Wednesday, February 23, 2011

God's Way

First, a BIG THANK YOU to Maggie. Maggie works with Jeremy and made dumplings and sauce for Jonathan and our family. They were delicious!!! Jonathan claimed them as his own and we had to bribe him to share.

Once you make the decision to adopt, one of the first things you learn is that there is a community of wonderful people that will become some of your best cyber friends. You can easily get sucked into this adoption community through a variety of websites, blogs and forums. The great part of this community is that you realize you are not alone in your journey to adopt. If at any point you have a question or a concern you just need to reach out to one of these cyber sources and you will immediately be encouraged and supported.

It was through a cyber connection that I was approached by an adoptive mom who was advocating for a little boy named Jacob. She asked if we would be interested in seeing his file, that the agency that had his file was having difficulty finding a home for him. I said yes. After looking at his file, I wondered if Jacob was God's choice for our family. He just turned 4 and is missing his left leg and is in China. We are at the very beginning of this adoption and we would need to wait a few weeks before we could ask Bethany to request his file from the agency that has it. Jeremy and I agreed that if the file was still available when we were ready, we would request to officially review it.

Through this other mom, I discovered that there was a family that had seriously considered adopting Jacob, but felt they couldn't because of their home. I connected with this mom through email and then through a wonderful phone conversation today. I shared our experience with Jonathan and what life was like with him. After talking for a while, this mom began to realize they might not need to make as many if any modifications to their homes and/ or lives. At the end of our conversation, she was beginning to question whether Jacob just might be their son. I assured her we would harbor no ill will if they decided to pursue Jacob. In the end, it is about the children and finding homes for them.

Not sure what the outcome will be yet, but either way we are good. I would be thrilled if this family adopted Jacob and if they decide not to well, we might just pursue his file. What I am thankful for is God using a little boy, named Jonathan Futing, to encourage others to even consider adopting a child with a limb difference. Please pray that Jacob finds his forever home whether it be with this family or in our home or with another loving family.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

When life gets busy...

When life gets busy... I go to bed. And that is just where I am going as soon as I post this. It has been a busy week.

We started the week off by celebrating Amanda's birthday. Our traditional breakfast in bed.

We also submitted our formal application to adopt. We are waiting to hear if we were approved and then we can begin our home study and paper chase. I am dreading the paperwork.

On Friday we dropped Amanda off at church and she is currently on her first 2 night overnight with the Jr. High Youth Group. She was so excited. We are praying that God uses this weekend to work in Amanda's life and become real to her. We also hope she just has fun! We are missing her here.

Today was a busy day as
--we had 2 basketball games. Both ended in wins!
--And we sold the red car! This was an answer to prayer as that money is needed to pay the home study fee.
--We then ended our day by going to Ikea. The playroom was crazy and only Jonathan wanted to go in- so we decided to put no one in. All 4 boys tromped with us through Ikea. We made at least 3 bathroom breaks and if you have been in Ikea you know the bathrooms are not conveniently located. We survived. We are home. The boys are in bed and I am headed there shortly. Life is full but it is a good!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2 out of 5

Ben found 3 encyclopedia type books and proceeded to look at them and take notes.

He is making copies of different kinds of muscles to put on his robot

Training to be a Daddy with his favorite blue hippo!

If you have more then one child, then you could possibly have a "Ben" in your family. Ben is so cute, but don't let that fool you. If any teacher at church is going to "talk" to you, it will be Ben's. Ben is all boy and too cute to care. Ben gives us a run for our money. Ben and Jonathan are only about 14 months apart and Ben had a difficult time transitioning from no longer being the baby of the family to a big brother. Ben comes up with the best one liners. Yesterday, he told me not only had Jonathan touched Tyler's legos but now he was lying about it and that was a double sin. Ben doesn't like cleaning up and is very good at making his own rules. Some days it can be a challenge to parent Ben, but I can't imagine our family without him. We are so thankful God gave us Ben!

