Friday, October 23, 2009

What If My Family Isn't Really Into "It"?

I receive tons of emails each week (which I love getting, by the way) from many of you. With all my little cherubs I am unable to answer them all (although I often try like crazy!). Every now and then though there is a sudden recurring question in the emails and when that happens I begin to pray and ask the Lord what He would have me say in a post. After much prayer this is what I’ve come up with recently… so read on - if you’re brave enough..……=)

The recurring theme (lately) has been: “what if our family really isn’t that into us adopting?” Or “our family is against our adoption?” Or “some of our family have said some pretty mean things about the children we have adopted or are going to adopt?” Etc.

First, let’s see what scripture says. It always must be our compass! The mandate from the Lord is clear: James 1:27 clearly states: Pure religion in the sight of God is to care for the orphan and widow. It doesn’t say, “If your family is into it, then take care of the orphan and widow.” Throughout scripture God pleads on behalf of the orphan. He does not say, ‘if your family is into it – care for the orphan” nor does He say, “check with your family before being obedient to me.”
In fact a rich young ruler and Peter were in a discussion with Jesus about giving it all up to follow Him. In Luke 18:29 Jesus remarked: “’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.’"

Now someone could say, “but scripture tells us to honor our parents.” True! But honoring is showing respect, whether married or not. It is not obeying. When a person grows up and leaves home they are “out from under their parents ‘rule’.” The only one we are to obey is God. In fact scripture says, “It is better to obey God than man.” (Acts 5:29)

So what are we to do when our parents or our family don’t like that we are adopting? Do we shrink back or do we obey God? We must obey God!!
Please hear my heart. It can be incredibly painful to not have family support. BUT, we strongly believe that God will use our testimony and life to influence. That being said, we cannot be content living our lives to make our parents or siblings “happy”. What we have also learned is that when we attempt to make family happy, often they change the rules and they are no longer happy about that either and so we are contorting life and standing on our head and doing somersaults and guess what? They are still not happy!!! The only one we are to please is God – period!!

From my end, I need to set the record straight. We have not always had family happy that we were adopting. Not at all!! One of the most horrible statements I have ever heard in my entire life came from a family member a few years back. It is so horrible I have not nor would I ever even repeat it. Ever. Sincerely – not ever to anyone!! It makes me sick to my stomach when I think that this person, whom we dearly love, could have said such a yukky thing. And the mama bear in me would like to have “straightened them out”….but that’s not really my job. We chose to keep our mouths shut and pray for their heart. Scripture says that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” so I’m guessing that there is a lot of yuk in their heart, so we keep praying.
On the other hand, at one point we withdrew contact from another family member because they were being very ugly with their comments. We still honored them – just from a distance. We did not trash talk them. We just prayed. We felt strongly that it was detrimental for our kids to be in close relationship with this person, so we kept our distance.

Many years ago when the word spread through our family members that I had lost another baby (the third loss)….I received three phone calls (talk about Job’s comforters! – three of them!! Gracious be!). A little background. Having always wanted a boatload of kids, we wanted them from everywhere and we thought it would be fun to mix a few birth up in the pile too. Over the course of 10 years I only got pregnant 4 times and eventually lost all four – one quite far along.

Everyone grieves differently. I am one who withdraws. I have to pull in. I have to figure it out and cry and grieve and feel. I do not want to hear some “encouragement” from anyone. I need the Lord to encourage me and only the Lord. Hearing someone say, “It was God’s will” does not comfort. Hearing someone say, “He must have needed another angel in heaven” (besides being doctrinally incorrect) also does not comfort. So I would just pull in and grieve until I hear God speak. Then I come out of hiding. Besides if I heard one more “friend” say “I know just what you’re going thru” from someone who has NO clue – I would probably spit and not necessarily try to miss them!! (Ooops did I say that?)

Anyway, Job’s comforters called me. Each of them called individually, but there was no doubt that at least two of them had been chatting prior to calling me. Cause the conversation was something like this: “Don’t you think it’s time you got over this whole wanting more kids thing and just got busy doing something else?” Excuse me? I/we had never grieved with them about our loss. We had never complained about the kids we did have. We had never asked them to babysit for us. We had never asked them for anything. We were not and are not on public assistance. We wanted lots of kids. Like somehow our wanting more kids made them uncomfortable or something. I was polite, but really, could they be serious?

On the other hand, some family members have been wonderfully supportive.

When we took the kids East a few weeks ago I was so touched how my cousin Billie started to cry as she hugged me and said rejoicing to me that they were thrilled that the three little ones were with us. So precious!! That whole gang of sweet cousins were thrilled we were ALL there and they pray daily for Jubilee’s coming home day! (No wonder it is so hard to be away from them and why we treasure the time we do have together!)

And what about our friends? Surely they have been cheering us on? Nope, not really. Most of our friends don’t understand. And no, they are not cheering us on. Most of our peers are empty-nesters. We are anything but!! We have lost friends along the way who “just couldn’t get into it”. Some have said some pretty unbelievable things. Oh well.

Dance shows are routine at our home...

Although I don’t know what their motive is I often wonder if people have been opposed to us adopting - maybe, possibly because it all makes them uncomfortable because maybe just maybe they even feel a teeny bit convicted? I’m just sayin’.

And here’s some real gut level honesty….

No doubt - The road to adoption can be a lonely one. No doubt - The road to a large adopted family is even lonelier. I think that some people thought when we were adopting Isaiah that we “would get it out of our systems.” So contrary to what one may think……we did not have a huge crowd cheering us on when we announced that we were adopting again. Instead most jaws dropped when we told our friends and family that we were adopting a gorgeous princess named Jubilee Promise.

