Thursday, November 2, 2017

Why Adoption?

We are asked all the time why adoption? Well, for me, I like to say its in my blood. You see my dad was adopted as an infant. I was the only person he knew who was blood related to him until he was in his 50's. I saw the good in adoption. He always said he had 3 mom's. The first mom loved him enough to allow someone else to raise him. The 2nd mom who raised him as her own and lastly his step mom has loved him even though she didn't have too. My dad had 2 dads. One who didn't know about him until he was a grandfather and the other who placed him under the Christmas tree for that was all they could afford that Christmas. Some days I think that is how Jaron and I will be, placing our baby under the tree for that is all we can afford.

Adoption... Dictionary. com defines adoption as - to take and rear (the child of other parents) as one's own child, specifically by a formal legal act.

The word adoption happens 5 times in the New Testament. All used by the Apostle Paul. Paul uses this word to describe us (non Jewish people) being grafted into the family of God. We are adopted into God's family when we ask him to be the boss of our lives. We become family. I never realized how this applies to us until we met part of my dad's biological family. Some of them are believers. When we met them we were instantly like family. We felt very close very fast. I believe that is because we already had the bond of Christ. The part of the family who are not believers were very standoffish. We did not have that sense of already being family. You see we were already family through Christ. We were already grafted together because of our belief and trust in Jesus.

Here's the deal. Adoption is not only in my physical family, but in my spiritual one as well... Let us all follow God's example and adopt. Maybe you can't physically adopt for a lifetime right now, but you can help other families. Our church is helping 50 kids this Christmas from right here in our community. We are buying presents and providing stocking stuffers. These families aren't going to have to worry about keeping the power on instead of buying presents!

Maybe you need to think and pray about adopting for a season or for a lifetime!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Adoption Exhaustion

Psalm 69:3I am exhausted from crying for help;my throat is parched.My eyes are swollen with weeping,waiting for my God to help me.
I don’t know about you, but this scripture hits deep in my soul. When it comes to our adoption we want it to happen now… We were told the wait time is minimal, but here we are… still waiting. We are told our book is a dream book, but we are still waiting. If I'm honest with you I've cried A LOT! I can't tell you how many times I have asked God just to make this barren womb healthy, so we could be like everyone else. Or how many times I have prayed for the birth mom of our future child, hoping the agency would call the next day.

We are coming into the Holidays. I firmly believed God was going to provide a child for us this Holiday Season. During the Adoption process its all hurry up and wait. You have to get your paper work and book made. Then get your home study which means getting your house uber clean! Then more paperwork. Then you are presented to potential birth moms. They might pick you, they might not. We have a carseat in our closet just in case we get a call. We have a crib in pieces in the corner of our office. We have a bassinet in our basement. We don't want to get excited when someone says, "We know this girl who is thinking about adoption." Our hearts have leapt once in this journey. The girl hasn't given birth yet, but it's not a great situation and we will probably go through the holidays childless.... again. I am like the Psalmist wrote - exhausted - exhausted from crying for help. I truly believe God has us on this journey to help others.

Am I trying to treat God like Santa Clause?

As I sat down to blog this morning I wondered... am I trying to treat God like Santa Clause? I am asking for something and wanting instant gratification from my prayer... Then I realized - God is God and I am not. He is not Santa Clause. He does not give us things because we ask. He gives us things that are already his desires for us.  Psalm37:4 Take delight in the Lordand he will give you your heart’s desires. Our hearts are naturally sinful. So, for our hearts and God's to match up with God's we have to be focused on Him. The more we focus on Him the more His desires become our desires. It's no longer a Santa Clause feel, but something that is already laid in the plans from the beginning!

During my personal worship time with God this morning literally right before I sat to finish this blog God reminded me over and over that We're Not Alone. God is fighting for us! This song came out in 2014 and this morning I heard it like never before. It is my hearts cry. My God hears my cries.... He is strengthening my heart.

You hear our Prayer; You see our need
Nothing is too hard for our God.  

We're not alone, We're not alone 

We are not alone, We are not alone
Our God is Fighting for us always

Monday, September 25, 2017

Racism and the NFL

As I sit in my little brick house here in Virginia I look outside and see my white neighbor's house, my Hispanic neighbor's house, and I can hear my husband's black friend from work bush hogging the field down the road. My community is one where we truly all get along... I have not always lived in such a place where when I saw a black man and we were both in our NFL get up he would be the first to joke with me. I have not always lived in a place where parents of kids allowed their children to go to the house of someone of another race. I have not always lived in a place where there was not a "black part of town." I have not always lived in a place where the "N" word was not spoken. I appreciate my town. I appreciate the fact that we are invited to birthday parties and weddings of people of other races. I appreciate the fact that our youth group is not lily white. I appreciate the fact that our kids of different races spend the night at one another's houses. I appreciate the fact that if anyone at my husbands work needs a ride into work, no matter their color, someone picks them up.

