Thursday, December 11, 2008

Glad You Asked

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!!!

34 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. I will be the first to comment. I am sitting in my office laughing out loud. That girl of mine is not afraid to speak the truth. That prophetic nature of her's comes a shining through. I'm married to you for 30 years and you never ever cease to amaze me. Way to go babe, preach it! ILYBL dw

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  2. AWESOME! That about sums it up for me. Preach on girlfriend!
    Suzanne
    middle TN

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  3. Keep on preaching sister! My husband will be reading this tonight. I have been working on him.

    Lisa from Ohio

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  4. Wow! Not our economic system but God's! Not our value system, but God's! Not our priorities, but God's! PTL!

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  5. AMEN!
    I was taught through a Crown Financial study that everything we have is His, every penny every belonging. I find it absurd that I actually had to be taught that. Yet, so many people still have not learned the lesson. That He has given us EVERYTHING and it is our responsibility as his children to use it in ways to glorify Him.

    Well said!

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  6. I needed to hear that again as my husband and I are convinced God is going to have us adopt again (not sure from where yet -maybe China again or Uganda??), but my frail human side keeps worrying about our finances. I am taking a leave of absence from my teaching job to be home with our new little son from China and only working part-time at being a private tutor. We feel God is going to provide a miracle, but sometimes I feel scared that I am not hearing His voice right. Ever feel that way? But then I read your words and the words of others on other blogs saying how God provides. We know he provided for our new little son, and now we need to take another leap of faith to begin this new adoption. Thanks and keep writing so that we may see faith in action.

    Janet and Kevin

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  7. AMEN!!! One question I have: may I link this from my blog? If you have been over there at all, you know I tend to write but I promise not to editorialize too much! I want MORE but DH is gong back on our calling a bit. Thank you for the reminder that GOD changes hearts not me! I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW this as He changed DH's heart before and I don't think it has changed back. We just are adjusting to life with ONE MORE!

    One thing I would add: pray for God to change the hearts of church leaders who seem apathetic and have the podium to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Just my two cents. You all are obviously already doing that but not all church leaders are. Again, I know I need to just pray for God to change hearts.

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  8. I love the book of James! I love the BIBLE period but James is one of my favorites when I traveled to Niger 4 years ago God gave me the book of James to chew on and 2 years later we adopted our first daughter, a year later our second daughter, and our third daughter is in China waiting on mommy and daddy to get the paperwork completed (but that's in the hands of the government so we'll have to wait on God's perfect timing to come through)!

    Believe me I don't know how exactly all the finances have worked out for us as we are not savers so to speak but God has provided and will continue to provide as long as we follow his will in all situations!

    I haven't posted yet because I'm on dial up here in Southern Indiana (thanks to Dave Ramsey LOL!) but I have been praying for you during your journey! You have a beautiful family and we will pray for safe travels back to the states!

    Love,
    The Peters Family

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  9. Oh Linn...I was praying hard this morning that God would give me a word of encouragement and confirmation of our decision to adopt again, even though money is so very tight right now. I should have suspected that it would come from you! Thanks so much for your heart that reflects the Son so much we should call you "Full Moon Linny". Ha!

    Love you!!

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  10. Linn, I love this! Thak you for sharing and encouraging and speaking the truth! I am one of those Mama's who are fasting and praying. My prayer is that God will move mightily in my beloved husband's heart - because I just know there is another out there for us somewhere!
    Congrats on your gorgeous family.
    ~ Fiona (Mum to Ruby Zhi Xia, from Hope, also Tilly Harry and Joseph)

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  11. This is OUTSTANDING!! Truly inspired my friend...well said!! Hugs!!

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  12. Good job oh wise mamma. IMO those that say "we don't want to take a child from their culture" could be translated "I don't want to bother with an adoption so I've got to say something that sounds P.C."

    Thanks for the insights. You indeed are a wise one!

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  13. I love this post!! Sometimes I feel guilty taking Sarah away from her country and language- after reading this - I think I won't bother feeling guilty- waste of my time! Instead I will treasure and enjoy all that we will learn together! You're awesome- bless you! Thank you for devoting yourself to our Jesus!
    Blessings,
    Jean

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  14. THANK you for sharing your story. Especially the comment about "Husband is not on board." We had six, ages six and under, and now, two years later, he's tired and wants a respite from more children. I'm soooo ready to adopt an older sibling group from Ethiopia. I DO need to fast and pray!! Thank you! (We live in Bailey, I'm guessing not too far from you! :)

    -Donna
    www.the-clydes.blogspot.com

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  15. Amen my Sista!!! I have been saying the same line about age (my husband is 42 & I'm 38) for three years now! Who cares and how old were Abraham & Sarah? Oh, how I long to laugh with them someday! Some people just don't get it but those who do...oh how blessed!! You go girl! Lisa

