Monday, November 2, 2009

November is National Adoption Awareness Month!!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month!!!
Remember those who have/were adopted, are in the process of adopting, need to be adopted, or are looking forward to adopting in the future. My plan is to share some facts about adoption throughout the month on my blog, and I'm also going to try to throw out some random facts on f#ceb00k and my3space. I was going to get started tonight, but instead spent 2 and a half hours looking for a silly piece of paper that was sitting in plain sight.... (But I also managed to do some cleaning out and pack up some of those million books that drive Jason nuts, so I'll take it!!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

No posts since July? Really? Oh well, movin' on and junk.

We're moving! Not really "new" news to most who know us, but when someone neglects their blog for 3 or 4 months a lot can happen! We're painting and packing and getting ready. It's a little sad to think about our numbered nights to sleep in our first shared bedroom, or the last few meals in our little kitchen, or not having to turn on lights to go to the bathroom at night because you know how to avoid breaking your toes on stuff. A significantly larger mortgage is kind of scary, but.... We need the space, we need the new-ness, we need the front yard. It's becoming "home" as we paint and decorate and what not. Our new house won't need any work, really, to be adoption-homestudy-ready. I'm thinking we add a fire extinguisher here, some little stuff there, we're good to go.

On the health front, things have been better since July. Not perfect, mind you, but better. And I'll take better. :) I still have a (brief, minor) breakdown when I leave CVS each month for several reasons, but it's something I just have to deal with, hopefully only until after we get moved and settled.

Jason and I are beginning to kick around ideas and options for adoption. We are just over 6 months away from being able to apply, and while I feel like we should be preparing by really researching agencies and deciding on countries and whatnot, we're really focused right now on painting, packing, and playing. It's "birthday season" among both our families, and of course Nov and Dec are packed with other stuff. I'm thinking in January when there aren't any holidays and it's too cold to go outside, we'll really hunker down and get serious about this stuff.

In the meantime, we are getting the word out that we're planning to adopt. Asking for prayer, letting cousins know, etc. So, please pray for decisions we need to make, for understanding from friends and family, and for our future children and their birthparents, wherever they may be. :) I'll try to be back soon!
Vanessa (and Jason)

No posts since July? Really? Movin' on, makin

No posts since July? Really? Movin' on, makin

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Medical Update....

So some of you may know I (Vanessa) haven't really had the best week ever. What started out at the end of last week as a dull ache in my lower left side, turned into!!!! After a, let's say less than pleasant, dealings with Doct.or's Med Care(I won't mention that it's the one beside the Etowah County Annex and don't send your DOG there), we made a trip to the ER Monday night.
We don't really have a definitive diagnosis as of yet, and against the wishes/advice of well, everyone in Gallant, I went to work part of today, and am planning to do so for the remainder of the week. As long as I don't stand up or move a lot, I'm okay. Really. And you know, those RX's come in pretty handy, too. That whole focus factor thing is pretty much gone for the night, so let me close by saying, I have an appointment Friday afternoon @ 3:00 to see a doc @ St Vincent's East. I'd appreciate your prayers!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Sorry about the silence! Here's where I've been....

**Alex got his body cast off on Wednesday. He's not walking yet, but I hear he's crawling a lot and standing a little. Woohoo for a cast-free summer!!! ;)

**I used to think that 2 weeks of VBS would be AWESOME.... Then I helped with the toddler class, and realized why all the teachers thought that would totally not work. I enjoyed helping Lauren teach (actually she taught, I kid-wrangled), but I was happy to sleep in this morning, and Jason and I are about to get ready and head out for some adult fun. (Relax, we're going to Haagen-Daz and J. Alexander's. That's about as wild and crazy as we get, okay?) Between Body Cast Boy, Colby's surgery, Heather's house, fire class, and VBS, we haven't had a date in forEVER. Sorry, no nieces, nephews, or even friends allowed. Sorry, Coldstone gang!!

