Tuesday, January 23, 2007



Hey all, I'm posting today to request prayer for my good friend Josh Buck. Some of you may remember Josh from my dating days in college (he was from IWU), some of you were asked to pray a year and a half ago when Josh's 3 month old daughter, Ava, died in a freak accident, and some of you have no clue who he is... however, after 3 months of dating long distance and 9 years of friendship, I count him one of my most cherished friends.

Josh was seriously injured in a diving accident last Thursday while vacationing in Mexico with his wife Shelly. He shattered his C5 vertebrae and is currently paralyzed from the chest down and recovering at a hospital in Miami, FL. We are spreading the word to all we know, and asking that people pray for complete healing. Doctors are giving his legs a 5% chance of recovery, but we know our God is bigger than their stats. If you would, please send a prayer or two, or twenty, Josh and Shelly's way today and everytime you think of it until he is home. Pray also for their children back home, Noah (4) and Zoe (3) and for their little boy still growing in Shelly's tummy (Ephram). For more information, or to follow his progress, check out his church's website... www.greenhouseministries.org

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Questions...

Still working on the adventure...

Okay, thanks to all of you who have inquired about how last week's meeting went. I would have e-mailed you back, but posting it all here at once seemed so much simpler. To make a long story short (or, shorter... you know I can never tell a "short" story!!!), this process is going to be much more difficult than we originally imagined. We left our meeting feeling quite discouraged, and that is probably why it took me so long to start explaining things to people. The biggest shock is that the process of adopting children already in the foster care system... who are legally free for adoption... waiting for a family... requires more paperwork, more evaluations, and significantly more time than adopting an infant. The last fact was where we felt thrown for a loop. Whether we were naive going in or not, it seems so sad to us that there are children out there waiting for parents, and it takes so much work to get to them. I can't imagine how many parents have probably thought about taking this route and chose another way of adopting simply because it was easier and faster. When we started our infant adoption process they told us to expect an expansion in our family within the next 9 months. We were told this process will most likely take a minimum of 2 years. In the mean time, children wait, and that is disheartening.

We did decide we will not be going through Traverse City Bethany for this adoption. There are a number of reasons, most of which involve state regulations and various "suggested practices," which would leave us waiting longer than most families they work with. It all has to do with proximity, so we are looking for a more local agency and there really aren't any. So, we are praying for clarity.

At this point, we still feel we are supposed to be pursuing adoption now. Maybe its because God knew it would take forever and wanted to get us going on it. Maybe its because He wanted to force us to consider other options. Maybe He just wants to teach us something about trust... once again! :) Augh! Who knows. For now, we are putting out a lot of feelers and doing our best to keep listening for God's voice in our midst. If anyone has any ideas... we'd love to hear them.

On a side note: sort of... Cody and I have been really drawn to Africa lately. Financially, emotionally, and even with our free time (watching a million and one documentaries on the history and discovery channels). We ran across an adoption agency that specializes in placing Ethiopian and Liberian children who are currently in African orphanages with American families. It looks as though we could adopt 2 children from Liberia for about $10,000 (very cheap for an international adoption and less than it was for Ki). This is far more than we have right now, and more than we could have anytime soon (one of the perks of adopting from foster care is that it's free), but we have not completely ruled it out, knowing God will provide if it is His will. So, we pray...

I was hit the other day while reading my Bible with the verse that says, "Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..." I often feel as though I do trust Him with all my heart... but I know I still lean on my own understanding. My initial reaction to all of this was to try to make sense of it all, in my mind and through discussion with Cody. Such an obvious indicator of the fact that I am no where near "there yet." :) Here's hoping you're farther along than I am!... and that I'll get there one of these days!

Thank you in advance for any prayers you may send our way. We really appreciate all your love and support! :) Hope all is well in the new year with you!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Adventures

Embarking on a new adventure... maybe...

One week from today we will have our first meeting with an adoption counselor to start discussing the idea of adding more children to our family. :) We are trying to be prayerful about this whole process, and right now we are feeling led to at least gather more information. Most of you know, we would like to eventually have 4 kids (I'd like 5) but we are trying to be wise about it all. We know we do not have much money, we know our home will be a tight fit once our children are older, we also know that we do not feel as though our family is complete, and that this phase of life looks best on paper for continuing this process. We have always planned to start this process again once Ezra and Ki were school age. Our hope was that we might be able to adopt a sibling group under the age of 5. That time frame would allow me to really invest in Ezra and Ki for the time being, as well as invest in our new little ones with a little more intensity while their big brothers are in school all day. We are not looking to adopt another infant unless God makes it clear we should. There are so many waiting children in this country and once they get past 6 months old, their options for loving families drop drastically. Everyone wants a baby... and we are nothing if not opposite of most. :) So why now?!?...
Well, Cody's job is very flexible at this time. He has stockpiled 51 days for personal leave time and can use that for "paternity" leave when we add children to our family. His job as an associate pastor is best accomplished in his office, but he can get a fair amount done from home if he needs to. His current employer is very generous about time off, and just trusts that Cody will get everything done and done well. All of this is a luxury we may not have elsewhere... not that we are planning on heading "elsewhere," but you just never know in ministry. So we see this little window of opportunity for integrating new little ones into our family with daddy around more often than not to help aid the process. Plus, there is some concern that waiting longer will mean a more difficult adjustment for Ezra and Ki, and the change that will cause within our family structure. More than anything though... we are just anxious to know our future children. We are craving our future family... if we were doing this biologically, we'd be trying to get pregnant right now! That's where the prayer comes in, because we don't want to be impulsive about this just because we're impatient, we want to know we are in God's will.

Anyway, we would still like to pursue older children if possible, and that's what this info meeting should clarify for us. Usually there is a strongly encouraged policy to maintain a birth order within families... that each child entering the house should be the youngest in the home. We are hoping to work around that a bit if possible. We definitely want to go younger than Ezra (our little "boss of everything" probably wouldn't handle being bumped by a big brother all that well!), but we are not picky about how kids fall around Ki. We figure he'll have to adjust no matter what we do and he's a little too young to really care. Plus, he's ridiculously mellow about most things in life, so he'd probably go with the flow anyway. He'll either have more older siblings, or he'll no longer be the baby. Either way he shifts, so we're hoping that may make the process more flexible. We are also hoping for a sibling group that's non-caucasion. These are some of the hardest children to place, and that is where our hearts are. So, maybe 2 between Ezra and Ki, maybe one between and one below Ki, who knows. It may not even be possible. That's what we're hoping to find out next Tuesday. So, if you think of it, keep us in your prayers. We know God's got it all worked out, we're just anxious to see His plan revealed. :)

So, let the adventure begin!