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  16. Amen my sista!!! I have been using the same line about age (my husband is 42 & I'm 38) for three years now. Who cares and how old were Abraham & Sarah? Oh, how I long to laugh with her someday! Some people just don't get it but those who do...oh how blessed! You go girl!!!
    Lisa

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  17. Wow!!! That is an amazing post!!! I would very much like to put a link to this post on my blog. Would that be ok? Thank you for this wonderful post!
    Samantha

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  18. Yes! I spent 2 months in Uganda this year, where I helped start a small orphanage (7 kids)this October. I have been speaking some on behalf of the orphanage and the situation for orphans in Africa since returning home, and I so appreciate your perspective on adoption. I will be using some of what you have to say in this blog - it's inspiring and SO TRUE! Bless you for what you have shared! My son and his wife has started the process of adopting 2 kids from Uganda, and they sent me to your blog. It has blessed and encouraged them!

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  19. Wow...we have 3 children--one adopted from China but this is making me think that maybe we are called for more. My husband is not n board for another and we are getting old but I will pray about it now.

    Kim

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  20. This story is such a blessing to me!! Praise God for people that love the Lord and His Children. God Bless you in your journey.
    In Christ's Love

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  21. I am sitting at my computer bawling after reading all 8 parts of your story (without having to wait) The Lord led me here tonight. No doubt about it. I am a young mother with two children and I have always known that I would adopt/possibly go into foster parenting. My husband through a God-sized change of heart has recently (over the past year or so) agreed to pursue adoption. We have been praying for God to open doors to us and even have a son waiting for us in P*land but currently its the lack of money that is stopping us from moving forward. It breaks my heart to know that money is the only reason we haven't been able to bring home our sweet Karol yet, and I know that I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am going to welcome orphaned children into our forever family some day... its just so hard to wait... thank you for your encouragement. My husband and I recently were shown a piece of property that is entirely way out of our price range that was built as a church camp but I see it as a home that will one day have room for SEVERAL orphaned children. I don't know how, or when, but I know God is in control... so again thank you for telling me your story... I will pray for your family.. as you recover from the fire, and as you bring home your sweet Jubilee and other children... I know there will be many! Pray for ours also, we know that there are children out there that need parents and so we are waiting for God to bring them to us.

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  22. Linn, I found your blog just now, right before bedtime - so I haven't had time to read all of your amazing sounding story - but I WILL. I just wanted to say thank-you for writing this:

    "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!!”

    This is for me! Thankyouthankyouthankyou for writing it.

    I will read more from you soon.

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  23. Can I hear an "Amen!" We've been asked these same questions, and though we couldn't always process answers on the spot, our God whose heart is for the orphan has given us His promises, provision and peace beyond measure. We've been amazed at the ways He's provided for our children to come home to these 'old folks' :) Unfortunately, even our church family has questioned our sanity and many have chosen not to support our decision to adopt ... but we are accountable only to One. I will miss-paraphrase one of my favorite quotes: Life is not a journey to the grave in a well-preserved body, but rather totally worn out, skidding in broadside and proclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!" I agree with you, Yippee, Jesus!! And that James - we simply cannot read his book without being changed!

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  24. This is SO perfect!!! We have 10 children also;7 adopted. We are passionate for orphan ministry and we have been asked many of the questions that you answered here, with great humor, by the way! I don't want to live like "everyone" else and I love meeting people like your family who don't either!
    Thank you
    Shonni
    http://nationsaroundourtable.blogspot.com/

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  25. I haven't read the other comments, so pardon me if this is a repeat.

    I feel like God had this same Question and Answer session with me. All the things you wrote, He had said to me.

    I am crying, because you are so beautiful. Your heart is showing me Jesus, more than I have seen or heard in a long time.

    Thank you for posting this...I am calling my sister in law and having her read this...she is struggling with infertility...I am grabbing my Knight and having him read this too...I ran back to my blog and added you as my friend...

    thank you for making your life and ministry to the orphans public...thank you because sometimes I think no one understands.

    Kimmie
    a girl with secondary infertility
    barren to the world...but
    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

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  26. Linn,

    Tell me your thoughts on this...why do you think it is so common for the wife to have a clear calling and desire to adopt but the husband doesn't. It took my husband years to finally sense God calling us to adopt. We'll be in China in a few months and I already have a heart to go back and I haven't even gone once yet! We have seen God work in huge ways to get us to where we are (He provided +$15,000 in one night at a fundraiser we put together in less than two months and on and on...). My husband clearly sees God's hand in this, but he thinks I'm looney for even considering adopting another child. Do you think it is just that a mom has a more tender heart toward children and is open to hearing God's voice in this matter? I'm just curious on your thoughts. I know this is so common. I'm perplexed because my husband is a Godly man who prays daily for our marriage and family. How can I hear God so clearly and my husband doesn't?julia.

