Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yet, a powerful word

I got some really sad  news today.  Not at liberty to share about it.  But, so frustrating and so sad...not just for us, but for many around the world.  I said "God, what on earth is going on here?  Do you see what the consequences are going to be? Do you see the hurt and pain that will happen"
I went to my closet to read and pray.  The passage was about Lazarus.  I've studied this numerous times.  The most powerful word in the story...Yet.  Jesus had been delivered bad news about his dear friend's illness.  He was only 2 miles from the friend's home.  YET, he chose to stay where he was and not show up when the friends expected him to.  He waited, and Lazarus died.  Mary and Martha, his sisters were devastated and told Jesus "If only you'd come earlier."  Then, Jesus raised Lazarus to life--after being dead 4 days!  Reminds me of the classic movie Princess Bride.  Billy Crystal's character says "there is a difference between all dead and mostly dead, this guy is mostly dead."  Well, after 4 days, Lazarus was all dead!  Yet, Jesus brought him to life.  Know why he waited?  So that the big crowd of Jewish mourners could see the glory and the miracle and place their faith in Jesus as the Messiah.  Waiting for Jesus' timing brought more glory and more people to Him.  It hurt for Mary and Martha, it hurt like hell that their brother died.  But, I dare guess that after they hugged their newly raised to life brother's neck....they understood the timing and realized the good it brought.

Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.  John 11:6

Jesus give us faith to wait on your timing, peace in the storm, wisdom to make right choices, bravery to take the hard road--the road that you've called us to travel, and joy for the journey.  And touch the innocent ones affected by other's bad decisions--give them a hope and a future.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The house is still for sale

 Proverbs 24:3-4 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;  through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

Tuesday morning will be 5 weeks since we listed our house.  We priced very reasonable to begin with.  We know our neighborhood has taken a hit the last several years and thus weren't expecting to make much proft.  I was sure it would sell really fast.  It is a lovely and sweet family home;  nothing fancy, no wood floors, no granite counter tops, just a sweet and open, very clean and not cluttered, family home.  It hasn't sold.  We lowered our price yesterday to catch more people.  We've had lots of lookers, just  no offer.  It is okay.  Yes, we'd really love to have the older home on the hill with the rockin' 1983 wood front door with amber colored glass panes, the extra bathroom in what would be Abby's room, the 1 acre and the trees, the flat drive way for Dillon to shoot baskets in(our driveway is a beast of a hill).
I'm okay with it not selling.  It is actually less work for me. Our contingency contract expires in 3 more weeks.  I've been praying "Lord, all this is just a house.  We are so blessed with our home currently.  More than a house, we want to honor You with our lives.  If we don't need that other home or if it would not be financially sound, please shut the door on it."  So, 3 other homes in our neighborhood that were for sale have contracts on them.  I asked Dillon what he thought.  He waved his hands dramatically and said "Our house pretty!"  I'm ready to be done with the showing stuff.  Keeping it clean costantly is hard!  Yesterday I was at a class in a city an hour away and Mike was in D.C.  The house wasn't ready and we got a call.  My dear friend Susie hussled over, put the dogs up, picked up items left lying about(including a pair of clean undies), and opened blinds to showcase natural light).  Now that is a true friend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another Hudson funny

I'm working on my 12 page Concept Analysis  of Immobility in the ICU paper for my grad class.  It is due next week.  Can I just say that I'm the WORST graduate student ever?!  Really, I have no motivation and put off working as long as I can.  Maybe this was a stupid idea?  Anyways...I'm sitting at my laptop--butt numb--and need a break.  So here is a Hudson funny(he is hysterical)

Last week he was in Spanish class at preK.  They were learning their colors.  Mr. Perez asked "Hudson, what is gris?"  The correct answer is gray.  Hudson piped up with "Its what comes out of a hot dog when you eat it!"  Tore the teacher up. He thought that was a classic!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Revisiting Piper's words

I love good books.  I especially love challenging ones.  So I picked up our highlighted-up(not a real word, but you get the drift) copy of Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. This is my 4th time to read the very deep, inspiring, thought-provoking, and convicting book.  Awesome to chew on and discuss.  Here a few of my fav quotes:

"It is the will of God that we be uncertain about how life on this earth will turn out for us.  And therefore it is the will of the Lord that we take risks for the cause of God"
"The world is not impressed when Christians get rich and say thanks to God.  They are impressed when God is so satisfying that we give our riches away for Christ's sake and count it gain"
"God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that he really is."

I'll tell you about a risk I took 20yrs ago and boy did it pay off.  I'd broken up with Mike because I was scared silly about knowing from the moment I met him, that I was to marry him.  We'd been broken up about 5 weeks and I was miserable--knew I'd screwed up!  The Baptist Student Union at our college had a Valentines skating party.  Lo and behold, the owner called for the dudes to line up on one side of the rink and the gals on the other.  She played some early 90's love songs and called me up.  I had to skate across to the dudes and pick my skating partner!!  UGGGH.  I skated straight to Mike and laced my hand in his.  What a risk it was.  He could have refused and who knows what kind of lame-o I'd ended up with??  But, here we are, 20yrs later, living life to the fullest.  That giant risk paid off BIG

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carter and Nick Take the Mic

Carter and his buddy played at a local hipster-type eatery last Friday night.  Seriously, they blew the other artists out of the water!!  The crowd was asking "how old are those guys and who are those guys?"  It was so stinkin' awesome to see my son's musical ability and performer talent shine.  My dad said "he just turned 17--think what he will be like when he is 20!"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We won't be announcing great news this week(long!)