Then we really freaked everyone out when just six months later (before Jubilee was even home) announced we were heading to Africa for another beautiful African 2 year old princess named Elizabeth Mercy and a one year old handsome young warrior named Elijah Mueller.

People’s reaction? We think they were thinking……. “Oh my gracious – I’m beginning to think they’re serious about caring for the orphans.” The crowds? Not even a small one cheering. The airport celebrations have been teeny-tiny, (my mom - who has been thrilled and a couple of friends and when I say "couple" I mean "couple") and yes that has made me grieve and even cry. My joy at showing the world my new little ones….well, I’m learning that my skin-on “support” comes from the blogging world. The friends we have made and continue to make. The people who “get it” out there. You!! You are the ones who cheer us on, pray with passion, sometimes even are the ones who join us in saying, “Asian, African, “special needs”, Hispanic, Caucasian, Bi-Racial” - - - - ALL ARE PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT!!!
And really, I have to come back to the fact that we “sing and dance” for an audience of ONE - Jesus Christ – the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords – the lover, protector and defender of orphans – OUR Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God whom we praise with all our might, day and night!! He is the only one we sing and dance for. He will, Lord willing, one day say: “Well done thou good and faithful servant. You were faithful with little. You were faithful when I gave you much. I am pleased with you.”

PS All the pictures I posted throughout are just a few that I would not have, had we "listened" to family.....we would have missed out on our precious country-serving Tyler, out-of-the-box Autumny, African-loving Emma, accomplished musician Graham, ever-smiling Liberty, still-waiting Jubilee, tender-hearted Isaiah, princess-loving Elizabeth and snuggle-bug Elijah (SO FAR).... Oh my heart grieves at the thought of missing nine of my most treasured possessions - - - instead we have memories forever etched in our hearts because we obeyed God rather than man!!!

99 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. Simply amazing and beautiful! Wish I could be at the airports for you in Colorado! I have a sweet friend who is your virtual twin and I am thankful for learning even how much more I can encourage them!

  2. rock on sweet friend. i love your family and speak of you often. i wish i had been bolder when we were in colorado in early june and had tried to see you. sadly, my husband thinks blogging is a huge waste of time and that emotionally investing is not the best use of my heart.
    he's a believer, but like many working men, see their time as precious.
    i have met more "real" people via blogs than i know in my own home town. maybe that means i need to get out more (haha) but i consider it a privilege to pray for others and count it a blessing to have others pray for me or my friends.
    i wish i had a family that looked like yours. my heart says adopt. sadly, my husband says let us be good stewards with what God has entrusted to us and continue to "adopt" the youth we work with.
    long story short, your voice is a sweet song to the Lord's ears.
    sing it, girl. you know the words!!

  3. Thank you for that post. We have only two kids (so far)but do know the loneliness of miscarriage, adoption, and people thinking we were in over our heads. It may not be anything like your situation, but it is comforting to hear the honesty of your message and be grounded in the truth of faith.

  4. Wooohohoooo Linny. Oh my goodness, I feel like shouting from the rooftops, YES YES YES!!! Amazing post, dear friend. Just incredible. Anthony too is in his 50's--oh my gosh, his family and friends truly don't get us (at all). But it's all good. An audience of ONE--that is all we really care about.


  5. I'm glad you listened to God and you know if Rett and I lived closer we would be at your airport party even if it were 2 in the morning.

    We were also treated poorly by some close people on our decision to bring Jaxson home. If I would have listened I wouldn't have my million kisses from him a day, the squeezes only Jaxson can give and not to mention his smile and dimples.

    Something Jaxson asks everyday is "mommy, you and daddy take care of me?" A child should never have to ask that question and I'm glad even though he still asks that he knows that not only do mommy and daddy take care of him but so does God. Too many kids don't have anyone to take care of them.

  6. Amen! Thank you for this post. So much of what you have written has been written in my own heart. Adoption is often a lonely road. But when you know it is the thing that you were meant to do and have heard God whispering to your soul and heart waking your mortal self to a rememberance of promises made before this mortal life, wonderful, marvelous blessings will happen and you will indeed see the hand of God working in your life.

  7. GREAT post Linny! Amen to everything you said. We have been there with our large family, too, and it's not always an easy walk, but oh-so-worth-it!

    Blessed Mom to eight (for now) great kids!

  8. Thank you Linny. Our 2ns journey, the one into foster adoption has been very lonely. Most people don't understand, don't even try to understand. My true support has been fellow adoptive families, all whom I met online. Thank you for this precious reminder.

  9. AWESOME post, Linny. I TOTALLY hear ya! We also lost a baby pretty far along, and I really think my family members thought I went off the deep end and was just "talking." Well we are in "it" for the long haul! Can't WAIT to bring home some more babies! I absolutely LOVE your family and your are truly an inspiration to me. I am SO glad there are blogs and blogging because I would feel completely alone, too! Thank you for your post and many blessings to you and your sweet and beautiful family!

  10. We have thought many times the road to adoption is lonely. Our last adoption, even fewer people "got it" that the new 10 yr old child in our home was every bit as important as any who might have been born to us and we would have appreciated her being welcomed into our family like one born to us. However, as you say, bloggy friends who "get it" are true blessings, cheerleaders, encouragers, and then some. Thank you for this beautiful was a blessing to read. Though your blog is often an encouragement, it was especially meaningful to read this particular post. God bless, Jennifer in DE (far, far from my Longmont CO hometown!)

