Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beautiful Things

the first time i heard this song was a few weeks after my first miscarriage and after hearing a series of teachings from Ecclesiastes from a pastor at graceway in kc. this was the first time in my life when i truly understood that crappy CRAPPY circumstances could be--in fact, were--beautiful. Ecclesiastes has since become one of my favorite books in the Bible; i can't believe i used to think of it as a pessimist's view on life "under the sun." instead, it is a reminder to enjoy life we've been given and understand that God isn't surprised by anything, and He surely makes all things beautiful in His time. Heartache was one way He brought us to adoption...that's beautiful.

now, after a crazy adoption, a premature birth, and a second miscarriage, i am going back to it. He keeps teaching me that, although i don't know his purposes, this is beautiful. (and He is adding to our story to bring glory to His name. we would be pretty boring people if not for the "adventures" we've had in the last three years! how exciting that we get to be a part of sharing good news through our crazy lives!! more on this to come...)

rough day? rough week, month, year? God says He will make it beautiful.

the NIV version of two of my favorite verses:

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live." Ecclesiastes 3:11-12

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

'The Bible tells me so'

this is currently Brody's favorite line of any song. he sings it ALL THE TIME, and it just makes me melt. what if we had not been brave enough for this journey? what if we had thrown in the towel when it got hard? what if we had never taken those first few steps in obedience? and what if God hadn't worked miracle after miracle to bring the finalization of his adoption to fruition?

 Brody might never have sung "Jesus loves me, this I know" and, more importantly, he might never have known the love of a Heavenly Father without the example of his earthly father. he now hears "Daddy loves you" every day. EVERY DAY. and he is beginning to understand what that means and that God's love for him is even greater than the love his earthly daddy has for him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

pics of last week

brecken...this looks like he fell asleep with a cigarette in his mouth. (he is naked because he was SWEATING all day!)

brody...this picture makes me insanely sad, but this is his first major bloody lip and nose, so it needed to be documented. he had just been having a crazy-fun time jumping on the bed, then boom...barrel-rolled off and landed straight on his face. oh so sad. i did, in fact, google how tell if a nose is broken (there's really no way to know unless something is sticking out or it's pushed all the way to one side, btw.) blood dripped all the way down to his diaper and all over me. he's all good now, and he got popsicles and ice cream right after this pic was taken, so didn't take him long to get back to happy. the gym. watching dad play basketball. we want our kids to be in the gym as often as possible. it's good for 'em to run around (or just experience it, like brecken did).

brody...BIG BOY UNDIES. i feel like he should be holding one arm in the air with a superhero "dut-dut-dah!" playing in the background. (no, people, he's not potty-trained...we are working there slowly, but brad and i are really good at dancing like idiots when he does go "peepee" or "poopoo" in the potty. (yes, "Doggie" is wearing big boy undies, too.

and now for a series my husband refers to as "my wife's husbands." there's really no explaining this except to say that we had an agreement: we would take couple's pics to document the bearded awesomeness, then he would shave. so, he documented the shaving to share with everyone. lucky you.

now that's a wild saturday night!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

the myth: "adoption is so expensive"

i realize this topic is kind of jumping from one part of our lives (brecken's early arrival 6 months ago) to another (the adoption of our first son), but i have my reasons. i hope to be blogging more in 2013, but don't hold your breath waiting for the next post (who would?). i've got my hands full, people. this has just been on my mind...

i've had several conversations about adoption lately (which i am absolutely thrilled about!) and an overriding theme i'm noticing is that people make excuses. i'm not saying everyone needs to adopt, but if you do a quick check of the numbers you'll see that there are TONS AND TONS AND TONS of Christians out there who are not even considering adoption in the grand scheme of reproducing believers, and there are TONS AND TONS AND TONS of children who need families. there are around 100,000 orphans in the United States ALONE and 314,000 Protestant churches. if just ONE additional family in each Protestant church adopted a child who needs a family, we could easily eradicate the greatest form of poverty that exists in the US: the lack of family. i won't even start on international needs, but if you pay attention at all, you know that other countries are crawling with severely malnourished, sick, and abandoned kids (and some who are perfectly healthy in orphanages and foster homes) who need Mommies and Daddies. and you know what? it is our duty as Christians to care for these orphans.

one excuse i keep hearing over and over when it comes to adoption: "it's so expensive" or "we can't afford it." yes, it is expensive, but yes, you can afford it. i can't tell you exactly why it costs so much money to have a home study, file paperwork, pay lawyers, file dossiers, etc., but i can tell you that no matter how much it costs, it is absolutely worth it. not just worth it for you, but worth it for your new child and for many other people who see your example and consider making some sacrifices in order to give a child a forever family. God does not command His people to do something and then make it impossible to finish that task. there is always a way to do what God commands.

all that is not to say that brad and i were completely ok with the huge expense of an adoption from the outset. good grief, we are teachers. we were initially thinking our adoption would cost about $18,000 total. that was a decently large amount for us, and it freaked me out a bit, but we knew we could make it happen if we saved and budgeted right. i admit that had we known from the outset that a domestic adoption would cost $50,000 (our grand total), we probably wouldn't have had the faith to even begin an adoption. if we had done that and ignored God's calling for us, we would have missed one of the GREATEST JOYS and blessings in our life, Little Brody, and he wouldn't be in a great situation, either. obviously, he is so worth it, and so is any other child who needs a family.

i guess what i'm saying is this: if you feel even an inkling of a call to adopt, do not let the money scare you. money is just money, and there are ways to save/raise funds/earn more in order to fund an adoption. i wouldn't have to think very hard to remember numerous situations where we ended up with some extra money to help with our expenses, and i definitely believe that God orchestrated every event to complete the task He gave and continues to give us. He will do the same for you when you take the first steps in obedience and faith.