Now back to semi-regularly scheduled adoption-related stuff. As soon as we go have a little fun. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Plugging along :)

The cast comes off in 9 days!! ;) And nephew "C" had his tonsils and adenoids removed successfully, along with a biopsy. He's on the road to recovery as well. Things are slowly returning to "normal" around here, so maybe I'll have a chance to return to "normal" posting.
We're now less than 11 months away from the beginning of paperwork. Jason and I baby-sat nephew "B" for 3 afternoons/nights last week. I thought I'd be done spoiling and ready for him to go back home, but when I got home and sat down on the couch by myself, I was a little lost at what to do next. Granted, he's just a little guy who can't crawl/walk, get into things, back-talk, etc just yet.... But it made me want one 24/7 even more!
Right now, I'm trying to focus on getting my house back to order. Our niece and nephews have needed/wanted us a lot lately, and as long as I am able, I will go whenever they call. My house will still be there when all of our babies grow up and think Aunt Nessa isn't so cool anymore. Here's to more order and less clutter! :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sorry, we've been a little busy...

So if you know us IRL, you probably already know that our nephew "A" fractured his femur a week ago yesterday, you might know we were finally successful in car shopping, and perhaps you knew yesterday was Decoration @ our church. Whew.
"A" was just playing in the nursery, pushing a truck along the floor, and fell over and landed with his leg twisted underneath him. Little dude is in a body cast, from just below his chest, down to his ankle on the right leg, and just above his knee on his left leg. His sister "E" spent the night with us last Sunday night, and we spent a few evenings at their house, playing and entertaining for a while. "A" is doing quite well most of the time, and "E" is excited that Aunt Nessa and Uncle J get to play more than usual! ;) Mom and Dad are a little exhausted from holding and caring for a toddler stuck in the semi-upright position! ;)
We ended up getting an '09 H.onda C.ivic, because the price difference between that and an '06 we looked at was only a couple thousand. It's a good Kid Hauler, and the plan is drive it until the wheels fall off. It's also pretty. But in a few hours, we're taking my "old" car down to the dealership. It makes me a little sad -- that was my first car, we got it after the 18-wheeler accident, and I paid for it. Sure, I talked bad about it at times, but it always got me were I needed to go. Sigh... RIP, Nancy the Nissan.
Decoration. Rain. Family reunion / picnic @ Camp S.umatanga. Mud. But it was still fun! The rain actually stopped before the picnic, and held off until it was over. Then I got adult-napped and went bicycle-hunting with a sister and 3 boys.
Not sure what the next few weeks holds -- we may be entertaining Body Cast Boy and His Sister a bit, so there might not be much posting on the adoption front. We are 11 months and 12 days away from being eligible to apply. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tiny update, etc

Tiny update:
I got a call today about the fostering classes through the Baptist Children*s H.ome... They're going to be held in Calhoun County (not very close to us...) or in the early afternoons before either of us get off from work (I *could* make it, but there's not really any way Jason could get off 2 days a week X 10 weeks...) so it just hasn't really worked out. Kind of a bummer, but somewhat of an expected bummer.
Right now it looks like we'll just be spending the next 11 months doing some more waiting. Isaiah 40:31 (King James Version) says.......
31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
So we wait.
Etc: Please pray for our pastor, Bro Tom, his wife, Jackie, and their family. Jackie's cancer is back with a vengeance. I went to church Sunday, even though I had every intention of staying home, because I wanted to be there to show my support. Please pray for our friends Tisha and Greg, who just brought home 2/3 of their babies! The little girl was supposed to come home today. Mama and the triplets are doing well!
Still waiting and hoping.....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mother's Day, for the Un-Mother

Disclaimer: This post took forever to write. There was lots of writing, erasing, re-writing, and changing going on. I'm not generally this open about being an Un-Mother, so please be gentle! ;)

