Friday, August 17, 2012

A Sneak Peek

During the first months of our adoption process, Todd and I couldn't believe how quickly and easily things came together.  We contrasted this experience with our first experience.  We concluded that perhaps God allowed us to have an easier time initially to help us know that this was the right decision.  With Yuly, we knew from the beginning that we were headed on the path God had planned.  And we had LOTS of delays. This time we were much more tentative about whether or not this was the right plan for us at this time.  And we have had a smooth path.  Until now.  Finalizing our home study has been agonizingly slow.  In the scheme of time, it isn't that slow, but now that we have found our daughter, every day seems to matter.  And here she is...

We don't want there to be any delays.  And yet, we have had several weeks of waiting.  Ick.

Our local social worker has been such an encouragement.  Such a blessing.  When I shared my discouragement with her she said, " I keep before me the image of you all finally meeting her in China, and me greeting you upon your return!"

So, we wait and pray.  We dream and plan.  We talk about her daily.  And we hope.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How do you define "normal"?

Before I work on defining "normal" I would like to share some more exciting news!  We've already heard back from China and we have been approved to adopt our daughter!  In our petition, we stated,  " We eagerly await your permission to add GY, whom we already love, to our family."  And it is true, we already love her and can't wait to bring her home!

And now to the point of this entry...

As we travel this 2nd adoption journey, we are so blessed that we have family and friends that are incredibly supportive of us.  We really have no horror stories of inappropriate questions (nosy questions, maybe, but not inappropriate) or discouraging words.  We acknowledge that some people probably shake their heads and think we are crazy, but fortunately, they are least outwardly supportive.

However, this is not the case for all adoptive families, and my heart today is sad as I think about a friend of mine who, as her family prepares to adopt, has been chastised for not allowing her biological son to have a "normal life."

This comment makes me sad for two reasons.  My friend was hurt by this response and lack of support and I hurt with her.  It also makes me sad for the person who said it because I'm not sure she understood what she said.

What is normal?

In the US, normal is...
  • In 2008, 40% of children were born to single women and 29% of all children were being raised in single parent homes.
  • In the past 30 days, 27% of youth 12-20 have had an alcoholic drink
  • The average American family is $73,000 in debt. 
I don't know about you, but I don't want any of that "normal" in my family.  What do I want?

I want my children to evaluate "normal" according to God's word.  Verses like:

  •  No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
        and this is what he requires of you:
    to do what is right, to love mercy,
        and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8
  • Defend the weak and the fatherless;
        uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.  Psalm 82:3
  • Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Romans 12:13
Don't get me wrong...our family falls short of  God's "normal" but if we are going to strive for "normal" we choose God's normal and not the world's.

I want my kids to think about "normal" in other parts of the world.

  • more the 6 million children die from malnutrition every year.
  • approximately two-fifths of the world's population do not have access to clean water...of these, 425 million of them are children.  500 children die every day due to health problems caused by contaminated water.
  • nearly 115 million children are out of school. Globally, some 53 percent of the children out of primary school are girls, meaning that for every 100 boys out of school, 115 girls are in the same situation 
  • there are an estimated 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide.
And I want them to be people of prayer and action, helping to change that "normal" in the world.