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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Please take a number

It has been an interesting weekend in the land of adoption.  We got news that the COTP family who has been waiting longer than us has about one more month before they'll be out of IBESR (the longest part of the process).  Just today I heard that another COTP family is officially OUT and moving through the next steps.  A beautiful little girl is one step closer to going home.

I'm really happy for her.

And I'm really frustrated for us.

When we started this process we didn't take a number.  We didn't walk up to the adoption counter and pull down a #2 from the number dispenser thingy.
We were family #2 in line.

We haven't moved.

I'm frustrated.

I want to kick and scream and cry.

We started before this other family.  Why aren't WE out yet?

You know what?  There's nothing 'fair' when it comes to adoption.  We aren't #2.  We're just another file in a huge stack of dossiers.

This afternoon I found myself feeling really gross.  I'm a mother who longs for her daughter to come home.  And not getting news, not having movement, makes me feel horrible.

She's getting older.

She's experiencing firsts without us.

She's going to bed every night without her mama or papa tucking her in and kissing her forehead.

My God, who is bigger than this crazy process, is continually smiling on me.  I can hear him saying, "Oh Karen, you have so much to learn."

Our wonderful neighbor stopped over this afternoon.  This family is dealing with things much greater than any family should ever have to endure.  And yet she went out of her way to bring us something.  A sign that, at some point, the little girl will be coming home.  God's way of saying, "I've got this covered right now Karen.  I tuck her in and kiss her forehead every night."

Our neighbor brought over a bag of clothes for the little girl.  At the top of a bag there was a beautiful pink dress.  I started to cry, hoping she'll be home while it still fits.
(Thank you Heather!)

Our paperwork has been in Haiti nearly 10 months now.  I think that's enough.  It's time for them to move on to another file.  It's time for the little girl to come home to her big sister and brother.  It's time to find out what she likes to eat and learn about her personality.  It's time for her to know that we are her family.

It's just...time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sweet Moses

First, a quick adoption update.  We were told our sweet little girl flew to PAP for her interview at the Embassy.  I'm not sure what it entails, and I don't know who went with her.  But I do know it's complete. The Embassy sent an email just a few hours after the interview was complete.

People are excited about how the process is moving.  Yes, it's a step.  But I compare it to a step on a treadmill.  There's movement, but we aren't going anywhere.  We're still in IBESR.  We still don't have dispensation.

I'm not being negative here.  It's more realism.  At this point we still have no idea when she'll be home.

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Yesterday I had the absolute joy of meeting another adopting mama friend.  She was in town from Utah and we were able to spend the afternoon together.  It was wonderful to meet face-to-face and talk about all the things we've been emailing about for months.  We could have spent the weekend together, talking and crying the entire time.

I scheduled some time for us to meet another friend who has a son from Nigeria.  Their story is on the front page of the Pioneer Press today.  You can read about their love story here:  Karen and Moses

This, my friends, is what it's all about.

Moses is the most beautiful, happy, loving child you'll ever meet.  His eyes tell the story of the love for his mother - a woman who fought for years to bring him home.

In one part of the article Karen talks about Joshua.  She has a new mission.  She wants to help Joshua find his forever family.  Her non-profit has agreed to pay for some of the expenses (non adoption related) to bring him home.  You see can his picture here:  Joshua has the same smile as Moses.  The smile warm your heart and stir your soul.

The numbers have changed my friends.  160 million.  160 million children who need a mom and/or a dad to love them, care for them, nurture them.  Bring them home.

Life isn't about 401k's and savings accounts and new cars.  Life isn't about being comfortable and not upsetting the apple cart.  Life isn't about 'I deserve...'

We are called to be a voice for those who have none.

Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, 
defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
Isaiah 1:17

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fevers and fuhgonkies

Warning - this post contains a bit of a rant.

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Last night it was my turn to sleep on the little girl's bed.  Henry has had a long stretch of being healthy, but the preschool germs overtook him once again.  Instead of having two tired parents, I decided it would just be easier to sleep in Henry's bedroom.

Even though he had a really restless night, he was up at 6am.  He decided he wanted his fuhgonkies (blankies) and a Phineas and Ferb marathon.  We snuggled close and started to watch episodes we've seen at least a thousand times.

During one of the breaks, there was a story about a little girl.  She said that before her 7th birthday she started dreaming about all the gifts she wanted.  She was really excited for her party, and all the toys she would get.

As she was waiting for her birthday, she heard about an orphanage in Guatemala that had 100 children.  None of them had shoes.  In that moment she decided that she didn't want presents for herself anymore.  She wanted people to bring shoes for the kids.

This courageous little girl spoke in front of her church, sharing the story about the kids who needed shoes.  She asked if they would donate shoes for her birthday.

The day of her party she got over 300 pairs of shoes!  She talked about how good it felt when they boxed up and shipped the shoes.

She was only 7 and she 'got it'.

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The winter after I got back from Haiti, Sofia celebrated her 9th birthday.  I remember going out and buying her birthday cake and cupcakes to share with her class.  It cost 75 bucks.  I was sick.  How could I spend that much money on cake?

Do you want to know what $75 can buy?  What $75 can do to help others?  Check out this blog:  Second Mile Ministries and you'll see how far that money can go. (While you're there, please consider donating.)

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Just a few weeks into his preschool education, Henry got an invitation to a birthday party.  Jason knew what my reaction was going to be.

"You have GOT to be kidding me!  He's only THREE!  Why is it starting THIS EARLY?!"

As you can probably guess, I really don't like kid birthday parties.  To me, they are excessive.  I cringe every time an invitation comes home in one of their backpacks.

Henry went to the party.  He brought a gift.  And he brought home a bag full of plastic toys.  A bag of junk that would break in a matter of hours, that is, if he even remembered about it.  I just kept thinking about the good that money could have been used for, instead of plastic toys that would end up in a landfill.

Why do we have this tradition?  Why do we spend all this money on cake and party favors and matching plates and napkins and presents that our kids don't need?

Why?  

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Think about the difference that could be made if just 5% of the kids out there did what that 7 year old little girl did.  If just 5% decided to take that celebration and use it to care for those who don't have.  Donate shoes, clothing, medical supplies, good ol cash.

What a difference they could make.

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We are here to add what we can to live, not to take what we can from it.   ~Unknown