Blogging for Show Hope- “What is one of your favorite stories of adoption?”

.ShowHope-Button One of my favorite adoption stories

“”You can make an A like this, ” Jerry inserted the pencil in her hand and guided her tracing effort. Her nose grazed the page, her ponytails painted the paper as she strained to focus on and control her chunky hand. A wobbly letter ‘A’ remained on the paper when she raised her head.”- Positive Adoption: A Memoir

We had been staying in the orphanage(in Poland) for less than a week and Jerry was teaching Ania the basics of the alphabet. This was all new to her. The letters. The time. The attention. We would stay there for four weeks in total before returning to the states and waiting on our second trip when we could bring a sibling group of four home.

Every adoption has a beginning. A seed. A thought. A thought-seed once buried in the fertile soil becomes a plant. And that plant of adoption continues to grow until it produces the fruit of adoption. The meeting. The court date. The papers signed. The flight (or drive) home.

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Then the story of adoption begins a new chapter. It’s the life of the child after adoption. What happens next? What are the new fruits after adoption? The fruits after an old life left behind?

We all have a story. We all have chapters in our lives of our childhood, our growing up years. Chapters of finding our bent, following our dreams, falling on our face and getting back up again. Those are my favorite sorts of stories. The cliff hangers. Those that leave you wanting more. Adoption stories are like that.

Many adoption stories seem to have a pseudo ending. It’s abrupt. The child is home. The end. It’s not the end. The story is still in its infancy. What does chapter two look like in an adoption story, or three, four or five?

I’m sure adoptive parents want to know. What does adoption look like in chapter ten? Will I make it that far?

When Ania came ‘home’, she had an intense fear of everything. At the top of the list was the great outdoors. With patience and tiny bits of progress, creek walking, hiking through the woods, swimming, skiing and tow eye surgeries- Ania’s perspective began to change.

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One afternoon, Ania and I watched the Temple Grandin movie, an amazing woman with autism who sees the world in pictures. When the movie ended, Ania declared, “I see the world in pictures, don’t you mom?”

Adoption is a story that can lead to security. Security bashes survival mode over the head and allows the child to relax and pursue their bent, discover their gifts and discover themselves.

Ania had never been comfortable on the receiving end of the camera so we bought her one so she could see life through the other side of the lens. Amazing things began to happen. Two of the things that had been at the top of Ania’s fear factor list became her favorite pastimes: the camera and the outdoors.

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She began to spend hours outside with her camera in tow, wandering further and further into the woods, slithering on her belly for a good shot, waiting for hours for the right light, chasing her brother down stream while he kayaked, aiming for that perfect action shot- water suspended in the air, his face all focus, arm muscles bulging, his paddles -wings, riding the air.

Adoption stories are like that. They give children the chance to soar. The future of adoption gives children a chapter of security, a chance to overcome and then to build upon a new foundation of health, healing and discovery.

This isn’t to say that every adopted child will discover (in chapter ten) that they have some remarkable gift that they will discover (miraculously) overnight. No, Ania had years of trial and error. Art Classes. Science fairs. Public speaking (yikes-no!). Writing courses.

The  point is- adoption gave Ania a future that she wouldn’t otherwise have. What does chapter ten in the adoption story look like? A hope. A future. A plot change.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.- Jeremiah 29:11

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When a child has been freed from the captivity of neglect, abuse and abandonment he has a hope of a future. He has a an awesome chapter coming. When a birth mother chooses adoption, that child has-not the evil of abortion- plans for welfare and peace in a family. And these are my favorite sorts of adoption stories.

You can read more about Ania’s future here.

*All photos taken by Ania

Why Do I Care For Orphans?