  11. This just makes me cry because I know exactly where you are coming from. We had family members too who have NEVER accepted our 3 adopted children and it breaks my heart everytime I think about it. Like you we did it for only one, our precious Savior!!

    I can't imagine not having C, J and J in our family. We we're blessed beyond measure the day they became ours. Hugs and prayers!!

  12. Linny I love following your family adventures. I'm so happy to see a family with so much love to give children of all race, color, & culture as yours. My hat is off to you guys. I don't see how you manage with all that is on your plate but so thankful that God helps you with this beautiful plate of needs and love in your home. Keep going on with God's plan for your home.

  13. This just touches my heart Linny. It makes me want to hug you! It makes me want to pack up, go back in time and be at the airport for each and every one of your babies' homecomings. I know you were not writing this post for sympathy but it makes me so sad that your kids were not always celebrated the same way ones from our wombs are celebrated- with a baby shower and everyone camping out waiting for the arrival. They are so precious!! And I know I don't need to tell you that, but it just makes me horrified that anyone can even look at them as less than perfect! Just because they weren't birthed from you body?? So what! They were created by the same God- isn't that enough?!

    I love your family so much and I am so thankful you are surrounded by bloggy friends that love you so very much and would do anything for you (and by the way, I refuse to think of you as my bloggy friend anymore. You're my real-life friend ;) )

    And I guess this might say something about this old brain of mine (seriously- my brain is soooo much older than 32), but I had no idea Emma & Graham were even adopted!! LOL! Which I think says wonderful things about you guys- you can't tell where you end and your kids begin, so why would you be able to tell which ones are adopted and which aren't?

    Love you!! :)

  14. never occurred to me that people wouldn't support other people adopting children. Wow...I'm stunned. Since I haven't stepped into that realm yet, I guess most anything would come as a shock to me. I hope to one day run an orphanage in Guatemala. This post kind of puts things in perspective, a smidge any way. I guess I really won't know what it will all be like until I get to that point.

    I support you, Pastor Linn. I may not live in the area anymore, but I love your posts, I love what you're doing, and hope all discouragement that comes against you will bear no fruit except to increase you're determination. I'm praying for you.

  15. Linny, such a beautiful post! I myself, though barely 22 years old, know I am going to adopt one day. And I also know that an overwhelming majority of my family is not okay with it. But it doesn't matter to me. I know what GOD has called me to do, what He has specifically stated in His Word for everyone to do. I will not give up. Family members already make THE STUPIDIEST comments about the kids' race that I one day hope to adopt, so I know things can and most likely will grow a little worse from here, but I'm not letting it get me down. I'm 21, 10 days away from being 22, 3 years away from being eligible to adopt from Ethiopia, but I am not giving up. I'm also praying about domestic adoption. Even if my prince never comes to sweep me off my feet, I will adopt. Even if some of my family members/friends don't agree with what I am doing, I am still pressing forward and NOT giving up.
    Thanks so much for the encouragement!! GOD bless your beautiful family :))

  16. I have to link to this!!! So well said. Your wisdom speaks volumes to many of us. I want a boatload too! One child at a time … one miracle at a time.

    I really want to scream at times to family and friends: "What in the world is wrong with you? Why don't you get out of the boat? Why????"

    Thank you for putting it into words. Words that are Christ-honoring and point right back to Him!

  17. Amen, Amen, Amen!!!

    Loved this post and love your blog!

    By the way, I just posted about my miscarriages today too:( The pain never really goes away. Hugs and prayers to you, sister in Christ.


  18. Great post! We, too, have continued to enlarge our family without the support of family and friends.

    We have 1 family member (my 91 yr.old dad) who we are in relationship with, and he loves all of our children. None of the other grandparents, however, have even met our youngest 5 children (2 bio. and 3 adopted). And, we all live in the same state.

    My brother told us years ago, "You understand that you just have too many children to come to our house." And, we live just 1 1/2 hrs away, but that is "too far" for them to come visit.

    Our friends, also, are all empty-nesters ... except for the friends that are 15-20 years younger than us. They are the ones cheering us on.

    Are best friends are our 6 adult children, who completely support and love each and every child that comes into our family. And, that's the best support we could ever ask for.

    Our airport-arrival was just us ... just us and our kids. Sad!

    Keep loving those kids, even if your family doesn't understand.

    mama of 13

  19. I love this post Linny! You guys are awesome! Thank you for sharing!

    My grandmother once told me she could never love an adopted child the way she loves her "blood" relatives. Let me tell you...she absolutely adores our precious treasure from China! I hope this is the case for many of those who are struggling with this. I believe most people can love ANY just might take some time...and prayer! - Charissa

  20. Linny, this was a great post! And I get it, I think it's awesome!!!
    You know it doesn't matter if you have 10 or 5 or 7 kids, someone will think it's too many... whatever that means, too many to what. Too many to love, to feed, to care for.
    I remember when I was pregnant with Andrew, our number 5,someone asked me, WHY? All I could answer after picking my jaw up off the floor was , WHY NOT? I was at a lose for words, which, with my quick tongue doesn't happen often. Thing is, some get it, some don't. And it's always a surprise to see which way people go. Not always a pleasant surprise.
    But like you said, we are only here to please one... Jesus!
    So poo on the ones who don't get it and try to put you down or make you feel bad. We get it!!!

