Let's all be honest with ourselves...I'm not very good at this blog thing. I will never be one of those people who have sponsors that pay a person for their blog. So I will make no promises here today that I officially commit to my blog or that I will do a better job of keeping my "followers" (sounds like a cult when you say it that way) updated. Don't expect it.
There I said it. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
It's been nine months today since my mom passed away after her short but hard fought battle with leukemia. I woke up this morning feeling down. Feeling defeated, but God wanted to use this day for good. I can feel him all around me, moving my heart. I do my devotions at night, which I'm thinking I need to change, because the first two articles I read on Facebook were about the mission of foster care/adoption. Then my car ride dropping kids off at various schools was full of worship music talking about miracles, God's unmatchable capabilities and how HE is always there. It was just the pep talk I needed to realize that I'm the luckiest person I know to have the influence of my mom for 30 years.
My mom's purpose in life? To be the best mother/grandma in the world and to glorify God in her life. And what legacy has she left for me to follow? To be the best mother that I can be and to glorify God in my life.
So where does that put us? It's been awhile since we've left an update of our adoption journey and ALOT has changed. Ethiopia is at a stand still. For four months there was not ONE referral of any child to any family. A complete stalemate. We cried, we vented..and we waited.
Much to our surprise, we started feeling the stir towards foster care. We prayed about it and really felt directed to get our foster license. The wait time for our Ethiopian adoption was stretching towards another 2 year wait for our referral, and we really felt it was time to bring another child into our home. September 26th we started the 9 week training session towards getting our foster care license. We just finished our 6th week last night and will be officially licensed foster care parents on November 28th. We are so excited for what this potentially means for our family in the next few months!
So you may be wondering about what this means for Ethiopia. Well, within the last week 2 referrals of baby girls were given from our agency!!! These were such exciting emails to get. That means that we are currently #41 on the Ethiopian waiting list to receive a referral. It also means that if this trend continues, it will still be another year before we receive a referral, and then approximately another 4 months before we would bring her home. Our agency only asks that we wait a year between bringing new children into our home, which should not affect either any foster placements or our adoption.
Our hearts have just been rocked by the foster care system in the last 2 months. There are nearly 500,000 children in the United States waiting for a family to call their own. At no fault of their own, they are placed in foster care or group homes because their parents were unable to care for them due to drug/alcohol abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, etc.
Most international adoption cases I've come upon are due to poverty, illness, or even death due to these situations. But in our wealthy, powerful nation we have children without parents due to situations that have caused them to see or experience trauma beyond what many of us can imagine. My heart breaks for these children whose innocence has been taken from them against their will. And my heart breaks for their parents who are so lost and alone that they will do anything to numb the pain. Most likely, the parents witnessed or experienced the same pain they are inflicting on their own children, but don't know how to break the cycle.
Nick and I are hoping to foster either a single child or a pair of siblings up to 3 years of age.
Do the math...
That technically means that within the next year, we could double the size of our little crew of kids. Does this scare me...yes, a little. But at the same time, I've never been more convinced that this is the mission that God has called and equipped Nick and I to do since the moment we asked Jesus to come into our lives. My prayer is that His heart for the "least of these" would become my heart. He is rocking our world and our view of what we want our legacy to be.
What do you want to be remembered for?
"...if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame." Isaiah 58:10, 11