Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Confessions of (Another) Homestudy

In a few days, our new social worker will come to do a follow-up report on the children to send to Ethiopia.  It seems like ten years has gone by since our first homestudy.  

Since this social worker has never met our family, it should be interesting.  We'll have to put our best foot forward.

Maybe on that day, they won't make me change their clothes 10 times in 5 minutes.  

Or maybe it will be like the church picnic last weekend, where I pretended a few of them weren't mine at key moments.

Maybe we can make it through our homeschool day without someone eating our crafts.

Maybe they will stop trying to put 
dresses and headbands on Moses.

Or at least give the kid 
a chance to learn to walk.

Or maybe they will just act how they always do, and the social worker will see what I see. 

I see that my oldest was put together by God with a heart for adoption.  

I could not have taught her what she continues to teach me daily.  
She already knew.

I see a daughter who lost her position as the baby (times two) in one trip to the airport, who gained a sister a lot closer in age than we all thought, and has handled it with adult-sized grace and patience.

I see that God sends someone special to my doorstep to love on me and my children on days when I need it.

I see that God placed certain people in our lives long before we decided to adopt.  People who would make this transition possible and support us unconditionally.

I see God healing the heart of my lost little girl, because I could not have done it, no matter how many books I read about attachment.

I see her smiling because she is happy, and not because she is trying to win someone over.

I see my son, claimed by his father, and carried with pride wherever we go. 

And then there's me.  For the times that I have pretended that the kids streaking the church football field are not mine, I can tell you that most of the time you will find me bragging and making sure that people know that 

"Yes, they are all mine".  

And that walking through a grocery store with these four in tow fills me with so much joy, because children are a gift from the Lord, and I have been blessed, and I am undeserving...  

And when I look in the rearview, I sometimes forget where I have been.  I forget that my road was often filled with fitful rebellion and disbelief, and that He salvaged me and gave me Joy.

We are so thankful for what He has done in our lives and our home.  And we will follow Him on this new road for our lives wherever He leads us.

So once again, 
I am guessing we can skip the cookies.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Going the Distance

About a year ago, my friend Ashley shared a book with me that changed my life and started me down a road that led me to Jesus.  Our adoption, this blog, and a life lived without fear has followed.

Today, I give the blog to Ashley and her husband Nathan.  
Please read how child sponsorship has changed their lives, and what it looks like when a man's heart is broken for the Lord.  

Here's Nathan in his own words....


At the beginning of this year, I set out with a goal in mind - to complete my first full distance Ironman race on July 28th.  A full Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a full marathon run (26.2 miles).  

As my training progressed, I felt the need to make all of the effort I was putting into training count for more than just self improvement. 

I felt it needed to mean something more.

Around the same time, friends of our family were in the process of adopting two children from Ethiopia.   

They also became involved with a school 
in the same region for orphaned children. 

They sought out people to support each of the children at the school through the charity Children's HopeChest.  

Our family decided to sponsor Mikias, a 10 year old boy who receives food, clothes and many other basic needs through the school.

A few months later our friends traveled to Ethiopia to adopt their children and visit the school.  

They were able to meet Mikias and took a photo of him 
holding a photo of our family.

 The stark contrast between this destitute child 
and my own children... 

...moved me to want to do more 
than simply sponsor one child.

Through the work of Kind Hearts and Children's HopeChest, a new school is being planned adjacent to the current one which will allow them to double their capacity.  It will be able to serve another 150 orphaned and destitute children.

The cycle of poverty can be broken for 150 kids!

 It will provide bathrooms with running water which none of the students have at home, four new classrooms and all the desks, chairs and equipment needed for these new rooms.

I would like to be a part of this effort, and would like you to help me do this! 

 Would you consider giving at least $0.10 for every mile I swim, bike and run?  

At a little over 140 miles, that is about $14 which will directly go towards the construction of this school.  My personal goal is raising $20 for every mile of the race!  That would total over $2800 for the school!

Your donation toward this project will profoundly impact the lives of these kids.  
It will meet their basic needs now and provide an education that will enable them to provide for their families.

This project is personal to me because of my family's relationship with Mikias.   

Please join me by making a donation to fund the new school building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which will directly impact the lives of many more children.
For progress reports and updates about Kind Hearts, the kids and this project, 

Make Your Donation Today!

Thank you, Nathan!

And thank you to my childhood friend, Ashley...
...for sharing her Joy with me when I so desperately needed it.