  21. AMEN!! Worded just perfectly. We have to remember that we do not answer to man but to God.

  22. Crazy isn't it that you have to look to bloggy land to find support. We get that same thing when are you going to be done? Our answer is when there are no more orphans in the world....then they get a strange look. We haven't however ever had hostility. Glad that we haven't. The important thing is that you are doing exactly what God has called you to do! Praise God for that!!!! I love hearing about your stories...thank you for sharing :)

  23. Amazing post!Just wonderful! I have family that addopted a beautifuls on of another race, the comments were terrible. They too responded they were doing what God had called them to do. After the adoption the comments continued. We would just get up and leave, it made me sick! After we spent a holidays with the adoptive family rather than the main family.

  24. Oh Linny,
    You have no idea how I needed to hear these words today...God is so good. I've struggled lately at our lack of family support. I long to be a mom of a large family and we wanted a mix of bio and adopted children, so far God has a different plan. And He has blessed us with our Sasha through open adoption. But lately some family seems to be less than supportive of our thoughts towards another adoption. Thank you for sharing these words. I am to obey God alone and follow His leading, if we had not we wouldn't have our Sasha. And the next time you fly overseas you should have a layover in Atlanta and I'm telling you our whole church follows your precious family in your blog and we'd great you all with great big signs and big hugs to welcome your next blessing! Many cyber hugs...Kelly

  25. I am in tears...LOOK at the treasures God has bestowed upon you. Your latter years WILL BE even more blessed than the early years! Hallelujah!
    I didn't realize that ALL of your kiddos joined your family through the miracle of adoption.
    Thank you for the encouragement. It can be a lonely journey.

  26. BTW, thanks for posting that picture of Elijah covered in chocolate syrup, I immediately get anxiety. Still wondering how I would have handled that one. LOL

  27. Thankfully most of our family "gets" it, I even have a 17 y.o. niece that told me she wants to adopt one day and her friends say "why?".
    People seem to understand bringing home little babies, but now we are stepping out in faith and bringing home an goin-to-be 10 y.o. (boy no less!) people are having very little to say. We value the support so much more.

  28. With tears welling, I was moved, dear, sweet, faithful Linny, with every picture and every word. Oh, how I love my five children. How I would have missed out soooooooo much had we not been obedient, how good it is to be their mother, how I would, if the LORD willed, go back to China, or Africa, or anywhere he leads and bring another orphan into our home.

    Thank you Jesus, for the gift of adoption!

  29. I really needed to hear this right now. I have been really struggling lately. We are adopting again and I have been so discouraged how people act about it. I just this week asked my husband " should we really adopt again when we have no support at all?'' It can be so tough. My husband was so shocked I normally would never say that but have been feeling really lonely about things lately. Thanks so much for your honesty.

  30. Thank you for this post and pouring your heart out. Thanks for reminding me that just because it is right does not mean it is easy or popular!

  31. Rejection has been a theme for my little family from the moment JP and I said "I DO". We keep plodding along, but our extended family is a source of constant heartache and frustration. Having said that, seeing some people finally "get into it" has been a tremendous blessing, and we love this new family that God is calling together.

  32. Linny,
    You go girl.That post touched my heart like you would not believe.You are right there with me girl. My hubby and I being in our 50's too, we know family and friends don't get it. It can be very lonely but thank you lord for sweet bloggy friends like you Linny.We need the support from esch other. And thank you GOD that we listened to him not man or we would have missed out on our blessings- Mikayla,Caleb,Josiah,Lauren,Sophie,and Isaiah making our family a beautiful rainbow!!!!And thank you Lord for blessing me through birth and adoption with nine of the sweetest treasures ever!!! Donita

  33. Thank you again for sharing:-) I love what you have to say(in fact I love every post of yours that i've read!) Here in Australia adoption is not common at all, and large families also very uncommon and I think a lot of people (and family) think we are quite strange! That or we get the 'oh you are a saint' sort of comment -which for anyone who really knows me knows that is far from the truth:-) We also have lost 3 babies during pregnancy and one just after he was born, and we had some really dumb and insensitive comments-most along the lines of what you shared. I have realised that many many people just don't get it-and that's why i am also loving connecting with people all over the world that share my passion for orphans and adoption. Thank you for being one of those people!

  34. VERY well spoken, Linny! We have no one to answer to except our Heavenly Father!! And indeed, we dance for an audience of one... THE One! <><

    love you,

  35. Oh precious friend, once again you have ministered to so many with your precious words. His words, spoken through you. Thank you Linny for your faithfulness, thank you for telling it like it is! Thank you for your obedience, and for leading many others in God's plan for the orphan.

    Thank you for sharing honestly from your heart--it blesses so many other hurting hearts. It truly does.

    Above all, thank you for sharing God's word. Truth. Even when it hurts . . .

    And along with His word, your babies BIG and SMALL! Look at them! Look how they are wrapped around one another, tangled up in love. A precious sweet representation of God's goodness, poured out upon His obedient servents--you Linn and Dwight. Oh Lord, thank you that we get to be a little part of this sweet boatload of blessing!! YOU Lord, are good!

    Love you sweet friend. Praying your sweet Jubilee Promise home!! Bring her Lord!

    Love you guys~


  36. My sweet friend Melody mentioned in her comment that she didn't realize Graham and Emma were adopted.

    I was clearly misunderstood. I included them in the pictures and the notes of who I wouldn't have if I had listened to our family because Job's three comforters came and told me to get my tube tied and give it up BEFORE I became pregnant with both of them.

    Sorry for being confusing!! And Melody, thank you for pointing out that that needed to be understood better!! xo

  37. Would love a whole bunch - doesn't look like its in the cards for me - adopted one, but dh and I tried 3 other times and were not successful - international politics, revised age qualifications, etc. But it sure would be nice. Would like a boy too. Lots of reasons why it won't happen - but doesn't mean you can't wish. (prayed and prayed for years and I think the answer is no.)