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  27. Well said. One question I have, is how do you deal with the heartbreak that is racial ignorance of not just rural america, but the country in general? I'm multi-racial, born in 1979 who was adopted by white father/black mother, but looked like neither, racially or otherwise. Please know I do not ask in the spirit of criticism, I was/am planning on doing something similar later in life.

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  28. Your post was written over a year ago, but it is confirmation for me today. I am married with children ages 17, 9 and 2. I know we are called to adopt, but my husband is not so sure. I had somewhat given up hope on him coming around, but your post has given me a reminder that our GOD is in control. Duh, I just need to fast and pray. This has served me well all my saved life and there is no reason to stop relying on GOD just because my husband says no. I won't nag or bug, but I will quietly fast and pray and watch how my LORD, SAVIOR, REDEEMER and CREATOR of all things responds. I know I will hear from heaven.

    Thank you for this reminder. I feel like I had fallen asleep and this, your post woke me. Thank LORD JESUS(Yahshua=Hebrew name) for your grace and directing me to this site.

    FYI, I was searching for "sukkoths" and came across another blogger "davidandsarah" which had a link to your blog and found this post.

    CRAZY...YES, the KING of Kings is on the throne.

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  29. Hi, Linny! I discovered your blog yesterday and just finished reading your wild adventure and some other important posts. I have always had a heart for adoption, but this settles it. All through the beautiful story I held back the tears, but when I read how your husband called and asked how big your arms were, I let go and wept. My four-month old began making concerned sounds as she is not used to hearing her mama sob. Praise the Lord for you and your husband and every one of your precious children.

    I pray that God blesses you more - those who have will be given more. Let that be prophetic for you.

    So, I have been urging my husband to consider adoption or at least foster care and he is saying not right now and that he needs to have a dream from the Lord and we need to work on our marriage. (Briefly, it has been a VERY rough year and a half of marriage thus far. We almost did not make it for a number of reasons, but God is good and has blessed our efforts to stay together and work on our relationship and love each other.) We just had our first baby and are open to as many as the Lord would give us!!

    So many children out there need homes. I, too, have worked abroad in orphanages when I was younger and I thought I would like to take some of them home (not possible at that time). I want so many.... so badly. :)

    If you want to and can take some time, please email me at whitewings61@gmail.com. I had a blog, but am in process of switching from that one to a totally different one with a different theme.

    Again, God bless you. You have inspired me and many out there.

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  30. Thank you so much for this post. We are Forty-somethings adopting two children from Uganda hopefully very soon. We look younger so we don't get too many awkward questions about our age but we get lots of the other questions...this post gives me hope and courage for the years to come! Thank you!!!

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  31. O my goodness, Linny! When I got to your comment about your husband doesn't want anymore! I about fell off my chair! I guess you know what I will be doing! God is so good! You are such an inspiration! WOW! I would fill my house to the gills to give kids a permanent home...I just have to pray for God to change the heart of my husband and our 5 children! I hope I can talk to you more and give you a little history! He has already moved mountains in this house! YIPPEE JESUS!

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  32. Great responses! :) The most frustrating one I've gotten is from people who ask why overseas - why not the US? I've found that if I tell them briefly and they are receptive then they were truly curious, if they argue with me then they're looking for an argument and I can end the conversation. Although next time I think I'll give them your website. ;)

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  33. God recently led me to 3 treasures in DRC Africa. He convinced my heart immediately that they are mine. I am still trying to get the agencies help with alternative routes. Since my husband and I have only been married 4 years and Congo requires min 5 yrs.. and If my husband adopts as a single with my "consent" he may not be allowed to adopt the 2 girl siblings that are 3 and 2 yrs old. We believe God lead us to them. I do not think He wants us to wait a year to begin adopting them.. but, I do not know what choices we have. I write and call the agency every day.. it is so frustrating. But, I believe in God's timing and if He is testing me I will be faithful.. I will wait, in the mean-time I will do everything I can and know how to be ready. Oh, and did I mention that we have not saved a dime for adoption.. we didn't know this was coming. We do not have equity in our home this economy is so bad. Literally have no idea where the money will come form but, trust it will come at just the right times. He has already provided the 1500 needed out- of- thin- air for the home study. I am praising Him everyday, bc I know He has already provided every last cent and moved every mountain out of our paths. He is smiling on the other side already, and the children have yet to even be referred to us. I cannot wait to watch and see how He does all of this!

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It's always good to hear from bloggy friends. Bless you.