Sunday, January 30, 2011
I have just been made aware of a "song" on my playlist that was entirely inappropriate. I thought I had added a song about adoption when it was really a comedy act that was profane and made fun of orphans and adopting. This was unintentional and I pray that you will forgive me.
I am sure I have lost readers over this and I would have left a blog over this as well. So, I ask for your grace on this. I am completely and utterly embarrassed as well as horrified. It has been deleted.
I think the part of the contract that intrigued me the most was where we had to state what the physical, emotional and intellectual parameters were that we desired of our potential child(ren). It started out very easy. Complexion? Who cares. But then the questions got harder and we realized that some of our desires left a multitude of children out. It felt intrinsically out of place to order a child like a Big Mac from Mc. D's. In my opinion, I think it's wrong to be able to choose a gender. We don't do that in utero....why would we want to do it elsewhere? (The strong desire for girls and infants has, in many areas, turned adoption in to child trafficking. Here is a good article talking of this very issue: http://www.slate.com/id/
Yes, we are open to imperfection, but it was very sobering to see and realize that there are some conditions that we felt we either couldn't (or didn't want to) handle. I pray for the children we ruled out. Every child deserves a home with a family to which they belong. I pray that those children are chosen by parents that see their challenges worth taking on. Lord forgive us for our limitations on this issue. HIV+ is where our tiny bit of courage is now. Prepare us in the future to be even more courageous than we are presently.
What is it with adoption that you feel that your hunger to "help" is never satiated? I don't know that we will ever feel we are doing enough....we have opened Pandora's box by even considering, learning about and pursuing adoption. I know that when we go over to the country from which we will be adopting, that we will see all these children that need homes......we will be stupefied with the magnitude of how little our one adoption is doing. We are doing all we can as a family. But dear friends, dear Christians, we are not doing enough. Following are some interesting statistics I gained through another blogger by the name of Tiffany Dahlman (http://www.lighted-path.net/article2_DarkestClouds.html) :
I was reading some adoption blogs lately and came across an interesting fact in a post that is circulating. I looked it up, did the math myself (risky, I know....) and found it to be true.
Here it is:
-There are 143 million orphans in the world, according to UNICEF.
-There are 2 billion people who consider themselves Christian in the world, according to government censuses.
-All of these Christians are adopted, according to the Bible:
14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:14-17
However, less than half of the 143 million orphans are adoptable because of insufficient paperwork (birth and death records, for example), religious laws forbidding adoption to Christian families (Muslim orphans), poor relations between the US and the orphan's government (Burma), or lack of a transparent adoption system in place to guarantee ethical adoption (Cambodia).
Therefore, if only 7% of the 2 billion people who claim to believe in their adoption into God’s family through Christ -7% of those people- chose to adopt ONE child, all 143 million of the world's orphans would have a permanent safe home and a family to call their own! And since this is unrealistic because of the above listed reasons, if only THREE-yes- 3% of the world's Christians adopted ONE child- ALL adoptable orphans would have a permanent safe home and a forever family.
WHAT?! That's all it would take?!
Disclaimer: I firmly believe that not everyone is called to adopt, Christian or not. But I also firmly believe that, at the very least, 3% of 2 billion Christians have been given this calling, especially since scripture defines the mark of pure Christianity as caring for orphans (see below)! It's simply a matter of obeying the call and returning the enormous gift of adoption that God has given us to a child who needs a home.
Turns out some of the world's problems are easily fixed. Peace in the middle east? I have no idea. But the orphan crisis??? This one should be easy.
27Religion 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.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
It looks as though we are having to get our home study re-done. The director of the home study agency has proven to be fairly difficult and hard to work with. She has been resistant to making corrections or changes to the current home study that our placement agency is requiring as well as being argumentative with the director of our placement agency. When I inquired about her decision to restrict us to just one child, she began to question our ability to even take care one child because of the size of our family and our decision to delay our vaccinations for our youngest children. She told us that this was an obvious sign of our being "over-extended". In my heart, I know she is dead wrong.....she wasn't even the one who interviewed us. The home study of us didn't reflect any concerns of this nature. In fact, the home study made us look as if we could take on the entire world's orphan population until it said we could only handle one child. Her questionable reputation is gaining momentum as we have been informed that other clients are fleeing her services due to her bad attitude. Apparently, I am not the only one.