  38. wow. I needed this. We have wanted to adopt for a bit now, and were going to start a homestudy, but then my husband lost his job and now we wait, and pray. My sister's husband is a psychiatrist, and they only have horror stores about RAD, and a few other "friends" have mentioned how I am "collecting" children because we already have 4 girls. What they don't get is that since I was VERY little, I KNEW I am supposed to be a mom of a large family, and a teacher. My own children from the time they were very little would ask me when the "two brothers" were coming - we don't have our complete family yet, but someday we will. Keep setting the example. Your encouragement keeps me on the path.

  39. We have the same experience and we are only at 3! I used to think it was because there aren'too many believers in our family. Now, I see that some of the most hurtful "stuff" can come from our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Thank you so much for sharing! What a great reminder. Jesus said, "Come follow me." Not "come follow me, and your aunt, and your neighbor, and your friends from Bible study."

    BTW... I love, love, love your family and would over the moon if the Lord were to bless us in the same way.

    BTW #2... Because of your blog, I saw pictures of Elizabeth over and over and the Lord spoke to us through her smile and her eyes. We are going to Uganda to adopt. Our home study is complete and we're just waited to get our USCIS form back. God is so good!

    Love in Jesus,

  40. Tears here. Once again the Lord is using you and your family to speak directly to ours! We have had to grin and bear so many of the same comments and we haven't brought home our bonus kids YET! God has always provided more than we could imagine. The 1st step is the hardest. Thanks for pushing us off the cliff! I have doubts and fears about being able to handle mental health issues that might come (as we are dealing with one bio child with add and sensory issues) but at the same time I hear the Lord saying, you are handling this and you CAN handle it. The other thing I would like to hear input on is sports and other extra-curiculars that are expensive and time consuming. How do you all handle this with large #'s of kids? We already get alot of grief from family for limiting the kids to 1 sport or activity a season.
    Thank you again and again for allowing God to use you! If we were closer we would be at the airport for you everytime! We are in spirit anyway!!! I would be on the plane with you actually!!!!

  41. Oh Linny - I just LOVE you and you could have just written on the top - Dear Shauna :)!

    We are here in UG and at S*nyu - we had court on Friday and it went well - we go back on Thursday to recieve a ruling. Please pray for us! Justin wanted me to tell you that being here makes him miss Dwight.

    We love you guys and are so thankful for your obedience. You are helping those behind you (me) walk the walk! :)

  42. Thanks, Linny. I needed to hear this. We were WAY out there when we considered a teenager. And, I'm praying and mulling around another WAY out there thought. Just initial stages of praying, but Satan has wasted NO time in telling me that my family would NOT support this!

    Thank you friend, for your timing. Amazing.

  43. This is a beautiful post! Thank you so much for your honest and for sharing your journey with all of us!!

  44. AMEN!! So well said, and SO incredibly true: adoption is tough but adopting a large family is even tougher.

    But isn't God SO good? My husband and I have never walked closer to Him than I have as we've walked this road of adoption. And how He shows up to bring His children HOME, all I've witnessed truly blows my mind. Praying for Jubilee to be home SOON!!!

    LOVE your heart, Linny :)
    oxoxox to you and your beautiful family!!

  45. Oh Linny,

    Beautiful post. It hit so close to home. Kevin and I have felt the "loneliness" of our decision, but we have the overwhelming joy of not being empty nesters anymore! If we had listened to any number of the people who didn't or couldn't understand our desire to adopt and follow God's leading, we would have missed out on SO MUCH JOY!

    In our immediate world, Kevin and I are an "oddity", but in the world of adoptive families like the ones we have met through our travel group, agency, and blogs, we are "normal" in every way! We love our "new normal" life and wouldn't trade it for anything!

    Praising our Lord each and every day for our children here and to be! Thanking him for friends like you, too, who "get it" with us!

    Love from our home to yours,
    Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and waiting for Eli

  46. Linny,

    I am Shauna Vaughan's Sister, and your blog is such a beautiful ministry. You are a blessing and I am so excited for Shauna and Justin and the encouragement you are to them.. I am watching their wonderful kids while they are in Ug*nda getting little Isaiah..I can't wait until they get him home where he belongs. I feel the stirring in my heart and my hubby made a comment about adopting one day. Praise Him!!! Yippee Jesus!.
    Jenay (Powell Butte, Oregon)

  47. Linn,
    I just want to thank you so much for the way that you minister to me. My heart beats for orphans/adoption however right now I am young, single and still living at home and waiting/praying for God's timing on when I can begin adopting. I truly believe that one day God will bless me with a "boatload" of children from all over the world yet I know that many people around me think that I'm crazy, or too radical, or that this is simply a phase. God has used your blog however (as well the blogs of other adoptive parents) to make me realize that not only am I not crazy but that my dream is possible and this desire I have is from Him. Thank you for challenging, encouraging, stretching and sharpening me. One day I will tell my children about this time in my life when God was preparing me to be their mom and I want you to know that you are playing an important role in my family's story.

  48. Oh Linny, You have spoken from your heart and I say "AMEN" to each word. Thank you.

  49. Love, love, love this post!!

    Jean- what do you want to do tonight?

    Jim - "well let's hang out with our other adoption loving, homeschooling, middle aged, Jesus loving, large family loving friends!!

    And then we start to laugh- there's nobody else doing that here!

    It is a little lonely but not really- it is the most incredible, awe inspiring journey we have ever been on! Our family alone is just so much fun we really are too busy to worry about being lonely. Our extended family is okay with our adoptions BUT they would never do it. They kind of accept us the way we are (and yes they think we are a bit odd. If anyone were to say anything inappropriate we would distance ourselves ( we have had to do that in the past).