Why do I care for orphans?
(My Bucket List)
This past Sunday Trinity Assembly of God,  Pastor Tommy Baron spoke about having a bucket list, not the sort that lists vacations and jumping out of airplanes, but the sort where each of us has a vision for building the kingdom and ministering to the lost.
There are lost in the body of Christ, not the unsaved, but the overlooked, undernourished, unnoticed. These are spiritual foster children. We’re not sure how to treat them, if they are here to stay or moving on to another home.
Thankfully, the church is growing in area of ministering to new converts.We recognize the new brothers and sisters in Christ are in need of special loving care and time to attach to the family. I love watching siblings in the family of Christ find their niche in the kingdom. Single moms minister to recently divorced moms. Former addicts help those fresh from the world be washed by the Word.  Grieving widows start bereavement groups. 
They are fulfilling their spiritual bucket lists.
I was so encouraged Pastor Tommy’s message because needed a reminder that I have bucket list. I don’t plan on going sky diving or traveling to Paris, not those are bad things, but I’m talking about my heart list.
My heart list is to care for orphans by adopting, encouraging families to adopt and providing support for those who do.
All are called to help the widow and orphan, it’s part of our spiritual DNA, Some of us are called to adopt. Some are called to foster. Others build schools for orphans. Others teach in them. Each of us have a bucket. It’s kind of like Easter morning at our house. Each bucket has something different in it. My bucket is full of God’s heart for orphans which I am endeavoring to emulate.

During the church Framily day, following the Bucket sermon, a friend asked if a few of us ladies would be continue serving in a ministry after our children outgrew it. 
I held up my bucket and replied, “No, I have my bucket list and if I keep doing your bucket list then I won’t get to do mine.”  Speaking at the spur of the moment is not as eloquent as writing, is it?
Why do I care for orphans?
Simple-that is what God put in my bucket.
C.S. Lewis said it best:
“I think the best results are obtained by people who work quietly away at limited objectives, such as the abolition of the slave trade, or prison reform, or factory acts, or tuberculosis, not by those who think they can achieve universal justice or health or peace.”- From “Why I Am Not a Pacifist” (The Weight of Glory)

Why do Orphans Need Families?

Four Reasons Orphans Need Families



1. Family is God’s intention.
According to Ephesians 1, adoption is the intention of the universe.  Before the Father spoke the world into existence, He foreordained our adoption, He actually picked us out as His own because it was His kind intent.  Before the Father spoke hills, valleys, giant sequoia or any of the mysteries and marvels of nature, He thought of family. Family was His intention.  Who are we to think we know of a better way? Some over-spiritualize these verses and quote it as theology and don’t apply it to our present circumstances.  We shake our fist at God and say, where are you?  What are you doing?  Don’t you see the devastation?  The war, the famine? His reply? He saw it before Eve was tempted by the serpent.  He knew.  His question for us? Where are you?  Family is my priority.  I set the lonely in families.  Orphans need families.  

2.  Families are the mini units society is built on.
Our modern society often demotes family to the low man on the totem pole of life.  But the opposite is true if we are to have a well-functioning society.  Families are the building blocks of society.  A society is only as strong as the families that run it.  When God began His earthly family through a covenant with Abraham, he promised that Abraham’s descendants would outnumber the stars.  An orphan needs to be in a family so he can be connected.  Each of us has a strong need to connect, to be interdependent.  To belong.  That is what family is. Belonging. Family is laughing at the same jokes, celebrating the same traditions, building together, working together, eating together, serving together.  All of these knit a block of family into a strong unit.  Orphans need families.


3.  Family is the place where character grows.
Orphans need to be part of families so they can grow and be nurtured.  Families are fertile soil for growth in body and soul.  The home is the practice ground for relationships, for trying and failing, for loving, for work, for character.  Orphans need to be part of families so they can grow in wisdom. Home is where parents teach children right from wrong, when they sit, when they stand, when they walk by the way.  When children are taught morals and values in a family unit, the family is stronger, the community is stronger, the nation is stronger. Orphans need families.



4.  Family is a place to come home to.
Orphans need to be part of a family to have a home.  A home is a place where character grows, a family is a mini unit of society, a carbon copy of God’s original plan.  It is also preparation for heaven.  Heaven can be pretty hard to imagine, especially if you have been raised in a war torn country or traumatic circumstances.  Home for an orphan should be safety, comfort, a stepping-stone for healing and a foretaste of heaven.  The message of the Gospel doesn’t have to be preached in words first, but in action.  The Gospel says that God is enough. He has enough to meet needs.  He will restore what has been taken.  He will heal , set free from the prison of circumstances.  He will give beauty for ashes. And then… those who have been healed, who know the truth can share their story and help another.  The road to heaven is open to go home to.  Orphans need that choice.  Home is where they find it. Orphans need families.