A few months back I was thinking about our upcoming adoptions - Elizabeth, Elijah and Jubilee. We had people raising their eyebrows when we adopted Isaiah. Even a couple close friends questioned us with sarcasm. =( So we just knew that once everyone knew that we weren’t just adopting one more, nor were we adopting two more, but THREE more (hehehehe) we would probably have a barrage of questions. So I started this back when E & E were just little secrets to us – knowing that soon questions would be popping up from time to time and so these are the answers we have already or will readily share:
Q: Why Africa?
A: Because that’s where our son and daughter are!!
Q: Are you crazy?
A: We couldn’t be crazier! After all, we are crazy in love with each other, crazy about all 10 of our kids, crazy about adoption and driven with crazy and reckless abandon to serve till our last breath the God who has done so much for each of us.
Q. How can you afford all these kids?
A: We trust God to provide for each adoption. He has done some things that we have laughed about in amazement!! One day a man asked Dw if he could talk to him. They were at a meeting together. We did not know the man well and he knew nothing about our Ugandan babies (it was still a secret). He said that he and his wife had sold a home and they felt the Lord wanted them to give us some money from the proceeds. He handed Dw a check for a very sizeable amount. We almost fell over. Our gracious God was watching and He is providing through people who aren’t even aware there is a need. How stinkin’ cool is that? And for that sweet couple….we firmly believe that they are “caring for the orphans” by helping us bring Elijah and Elizabeth home.
We had a yard sale and the Lord brought people to buy up stuff we never would have thought anyone would seriously want.
We sold the camper, which was our beloved “cottage”. BUT think about it….a few nights a year of pleasure OR a lifetime of pleasure with a miracle baby girl and a sweet little baby boy, promised by God!! Oh my!! We wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Q: Do you take government subsidies? (This question was just asked of me on one of my flights to Uganda.)
A: I laughed my head off. No! We do not take any government subsidy. We tithe. We give away. We try to be very wise stewards of the money God has entrusted us with. I pray for brand name clothes at yard sales and thrift stores – so cool how He blesses us over and over like that! We live modestly and trust God to provide, and He has poured His blessing out in gushes!
Q: Aren’t you guys kinda’ old to have toddlers?
A: Old parents or no parents? Besides the way we look at it, our age only suggests that we have more experience than our 20 something counterparts.
Q: Shouldn’t a child be left in his/her culture?
A: Frankly we are wondering if you ask an orphan sitting in an orphanage that question what would they say??
Let’s just imagine it for a second. Imagine walking up to a 13 year old boy in China who has Arthrogryposis. He is sitting in a cement building looking at the same walls he has seen for the last 13 years. He has never been outside the gate. The doctor he has seen a few times comes to the orphanage. He walks on his deformed sides of his legs and his hands struggle to do the normal daily tasks. He gets up when they tell him, sits where they tell him, he eats the same food day in and day out. He doesn’t even dream of anything different, because he knows nothing different, so there is no hope in his heart. He is curious about what he sees from the outside window, but it is far, far away and there is no real thought that he will ever be part of it. After all, when he ages out he will be put outside, most likely to beg on the streets. After all, in his culture an orphan has no place. BUT he gets to see Chinese faces everyday!! That surely must make him feel so cheery.
OR There is a 13 year old boy with Arthrogryposis who was adopted by an American family when he was just four years old. He sees pictures of how his legs once turned so desperately, but he walks with little effort, as his mom and dad had his legs worked on by a specialist. He spends parts of his day in school where he is surrounded by kids from all cultures. When he is home he can be found talking to his dad about flying planes, or his mom about hunting for treasures in another city (his mom is addicted to that Geo-thingy). He laughs, talks, rides a bike, shoot baskets outside with his Caucasion brother, gives piggy back rides to his Guatemalan sister, and can be found reading to his little African sister. He is also becoming quite the drummer because of the lessons he takes. Hmmm, let’s see.
Yeah, absolutely, he would rather have been left in his culture. Ugh
Q: Are you and Dw finally done?
A: Are there still orphans in the world? Next question...
Q: Don’t you guys ever secretly long for an empty nest?
A: Not for a New York minute or a Mountaintime millisecond. We’ve been to empty nester’s homes and we find them dreadfully dull and eerily empty. NO THANKS! Bring on the bountiful bedlam, constant chaotic confusion, and gargantuan amounts of squeals and giggles – we are lovin’ life!!
Q: How can you afford to keep adopting even more kids?
A: God’s heart is for the orphan!! He has miraculously and faithfully provided. We have also purposed to minimize our expenses so that being wise stewards we can adopt more AND we can help others adopt more AND also go on more mission trips. We downsized our home from 4077 square feet to just about 2,011 sq. ft. We then sold our beloved “cottage” (camper). We have cut back on all needless expenses – too many kids need homes to turn our backs.
We are also convinced that His favor rests upon us as we bring each of His precious gems home to our forever family. We are equally convinced that each person who names the name of Christ will give an account one day regarding what they did for the orphan and widows. Lip service isn’t enough. James 1:22 tells us we must do what His word says, not just read about it. Understand adoption is not the only way we look after the orphan. (James 1:27) but “look after” is an action verb – and we must take action!!
So back to the original question – Psalm 50:10 tells us that our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is we have a need we are certain He will “sell a cow”, one way or another to meet our need.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: Dw and I are concerned about the duping of God’s people. The enemy has sold many a bill of goods that “it really is all about them”: That kids (their own!) are an inconvenience, luxuries really do buy happiness and if I “earned it” then I deserve it! Yet scripture is clear: “The fruit of the womb is His reward” and “If you have been given much, much will be required.”
We only have one life to live and then we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ – so time is short!!!
I don’t know when I will post this post, but I am typing it in the final hours of our flight to Uganda. My battery on my computer only had 30 minutes left on it. It has usually not lasted even the amount of time it says because it seems to not be holding a charge well.
BUT as I was typing this, I asked the Lord to extend the battery. I said, “Lord you know how important it is that people understand your heart for adoption”. And I have been typing for almost an hour and it is not even blinking that it is nearing empty – OH YES He loves the orphan!! **tears welling** How faithful God is!! Yipppeee Jesus!!
Anyway back to some final thoughts:
Some say, “What about my age?” Almighty God says: Age, schmage!! Take in little ones!
Some say, “I don’t really have time.” Almighty God, the defender of orphans and widows says, “You don’t have time? Time for what? The things you deem “important”? I have told you what really matters – Caring for the orphans and widows!! How much clearer do I need to make it?”
Some say, “But we can’t afford it right now.” Almighty God says, “You can’t afford not to! Watch me provide – you will be amazed!!”
Some say, “But I already have these kids and they are driving me crazy.” Almighty God says, “Stop using the world’s value system when it comes to kids! Their worth is beyond words – cherish them and bring more home!”
Some say, “But I need to spend time with the ones I do have”. Almighty God says, “Yes you do!! Stop wasting your time on all the things that don’t really matter and spend time with them – and teach them about selflessness by bringing home brothers and sisters for them….in fact teach them about sharing first hand! Teach them about caring for others first hand!!”
You might say, “My husband doesn’t want anymore.” Almighty God says, “Fast and pray for your husband’s heart to change – I am a big God and it certainly lines up with my will – fast, pray and watch and see what I do!!”
I am starting to laugh – that empty battery is still staying completely strong – oh Lord, how you love the orphans!!
**I edited this tonight in Uganda, but the bulk was written months ago and on the plane heading here….it still makes me smile and kind of giggle that that battery just would not quit – YES INDEED - Oh how He loves the orphan!!!