9.24.2010

a divided home

It is very important that we brainwash our children from a very young age. It won't be long before our children will be making that big decision- orange and blue or black and gold, tiger or a commodore?
I feel very sorry for Bart, however, that he has to compete with my alma mater. I guess he knew what he was up against when he married me.






9.10.2010

"we eagerly await for adoption as sons"

In an effort to try to understand adoption more fully I recently read Adopted for Life by Russ Moore. He's got some great thoughts!:

God planned for Jesus to be "adopted"!:
"Jesus' identity as the Christ, after all, is tied to his identity as the ancestor of David, the legitimate heir to David's throne. Jesus saves us as David's son, the offspring of Abraham, the Christ. That human identity came to Jesus through adoption."

"It is through Joseph that Jesus finds his identity as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise. It is through Joseph's legal fatherhood of Jesus that 'the hopes and fears of all the years' find their realization in the final son of Abraham, son of David, and the son of Israel."

"David sings about God as 'Father of the fatherless and protector of widows' who 'settles the solitary in a home,' tying this reality to God marching before his people through the wilderness toward Canaan (Ps. 68:5-6). God shows this is the kind of God He is. He's the kind of God, the prophet Hosea tell us, of whom we cry out, "In You the orphan finds mercy" (Hos. 14:3).

This book has been good for me as it has helped me to reflect on my own adoption. I believe that adoption is rooted in the identity of the believer. Being born of this world, saturated with a sinful nature, we could not have been further from God. We belonged to self, destruction, and sin. The evil one was our "biological" family. God, in His infinite grace, chose to pull us out of death and deliver us into His family. He then gave us a new nature, His perfect nature through His Son. Our new identity is hidden with Christ in God. I don't think that adoption is something that we do, it is something that we are.

Lately, I have also been moved by some of Mother Theresa's words. What a wise woman!

"I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness."

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one."

"Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own."

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person."

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."

"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."

"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."

"Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience."

9.09.2010

"the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. blessed be the name of the Lord."

It's amazing how your life can change with one simple phone call!
Two weeks ago on 8.26 Starry called inviting us to take in a little guy needing a home. The answer required no thought at all, an emphatic YES was the obvious response! Sweet Ray came to us around 8:30 that night. Aslan waits expectantly:

Never having had a baby in our care, we did what any new parents would do- we called in an expert- praise God for Donna! She came in and showed us the ropes, everything from feeding, changing, sleeping arrangements etc. We felt much more equipped after Baby Care 101.

Ray was the perfect baby. Cried when he needed something and cooed when he was content. God knew we needed to be eased into this parenting-thing! I realize that I am naive, but being a mom is HARD WORK! It is also some of the most rewarding work that I have ever had the privilege of being a part of. You spend so much time with the seemingly mundane- feeding, changing, playing, talking, reading-aloud, etc. Then you begin to see small fruits from your labor begin to appear- meeting more physical milestones, smiling more, making more eye contact, growing! It was those moments, those small seeds that reminded me that all those small tasks were adding up and helping to shape this little life. And unbeknown to me in the moment, through those day-in and day-out "chores", my own heart was growing ever more attached to Ray. 


Even though little Ray was such an easy baby, we had some roller-coaster-like surprises along the way! One being that Ray was scheduled to have a minor procedure done at a hospital the following morning in a neighboring town. We were informed at 6:00pm and the surgery was scheduled for 6:00am the following morning. The packing of the bags began immediately needless to say!

The biggest shock came when we were informed that CPS was able to find a placement for Ray and his siblings. Even though we were so heartbroken to hear the news, we were thankful that he would be with family. Ray was moved to a new foster home yesterday and the pass-off went as smoothly as possible. The caseworker was surprised to see the added weight Ray had! Bart and I joked that he came to us with 1 chin and left with 3!

 We trust that God will continue to provide for his needs whether he is in our care or with someone else.

Our home is now so quiet without him. Even though there is a hole in our home and in our hearts, we look forward to what God has in store next, both for him and for us.

Bart and I feel that we have grown through this experience. Here are some "life-lessons" that top the list:
- this has made us rely on God even more desperately than we otherwise tend to do.
- teaching us to hold all things loosely, knowing that God gives and takes away, but His name still remains blessed.
- refining us! we have been forced to think about someone other than ourselves for a season.
- prioritize more realistically! the important things are not so much working out, keeping the house totally clean, portraying a certain image. all those things i tend to hold so closely. rather, i have to align my priorities more closely to His- caring for the "orphaned". caring for this little one who will more than likely never be able to thank us or bring us any recognition in any way.
- this fostering process (as well as everything else in life) really isn't about us. even though i'm prone to think that it is. it's about the life that we are serving and it is about serving God.

The list continues on...