I have lived in a place where white women did not speak to black men and visa versa; when I did they were in shock. I was usually asked where I was from because there is no way I could be from that town. I lived in a place where people told me how to get to their house by going around the "black part of town" instead of going the shorter way through it. I lived in a place where I was told my house value was going to go down because 2 US Military Veterans were moving in next door. They happened to be black and all I heard from my white neighbors was about the black people. Not about how he had lost his arm in combat serving our country or how good his BBQ chicken was, but the color of their skin. I lived in a place where no one went to the closest grocery store because it "wasn't safe." I was always the lone white person when grocery shopping. I lived in a place where the local football coaches did not attend an NFL draft party for 2 college players from our town because of the color of their skin. I lived in a place where I invited a black man into the church to get some supplies for a play and he was scared to walk in the door.

Racism is alive an thriving in America. We, white people,  might not see it in our community, but it is there. I saw it not to long ago here in my town. A father told me his daughter isn't allowed to date a person of color except for 1 boy. I didn't speak out...

BUT if you say your child cannot date someone of another race whether they are black, Asian, Hispanic, or white. You, my friend, are racist. When we talk about adopting and the first question you ask is what race my child will be. You, my friend, are racist. If you are telling me a story of a friend and you start it with "this black girl in my office." You, my friend, are racist.

I went through a time in middle school when the people I was hanging around were becoming racist. I remember it well. I started to become like them until my parents put a stop to it right away. They reminded me that God created everyone. Jesus himself was not white. They told me they did not raise someone to judge others by the color of their skin.

I am thankful for a dad who has shared multiple pulpits in African American Churches. I am thankful for a mom who taught me to cross the street when there were shady looking people coming my way no matter their color because their attitude means more than their color. I am thankful my house was open to anyone. If you wanted to come to my birthday party or to hang out after school you were more than welcome, no matter the color of your skin.

The NFL players are not kneeling to disrespect the flag and our military, but to bring awareness of the racism that is still running rampant in America. There is not a bigger platform to bring light to the truth than through the NFL. If you are boycotting the NFL because they are disrespecting our military please look closer at the issue. I saw a meme earlier today that said, "Thinking NFL players are 'protesting the flag' is like thinking Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation." In this situation I feel as though no truer words have been spoken.
  Dear Lord, Help us to see with your eyes. Help us to learn from your words and Help us to change the world we live in for your Name! - Amen 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Adoption Quilt Making

My mom taught me how to sew when I was in preschool! My mom's best friend taught a sewing class to elementary school students and my mom figured she could teach me! During the summers we would make outfits and one time a doll! For a while my mom made flags to make ends meet. I remember during nap time and when I went to bed at night I would hear the hum of the sewing machine as well as the washer and dryer going. Something about those sounds comforts me! About 5 years ago, I made a few quilts and taught some of my youth girls to sew. My first ones were a bit rough (the brown one to the right) and I never thought I would be using something like that to raise money for our Adoption! Back then I wasn't even dating let alone thinking about having kids!


Some of you have seen posts on Facebook showing me making quilts. It has been CRAZY! In one month I received 10 orders! Ya'll I NEVER thought I would sell 10! Seriously... When we bought the first fabric I was questioning why I thought I could do this! Now, we only need 10 more quilts and we will have enough to get through the home study portion of our adoption!! Then hopefully we can get grants! Honestly, the way this is going we might be able to do it all making quilts! I would love to make this a small business one day and employ some of my family so they could stay at home! How cool would that be?! That may never happen, but hopefully we will continue to sell some so that we can pay the agency so that a birth mom can choose us!!

I can't write this post without including all of the blessings we have received. Some of you are helping us quilt (HUGE BLESSING), some have given us donations (I cry every time we receive one), some of you have ordered quilts, and hopefully all of you are praying! This is a perfect picture of Church! Everyone helping and pitching in for one goal! God is definitely up to something! The more I talk about adoption the more people pour their lives and hearts out to us about their struggles with pregnancy! God is allowing us to be heard and share our story in many different ways! I can't wait to see all that God is going to do!