Last night we celebrated Amanda's 12th Birthday with family! I can't believe my baby is turning 12. Tomorrow, Valentine's Day is her actual birthday. She has already put in her request for breakfast in bed and her dinner choice.

Amanda is an awesome big sister to her 4 brothers!
Happy 12th Birthday!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

God is faithful

Some days we get along, some days we don't

Daddy's Helper and all his buddies!

Legos are our best friends on long, snowy days!

We just received wonderful news. A family has been found for "Fred". This family lives in Lancaster, PA and specializes in caring for children with special needs. We had been praying that God would provide the perfect family for "Fred" and He has! What an awesome God we serve!

It is not possible for us to go down the domestic older child and international paths at the same time. So for now we have decided to pursue international, but the domestic program has our information. We have gotten quite the education in domestic toddler adoption in the last 3 weeks.

We have begun to take the necessary steps down the International Adoption path. We have filled out the preliminary application, have talked with the intake Social Worker and now we are waiting to hear back from her. We had asked her to compile profiles of children with special needs waiting in Hong Kong, Korea, and somehow Taiwan got thrown in there. Once we have information about these countries programs we will meet with our Social Worker, fill out the formal application, start the paper chase and homestudy. At that point we will need to decide on a country. China is of course in the mix.

Lots of prayer is going into each and every decision we are being faced with. We have begun looking at profiles of waiting children online and there is such an overwhelming need for families who are willing to open up their hearts, homes and families. We have realized there is no wrong country and even there is no wrong child. We are trusting that God is in control and that he will lead us to our son. We are nervous and excited to be beginning this journey again, but it is a journey we wouldn't pass up.

Friday, February 4, 2011


This was a big week for us! We feel we got “direction” on some important things. Here are the details:

Direction about Zambia

At the start of the year we launched this new blog with two big announcements -- specifically I was gearing up for a short-term missions trip to Zambia in March and, after that, Kim and I were going to begin the adoption process again.

In between January 2nd and today I started to sense, somehow, that the Zambia trip wasn't going to work out. No one said anything to make me think that ... and I really kept it to myself. I didn't want to be a nay-sayer and I figured that this “vibe” (or whatever you want to call it) was just me being anxious about travel and time away from Kim and the kids. This week I got the official word. The trip is canceled.

So now, looking back on it, I think that vibe was significant. I was willing to go, and I was willing to stay, and I was willing to put the decision in God's hands. Now that I know that I am not going in the near future, I am content. A little disappointed, sure, but content.

Direction about “Fred”

Recently we wrote about a little boy we called Fred. Fred is up for adoption here in the U.S. Fred also had some significant medical needs. Kim and I wondered if, perhaps, Fred was meant for us. As we think/talk/pray through the idea of adoption again, both Kim and I felt like we needed to take a closer look at Domestic Adoption this time.

Kim did quite a bit of research regarding Fred's condition. As these details began to take shape, we realized more and more what kind of implications this would have on the children in our family now. Ultimately, we came to the hard decision that we were not the right family for Fred. Certainly we feel called to open our home to a child that needs a Mom and Dad, but we are also called to love/care/provide for the children already in our care.

It was hard to say “no” to the idea of adopting Fred. It's also very humbling to accept our own limitations and weaknesses.

Direction regarding “Have to”

In all of this, we have stepped back and reflected a bit on our motivations. Both Kim and I have a bent towards “getting things done” and “making things happen.” Once we get really hooked on an idea, it's hard for us to let it go.

So, it's worth asking, do we feel like we have to adopt again because we're stubborn? Are we trying to earn some special favor with God?

No. No. We want to adopt again because we believe it is something that God has placed on our hearts and also because He has uniquely suited us to do this particular crazy thing (instead of a myriad of other equally insane options.)

We do however, need to resist the urge to get ahead of His timetable; to try to make something happen.

So, for now, we throw ourselves on God's faithfulness and grace. We need to exercise some patience, and be content to take small steps towards what He's called us to. We are content with God's place, and with God's pace. But we are also very wary of allowing our contentment to become complacency. We're looking forward to whatever directions we get next!