    I could go on and write a book about this subject but I better stop...

    But one more thing- God made us all different. Being different from your neighbor, friends and family is what makes life interesting. It is a good thing, we don't have to all be alike and make the same decisions. I appreciate my friends for who they are and they appreciate me for who I am. Just cause someone else doesn't agree with you and your choices- who cares, in the end they may admire you for doing what you feel is important. We all can serve the Lord in different ways. I know this is how God wants us to serve him!

    Pray about it dear friends- these children are such blessings! And yes, my bloggy friends keep me going! I am so thankful to be able to connect with others who love the Lord and love adoption!

    Thank you Linny for the wonderful post!!

  50. Oh, what encouraging words to an adoptive momma's heart. We have 2 bio and 2 adopted - and are ready to start our third adoption (in 3 years). I'm reluctant to even tell my family because they just - don't get it. But you, you get it. You understand why we do it. You understand why we sacrifice and work many part-time jobs to help the adoption fund. I'm in tears from the words you have written. Thank you so much for the encouragement needed to start again.

    Just today at work, someone was asking about our littles (6, 4, & 2). They asked if we were going to adopt again and it made my heart smile to say, yes, we just started the paperwork. Then to come home and find this post from you - confirmation that it's the path we are to be on.

    Thank you for your openess and transparency. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family abundently.

    PS - love, love, love the Christmas carols!

  51. I so appreciate this post. We have been praying over an adoption from Africa and being a asian/white family in the DEEP south I have been nervous. You have just confirmed that all is well. Love reading your blog and hope to have a big family like yours one day.
    Amy in GA

  52. I so appreciate this post. We have been praying over an adoption from Africa and being a asian/white family in the DEEP south I have been nervous. You have just confirmed that all is well. Love reading your blog and hope to have a big family like yours one day.
    Amy in GA

  53. Thanks so much for this post! We are older adopters with our last daughter coming from China.It seems we just do not fit in with so many our age. We have pretty much aged out of being able to adopt at 53 and 56 and that makes me sad. I am so thankful for the children we have been blessed with.
    Dawn in OR.

  54. thanks. that was super encouraging to me.

  55. Oh Thank you for posting this Linny. I so often wonder why no one around me gets it. I have some friends who listen to me, and ask on progress, but I can't say they really rejoice with me. I don't think they understand. And others look at me strangly, like what is wrong with me and when is enough, enough....

    And when I do have struggles with one or the other, it is almost an "I told you so" type of reaction.


    It is hard being an alone family, and a single momma to boot. But I love my little family. And when others are planning their empty nest cruises and spa vacations....and I making cupcakes and carving pumpkins and sewing costumes.

    God is good. ..even when the road is what feels like a solitary one.

  56. Thank you for your post. Your blog has been very encouraging to me over the last few months.

  57. Thanks. Beautifully said . . . much needed. You've had so many posts that have eloquently stated what was on my heart. I thought about just printing them out and keeping a stash in my purse to distribute to "people who don't get it" as needed. Well, I think I'm gonna need lots of copies of this one and will have to walk around with my reading material in a rolling suitcase. But oh the time I'll save when I can hand them your words and reply with, "What she said."

    Much Love,
    Kathie from Georgia

  58. Great post Linny! We have had zero support in our 2 adoptions from family and friends. Oh, how I would LOVE to adopt again.... I have that darn reluctant husband now!
    I'm cheering with you all from FL!!!!

  59. Linny,

    thank you so much for this post. I really really needed. Our adoption has gone so so well but it has cost us and I am feeling the isolation. Think I will get up and go kiss them all one more time before I sleep. tears in my eyes,
    Jan in Alaska

  60. I loved this post, and it came at a great time for me!! I have been feeling a little "lonely" while waiting to travel for our daughter in China, and knowing I'm not alone really helps! I so agree with our "cyber" friends being our encouragement - what a blessing to be living in an age where we can find this support - even if these like minded people are hundreds of miles away!! I love to see the internet serving God's purposes!!!!!!!
    Thank you for this very encouraging post!

  61. Linny, I too was sooooo hesitant to tell my family as I was raised with 2 other sibs and my Mom especially thought that a family was plenty big with 3 children. We had 3 bio chilren and I too lost a son at 5 months pregnant. I think they thought that was our "sign" to be done. Well, wrong. We went on to have another son, so now 4 living children.She treated him differently until he won her over and he may very well be kind of her unspoken favorite. We then went on to adopt our daughter from China. I truly was fearful to tell them, so I said my hubby and I had some news to tell them and could we come in a few days. Actually this was the perfect way because she thought Mark was transferred, I had cancer, or one of the kids was sick.Needless to say she accepted the news and it was better than all of those possibilities. So, it all was good. But as you say, I am to honor God and what he tells me to do not my parents. love ya, Ellen W

  62. HE is the lover of our souls, and he certainly loves yours!!!! You dont ever want to get me started on this subject but just know that I am behind you 1000000000% , HE sees the promise is your heatrt and HE is so pleased!!!!