In looking head to next week's Sunday School lesson, we'll be discussing Hannah. I think the book focuses more on the vow that Hannah made to God and the seriousness of such a vow, and of course the usual Mother's Day stuff, in that Hannah was an awesome mother. I'm pretty sure the Greatest Mom Ever List goes something like: Mary, Hannah, my mom... hahaha
Some background: Hannah was married to Elkanah, who was also a husband to Penninah. Hannah was barren, and Penninah was far from it. The Bible says that Penninah provoked Hannah about being barren, to the point that Hannah cried and would not eat. When he gave his sacrifice, Elkanah gave Penninah and her children their portion, and he gave Hannah a double portion out of love. He later asked her why she was so upset, saying "Am I not better to you than 10 sons?" Year after year, Hannah prayed for a child. Year after year, Penninah made Hannah's barren-ness more difficult. Year after year, Elkanah misunderstood why his wife was so upset.
Hannah went to the temple, where she prayed fervently. (Possible understatement of the year award) She wept, and prayed, and was so "into" her praying that Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk. She told him she was not drunk, but pouring her soul out to God. Of course, if you know the story, you know that Hannah vowed to God that if He would give her a son, she would give her son back to God, and not a razor would fall on his head. God did indeed give Hannah Samuel***, and she followed through with her vow. "For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath granted me my petition which I asked of Him" I Samuel 1:27
This is a little what Mother's Day is like for the Un-Mother. Now, most of the time, nobody is making fun of the Un-Mother, or purposely calling her out, but it still stings. There are lots of types of Un-Mothers. The never-been-pregnant-Un-Mother. The can-conceive-but-not-maintain-a-pregnancy-Un-Mother. The not-married-but-wants-a-husband-and-children-Un-Mother. The has-one-or-more-children-but-now-experiencing-secondary-infertility-Un-Mother. The I-have-a-child-in-Heaven-Un-Mother. None of the Un-Mothers trump any of the others, the pain is still there. All of the mothers are asked to stand and be recognized, and the Un-Mother is one of the few females over the age of 18 who is still seated. All of the mothers are given roses, or gift books, or whatever your church does to recognize mothers, and the Un-Mother hides her tears, not so much that she doesn't receive a gift, but more so that she doesn't qualify for that gift. The Un-Mother may disappear during the service. The otherwise-faithful-in-church-attendance Un-Mother may just skip that particular service all together.
There are those who would tell the Un-Mother to celebrate her own mom on that day, or to honor the women in her life who ARE moms, and to remember that "one day" she will "probably" be a mom, too. We Un-Mothers DO want to celebrate our moms, and we DO want to honor those moms around us.... But we also know that "one day" seems like an eternity when your arms are empty, and "probably" is no promise that those arms will be filled.
You may not always see us weeping and praying for children. We have our own Penninah's we have to face. Well-meaning people misunderstand our reasons for being upset and grieving over our current barren states. Just because we don't appear as Hannah on the outside, doesn't mean we aren't crying and praying in our hearts.
As you remember and honor moms next week, please don't forget the Un-Mothers.

***God also blessed Hannah with 3 sons and 2 daughters, in I Samuel 2:21.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Integrity in Adoption -- Your Opinion Wanted!

So recently, Jason and I were informed of a possible way to adopt sooner rather than later, apparently less expensive, presumably easier, etc. The only catch is the agency is located in Georgia, and we would have to set up a residence in that state... We were told we could find a house to rent for pretty cheap, make it appear that we lived there, spend a few weekends there a month, at least until the adoption was completed. And that apparently happens darn fast, too.
Now go back to high school softball days... When it was suggested that if you wanted to transfer to a different school and not have to sit out a year because of districting and all, you could just use the address of a relative or friend, and spend the night with that person occassionally.
There can be lots of integrity issues in adoption... And life in general... Especially with international adoption, where there's a paper-thin line between when-in-Rome, and retaining your integrity and not making it harder for the couples who adopt after you go back home. If I say I live in Georgia, but my job, "real" house, church, friends, and LIFE are all in Alabama, have I compromised my integrity?
What about.....
***The family who really does live in GA that the birth mother might have chosen, had I not been there?
***The birth mother who thinks I live in GA, who might have wanted to be nearer to her child. Maybe she couldn't travel to AL, but would have been close enough to visit in GA?
***The people who adopt after us, who might have to try harder to prove they really DO live in GA full-time, because the gov't decides setting up a temporary residence is unacceptable?
***The person who doesn't know Jesus, and wonders why I call myself a Christian, but purposely do something that could compromise my integrity? Or the person who IS a Christian, and justifies their own compromising, because they saw me do something similar?
***My very own self, for going ahead with something I feel in my heart is not exactly kosher?
***My (currently hypothetical) child?
***Anyone/anything I'm leaving out that you think of?
Thus far, I've basically given my/our opinions and told you what we're planning.* But this time, I want your opinion! Would this whole scenario be an issue if integrity? Why do you agree or disagree?
*Even if we don't ask for your opinions, feel free to comment anytime or any post.... We like to know who's here! ;)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Contact your legislators!!!

