5.30.2010

the idolatry of justice

Social justice...adoption...it's all the rave right now.
At least, that's how many outsiders, if you will, view the efforts of Christian social justice...it's the cool thing to do.
Um...yeah...right?
That's why our family is going broke and giving strangers our last name.
It's sooooo darn cooooool!

Seriously, in the world of Christian thinkers, there is among some, a slight hesitation toward social justice. Even an uneasiness toward adoption, and foster-care. And, some of their concerns are legitimate...the main one being, that Believers could get so caught-up in administering justice, that they lose sight of why they are administering it....becoming just another secular group of do-gooders.

For Followers of Jesus, the why that fuels our desire for justice is to bring God glory...to make His name known among the nations...to give hope to the hopeless by proclaiming the year of spiritual Jubilee!

That said, we (I!!) could benefit from considering the hesitations of our critics.

Where in the world am I going with this?
I'm actually intending to follow-up my previous post, because I want to share a comment from someone who read the post.

comment from KLT:
Alisa,
In my own life, I can't help but think that there are times, despite my originally pure (as much as I can know) motives in our adoption journeys, that some part of the process becomes an idol itself. Instead of following God, I get more concerned about what I think should be happening. How is it that I find it so hard to maintain the clarity of focus of knowing His heart and loving Him first, when I am captivated by what I believe to be one of His passions! It's a paradox, I think, but one that is a constant struggle for me and, perhaps, captures some of what you've been feeling lately, too. I'm praying right now for a fresh outpouring of God's grace for your moments of trial in the days to come.


KLT described, with much wisdom, the paradox that surfaced in my previous post. Though I am deeply motivated in my call to adopt by God's love poured-out in my own life. I can easily lose sight of the Heart that's guiding my every turn...and instead of glorifying the Problem-Solver, I glorify the problems. I focus on my anxiety, above God's will. And when I do that, I am relying on my anxiety and limited trouble-shooting ability...instead of turning to prayer and God's Word. It's not quite the same as becoming a secular do-gooder, but it does resemble the hopelessness of person alienated from Christ. Again, instead of worshipping the One True God...the One True Problem-Solver...I have made a god of circumstances and details that are far beyond my control.

So, again, where in the world am I going with all this??
Well, I'm really not sure, so I will leave you with this...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Rom 15:13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor 1:3-4

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thes 2:16-17

5.27.2010

Let Us Not Grow Weary!

"My friends, adoption is redemption.
It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous.
Buying back lives costs so much.
When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him." --Derek Loux

I've seen this quote before, and stumbled upon it again today. There are many things on my heart this morning, things I am praying about...some directly related to meeting our son in China, some indirectly. The last few weeks I've hit the highs & lows of adoption.

Some of the lows...
this is the last time...I cannot endure the anxiety again...I cannot fill out one more application...I cannot wait for one more person to review an application I've submitted...the waiting to meet our son, only to discover we'll be waiting yet longer...the desperate thoughts of begging & borrowing to paying the remaining costs of our son's adoption...doing calculations on every piece of scratch paper/napkin, trying to pull something out of nothing...

Some of the highs...
...God is always faithful to remind me...the waiting is His, the paperwork is His, the finances are His...the faith is His...even the capability to be obedient...IT'S ALL HIS!!

That said, I do have personal responsibility throughout this process...
...bear my cross, WITH JOY...and renounce the thoughts, stuff (and sometimes even people) that hinder me from being fully-devoted to the joy of His salvation...remember, that though this cost me much, the return is immeasurable!

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 14:25-35

5.22.2010

special-ness

I forgot to mention this in my previous post...something that I believe was a gift from God!

This morning when I woke up (and after fighting the yuck in my stomach because I realized we did not get our late night-early morning referral call), I could hear that Micah was awake too. So I went to get him out of bed. First order of business is always a cuddle, then a dry diaper. As I was changing his diaper, Micah started saying something. Well, he was actually singing something -- but it took me a minute to catch on.

One of the very first songs I ever sang to Micah was Amazing Grace. I still sing it to him almost daily, before naps or even when we just need to wind-down. And sometimes he even sings the last word of each line with me.

Well, this morning, I realized he was singing Amazing Grace to me! Completely unprompted! And he sang, almost verbatim, the six verses that I sing to him. He has never done that before...with any song!!

Just what I needed...amazing grace...thank you, Jesus!

pregnancy test?

NO!! I do not think I am pregnant...nor have I taken a pregnancy test...but a negative pregnancy test is a good metaphor for what this week has been like, as we wait to be matched with Judah.

My previous post said that we were close to being matched with Judah...and we likely still are close...but it just hasn't happened yet.

The CCAA updates their Waiting Children list every month -- and May's update was announced this week. And so far, no match for the Martin family. And, knowing that families are being matched--just not our's--well, feels like seeing the one, lonely line on a drugstore pregnancy test.