    Love and blessings, Kristy

  63. I have stopped by often by not commented. I wanted to say AMEN to your post! I am mom of 4. My oldest earned her Angel wings at age 8 very unexpectedly. She and I had a conversation about adoption just a month before her death. I had now idea where my life was headed. We have one bio son and adopted Lindsey 2 yrs ago from China. We are waiting to travel to get our son, James age 6 also from China. I am so blessed and truely believe this is the plan that was meant for me since the beginning. I get asked so many times about our adoptions after the death of a child. I tell those that ask I can only speak for the here and now..and just think of my talk with Chelsea that December day in 2005. She was my messenger! I am so glad to read your thoughts! They mean a lot!! GOD BLESS YOU!!!
    Kathy in Alaska

  64. Oh, Linny, I did not know that you had lost four precious babies. I too, lost four little ones to miscarriages. I just posted about our little Celeste, who died 9 years ago, while we were waiting for our first daughter from China. Here's the link:
    Sometimes it helps me to hear other's stories of loss and life. Through it all, though, God is good! Though we miss these children terribly and no one could EVER replace them, we are also so blessed to have added more children to our family through adoption. As you said, people don't always understand or agree with our desire to have a full house and to care for orphans, but we know WHO has called us and we love to follow Him!

    Many blessings to you!

  65. Linny -

    You are a great inspiration to me in the life you have chosen. I read your post yesterday and it stuck with me so much I had to come back and comment. You share your heart so beautifully on your blog. Do you think that your bloggy friends are so much more supportive because we know your "heart" so well? I find in life, though I am blessed with dear, dear friends, sometimes it is hard to take the time to share at the level that you do on your blog. Our busy lives (of, course) get in the way of loving and relating to one another. Not to excuse ugly things that have been said to you and your family, but often a lack of understanding (or lack of taking the time to understand) discourages others from fully supporting a God thing!

    Just so you know, your blog is almost like a little devotion time to me. It helps remind me of many of the important things God wants for us. Keep on keeping on (and I will keep reading!!!)

  66. Linny and DW,

    "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. " Numbers 6:24-26

    Janet,Kevin, Ted, Philip, and Eli

  67. Linny,
    At first, my family was less than thrilled with my decision to adopt as a single woman. The Lord has been working, though, and they are really coming around. Just thought you'd like to know that my sister (the most outspoken with her concerns) had a change of heart after reading your post on "Should Singles Adopt?" We had a very sweet conversation and now she is so excited! Thank you!

  68. Linny, well said. This is exactly what we have encountered. mostly from church people. Sad very sad. And I for one am not afraid of the "empty nest". God has just got a heavenly plan for us not a worldly one. I am so glad that we listened to His call.

  69. always you have used your words to communicate so much more than WHAT is on this blog page.

    We have five beautiful kiddos and have been amazed at those that are supportive but even more amazed at those who do NOT.

    ALL precious in his sight! AMEN!

  70. Linny, I read your posts everyday and many have hit right home. We have six of our own and are foster parents to two more. People are watching everyday for us to fall on our face. It is very sad when most of those people are "Christians". Like you I never ask anyone to watch my children, never complain about the problems/situations of so many children at home, yet those people are the first to past judgement on us for what we are trying to do for the kingdom of God. In the end it will not matter what anyone thinks of us, only what God does. HIS love is a wonderful thing. Stay strong. PS Really loved your trip to NY story. Loved the picture of the old Agway store in Avon. We used to go there when it was a feed store. Drove be this last summer when we were up for a visit with family. Your picture brought back some very nice memories. Blessings from Florida

  71. You said what I haven't been able to say. We are adopting our sixth child and have no family support at all. We didn't have much through the first adoption and even less for the second but this thid one has been down right difficult. I pray daily that our families will "get it". These precious children need parents. Regardless we will do what ever it takes to bring our daughter home.

  72. Thanks for posting that! You said so many things that we hear/heard and feelings that I have/had. I am so glad that we are not alone in this. Our eight blessings from two continents, homegrown and internationally grown, turn heads all the time and some days I handle the comments better than other!
    Every child is a blessing, a unique gift!
    Christy in WI

  73. YES! YES!

    What you said! All of it! ALL. OF. IT.

    Thank you for sharing these feelings, Linn. This is just the encouragement from just the right friend that I (so many of us, obviously) needed.

    Praying mightily and cheering you on heartily! Waiting along with all these dear friends for the moment when precious Jubilee is FINALLY HOME!!!

    Love you...

  74. AMEN Linny! AMEN!
    We too would have been waiting at the airports!!

  75. I just came across your blog and had a good time reading through some archives- your family is beautiful! I will introduce myself quickly as I hope to continue reading- I am in my last year of University and have a passion for humanitarian work. I have worked in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Ethiopia and will be moving to the DR this May for full time humanitarian work. I would love a family like yours one day- large and adopted!

    Anyways, I have a question. Like I said, my passion is for humanitarian work. Do any of your kids who were internationally adopted have an interest in making a difference in their birth countries in regards to the poverty, or are they too young? What about your older kids? Given the countries that some of your kids were adopted from, they must have a good knowledge of poverty in the world. Have they been inspired to make change in any way? I just ask because I hope that many years down the road, when I adopt, that I can inspire my kids to want to make change not only in their birth countries but in the world. Like I said, it's a big passion of mine and has changed my life. Would love to hear your thoughts given you have such a big family!

    Thanks so much!

  76. Amen to that sista!

    An you all keep on rescuing! It's awesome to see and hear all about it.

    SOME of us are following in your footsteps or at least preparing our homes & hearts for an INCREASE from the Lord. It's exciting to be stepping out of the boat for Him. Not everyone does it. In fact, probably far less than we know. That's so sad because those who don't really miss the blessing.

    Your an encouragement to all who know/ hear about your family. I know i'm always encouraged and feel like i'm pumped up & ready to go get some more Jesus in so many ways!

  77. I'm not sure what airport you fly into, but if it's DIA let me know. It would be an honor to welcome any precious child home.