I contacted Robert Aderholt today -- the first time I've ever sent an email (or anything, for that matter) to any political-type person. Here's why.
The current Adoption tax Credit, put in place by Bush, expires in 2010. Basically, in the year your adoption is completed (for international adoption) {for domestic, I think you can claim expenses as they occur}, you can list all adoption expenses and get a tax credit. You can carry the credit over for up to 5 years. It won't completely pay for adoption, but it definitely helps, and it's the only way some people can afford to adopt*. So contact your representatives and ask them to support the Adoption Tax Credit bill!!!

*Disclaimer: If God calls you to adopt(or do anything else), He will provide a way for that to happen. I would like the tax credit to be extended to infinity, but if it is not, I know that God will provide another way.

What are you waiting on? Go! Shoot that email! Thanks for helping! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


So I promised some substance for this time.
Long ago, before Jason and I were even engaged, I began researching international adoption. All of the details about why and how all of this came about are a little fuzzy, but I was working at Shocco at the time. Somehow I wandered over to the Student Life website, and found where Randy and Valerie Hall were hosting orphans in their home, sent Valerie an email, and before I knew it, Jason and I were headed to play with some orphans from Ukraine. We went to the airport to meet them, and oh my heart. One evening, Jason and I headed to the Hall's house. We wandered around, trying to talk to several kids, and eventually saw a little boy hanging out on a hammock by himself. We "talked" to him, as much as 3 people speaking 2 languages can talk, before this little boy named Denis was to go shopping with a group. While he was gone, we played with some of the others, including "Little Sergey," who was born with a very fragile skin condition. Such a bright, happy little boy, who dealt with so much pain. Just a little friction on his skin caused blisters, but he was so happy with his Dollar Tree toys. When his handcuffs broke, he just shrugged his little shoulders, threw down the broken part, and continued to play. Later on, he asked for an orange, asked me to peel it, ate part of it, then shared the rest with me. Nothing could keep this little boy down, no matter what kind of crap came his way, he was smiling and happy and had such a giving spirit.
Denis comes back from his Dollar Tree trip, obviously thrilled with his purchases. I won't get on my soapbox about how much these kids appreciate cheap toys, compared to how so many of us do NOT take good care of our expensive toys and are always looking for the newest, best available, when we have so much already.... So Denis takes us to a sun room that has been converted into a bedroom for a while, and we sit down and start to play with his Nerf basketball . A lady comes in a little later, introduces herself as Valerie's neighbor, and says "I just wanted y'all to know what a God-thing it is that y'all came TONIGHT and are playing with Denis TONIGHT... Denis hasn't received as much attention as some of the other kids, and just today he was upset and telling the translator, 'I good boy, I need mama... Why no mama for me? I good boy'.... So I just wanted y'all to know how much it means that God has sent you here tonight." We both fell in love with this little boy! He was playing with Jason's hat, so Jason gave it to him before we left. Denis gave us a bracelet that he had been given... WOW... A little boy who has NOTHING, is giving ME, who has more than I need, something that he was given... It'll make ya think. Over the next year, we wrote each other letters. Denis came back again the summer that Jason and I were not together, but I still went back down and hung out with the orphans again. I said good-bye to him, knowing that would possibly be the last time I would ever see him. I prayed for Denis... For him to be safe, for a family to want him, for him to grow into a successful man if he was not adopted. I asked so many people if they were interested in adopting Denis, but nobody was ready. It broke my heart that a boy with so much potential was likely to be a street kid in just a matter of years.
Some time ago, I found a blog of a family who was in Ukraine... In Kiev... Trying to adopt a boy from Orphanage 21, which is where Denis had been. The more I read, the more connections I found. They were working with the same translator who came with the Kiev group to B'ham. I thought eh, what the heck, I'll leave these people a comment and see if they can ask Zhenia (translator) if he knows where Denis is, if he's doing okay, etc. I get an email reply from the dad, saying that he can do better than that, DENIS IS STANDING IN HIS APARTMENT AS HE READ MY NOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In a city of millions of people, this one little boy kept showing up at this one particular apartment. The dad kept saying "Okay God, I know You have a reason for Denis to keep showing up like this, so what's the deal?" It was so comforting to know that God had answered my prayers. Denis was in a trade school, doing well, and oh my, how tall he is now!! Jason and I were able to buy some things for the mom to take back with her to Ukraine for Denis. Isn't it amazing how God takes care of us? The family did tell me that Denis is one of the kids who CAN make it. He wants to become a banker. He has a long way to go, but I still hope and pray that he's going to be okay.
See, orphans in Ukraine, like many countries, are seen as second-rate (or third, or fourth) citizens. I used to know all of the specific statistics, but suffice it to say there is a better chance an orphan boy will end up in prison or committing suicide, and a girl in prostitution, just to survive. These are not necessarily bad kids; they are kids who do whatever is necessary just to survive. When they are 15-16 years old, they are given what amounts to some change, and basically kicked out. Some go to trade schools, and can live in a college-type dorm. A lot end up on the street. There's not much help available.... And how many 16-year-old kids do you know who can make it own their own?? An 80% chance of not making it for whatever reason, is not a good chance. This is one reason I have looked into international adoption so heavily. Is the US system perfect? Not by far. Do some kids, or even a lot of kids, manage to fall through the cracks? Definitely. But there are so many more options in America. It absolutely takes hard work and determination, and there are set-backs and bad things going on, but it is so much easier to "make it" in America. An orphan in so many other countries stand almost zero chance of becoming a productive adult. Think about your child.... Would you want to see your baby end up as an inmate or a prostitute?
We are instructed in so many places in the Bible to care for orphans. (A post in and if itself, coming soon) The biggest way to impact the life of individual orphans is to adopt. Orphan care is such a huge ministry, though, and adoption is only one way. Sponsoring a child through a non-profit, sending donations to Children's Homes, maybe even volunteering your time or talents. You've probably heard the story of the starfish... How the kid was picking them up one-by-one on the beach and throwing them back in the water, an adult comes along and makes some comment about not being able to make a difference.... And the child says "It mattered to THAT one!!!" Maybe my childhood dreams of finding a home for all the orphans in the world won't work out.... But it will make a lifetime of difference for at least a few. What difference are YOU willing to make?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Once a week is going great, huh? ;)

