Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bring on the Adoption Benefit Sale

Won't you join me for a quick travelogue showcasing our preparations for the big sale....
In this first shot we will see mounds of garage sale merchandise. I am blown away by all the donations we've received for the Adoption Benefit Sale at our Church this weekend! We've got piles and piles of great stuff. Thanks for cleaning out your closets everyone! I just want to take a minute and brag on our Church family and let you all know how supportive and generous they have been.
Our preacher, the Rev. Scott Burdick has been a great support... you'll see him at the sale selling hot dogs and popcorn to bring our children home. What a great guy. I tried to talk him into sitting in a dunk tank but that idea didn't fly. Here's a shot of him with his adorable little girl who was a great help entertaining Noah and Lydia while we were sorting stuff.
Toni and Vicki and Laura were awesome at pricing the merchandise this week. You girls are amazing. In the next photo we will see Vicki modeling some great 80's wear. Michael Jackson would be proud. Vicki , however will probably kill me for posting this. Many others from the church are planning to make baked goods to sell. My brother-in-law even drove down from Grand Rapids with a truckload of merchandise to donate. Our neighbors gave us enough stuff to furnish a small home. And the list goes on and on. We feel so blessed. Thanks to all of you who have given so generously of your time and stuff. We are all tagged up and mostly sorted so all that's left to do is to pray for good weather and lots of shoppers on Saturday.
This last picture is of Lydia dancing around in circles after drinking lots of lemonade. I figured that the best way to end a travelogue is with a cute face. And here's to hoping that when it's all said and done we'll be one step closer to a couple more cute faces.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why Adopt?

I'm sure for each adoptive parent the answer to the question "why?" is at least a little bit different. For us there are many reasons, which I will now attempt to explain. It is my hope that this will be helpful to others who are considering adoption. So here goes...

First, we think big families are great. Since Noah was young, we have talked about raising as many children as we thought we could handle- with the Lord's help of course :). We want to laugh together, grow together, learn from each other, support each other, and be as tight knit as possible. Because of homeschooling our two children are together all the time. It has been one of my greatest joys to watch them grow together as best friends. Yet, I still think there's plenty of room for more best friends. Which leads us to reason number one: we want to adopt as a way of growing our family.

Second, we want to live life intentionally and make a difference in the lives of others with all that God has blessed us with. We are blessed with a home, a ministry that allows me to stay at home with the children and still be able to pay the bills, great family support and encouragement, a heart and a love for raising children, and a gentle hearted son and daughter who adore younger children (especially babies.) It just makes good sense to do something with all those blessings.

Thirdly, some have asked, "Why don't you just have babies the good old-fashioned's cheaper." While I agree that it is significantly less expensive, I also have learned from experience that the cheaper way isn't always the right way. While I could technically carry a child to term and give birth this causes chaos in my body (as it does for every other woman who has ever given birth.) But for me the real trouble begins after the baby is born and the Crohn's Disease that has been silent for some time begins to show it's ugly head. While considering this factor over many years and much prayer Ben and I have decided that it's better be an healthy and energetic mom than to grow our family the good old-fashioned way. Over time I have realized that this health factor has given me the push I needed to follow through with what I always wanted to do but probably would have been too intimidated to grow our family through adoption.

Fourth, The Bible tells us,

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Some might view this as a rule that we must do. However, it has been my experience that when we obey God we are the ones who are blessed. And I can't wait to meet our little blessings. Several good friends have mentioned to us that they thought it was amazing how we were "saving" these children. They were impressed by how "selfless" this act of charity was. Well good friends, I hate to shatter this great opinion you have of us (laugh) , but for me it's not about how charitable we are and how much the children need us. To be sure the children's life expectancy may be lengthened. They will be part of a family that loves them dearly, have access to health care, nutritious food, and perhaps they may even earn a college degree. For me it's much more about God placing a deep desire in my heart to love our adopted children. I can't wait to bring them home and fatten them up and love on them. I can't wait to call them my own and fulfill the desire that God has placed in my heart to be their mama.