We need a team player in this adoption, not a road block.
The director of my placement agency worked her rear end off trying to locate another agency that could provide better services and not be so combative towards me nor her. Yes, extra money and extra time....but we have to do this right. The new home study agency director is amazing and says that she can get our home study done in two weeks since we have all the documents ready and have been through the "process" already.
We will be starting the dossier document prep. stage this coming week. As long as things are moving forward, I am content......although, faster wouldn't hurt.
I am antsy. I am so eager to put a face or faces to our new family members. I know you can hear me Lord, please take care of them and reassure them in ways only you can. Whisper to them.....that we will come soon. Prepare their hearts for healing.......and prepare ours as well. We are coming......
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
If you read my post titled "Less Than", I spoke of our home study agency (H.A.) restricting us to only being able to adopt one child. There was nothing in our home study that raised red flags on our ability or means to provide for more than one child. This decision was handed down solely due to the size of our family. Unsubstantiated bias is what ruled here. Honestly, some wind went out of my sails when I found this out....but I was grateful that at least we had been approved to adopt a child. But, at the same time, I knew we could handle more if we were allowed to. I really felt that since the Lord was behind the whole adoption, that He was even involved in the decisions that didn't quite make sense as well.
Yesterday, I spoke with our placement agency (P.A.). After reviewing our recently submitted home study from the H.A., the coordinator said that our family was really best suited to take on a sibling set! Ha! Here was an agency that was really looking at our family and not relying on a prejudice or statistic! I am sorry, but this is just amazing to me. The P.A. felt that if we only adopted one child, that the child would feel isolated and very different in our family. They also felt that having a sibling would ease the adjustment for the adopted children as well as give a sense of home that is always there as opposed to only having a distant memory of "what was". I have always believed this as well, and this was the main reason why adopting a sibling set was so attractive to me.
This is where the battle begins between the H.A. and the P.A. The H.A wants us to adopt only one child and the P.A. wants us to adopt more than one child. Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a tug-o-war and we have requested for the H.A. to lift the restriction of only being able to adopt one child. It may end up that we will have to obtain another home study from another provider in order to be able to adopt a sibling set.
Pray for us. Minutes ago, I sent a letter to the H.A. stating that we would like the restriction to be lifted or to give us a refund of our fees. This policy of "restricting how many children may be adopted due to family size" was never, ever disclosed to us verbally or in writing before we paid our home study fee. Had we known, we would have not hired this particular agency to do our home study.
So people, the tide is changing and I will keep you posted as to the response I get.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
WARNING: What I am about to post is not the most flowery post you have feasted your eyes upon. And please do not misunderstand me, we can't wait to hold the precious child that the Lord chooses to put in the arms of our family. We would go (and may have to!) to Hell and back to bring the new member of our family home......but the process itself is enough to deserve several comments.
Ok. I am just going to say it. I think that adoption, in general, is a racket. I don't know of any arena like adoption, where people pay thousands of dollars to get turned inside out, upside down and sideways only to be made to feel "less than". It's like paying to get beaten.
I got a call from our home study agency yesterday wanting clarification on several issues. Okey dokey. Then I am told in a cheery voice that the agency's supervisor will only approve us for the adoption of one child. Our heart was very open to a sibling set. The reason being that she felt that we had "too many" children and that we couldn't handle more than one child at a time. As I have come to find out, it is common for adoption agencies to limit large families to just one child. I am actually ok with this as I feel this whole adoption is in the Lord's hands and this is what He has chosen for us. The only thing that kind of tweaks me is that a restriction was handed down solely based on the assumption that large families can't and don't take care of children like smaller families can. It is a prejudice. Our caseworker was pulling for us and stated that she tried to paint us in a light that would encourage her supervisor to think generously of us.
