Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SNOW IN ALABAMA

So we live in Alabama, about an hour from Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. Well, as the temp dropped it started to rain, then sleet, then ice/snow flurries came down. The ground is covered in ice and the roads are completely iced over. 
I feel the need to mention in this area we prepare for hurricanes, NOT ice. Last time it snowed was Valentine's Day 2010 and it did not stick to the ground and before that it was Christmas 2007 and it did not stick then either. Needless to say kids are out of school and most businesses have shut down. There have been cars abandoned and a lot of wrecks. Further up the state kids have spent the night at high schools and others at the jobs due to road conditions.

However, through this I have the thought of how God never ceases to amaze me. In an area that almost never sees snow, there is snow. People are coming together to gather blankets, jackets, and soups to help those that may not have what is needed for this type of weather. People are getting to spend unexpected time with their families or catch up on rest. I love how God wraps blessings up in unexpected packages.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Meetings

There are some meetings only God can orchestrate. I believe that everyone we meet only happens because God wants us to meet, even if we don't know the reason. Yet, there are some meetings that I believe he orchestrates in a way that you know why this person has come into your life when they did.

In college I had a friend and an acquaintance that each choose to place their children for adoption. Each of these young women were in completely different situations. At the time, although I knew the impact it would make on them, the child, and adoptive families, I never new the impact it would have on me til much later. I don't know truly how they feel now, but I love the fact that God let me see adoption from the side of the birth mother before I was seeking to to start our family through adoption.

Now that we are in the beginning stages of the adoption process I think often of those few moments that I was privileged enough to be a part of.

National Adoption Symbol
Lately there have been others that have come into my life that I can see the impact now. At work, church, and through mutual friends I have met people that adopted their children, that have made an adoption plan for their child (or their grandchild was placed), or that were adopted themselves. It has been amazing to see adoption from all sides.

Each of them have had struggles and joys. Each of them has had hard and good times. Each of them has a completely different story. Yet one common thread in the people I have met recently is that they wouldn't go back and choose anything different.

I realize they may not have always felt that way and that not everyone feels that way about their own story. We pray that everyone that has had to make tough decisions will know that they made the best decision at the time for child they love. And that the children learning about their adoption story will know they are loved by so many people to have the story they have.

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Questions

I have posted in the past about questions people ask.

Well, lately, I have encountered a whole new group of questions. I again answer them as best I can with grace (which only comes from God) and shake it off as ignorance.

There is nothing wrong with the information they are asking about, however I guess what I am trying to say is there is a right and a wrong way to ask these questions. Some have asked them very poorly, some I could tell they didn't know any other way to sake it, and others were overly politically correct in asking these questions.

Here are some of the questions I have been asked:

"Do you care if the baby isn't normal?"
"What if she was on drugs"
"Are you race specific or do you care?"
"What if something is wrong with it?"
"What if you adopt and then have your own kids?"

The only version of these questions I have received that was worded right was "Are you putting any restrictions on agency about the birth mother or child?" (My answer is no).

What I find interesting about a lot of these questions is they would never be asked of someone that was pregnant. No one looks at a pregnant woman at her baby shower and asks "well, what if the baby isn't healthy?".

I know that people are just trying to understand the path God has called us to. I just found it interesting because it seems like I get a massive amount of questions from all directions all at once and then suddenly no questions or odd comments at all.

Also, I know God is growing me through all these experiences and is preparing me for questions that may, and are likely, to come up after we bring our child home one day.

I read an article lately about a couple that adopted a child with special abilities. They way some responded to their choice saddened me. To read more Click Here. I pray that more people will open their hearts & minds to the love these children, and all children, need.

"God has made everything beautiful for its own time." Ecclesiastes 3:11a

Stuff

Sometimes when there is a standstill in the process of what we are doing I feel as though I don't have anything to post that would be worth reading. Then I remind myself that is blog is for us, hopefully it encourages someone going through adoption or infertility as well, but mostly it is for us. A place to get our thoughts out and a place to go back and see our own progress.

Grandma Miller & I after a pageant  I was in.
It has only been 2014 for a few weeks and it has already been packed full of stuff. My Grandma, on my Dad's side, broke her hip and had to have surgery. She also has Alzheimer's and is now in a long term nursing home now. My parents have been living as her in home caretakers for 14 years and will be soon moving into a smaller place more suited for them. There has been a lot of going through items. It's amazing the amount of "stuff" one person can accumulate over the years of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Most of her life has been packed into boxes and divided among who she wanted to have what or who gave it to her.

I started to think about how much our lives are just packed with "stuff". Some real and tangible, some emotional and spiritual, and some imagined. How much does this stuff really matter. I often try, not always succeeding, to focus on what has eternal value and not only those things that have value in the here and now.

This is one of the many reasons I love adoption and orphan care. What has more eternal value than showing the love of Christ to a child. In every case of adoption a child is being brought into a home to be taken care of, loved, and made part of a family. If you think about international adoption a child that may have never other wise heard the name of Christ or known that love of a family has been brought into a home. Children in foster care have often experienced and witnessed awful events in their young lives and need to be told they are loved, wanted, and have worth in Christ.

There are many ways to support orphans and children in foster care without adopting, I'm fully aware that not everyone is called to bring a child into their home. These things still take sacrifice, but think about what could be accomplished by sponsoring a child through Compassion International or Amazima instead of going out to dinner once a month. Or even what could be accomplished by donating to your local Crisis Pregnancy Center or Adoption Agency (click here or click here or click here) , which help those facing an unplanned pregnancy and/or orphans with education and other services.

If you're wavering on the thought of if you should or shouldn't help in these areas consider this:

"Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me." – Matthew 18:5

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ - Matthew 25:40

"Defend the cause of the weal and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed rescue the weak and needy; deliver them the hand of the wicked." - Psalm 82:3-4

"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." James 1:27