Why have we not been matched yet? Especially since over 60% of the children on the list are boys? Only God knows. One possibility is the age of child we're hoping to be matched with--a boy younger than Micah--at least 12-months old, or younger.

We hope to get some insight from our agency next week. And, we hope to hear about the little boys who are still on the list. After all, God's plans for our family may be very different than what our finite minds are anticipating (usually works that way!)

Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
Isa 42:9


5.16.2010

match(ed)

We've not been matched with our son just yet...but we've been told it could happen soon. Very soon.

For those of you who are prayer-warriors, we could use exactly that!
Prayer!

  • wisdom for our family
  • wisdom for staff at our agency
  • comfort & compassion for our son...where ever he is
  • Micah's heart, as he becomes a big brother
  • and of course...last, but never least...necessary finances

We are thrilled beyond words about how God is growing our family! And we are trusting in His sovereignty and provision!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:7-11

5.12.2010

adoption t's...do YOU have yours??

We still have our For The Love of Mankind shirts available!!
YOU can help us bring Baby Judah HOME!!
Use the paypal "donate" button on the right to order yours!!

Here I am sporting the kelly green in size small!

5.08.2010

happy MOTHER'S day!!

The Kind Hearts Mother's Day fundraiser was a huge success!

We raised over $1500 toward building a playground!!
We donated the time and materials for Mother's Day Card donations on behalf of the children at Kind Hearts,
and in honor of two special mothers in our lives!!


My mom, Seta!!

Vince's mom...MiMi!!

The children at Kind Hearts, Ethiopia!
Our sweet "T" is on the front row, with a glowing smile!!

waiting child program approval

We received a call from our agency yesterday, to tell us our paperwork has officially been approved for the waiting child program (WCP). And as soon as our AL background checks are complete, they'll be able to match us with a child. My background check is ready and on it's way to our social worker -- Vince's should be ready next week. The time-frame to match us with a child could be several weeks to several months.

We are trusting God's sovereignty as He continues to grow our family . We are praying for our agency's discernment as they match us with a child. We are praying for personal wisdom as we enter this next phase of our adoption.

5.05.2010

Kind Hearts...and China...UPDATES

Many gracious THANK-YOU'S to everyone who participated in the Kind Hearts Mother's Day fund-raiser!! Together, we raised over $1400 (plus $250 already in the fund) toward a playground for the children at KH!!! I mailed 116 cards to over 30 states! Amazing!! Vince & I are still committed to reaching the playground-goal of $2800! We'll keep you posted about other fundraising opportunities, and the playground progress!!

UPDATE 5/7/2010: WE'VE RAISED OVER $1500!!!

So what's new with our China process?
Um. Well. Nothing.
You got it!! We're still waiting for our AL background check (began the process early Feb). Crazy. Background checks in MO were completed in 48-72 hrs...but we're past 48-72 DAYS!! Why is it taking so long? The Lord only knows! Seriously. Vince and I have complete faith that God is sovereign over every aspect of this adoption -- and for whatever, reason He's allowing/causing our background checks to linger. We'll see our sweet Judah's face when the time is right. Not a moment sooner. But, not a moment later either! I get so frustrated with the process, because inefficiency drives me crazy -- but in the same breath, I'm cherishing every moment with Micah...while it's just me & him!!!

Speaking of Micah, Vince is traveling to Lond*n this summer for mission work. And, we're praying about Micah and I traveling with the team. We'd really, really love to go! And, it's actually a trip where Micah & I would have the opportunity to do ministry/evangelism with another family. But, with pending adoption expenses that we're saving for, the trip would really be a huge, financial stretch. But I trust completely that God's ability far surpasses what feels like a seemingly, impossible situation!!!

5.01.2010

share the love of Christ TODAY with children in Ethiopia!!

Kind Hearts Mother's Day card fundraiser...UPDATE!!!

You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor... Deut 15:5

I'm so excited to share that - together - we've raised almost $1400 toward playground equipment for the precious children at Kind Hearts, Ethiopia!! (Almost $1200 from Mother's Day fundraiser, $100 from Project Martin t-shirts, and $150 from another donor!!)

The total amount needed for Kind Hearts' playground is $2800 -- so $1400 to go!!!

Thus far, over 100 cards are going to be mailed all over the country...celebrating the amazing women in our lives, AND, raising awareness for orphaned and destitute children in Ethiopia!!!

It's NOT TOO LATE to join in...you, too, can celebrate a mother....and bless a child!!!

Use the paypal button on the right to make a donation for Kind Hearts (100% of you donation will go to KH!!) -- tell me who/where to send the card, and who you'd like for me to list as the donor who is honoring this special woman!! I'll mail the cards on Mon, May 3rd.

I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity- John Welsey

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