Then.....our placing agency contacted me and said that she felt that the agency would approve us. HOWEVER, she had an issue that needed further clarification. She felt that I would need to go further into detail about my eating disorder as a 15 yr old. Holy crap! That was over 27 freak'n years ago! It's been resolved and is no longer an issue and hasn't been for over two and a half decades! She wanted to make sure this would not affect my parenting!!! I have nine children!! They are my walking resume for crying out loud! Do they really think this would be an issue?
Is there no grace?
I understand they are doing their due diligence and advocating for the children being adopted, but the extent of it seems on the verge of ridiculous and manipulative. There are millions of children needing homes and this process of adoption is weeding out people who could potentially be amazing parents. And where does this leave a majority of the children in need? Still parent-less, still sick and still unwanted. Where really does the true heart lay in the adoptive process....the money? The power to make people feel desperate and not good enough? Truly, it's enough to send parents groveling. To some extent there seems to be an element of cruelty.
Here's the thing, there is not one person who is perfect. People who have flaws that have been healed / resolved are usually much better parents than if they had never had these flaws to begin with. But the adoption process does not make room for this. It wants perfection......i.e. people who lie.
Oh, I don't know. I am sure that every parent who has adopted has gone through this frustration. There is no way I can be original in my thoughts on this. I do feel certain we will be "accepted" but the process of being made to feel "less than" is disturbing at best.....makes this mama bear want to stand up and fight.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I am in no shape to be posting. I have a cold and decided to take a decongestant. For me it should be deemed illegal as I feel about as strung out as a kite. It is not normal to be doing laundry at three in the morning. I should have known something was amiss when it didn't fluster me to be running over a cement median with our 12 passenger van. Honestly, it was raining and I just couldn't see it. I let out a whoop and a holler of delight and carried on my merry way. My kids would have loved it.
So....I'm a little chatty.
I am in probably one of the many waiting periods of the adoptive process. The home study is done and we are waiting for it to be typed up, notarized and sent to the placement agency. We are also waiting for a final approval from our placement agency saying that they want to work with us. After speaking with a friend the day before, she made note that the agency doing the home study could reject us along with the placement agency. I had never before even considered the possibility. However, with me being in a medicated and overly hyper state, my mind started to think that we could possibly be denied. Although, I am sure they would have a valid reason had they seen me run over the cement median. Maybe our family is too big or maybe our disciplinary practices aren't what they'd prefer? Could we really be denied?
By nature, I am not a huge worrier and to do so is pretty uncharacteristic. It's draining and honestly...it's a lot of work and energy. Having nine children, 13 yrs. old and younger, will either cure you of the worry bug or have you peeking over the edge of insanity at frequent intervals. In fact, I know in the past that some have misinterpreted my lack of worry as a lack of caring. I guess I see it as that I have had enough exposure to "oh crap" situations to know when and what to worry about. But please let me preface this with four words; I am still learning.
Here is an exhaustive list of the things that will worry me in my household of nine children:
2) blue faces
3) impaled objects
4) spurting blood
5) lying / disobedience and disrespect
6) not accepting Christ
Please note that broken bones did not make the above list because you can't die from this.....unless, of course, it's your neck, in which case that would really bite.
Here is a list of things I do not worry about. It is NOT exhaustive and just includes the most immediate things:
1) colds / flu
2) screaming (unless it's because of spurting blood or impaled objects.)
3) broken bones (but I do feel kinda bad)
4) falling (it's all part of the learning curve)
6) clothes that don't match
7) children not eating (unless it's because they are turning blue...)
8) bumps, bruises and scratches
10) gum collected and chewed from unknown locations
I am sure there are fellow mothers out there that could either add or subtract from the above lists with great ease, thoroughness and humor. Please feel free to do so!