Okay, I originally thought I would start out posting once a week, until I had more news to share. Sunday nights were great nights for posting. Then this past Sunday I woke up with a migraine that would NOT go away! I refuse to stay home, no matter how bad it is, but once we got in Sunday night, I hit the bed. This is our busy time at work. I've had random "stuff" to do every night this week, and this weekend isn't slowing down any either! (Confession: I would have been home Tuesday night, but how do you turn down Rhonda's chocolate Amish friendship bread, and Alex wanting his "Sessa", and good talking time with my favorite sister-in-law?)
Cut to the chase: I don't have any of the things I promised in the last post. I do have a couple of small updates though. Bro. Tom told Jason and I about a meeting by the A*labama B*aptist Children*s H0me, for potential foster parents. So we went. We're not completely ready to say "yes," but we're kicking around the idea. This is one of those things I said I would NEVER EVER do, but we'll see. There's a 10-week class we would eventually have to take anyway (if we adopt domestically), so we're considering taking the class to see if we want to go further.
We also have been told about a couple who adopted verrrrry quickly through an agency in Georgia. We don't really know a lot more about that, but someone is supposed to be checking on it when they see that couple again.
So. There ya go. Sorry for the lack of profound thoughts, but all of my brain power has been devoted to mental health drug packaging this week! ;) Hope to be back to "normal" next week!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Somewhere Between Octo-mom and Madonna...

