Friday, May 25, 2012

Adoption Again...

Earlier this week, one of my adoption buddies linked to her blog on facebook.  Captain Murdock's blog post, My Heart is Broken, grabbed at my attention.  Little did I know, it would also grab at my heart strings.  Murdock has been looking for one of her son's friends from the care center.  She recently found out that "Abe" has yet to be adopted and is now advocating for a family for him.  As I read her post, I chuckled at the details.  I had recently been praying about adoption.  You might recall a short post in mid April where I mentioned that Ryan was ready to adopt again.  Adopting again brings two issues to mind.  The first is that it's not common to allow a family to displace their oldest child.  We would be doing that if we pursue this little boy and would need the blessing of the agency providing his care.  The second is that I'm selfish and was really looking forward to a break from penny pinching.  After 9 years of marriage, we're finally building a garage.  I'd also love, love, love to add a dish washer to my kitchen and do some minor work in that room.  Pursuing an adoption would mean penny-pinching and fund raising once again.    My prayer was simple in that I shared that I was willing to obey if God provided a child in need.  This boy that Murdock is advocating for is indeed a little boy in need.  

There's only one problem.  Ryan was clear that he wanted Scott to remain the oldest.  Abe is 8.  Which puts him one year older than Scott.  Which presents a problem for Ryan.  

An hour later after sharing the story with a co-worker, I thought to email Ryan.  I simply asked him to read Murdock's blog if he had a minute and asked him to consider the little boy.  What I didn't know is that Ryan and I were likely reading Murdock's blog at the same time - he from his office and me from home.  Well before I had even shared the story at work, Ryan had emailed me at my home email suggesting we consider adopting Abe.  When we made that connection, I was floored.

I do believe that we serve a God who sees the big picture and knows how it's going to play out.

In the mean time, I've contacted the agency and had some brief discussions with the waiting child coordinator.  I've also contacted some knowledgeable friends and asked them to help me understand all that I need to consider if we choose to move forward.  Adopting an eight year old wouldn't be easy.  It could, but it could also be very, very hard.  We have a lot of things to think through and consider.  I thought I'd share a few things that Semiferalmama and murdock are helping me to consider in case you're also considering doing something similar:

1. Find someone who's been there, done that and ask lots of questions.
2. How might displacing the Scott's "oldest" status impact him?
3. I love that my kids are close in age.  And I selfishly desire for any future kids to also be close in age.  But close in age and developmentally different are a potential for struggle.
4. If you run a tight ship, are you ready for that boat to be rocked?  Are you patient enough and willing to wait for an 8 year old to start acting like an 8 year old?
5. What are your plans if things are really a mess?  What if he needs counseling?  Are there counselors available nearby to help?
6. It might be helpful to have a trusted amharic speaker who's willing to help communicate here and there...
7. Would your family be supportive of the adoption?  In my specific situation, my mom is my daycare provider.  Would they be patient enough to deal with a struggling 8 year old?
8. Which brings up the next concern: are you willing to stay home while that child adjusts?  What if it takes more than "maternity leave" and you need to stay home 6 months?  Or a year?
9. Attachment challenged kids can come off pretty charming.  His personality could be very different than the agency or visiting Americans have seen.

There is a lot to consider in adoption.  How will it impact my marriage, my 3 children, my sanity?  Our finances?  At this point, we are certainly not saying that we are all in.  In fact, at this point, there might be other families interested in him that would be better suited.  I called a friend on Wednesday who I thought was a good candidate.  Kids are mostly grown and adoption has been on their heart.  If we're not the family for Abe, I'm okay with that and will advocate for a family for him.  Maybe there's another child that would be a better fit for our family... we shall see.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


My house is a pig sty.  The floors need swept and mopped.  Clothes need folded and put away.  Bathrooms need cleaned.  You know, the normal stuff.  But it's so much worse than the normal stuff right now.  My house needs de-cluttered.  Each and every single room needs de-cluttered.  On top of that, I took a bunch of totes down from the attic to have a garage sale.  Then for various reasons, the garage sale didn't happen.  I really want to get rid of all the clothes and baby items.  I don't like clutter.  At all.  In my perfect world, everything would have a place it would call home.  