Really, in the whole scheme of things, worry is useless and painful. I will always remember when I went to the altar to pray and plead for my children's' future with the Lord. The burden of worry from this was about more than I could take. How was I going to lead them? Would I know how? What if I failed because I didn't do enough? It was in the midst of all this that the Lord reminded me that, while growing up, no one in my family taught me in any ways of the Lord....how was it then, that I came to know Him? This was an "A-HA" moment for me that communicated that it wasn't all up to me and that ultimately it was in the Lord's realm of control. This was a relief. How egotistical and out of place it was for me to think I could control more that I could. He orchestrates and I am supposed to follow....not the other way around. Oh, if only it were this easy! It is obvious to me that the enemy uses worry to paralyze us and make us ineffective. All I have to say about this is "Satan get thee behind me and Lord please protect and lead me from worry". He's been faithful so far and for this I am so thankful.
All of the sudden it has gotten really quiet (item #1 on the list of things I worry about the most). I think it's time for me to sign off! Good nite!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I sound like the perfect person to adopt right? Don't answer that.
After getting my "patients" comfortable and squared away, Liz, my husband and I sat down for our last meeting and we were scheduled to talk about our marriage. It actually was a lot of fun....it's always nice to remember and retell the story of how we met. We both walked away from this meeting relieved that the home study was over, but reminded of how much we've been through together and how God was so good in pairing the two of us. However, the blush of these feelings quickly faded when he asked me, with a wink, to pull his finger.....again. A sense of humor is definitely a must in our household.
Now, our next step is to prepare our dossier. I always thought this was a square dance move but I have since learned that this is the sum total of all our documents that will bring our child(ren) home to us. From everyone I have ever spoken with who has adopted, they all say this is the most grueling process in preparing to adopt. The paper work, the signatures, the re-doing of paper work and the running around to get notarizations, authentication, medicals, fingerprints, background checks......... And I will do this all diligently and with focus because I am fueled by the singular desire of wanting to see my new son(s) and or daughter(s) as soon as possible.
Alright folks....I am beat. Until the next posting; sweet dreams.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Now, here's the real confession; I even ran around and made sure there were no "floaters" or skid marks in the toilets. I could just see it. Being turned down for the adoption because of a trick turd that chose to come back up after a flush that should have been final. Defiance at its worst.
Yep. This is what I worried about.....things that would not, in reality, come back to haunt me but horrified me nonetheless.
The doorbell rang and my Sharpee stained-for-life kid answered the door along with my 1 yr. old with the knot the size of a second head protruding from his right temple. At least they did it with award winning smiles. The social worker seemed unphased.......hopefully, a good sign. All of our children swarmed her and the youngest ones telling her their names and ages. She, Liz, took this opportunity to ask all the children what they thought about adopting a new sibling. All responded positively. Then she asked what they thought would change with the addition of a new brother or sister. And my oldest responded "Not much." Which is truth at its best since my children have grown up having known the methodical addition of siblings almost every year. Not having a new life come into our home for almost two years has been a new twist for us. We are all hungry for new blood.
We proceeded to the study and sat down. My two oldest daughters went to the kitchen to bake cookies and my youngest daughters bathed their naked Barbies in the kitchen sink. My sons went to the playroom to absorb themselves in a good Wii game.
Down to business. Her first questions revolved around our homeschooling our children. Apparently this is not looked highly upon in the country from which we want to adopt. We had to tell of the curriculum we were employing as well as all the social activities and sports in which they were involved.
Then she gave us a choice about what we were going to investigate for the first visit. Steve's past, my past or our marriage. Steve's past was put on the chopping block first. It was good to sit back and listen to the questions as it will give me time to reflect on how I will answer when the time comes to spill the beans. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that, although the truth is best, keeping the answers short and to the point is the best route....kind of like the perfect skirt. Long enough to cover the topic and short enough to keep it interesting. Over-explaining anything may lead to suspicion of deeper issues.
So, all in all, the first visit went well and in my estimation didn't last long enough. I wanted to get everything done yesterday. Friday will be our second visit and next Tues. will be our last. So, thank you all for your prayers. I have a good and hopeful feeling mainly because I know the Lord is behind this whole adventure and your prayers are keeping everything afloat.
Thank you so much.