Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ask him!

"I would love to adopt, but I do not think my husband would go for it."

My prayer is that you would step out on faith. First PRAY, and then simply ASK. God loves to surprise us! We are HIS children! He has certainly surprised me many times through the process of adoption as I mentioned in an earlier post. You may never know if God has ever put that thought in your husband's mind somewhere along the way. And more than likely he would never mention it unless you did. It would be sad to miss out on this blessing because you simply never asked him.

You may not want to go all out like I did before I asked Tom.(: But it does help to have statistics and info with you when you go to ask. Have I mentioned that I taped a picture of Lucy above Tom's computer and asked him to pray for a few days about adopting her?

In all seriousness, Steven Curtis Chapman's team discovered an amazing statistic - IF ONLY 7% OF CHRISTIANS ADOPTED A CHILD THERE WOULD BE NO ORPHANS LEFT IN THE WORLD! I know that adoption is not for everyone, but what if it is for you and your family? Please don't miss this divine opportunity!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Questions and Comments

With adoption comes many questions and comments. With an Asian adoption comes a whole different list of questions and comments. Do Tom or I mind either of these? Absolutely not! At times it is actually entertaining. The two most common, believe it or not, are:
1. I bet she is smart. Is she smarter than most girls her age?
2. Does she play the violin or anything?
(Sorry if anyone reading this has made these comments:)

I really love questions because I know God uses them in most cases to stir one's heart, whether it be towards adoption or leading one to support orphans around the world.

There are two objections I hear over and over again (which is the reason for this post).
1. We would adopt if we could afford it.
2. I would love to adopt, but my husband would never go for it.

I will start with the first. I say all of this to encourage anyone who has thought for a split second that they might be willing to adopt. I CAN COUNT ON ONE HAND HOW MANY PEOPLE I KNOW WHO CAN AFFORD TO SPEND $20,000 in one year. But yet there are thousands every year that are doing it. THIS IS WHAT GRANTS ARE OUT THERE FOR! Most people are unaware of the resources that are available. There are many great fundraisers that your friends and church family could help you with. There are also interest free loans and a huge tax credit now.

I will never forget calling America World Adoption Association for the first time three years ago with the adoption of Lily. I needed to talk to someone about the money side of things before I asked Tom to adopt. The lady there said these exact words - "If God is making it clear to you that you are ready to adopt, He will provide all of the money. We have families everyday that sign on that do not have the money and God always provides. He favors adoption!" I quickly reminded her that my husband was working part time at the church and was in school full time. Then she repeated what she had just said. I then told her that it would be great if Tom could hear those words come from her and not me. She agreed, and when Tom came home from work, I called and she did just that. He believed her and we both were ready to step out on faith! Huge leap for us!!! But we did it and God was SO faithful. It was so fun to watch God work. When we left for China we were short $1,000 of paying off the whole adoption. Tom checked the mail when we got home and guess what was there? Someone had forgotten to send a gift to us and it was for the exact amount we needed. It was paid in full! God is so awesome! That is just one of the many miracles we saw along the way. PLEASE DO NOT LET THE MONEY STOP YOU!!! Call or e-mail me for ideas.

I will touch on the second objection in the next post.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two blessings!

So many are asking questions like, "Does she know any English?" and "How are you going to teach her, especially with homeschooling?" We were asking the same questions. No worries - we just knew it would come with time. We thought we would probably use ESL (English as a second language) in public school for a while. We knew she would learn conversational English quickly living with three sisters that talk NON-STOP. She would truly be immersed in it.

Well, with every adoption comes many miracles. It is fun to watch them unfold. I will share two with you.

There is a couple from Florida that was on this same mission trip as Criss. They have already been back to Lucy's orphanage in Fushun since. They have a heart for orphans and especially for the older children. Their daughter is now in the process of adopting Betty, a 13-year old friend of Lucy and Cindy. It will be another year for Betty to be adopted due to some delays.

Here is the first blessing - Betty's grandparents are paying an AWAA guide to go to the orphanage every Saturday to teach the children ENGLISH so they will be ready for adoption. (by the way, neither Betty nor Lucy know they are being adopted yet.) How cool is that!? FREE tutoring! Here's a picture of their first class (Lucy, in the pink jacket, has really grown a lot in a year).

Here is the second blessing - we had a couple begin coming to our Sunday school class a few weeks ago. Their daughter adopted from China a couple of years ago, so I was sharing with them about Lucy. Well, the husband told me this very week he just finished up with his course on teaching ESL. He is now just looking for the students to teach!!! And he just wants to work with children in the Hampstead area. Well, that is exactly where we live and always assumed we would have to drive into town for something like this (30 min. drive). How cool is that!? Thank you, Tom Spencer!!!

So, really NO worries. We would be crazy to worry! So if you hear of any worry come from me during this process, you have permission to knock me in the head with something!

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."Matthew 6:34.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meet Cindy

Cindy is an awesome 13 year old girl that my friend, Criss Keegan, fell in love with on her mission trip. She used to live with Lucy in China but now lives here in Wilimington with the Keegans. In the first picture of our first post on this blog, she is to the left of Lucy. She is attending a private school here in town and is loving it. You can read their story at Cindy is really excited about Lucy being adopted. I look forward to the day when they will see each other again. I saw Cindy at the mall this week, and she told me that she prays all the time that Lucy will come quick.

Criss is a wealth of knowledge and now works for AWAA, our adoption agency. I am so thankful for her help with our last adoption and now for leading us to Lucy!

This picture is from Criss' first visit to the Fushun orphanage last summer. As you can see from this picture, Cindy is very talented.

"For this child I prayed"

In 1 Sam. 1:27, Hannah prayed these very words when God answered her prayer and blessed her with a son, Samuel. I can relate to Hannah and will share with you why.

Last summer, a close friend of mine was in China on a mission trip and was so kind to post her daily events and pictures for us back here in the States. She had adopted 2 precious little girls from China already at this point (in addition to the 5 she and her husband already have.) Thinking that she was done with adoptions but with her heart still in China, she decided to start taking trips annually to do mission work in the orphanages. (more of her story later).

I will never forget the first few pictures she posted, where I was sitting, and the conversation I had with my oldest daughter, Lauren. Have you ever had that REALLY weird feeling about something that you could never explain but could never forget? Well, I do not have them often, but I did this day. I saw picture after picture posted with lots of children in them but had my eye only on Lucy. It was like I KNEW her. Without even thinking, I called Lauren over to the computer and said, "Lauren, this girl could be your sister. Looks like a mix of you and Lily." (: Yes, I really did say that. I was even zooming in on her hands, fingers, fingernails, etc., seeing the resemblance.

Lauren immediately called her daddy at work, jumping up and down, begging to adopt Lucy. She didn't even say "Hello". By the time Tom returned from work, Anna Claire and Lauren were both begging (and maybe me). I think he was a little shocked that she looked to be around 10 years old. We had never talked about older adoption up to this point.

Well, I am married to a man that is completely opposite from me - not quite so spontaneous, but quite level-headed. He did not give us the "Yeah! Let's do it!" like we wanted. Instead he gave us the "let me pray about it" answer. Well, to make a very LONG story short, he finally said yes about two months ago - year and a bit later! I am pretty certain that I have never prayed for anything so diligently in all my life.

God's timing is perfect. I can look back now and see why now is the right time. I forgot to mention that we just built a new home and moved in this past summer. I wanted to do it all at the same time.(: Yes, it is good to have a level-headed one in the mix.

I can hardly wait to bring her home! Still lots of prayer is needed through this process. It is complicated and there is always a chance that it all might fall through. We are trusting that God will work it out in the end.