And every adoption starts with loss. Loss of parents. Loss of foster parents. Loss of country and language and everything they’ve known. It will be hard, but even older boys deserve a chance at a family.

But here is the catch. We need help.

  • We need help with fundraising: We need people to join us to brainstorm and stand beside us to organize fundraisers. We need people to help support us financially.
  • We need prayer: For our family as we emotional deal with this change and for the mountains that have to be moved and the changes that need to even be made to our home to accommodate adding two more.  We need comfort to those in our family who are still struggling with the idea.

And if the boys say no and the door closes, we will also accept that as God’s will.

So in the next few days, I will be starting some fundraising opportunities. We need $1,000 to START the home study process. I’ll also be reaching out to those of you who are willing to partner with us with your ideas and skills. This will be a huge undertaking, more than Pete and I can handle on our own.

Would you be willing to help us bring two boys home?

God Didn’t Create Autism

 

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Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

I’ve been toying with writing several topics on autism. And since April is Autism Awareness Month, I figured it was as good of a time as any.

 

Those of you who know me, know my son, Adam. He is an awesome kid. He’s sweet and kind (most of the time), and quite smart if you look past his disability. And those who have the pleasure to know Adam, love Adam. Everyone loves Adam.

Before he started school, I prayed that he wouldn’t be targeted by bullies. And God has been faithful. They not only not bully him, but he gave Adam a class of kids that not only like him, but they also support and defend him. And I feel blessed that he has given him the classmates he has. Matter of fact, throughout the years, teachers have all talked about what a great group of kids the class of 2019 is. And they are. A few years ago, I was talking to one of his teachers and told her how I much I love his class, and how great they are. And her comment to me brought me to sobbing, ugly tears.

She told me… “That class is special. And I think they are special because of your son.”

Now… How can I deny God working through my son after hearing those words? I don’t deny it. God has used my son without him even knowing it. He’s impacted those around him. However, one thing I don’t agree with is that God made him that way. Not any more than a child getting cancer, becoming blind, or paralyzed from an accident. When Adam was born, he was not autistic. He slipped into autism.

God didn’t design him to be autistic; he allowed him to be.

As much as I see the impact he’s made on people, I still pray for God to heal him. And yes, I believe autism can be healed. When I tell people that I pray for him to be healed, many times I hear something along the lines of “God created him that way.”

But I don’t believe it for one second.

The other thing I hear is: “Well if he didn’t have autism, he wouldn’t be Adam.”  This is even more untrue. Adam is special because he is Adam, not because he has autism. Autism is holding him back from being even more amazing.

Autism keeps him from forming deep relationships. He can’t drive. He can’t date. He won’t marry and have children. He won’t go to college (at least in the near, foreseeable future), and more than likely, he will live with us until we die. And worst of all, It keeps him from a close, personal relationship with God. He knows about God (as much as he knows about bedtime stories), but he can’t connect with him or serve him or speak to him like a normal person can. The bible is too much for him to read, and his autism makes him selfish to care about serving others. And as much as it hurts my heart to see him miss out on all the experiences and relationships of life, him not being able to have the joy of serving God is the worst of all.

When God created man, he designed man to be in his image, to be in a relationship with him. Autism interferes with relationships. God would not create someone who cannot be in a relationship with him.

And… Adam is mild on the spectrum. I can’t help but think of those who aren’t so mild. Of thousands of children who are even more disconnected, who injure themselves. Kids who smear poop on the walls. Kids who bite themselves until they bleed, or bang their heads. Children who turn into adults and have to be put into institutions because they hurt their caregivers or themselves. Kids who don’t talk, don’t communicate. God wouldn’t create people who can’t be in a relationship with people or be able to serve him. There are people who have no quality of life because they are affected by autism. God wouldn’t create autism.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Autism doesn’t allow this.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

Autism takes away empathy and makes a person selfish. It is hard for them to think of others.

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Someone trapped in their thoughts, quoting the same YouTube video, banging their head on the wall, can’t do good works. They can’t serve God. God has prepared his creation to serve and love him, and autism doesn’t allow this.

So I pray.

Just like the blind man he made to see, I pray.

Like the crippled man Jesus made to walk, I pray.

Like the man with the withered hand, I pray.

God didn’t create my son’s autism. He created Adam, who is amazing. But I know that he is still trapped in the box of autism. I can’t help but wonder what he could accomplish without it weighing him down. And I often think about how incredible it would be for Got to heal him, of all the people who would see and believe the power of God. Yes…God may choose to use him with Autism still, and he may not want him to be healed of it. But even so, like the parable of the widow who kept going back to the unjust judge, I will continue to pray that cage will be removed from his mind. Until the day comes when I talk to God myself about my request, I will pray my big, bold prayers. If Jesus can make a dead man to rise again, he can repair what is broken in my son’s mind. I believe this. But I also know that the final decision is God’s.