It’s been a year since we began this adoption journey. Yep, one year! One year of filling out paperwork, seeing doctors (twice for each family member), having all our pets checked and updated on shots, testing water, fingerprinting (twice), having background checks (twice), interviews, requesting friends send in letters of reference (twice), writing paragraphs about ourselves and our beliefs (twice), filling out applications, beginning a homestudy and finishing with another homestudy in another state, having many fundraisers, dreaming of holding a baby in our arms again, hearing our children talk of their future baby brother/sister and what they so enjoy doing with babies-holding them and playing with them, seeing the hard work that our children have put forth to help set up many tables for a booksale fundraiser, carrying in hundreds of books for the sale, setting up two yard sales that entailed working long, hard hours in rain and 100 degree temps., setting up a booth at our homeschool convention, making necklaces, making baby blankets, making cherubs, and so much more. And I didn’t even include all of what we have done in this adoption journey in this past year. And most of all many, many prayers and tears.
Today we (maybe me more than Steve?) need some encouragement, prayers and suggestions from you all. We all have our times of struggling in the walk of life. Right now it tends to look like we are drifting in and out of the struggling.
We know that the “chances” of being chosen by a birthmom are slimmer for us as we are older and we do have 6 biological children. One agency even recommended that one not have pictures in their profile with other people’s children as the birthmom may think you already have a lot of children and not choose you! Wow! What do you do if those are your children? Should we cut some of them out of the picture? Many birthmoms request families with no or only one child. I so wish I could share with those birthmoms some of the sad stories I have heard from other adoptive moms. I’m not saying all adoptive moms with no children(as I have known many wonderful ones) are this way, but I have heard from some first time adoptive parents that their adopted baby has cried too much in the night and they have put him/her on the floor in the closet or in another room to just get a break. I just want to cry when I hear that. When a baby is crying, he/she is trying to communicate a need to you. We believe you can’t hold a newborn baby too much. They need to feel loved and cared for. They need to feel that trust. They need that bond. In our family, the baby stays with us all the time and if he/she cries it means something-hunger, diaper change needed, painful tummy, etc. Hold the baby, love the baby, even if you are so exhausted. They grow so fast in such a short time, hold them! And for those of us blessed with other children in the family, we can all take turns holding him/her. 🙂 But, sadly the world often looks at a big family and thinks that a baby would never get enough attention in that size family. The world wants to know why on earth you would want more children. The world has so many questions for you: don’t you know what causes that? Going for your own baseball team? Are those all yours? Are you running a preschool? When are you gonna get fixed? Ever been called the rabbit family? (even a pastor compared us to this once while he was speaking at the pulpit). What ever happened to children being a blessing from the Lord? As I often answer the world’s questions, I try in a kind way to remind them that we cannot take our material possessions with us to Heaven, but we certainly can bring some more beautiful souls to Heaven with us. 🙂 I’ve also asked people before if the Lord were to give you a million dollars, would you accept it? They always answer, “yes”, but when I continue on and say, “then if the Lord would offer you another child, would you accept it?” they become silent. Some have shared with us that they prefer their vacations in California, Hawaii, Florida, etc. Some prefer their sporty cars. Some prefer the extra money to buy new clothes instead of used or hand-me-downs. Some prefer to be heavily involved in sports instead of taking time to raise children. It’s all in our priorities. I do know that those material items will not change the world or share God’s Word like a child will. We thank God daily for our beautiful children. We pray that we are raising them for His glory and that they will raise their children for His glory as well. We both can see a baby and choke up as we still long for another baby or two or… We haven’t lost that desire to raise more for Him. No, we are not perfect. We are extremely imperfect, but we are so willing to do this for Him and yes, for our flesh to hold that baby again too. Yes, we are willing to have sleepless nights again, bags under our eyes, wear spit-up clothes, and change oodles of diapers. What a blessing that would be.
So, we’ve been talking lately about if we should apply to an out-of-state adoption agency. Our current agency has not had any babies available in 3 weeks! We would need to be gone two weeks if we were to be matched with a birthmom thru that out-of-state agency. This is a big concern for us as we have a lot of livestock to care for twice a day. That is a lot of work for someone else to cover for us. We also are in the midst of milking our goats nightly. I was thinking and praying about this the other night when suddenly it came to me that if we can trust the Lord to lead us to our baby, then why can’t we trust the Lord to lead us to people who would be willing to help us with our livestock? Trust!
Then there is the question of if we apply to an out-of-state agency and get matched, do we take some or all of our children with us? Do we make it like a family vacation in a way? Would it be too stressful for all of us while trying to bond with our baby? I have heard from other adoptive families that they do make it like a family vacation after the baby is checked out of the hospital. It becomes a time of bonding with the baby and a time of sharing fun memories with their other children. I don’t know that we could stand to be away from our children for two weeks! In fact, I know we couldn’t!
Then there is the added cost of traveling to the place to adopt the baby and the cost of staying somewhere (hotel, motel, campground, etc.). We see more do$$ar signs. But, then again we go back to trusting the Lord in everything. So, do we apply or not? We would need to print out 5 more profiles and pay an application fee of $100 if so. Seeing do$$ar signs again. Okay, stop thinking about the money….focus on what the Lord would have you do. When it’s all said and done another blessing in our family would be priceless. However, the flesh in us does surface, along with trying to be good stewards with what the Lord has given us thus far in this walk. Fine line to walk.
If you are local, do you know anyone that would want to share in helping us out for two weeks if we do apply, are matched, and do have to travel? Maybe even someone wants to camp on our land while we are gone? 🙂
We are also trying to get this online auction up and running, but are unable to make our pictures small enough. Can any of you recommend where/how we can do this? We were told to search online for a free downsizing software. Any recommendations on a certain one to use? I am pretty much computer illiterate and this is my “baby” for the most part. 🙂 We have begun listing the items with the details, but need help with the pics. Also, if you have any thing you’d like to donate to our online adoption auction, we’d be so grateful! We still have many slots to fill up.
Please remember to use our links to the side to help support our fundraising efforts. If you shop at Amazon or CBD, you only need to click on the link to the side here and it automatically will credit us with a small percentage of your purchase. No need for a special code!
Today I went through our adoption folder and journal. I looked over the past year of hopefulness and excitement over each of our fundraisers. I ended up crying. I cried because of the long walk, the tough times we have had with trying to fundraise, the questioning from others, the unknown of if someone will choose us to adopt their baby, etc. How long will it take, Lord? Will we ever be chosen? Will our family ever have the blessing of another baby in our family? One son came to me the other day and told me that he had dreamed that I had another baby. This same son has also had dreams of us adopting a baby too. Our oldest daughter often shares thoughts and dreams of another baby with us too. The other children still talk about having another baby in our family. Isn’t it interesting how as children many of us love babies and want to have them in our families, but yet, as adults no longer have that desire? What happens? Where is this change in thinking made?
Do we think that everyone should adopt? No. We are all called to different ministries depending on the gifts that God has bestowed upon us. However, the Bible is pretty clear about widows and orphans. What we do about that depends on the answers and guidance God gives us.
So, today if you think of us, please pray for us to be lifted up. If you have suggestions, please share them with us. And any encouragement would be greatly appreciated as well.
We need some encouragement, prayers, and suggestions in this walk.