Some people have wondered how I am getting all these quilts done... Well, I work on my Youth/Children stuff till 12:30 and then after lunch I get to work on quilts! At 5:00 I stop and go to whatever games/events our students have normally getting home between 8:30 and 9:30. It's crazy busy, but it's our life right now!!

Send me a picture of a nursery and we will get to making a quilt to match!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Adoption Update #1

I don't know about you, but there have been times in my life where I wanted God to answer my prayer RIGHT NOW! He doesn't always do that does He?

I've always felt the calling to adopt. I've always wanted to continue the adoption culture which my family has and hopefully those prayers will be answered! Right now though I sit waiting to hear a little more from God. We made a baby quilt over Christmas that we have prayed over believing that God is going to grant us a child.

Jaron and I have picked an adoption agency... We have the first little part of money for the application fee. Next comes $3,000. We don't have 3k. We can't apply for grants until we are home study approved and that is the $3,000... With grants we would be looking at close to 13k. It's hard to think about... We are still paying a mortgage on a house in GA while renting here in VA. Even though we have amazing people renting our house it is still a financial burden when looking to adopt. People have told us to set up a GoFundMe page, but I've heard so much negitivity with others who question fundraising. They think because people looking to adopt can't afford the adoption then they wouldn't be able to afford the day to day and that is untrue!

 I'm starting to make baby quilts, sheets, and receiving blankets to sell online to help offset the cost, but it's going to take forever! Jaron is working 6 days a week from 8 to sometimes 8 for extra income. Jaron and I have a separate bank account just for our baby! 

We are working hard and believing that God is going to help us and bless us throughout this crazy journey! Please join us in praying for our situation!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

He is Here!

As I sit on our couch in a dark house after a pretty quiet day I am reminded of how God is here! In the darkest of days/nights and in the beautiful days... He is here! My friends I want you to remember that God is here... He wants a relationship with you... Through the good and bad! Some nights like tonight I just love to go to bed after Jaron and just sit and soak in our little life. Our lives are not perfect, our marriage is not perfect, our families are not perfect, the ministry that God has called us to is not perfect, but God is here in the mix! He is fighting for us!

As you know, Jaron and I would love to have a family! When I get bummed out about the process of adoption or the cost of it I am reminded that God is here! When I see all the wonderful pictures of ultrasounds and babies across my Facebook I am reminded that God is here and it's just not our turn!

Jaron and I have attended another adoption meeting and fell in love with this agency! My heart filled to overflow when the ladies talked about the counseling for the birth mothers. I really want to have a good relationship with our child's birth mom. I don't want our child to have a hole in their exstitance that wonders about their mom. I know God is working ahead as I pray for our future child's birth mom. God is there with her and God is here reminding me that He is here and He has a plan!

As of 2 weeks ago, we have enough money to actually start the process!! We will need quite a bit more money through the process ($10,000) but I know God will provide! He provides for us everyday and I know He will provide when it comes to this! I am starting an online business of making baby quilts and crib sheets and possibly receiving blankets to help with some of the cost. I know God wants us to work for it and not expect a hand out. He is here urging us along in this crazy process.

I am so grateful for all the prayers we are receiving through this journey. I know that one day when we get through all the paperwork and financial stuff we will have the child that God has granted us! It's so crazy to think about all that goes into an adoption, but it will all be worth it in the end! We will have the family He desires us to have, but as for right now... He is Here!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

God's plan vs Our plans

When I was a Senior in High School I went to a youth ministry conference where David Nassar spoke about how God's plans are better than our plans. The title of his message was, "God's going to ruin your life." It has been 12 years since I heard that sermon and almost every year from then on I felt my plan change into God's plan.

A little over 2 years ago was one of the hardest to date. I was told one of the worst things that could be told to a woman engaged to be married. I was told I did not ovulate (You know that thing that women have to do before they have sex to be able to have a child!)... a week later I was in the same room finding out the gender of my first niece or nephew. (He is an amazing little boy!) His mom was only 15 at the time. So, there I was watching a young girl do something I was told I could never do unless by a miracle of God. I thought it was SO unfair! Later, I found out that multiple teenagers I knew were pregnant. It was my job to minister to these teenage girls... to love them. Inside I was dying! I knew they were hurting, but so was I. Life was so hard. That summer was terrible. I was dying on the inside and had to be happy for them on the outside.

Jump ahead 2 years and Jaron and I are married and would love a family of our own! Instead, of trying IVF we have opted to begin the journey of parenthood through adoption. So, here goes nothing! I am so excited I feel like I'm about to pop, but I know it's a long process.