I began de-cluttering.  The first room took me over an hour.  We still had all our winter hats and mittens out.  It's almost 90 today, I guess the winter apparell can go to it's home.  The next room was horrendous.  Too much stuff.  As I began in that room, my kids woke from their naps.  My head is pounding and I'm just not motivated to clean anymore.  

I should begin fixing supper, and bathing the kids so they're all cleaned up for church tomorrow... I better hop to it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Judah's Hair

B: He needs to turn white
me: Umm, no, he doesn't need to turn white.  He'd look like a ghost.
J: I would look like a scary cat.

and the conversation continued about the white scary cat he could be.  We'll have to work on that with Bethany.  It's innocent on her part but I want her to know the impacts of her words before they fly out of her mouth.  This is something I could have learned earlier in life... and fail at sometimes.

On another note, Judah's hair has been growing out for months and months.  It's all uneven.  The front is shorter than the back part of the crown of his head.  The back lower part is shorter yet.  Regardless, it's long enough to do something fun with it - twists or something.  It's so hard to keep it from getting all dry!  I need to find the a guy at our nearby university who would be willing to do Judah's hair.

Monday, May 7, 2012

It's been two years since these two met.  And life changed forever for all of us.

We arrived home exhausted from Ethiopia with an overwhelmed little boy and two other children who were as excited as could be.  On our drive home, we purchased Judah nuggets and french fries which he wouldn't eat and still doesn't to this day.

Tonight, in an attempt to celebrate and remember how our life changed two years ago, I come to the keyboard with an exhausted and broken heart.  Tonight, I'm the overwhelmed one.  Tonight, the heaviness on my heart is exhausting yet keeping me awake.  It's that heaviness that I want to share with you.

I've been working on a presentation of Africa for some 7th graders at my local school.  I've dug through photos of my recent trips to Ethiopia.  It's fun to watch the videos and see how the kids grew from one trip to another. As I get a glimpse of life at FOVC, I'm reminded of the many who stand outside the fence who never receive help from FOVC and their generous supporters like you.  I'm reminded that sometimes when we do help, it might just be too late.  I'm reminded of the preciousness of life.  I'm reminded that I could sacrifice a little more and maybe change the life of just one more child.  I'm reminded that I can never do enough.

As I sit and type, next to my laptop is Bethany's change box.  Last night I rewarded her for something and as she started up the stairs to put her pennies in her bank, she came back to the kitchen and put it in her Ethiopia penny bank.  Oh Lord, would you continue to mold their little hearts after yours.  And God would you soften my heart and make me more like you, that I might live and give sacrificially.  May I be more concerned about keeping people alive than about building a financial portfolio for retirement.

The need is great.  The harvest is plentiful.  The workers are few.  Would you wake us up to the needs of those around us!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rainy Season & Drought

On this day two years ago, was the start of a long day that ended in the start of a long trip home to Iowa with a certain little boy in our arms.  Maybe I'll write more about that tomorrow.

For now, I'd like to share a blog post with you titled The Science of Rainy Season and the Problem of Drought in Ethiopia.  Living right in Soddo, Ethiopia (the town near Shanto where we stay), R and her husband manage a home for parentless children.  Reading through her posts have been of great interest to me.  This particular post about the weather has been open on my computer all week to read.  It gives a good glimpse of how weather impacts the people of Shanto as they live off the land.  If it interests you, it only takes a few minutes to read.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wolayta FB Group

There's a Wolayta facebook group for parents with kids from Wolayta.  If you're interested in joining that group, let me know and I can add you.
Sorry to my friends Megan and Lindsie who I didn't think to add already :)  which is why I'm posting it here.