...because there isn't great news to announce.  The past 2 weeks have been really hard.  Remember the post about the waiting 2 yr little boy in Korea?  How we were interested in adopting him if the other families fell through?  Well, they fell through.  We spent the last 2 weeks praying our hearts out about adopting the sweet angel.  Our pediatrician reviewed the file and felt good about him.  God seemed to speak his approval over and over.  Literally, one morning last week I woke up and instantly began thinking "I can't do this, no way can I add another kid right now!"  I went to my closet and opened my Bible to my daily Old Testament passage(remember, I follow a "read the Bible in a year" plan and don't pick the passages).  The first few words were the story of Gideon.  Ever studied that story?  Basically, Gideon was minding his own business, working the land, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said "Greetings, mighty warrior."  The angle unfolded how Gideon would be used in a huge way to save Isreal.  Gideon offered excuses about how he wasn't equipped, but God revealed how He would be with Gideon and strengthen him.  God used Gideon in a crazy and miraculous way to deliver Isreal from the oppressors.  I knew God was speaking to me from His Holy Word.  Another example, last Sunday night at church we had a special gathering and speaker.  Neal Jeffrey gave his testimony about growing up with a horrible stuttering problem(look it up on You Tube--amazing!).  He felt unloved, stupid, and unable to do anything good because he couldn't talk.  When he got saved, his life was changed because he realized that Jesus loved him exaclty like he was--severe speech disorder and all.  He talked about a Father's love and how when Neal failed in life, his daddy was always there to offer love.  Mike and I both left there feeling that God was telling us that the little boy in Korea was like Neal and deserved to be loved through the hard times and that we were that family. This type of "coincidences" kept happening and we felt like our word from the Lord was "keep moving forward."  When I talked to Carter about bringing this boy to our family, he said "Mom, my heart is for adoption."  TEARS!  How precious to see that our just turned 17yr old gets it.  He doesn't care that he won't be getting a newer car, a tv in his room, nicer clothes, and would have 1 more nutty little brother running around.  He understands that Jesus loves the orphan and that we are called to love them also.  I talked to Abby about it.  She said "sounds fun, I think we should do it".  Good gravy, it was more than my heart could take!

We needed to give our sweet caseworker an answer Monday so they could pursue other families for him if we declined.  As of Sunday night, we were torn.  Really, it was me.  Mike was all for moving forward IF I felt it was right(he has a huge daddy's heart).  Never have I respected my husband more than then.  He knew that the brunt of adjustment difficulties would fall on me.  This child would be 3 when he came home to our family.  He'd be terrified of us(especially Mike-at least Hudson was) and grieving the loss of his foster family.  He wouldn't sleep well for several months and would likely be joined at my hip for several months.  I work and we'd have to find childcare.  We don't have relatives living close by that could help keep "E" while I was at work.  I just started grad school.  How would I continue in school?  We have zero resources left to pay for adoption fees.  We pay for private, Christian school(glad to do it adn worth every penny--but still one more kid's tuition??). As for the money involved, that was not our biggest concern. We've adopted internationally 3 times and God always provides!  Yes, we sacrifice and work really hard, but He always comes through in crazy and cool ways.  I didn't think I could be a very good momma to the current kids with another little boy joining us. I found myself wondering "WWJHD?"  What would Jen Hatmaker do?

But, how could we not adopt him?  Bottom line....this boy needs a family.  His possible challenges are something we have dealt with before.  We could certainly love another Korean boy--they are super lovable and we are well-versed at adoption! We wanted to obey the Lord more than anything.

Monday morning came really early because Dillon was up roaming at 3:30am(he has some sleep issues) and Hudson was up at 5:15 couging so hard he vomited. Those 2 incidences sealed the deal for me. I  had to let our caseworker know our decision that morning.  I called her and said  couldn't do it.  I rambled about how I just didn't think I had enough left of me to give to another child.  I cried, I almost vomited.

So, now I'm angry!  Anger is a normal response in the grief process.  We had a name for this little boy.  We talked about him with our children.  We made plans for incoorporating him into our family:  putting a little bed in Dillon and Hudson's room, watching him start preK, contacting ESL teachers for his language transition.   But more than feeling a loss, I'm angry at the whole situation.  I'm ANGRY that there are 163 million orphaned children in the world and the circumstances that cause children to be orphaned.  I'm angry that our stupid culture has bought into the notion that more children in your family is a burden and that nice clothes,  expensive electronics, and a life-style of comfort and ease is what is worshipped in our country.  I'm angry that fees associated with an international adoption are high and scare off many good families.  I'm angry that Christians aren't running to bring home children like this little boy .  I'm angry that this little boy  might grow up in an institution if a family doesn't come forward to say "yes he is our son"! 

But most of all, I'mdisappointed in myself.  I am sad that I am not a super-hero-mom and I have do have limits. I guess I thought I could do it all.

You know, I used to teach adoption info classes for our agency.  One thing I always stressed to prospective families was that no child was a rescue project.  Every child deserves to be a wanted and loved member of a family.  If they were adopting out of a sense of duty--No bueno!  I guess I'm learning to live by my own teaching.

Thank you Meredith for you honest and encouraging daily emails as we walked through this.  You are right, guilt is not from the Holy Spirit.  Thank you Susie for your precious voicemail that made me smile at work yesterday.

Now, let's all get to praying for sweet little boy to find his forever family ASAP.