First things first, I need a new name for the blog. Something catchy that conveys the topic (which is really broad – my spiritual journey, motherhood, social justice, adoption, orphan care, chocolate eating…). But I have no creative bones in my body. Please help me by commenting with your suggestions.
I had such a rejuvenating day today. BB got up early with Freddy, which allowed me an extra hour of sleep, followed by a cold, rainy run and finished off with a cup of coffee and a Bible study. I need to figure out how to start every day that way.
Freddy and I had fun visiting my sweet sister at her nanny job. The little girl (1.5 years old) enjoyed throwing her ball at him and at one point sat on his head. Freddy, of course, remained smiling and unaware.
You can see that Freddy still has quite the affinity for hand-towels and washcloths. Perhaps a job as a bathroom attendant in his future? Or maybe Bed Bath and Beyond?
I had a fabulous lunch with a great friend, also a new mom. A visit from another friend and her sweet girls who entertained the boy and brought peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Finally, a visit from a friend who cut BB’s and my hair. Her passion for helping victims of sex trafficking spurred on great conversation, and I think I may now know where all my stuff needs to go when we move [in 7 weeks!!!!]. 🙂
All this grace. Undeserved. Who am I to merit such rich relationships with people? Such love poured out on me and my family. If not for the Holy Spirit, I would have never met these friends. These precious people who pray for me, chat with me, bring me cookies, and cut my hair.
My cup overflows tonight. May I never forget such grace bestowed on me.
I’m struggling with suffering these days. Not my own, but others. I have family members who are suffering, and I don’t like it.
I am a seriously left-brained person. There’s not an ounce of creativity in me. I am all logic, all the time. I don’t feel things. I think them. And then I overthink them some more. I want to know why. Why does this loving God who I place my trust in allow such suffering to go on? Suffering that seems so arbitrary, so unrelated to anything and clearly not the result of anyone’s bad choices.
I know all the theological answers, but they don’t really answer the question. Most of the time, I am ok with that. I know my place in relation to a holy God. I’m not meant to understand everything. I can only see one small piece of the puzzle. It’s like my dog wanting to understand why she can’t eat at the dining room table with us. I just can’t explain it to her, and if I tried, she wouldn’t get it. She’s a dog. [I’m not saying humans are dogs, just trying to draw some sort of analogy to wrap my brain around the issue.]
But it’s frustrating! I want it to end. I don’t want the people I love to hurt. I don’t want them to doubt that God loves them in the midst of their trials. And I know that my God can stop it.
That is faith. Trusting in something you can’t explain. Going back to the Word, to what I know is true. God loves us. Jesus wept for his people. We are in the midst of a redemption story, but all has not yet been restored and redeemed.
There’s a lot of press these days about ethical adoptions. A number of new books have recently come out, a documentary is making a nationwide tour, and the DRC has been seeing some ups and downs with its program (maybe other countries too, but I mostly follow DRC).
On one of my FB group pages, a common question is posed: How can we ensure that adoptions are ethical? I love the hearts of the adoptive parents out there. We all want to have ethical adoptions. No one gets into adoption to traffic a child. I personally know parents who have discovered that their adoption shouldn’t have passed muster, and the heartache is great. But is it possible to avoid this? The how is so much harder.
Faced with the difficulty of ensuring an ethical adoption, parents can go one of three ways: give up entirely, go forward in the face of possible shady circumstances, and move heaven and earth to try and do it ethically. There are certainly pros and cons to each approach, and it’s hard to say which is really the right answer. The waters are muddy.
And isn’t that what’s so hard about ethics? Once you are sure that no laws are broken, there’s still an area of gray. Sometimes the answer is unclear.
This is why I am still on the fence about starting again. I don’t want to give up, but I am scared of getting back in the water. I don’t want to screw it up!
As a Christian, I am called to get into the water. All the way to the deep end. Yes, we can’t fix all the problems with international adoption. The whole idea comes out of a broken, messy tragedy. Same with global poverty, world hunger, sex trafficking, war. There are no easy answers. But we have to try, don’t we? Because sometimes it works. Sometimes there is redemption.
And, really, what else do we have to do? Isn’t this why we are on earth? To work towards redemption and restoration. I can’t sit home and just focus on myself and my family. That’s not why I was put on the earth. I have been given so much, and I have a responsibility to use my resources towards this goal of restoration.
It’s scary. It’s hard. I don’t have any answers. But I will keep walking forward in obedience to the One who does.
So BB has the greatest one liners, but I always forget them by the time I sit down to blog. I remember this one though:
BB: You know, babies are a lot cooler than people think they are.
Seven years ago, BB and I had the privilege of visiting our awesome friends S & C in Kigali, Rwanda, by far the most beautiful place we have ever visited. Thus, our love for East Africa was born (we also visited Tanzania and Kenya). When we decided to adopt, we knew it had to be Africa, and we sought to adopt from Rwanda. Just as we were beginning, Rwanda closed to international adoption.
A few years later, here our hearts are drawn back to that small land. Not to adopt, although we are still talking about adoption in our future.
Remember how I mentioned we were doing an even bigger purge of our belongings than the fast of 2012? By July, we will have reduced our worldly belongings to a few suitcases as we will be heading out on a new adventure. We are moving to Kigali!
I’ve accepted a position with an organization (more on this later) to do legal work, and we’ve committed to be there for one year. After that, who knows?
This opportunity will allow me to serve vulnerable children, which was truly the reason we sought to adopt. Of course, as with all such adventures, we know we will be blessed more than we will be blessing.
We are excited and overwhelmed. We are sad to leave our families, but apparently all they care about is Fred. They keep offering to keep him but don’t ask us to stay… It’s a crazy thing to do in many ways, but not as crazy as adopting three kids, I suppose. At least, not as permanent. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.
The flavor of the blog may be changing, although I am really excited to learn more about how Rwanda is serving orphans. They have been making that a priority and doing some great things in getting kids out of orphanages and into families. I hope to blog about our life and my work and hope you continue to enjoy reading about it!
Who knows – maybe a picture of Fred with a monkey is in our future!