So we're not setting out to have a bajillion kids "of our own," but we're not going to fling some $$$ around like Madonna, either. What are our plans?
Well, right now, they're not too specific. We have about a year (13 months and 6 days, 5 days in a few minutes, not that we're counting or anything) before we can even begin the paper chase. A **lot** can and does happen in that time, in the international adoption world. In the domestic -- that's something relatively "new" we're researching, but it doesn't seem like a lot will change in that arena. I guess a Q&A type thing would make this easiest.
Q: Why international? Don't you know there are a lot of kids here that need parents?
A: (Vanessa) Well, international is mostly where I feel called... The Feed the Children thing started it all, and then there's Hope for Orphans of the World (.org) and a little boy named Denis I'll tell you about next time. In Ukraine specifically, there's about an 80% chance a child who grows up in an orphanage won't really "make it" in society. Prostitution (for girls), prison (for boys), drugs and street life, and/or suicide are the most common outcomes. They're viewed as second (or third or fourth) rate citizens. At the age of 15 or 16, an orphan in Ukraine is basically handed some change, and let go. Some go to a trade school, but none really have a complete high school education. They go from a very structured setting with absolutely no choices, to deciding EVERYTHING, from how to spend what little money they have, to time management, to making it to trade school classes on time and with proper supplies. While those percentages DO absolutely exist in the US, chances are a lot better an orphan or child in state care will eventually "make it" in life. More aid is more widely available. Do some kids still manage to fall through the cracks? Sure. Which is only one reason I've started reseaching more about domestic.
Q: What's holding you back?
A: Longer waiting times, the ultimate goal of DHR, stories we've heard from other people, and quite honestly, stubborness. Stubborness? Oh yeah... I (Vanessa, again) have been adamantly against DHR, for lots of reasons... The biggest being, the goal of DHR is to keep children within their biological family. That may be with an aunt, cousin, etc, but "studies have shown" that children have the best chance to succeed in life when they remain in the "original family unit." That being the case, we're heard of several families, both recently and in years past, who have been basically "promised" a child or a sibling group, kept that child or those children in their homes for years, thinking they would be able to adopt them, and for various reasons, those children were ripped out of their foster home (for some, the only home and only parents they had ever known), and placed in the biological family home. Could our hearts take that?
There are other ways... There are some Christian, non-profits who do domestic adoption. As I read more about open adoption, and open my heart and mind to different ideas, I see how it definitely can be (or absolutey is?) a positive for the child. And thats ultimately whose interest should be placed first. (More on open adoption later, that's a post in itself!) Longer wait times... We've already waited 3 years. It's like we're standing in line, to get in the line to actually get on the ride.
Q: So couldn't you just, like, do whatever Octo-Mom did or something?
A: Um. You really want to get me going, huh? LOL Actually, if ya don't want 5 or 6 or more kids, ya shouldn't really transfer that many enbryos. They just might all make it through the implantation stage, then there's the whole twin thing. And we have researched those options and looked at what we could try to do. And weighed those options against scripture. And the whole adoption-as-a-calling thing. Honestly, while I (Vanessa) absolutely DO feel called to adopt, I do not necessarily feel the same way about being pregnant and giving birth. There are some women who do feel so, and that's fine, and probably right for them. Really it's not a lot different than one person feeling called to become a preacher, and another becoming a teacher. Both, if they are Christians, are supposed to live Godly lives, and do many of the same things. It doesn't really matter if a mom gives birth or adopts, she is still supposed to be a Godly mom, and raise her children in Christ.
Q: So you're saying you want to be Brangelina or Madonna?
A: Insert lots of eye-rolling here. Another don't-get-me-started-moment. One of the drawbacks to international adoption is the possibility for a high level of corruption. Notice I said possibility. It really depends on the country. China is a very stream-lined, organized, no-surprises, predictable country as adoptions go. Some of the former USSR countries, as you can imagine, are a little (or a lot) less predictable, and let's just say money sometimes talks. And talks fast. The good thing about celebrity adoptions are, they kind of bring about an awareness of the need for adoption. The bad thing is, that awareness is not always positive. A biological family is reluctant at first to let their child become available for adoption, and one of the aforementioned mothers is involved, and suddenly, the family decides the child will be adopted. Maybe they really did, then again, maybe a certain "M" celebrity threw something a little extra in there. And let's also just say, the speed at which some celebrity adoption occur, and the length of time between new children coming into the home, are shockingly different from say Joe Schmoe attempting the same things.
Q: So???
A: So, we wait for God's perfect timing. He will bring our children to us (actually Isaiah 43:5 says He will bring them from the east) however and whenever He sees we are ALL ready. Maybe it will be a few more years. Maybe it will be months. But for whatever reason, God is still preparing us, or our children, or their biological parents, or someone involved in the process. The children's song "He's Still Workin on Me" applies. In the mean time, we help care for our niece and nephews. We play with them and let their Mamas get some work done and get called the Fun Aunt and Uncle. We teach kids at church. We sing. To be honest, we also occasionally enjoy being able to sleep in on Saturday, or decide on Thursday we're leaving town for the weekend, or make last minute plans with other people who don't need baby-sitters.
Tune in next week for..... eh, something to be determined. Scriptures related to adoption? Bible characters involved in adoption or orphans? Hope for Orphans and my little friend Denis? How adoption parallels what God did for us? Why I (don't) want to Be Like Mike? See, I told you I had lots of posts in my head! ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our First Post / You Want to Wha????

