Friday, July 31, 2009

Available For All To See

Our parent profile has been finalized and goes "live" tomorrow (Saturday, August 1st). We are now on display for all birth mom's to learn more about us and consider us as adoptive parents. Wow. This is such an amazing time for us. We're thrilled with progress so far, and we're humbled to know that God has already picked out our child for us.

Just because the parent profile is finished doesn't mean our work is done. Far from it! Now we need to prepare for our Home Study. But before we do that, we've got some decorating that needs to get done. We have to figure out which room will be the nursery. Which room will then become the guest bedroom? Can we combine my office and Kurt's and still let him have his "man cave"? Once we figure all of that out, we need to paint two of the rooms and lay new carpet. Then we need to rearrange the furniture.

We are blessed that we have a home big enough to have this dilemma!

Oh, and then there's the fund-raising. Our first big attempt at raising some cash comes on August 21st and 22nd with a gigantic garage sale. We've already gotten so many donations from so many people and hope to receive more. And, of course, we hope to sell it all and make some serious cash! LOL!

We'd like to go ahead and apply for loans and/or grants but that can't happen until we have our Home Study. But we can't have our Home Study until we get the rooms taken care of. And we probably can't get the rooms taken care of until we raise some cash! It's one of those never-ending circles.

There's so much going on, but we're so thankful we get to experience this. And I'm so thankful for Kurt and all he's doing to help in these efforts. He's going to be an amazing father!

Until next time...

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Profile

One component of the domestic adoption process is completing a profile which includes a variety of photos and details about the adoptive parents. The profiles are reviewed by birth mom's. The profiles are written in such a way that should give the birth mom an idea of who her child's potential parents could be. From the profile, the birth mom decides who she would like to meet and consider further for the placement of her child.

Ok, that sounded rather clinical didn't it? Well, that's sort of how I feel about this part of the process. As a writer, I have never written a more important document in my life! But how can I possibly tell the woman who may give up her child to my care for the rest of its life everything there is to know about our family in just a few pages of black ink? Kurt and I are so much more than what we put down on paper. Kurt said he felt like he was co-writing a resume. And just as in a job search, I am confident that, if you met me in person, you'd love me! You'd want to hire me immediately. Or you'd want me to be the mother of your child!

We have completed our profile, which took a lot longer than I thought. I'm an emotional writer so I was pretty happy with what was written early on. Kurt is the perfectionist so it took him a bit longer! But his additions were simply wonderful. It also took a long time to put our photos together. I look too big in that one. Ewww... I'm not wearing make up in that one. Oh, I like this, except he has his eyes closed. Why can't we find a picture of us with the dog and the cat together? Oh yeah, the cat doesn't like the dog so putting them next to each other long enough to take a photo would simply be... ugly.

But I think we finally got it. It's in the hands of the agency/lawyer now. Well, actually it's in God's Hands. I can't even begin to imagine having to make this type of decision in the first place but then to make the decision based on a few pieces of impersonal paper and fuzzy photos in what can only be described as marketing material. It's just beyond my wildest imagination, and in some ways, I grieve for the mother. The helper in me wants to make this an easier process but I know I can't.

Right now all I can do is pray that we have portrayed ourselves accurately without sounding superficial or sterile. And that what we have written will be intriguing enough to bring us to parenthood.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Adopted for Life

Our church, Zionsville Fellowship, has started an amazing ministry that cares for orphans. The ministry is based on James 1:27 which says, "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.”

This ministry offers people a variety of opportunities to help orphans whether it is through prayer, financial support or resources for those seeking to adopt. We are truly blessed to serve in this capacity. It has become especially poignant to us right now as we are in the middle of our adoption process.

One resource made available to us is a book by Russell Moore called Adopted for Life. The book explores the priority of adoption for Christian families and churches. I believe it is time for the church to recognize it
is the only institution large enough – and the only institution called to deal with this issue.

Beyond that, the book explores adoption between our Heavenly Father and us as His adopted sons and daughters. Let me share a bit of the book with you in the hope that it will bring you great encouragement.

"Imagine for a moment that you're adopting a child. As you meet with the social worker in the last stage of the process, you're told that this twelve-year-old has been in and out of psychotherapy since he was three. He persists in burning things and attempting repeatedly to skin kittens alive. He 'acts out sexually', the social worker says, although she doesn't really fill you in what that means. She continues with a little family history. The boy's father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather all had histories of violence, ranging from spousal abuse to serial murder. Each of them ended life the same way, death by suicide - each found hanging from a rope of blankets in his respective prison cell.

Think for a minute. Would you want this child? If you did adopt him, wouldn't you keep your eye on him as he played with your other children? Would you watch him nervously as he looks at the butcher knife on the table? Would you leave the room as he watched a movie on television with your daughter, with the lights out?

Well, he's you. And he's me. That's what the gospel is telling us. Our birth father has fangs. And left to ourselves, we'll show ourselves to be the serpentine as he is.

But the New Testament addresses former Satan-imagers with good news. It's not just that we have a stay of execution, a suspension of doom. It's not simply that those who trust in Christ have found a refuge, a safe place, or a foster home. All those in Christ, Paul urges, have received sonship. We are now 'Abraham's offspring' (Gal. 3:29). Within this household... all those who are in Christ have found a home through the adopting power of God.

We are here by the Spirit, not by the exertions of our flesh. We're here by grace.

The promise has dawned, and our identity is now found in him. All of us - whatever our background - have been liberated from the old order (Gal. 4:1-5) and from 'the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear' (Rom. 8:15). We now come before God as sons bearing the very same Spirit as was poured out on the Lord Jesus at the Jordan River, a Spirit through which we cry, 'Abba!'"

Wow! I don't know about you but I get a lump in my throat when I read that... and let it sink in. If you are in Christ, never doubt that you are adopted by God. And because God's got some experience in this adoption thing, never doubt that you will not walk this journey alone.

Are you adopted for life?