Welcome to our first family blog!! You guys will probably be hearing a lot from Vanessa, and less from Jason. I (Vanessa) have been in bloggy land for a while now, but this is the first blog that will actually be read by people I know in real life (IRL). I hope to get some pictures up and do some more "stuff" as I find time. With 6 niece/nephews, church, work, beating Jason on the Wii, and cooking/cleaning, we'll see how that goes! ;)

If you know me at all, you probably know that I love orphans. This orphan-love didn't start when Jason and I started discussing adoption, but God has been preparing me for adoption throughout my life. I have always been a night owl. When I was just a little girl, I would stay up late at night watching tv. The only thing on were infomercials and Feed the Children episodes, and lots of shows I wasn't allowed to watch. Prior to watching FTC, I assumed ALL little girls and boys had a Mama and Daddy who loved them very much, a house, some animals, a car, etc. After watching FTC with little Romanian kids (I can still see one little girl's face), I worked it all out: I would give up my bed and sleep on the couch, so one of those little kids could have my bed. We had plenty of clean drinking water, extra desks at school, jobs, and if every family in the US took just one of these kids, surely it would take care of the problem! Better yet, I would sleep in the FLOOR, so that ANOTHER Romanian kid could have the couch, too!!! You see, I didn't really comprehend that sleeping in the floor would get old and uncomfortable and crowded. I didn't grasp the enormity of the poor around the world, and their families. I didn't know there were kids right here in America that needed clean water and food and they didn't have mommies and daddies, or that some mommies and daddies weren't very good to their kids. I didn't take into account that there would be other people afer all those kids were put in families, that the problem would NOT be solved.

I never told anyone about my plan, because somehow I knew that most adults would think it silly, or impossible. But that was the first seed that God planted in my little heart and brain. It continued into my school years, when I became friends with little girls and boys who liked coming to my house because they could play, and laugh, and run, and be loud little kids, and nobody yelled at them or beat them or worse. In high school, I kind of floated from group to group, and tried to help the kids that everyone else ignored or made fun of. Oh, don't get me wrong -- I, too, had my moments of snickering behind someone's back -- but even then, I knew I should be helping that person.

It took a lot of years and some pretty rotten stuff for me to realize what God had been whispering to me all of my life -- adoption is the path He has chosen for me. The only path He has led Jason and I to so far. I don't know why He has chosen **me** to live out such an awesome example of what God did for us.

We know that you will have lots of questions and comments for us related to our adoption plans. I have absolutely not covered everything I want to say... I have lots of posts in my head, but it will take some time to get it all down. I found out early on that we have to be married for 3 years before we can actually begin this journey... But in another way, this journey began so many years ago. We're about a year away from that 3-year-mark. We will be making some decisions over the next year as to where, how, when, etc this journey will take place, and we ask that you join in with us NOW!!! Be praying for us as we pray about those decisions. Pray for our children, pray for their biological parents, pray for the social workers and others we will be working with to bring our babies home. We invite you to make this journey with us.