  78. Thank you for speaking the truth plainly. May many more "get it" and be as blessed! And may those who don't simply remain silent.

    You are making me want to travel to the airport WHEN you bring home Jubilee!!!

  79. Thanks so much for this post and all your posts! They always speak to me and encourage me! God bless you!
    P.S. I just started a blog and you are listed on my blog roll! :-)

  80. Linn,
    Just reread your post on this after our conversation yesterday and all I can say is you wrote the post for so many of us in the same situation. So many us large adopting families can relate to every morsel of this post.

    Now just fly into SFO so I can hug and squeeze my VT!! I am waiting!!!!

  81. Linnie~ i have absolutely craved this kind of honesty as we embark on adopting children that don't "match" our skin color. God has already birthed them in our hearts... in the hearts of our children. We desire to please Him, even though there is pitifully small support around us.... unfortunately, and even in the church. i suppose you have experienced this, too. We have counted the cost, and now are COUNTING down days....begging God to show His Faithfulness here. Thank you for such a well-written-from-the- heart note. You are a tremendous encourager, no doubt from experiencing tremendous pain. I admire you. I appreciate you. I hope we are able to handle the situations that shall come as a result of our choice, as well as you all have.
    with love,

  82. Wow! Your post came at exactly the right time. I read it last Sunday, 2 hours after getting off the phone with some family memebers telling them that we have started the process to adopt our 4th child. (3rd adoption) They were not happy. Although I expected their reaction, I still cried inside. Reading your post just confirmed what I already know....we are doing the right thing. We are very excited.
    Thank you! (how did you know I needed that post that night???!!....God's timing is amazing!)

  83. Linny,

    I am an occasional reader of your blog ( way too busy raising my 10 kiddos these days!) and I couldn't resist adding a hearty "Amen" to what you have shared here.

    Our journey to adopt began in 2001. We at that time had 4 bio kids, and many people could not "get" why we would want to expand our family thru adoption. My relationships with extended family changed dramatically. Most of my sibs with the exception of one sister, basically dropped off the face of the earth, and my dear parents struggled to accept their newly adopted gran kids. So sad.

    As our family continued to grow, we continued to face opposition and negativity to our choices to grow our family thru adoption and birth children.

    Sadly, in our world children are viewed as a curse and debt as a blessing.

    I have learned thru the years, and the trials we have been blessed to walk thru that the only "approval" I need is the Lord's. If He is pleased with me, then all is well.

    God bless you Linny. May you continue to expierence the joy and peace of knowing you are truly HIS.

    In Christ,

  84. I'm commenting here very late in the game, but I needed to say thank you for this post. We have begun to feel some of that loneliness that you mention. We have begun to feel some of that questioning, some of that pulling away, some of that intrusive commentary. We knew between just the two of us that Li'l Empress would likely be our first adoption, not our only one. For many many reasons, we just kinda knew it. But when she came home and we sometimes casually commented that it would be awesome to do it again, we got the looks. The "how can you afford it?" The "isn't five enough already?" Or, my favorite, "where on earth will you put everyone?" - as if our 5 BR home is stuffed to the gills.

    Add to all that is the fact that we have indeed struggled with our finances and how to work the balance btw. his style and mine, btw. stepping out in faith & obedience and waiting till we "have our ducks in a row." So hearing commentary and feeling others' questions so personally has been quite the journey for us.

    We ARE committed to the "when" of another adoption. We ARE committed to financial integrity. We ARE committed to building our family according to His plans for US. We ARE seeking and praying for HIS timing for our next beautiful daughter. It's comforting to have this blogging community to understand that and accept it. It's a blessing to have a safe place in which to express these thoughts and dreams, without judgement or question. It's bolstering to be confirmed by posts such as this.

    Thanks for writing it. Thanks for being open and honest. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  85. Linny, I can't believe I missed this post because this is one of the things we talked about on the phone in September. But then I saw the date and that explains it all ~ we were in China, had Kooper 2 days and were waiting to get Kinley! No wonder I missed it! You have addressed so many things we face, and I appreciate your candor and your heart. This is one the awesome messages God gave me last April when we were waiting for our referreal and pondering the reaction of our 'family' and 'friends' because most don't get it at all. God revealed to me the necessity to obey Him, and sometimes that means forsaking family. Just a week later He shared His plans for us to adopt an aging-out child, and I knew my family would NOT be supportive (sure enough was right!), but because He had already spoken to me, we plowed forward. Thank you, thank you for sharing this.
    We've been home about 4.5 months with our two newest Treasures and He is already preparing us for another journey. Not preparing financially (because that's up to Him), but our hearts are completely open to His plans! We will surely be labeled completely, forevermore c.r.a.z.y. but who matters but Him!

  86. Thank you Linny. I needed this one. Blessings my friend!

  87. I still feel the sting, after 5 years, of the day we announced to our church fellowship (we don't attend there anymore)that we had a court date to finalize the adoption of our twins from Russia. That was met with only a slight clapping of hands.

    Then another family announced that their kitchen, which had been remodeled, was now finished. You woulda thought the whole place would come down for all the clapping and whoopin' and hollerin'.

    Made me literally sick to my stomache. Still does.

  88. Thank you so much for this post as I too have felt that familiar sting of family not coming around after I choose to parent my step neices children and to foster children. People look at you like your crazy and maybe I am. I am crazy for these tiny ones who need someone in their lives to make a difference and if it cost me the family vote so be it. I have the lord's vote and in the end that is all that matters.

  89. I just found your blog through some Reece's Rainbow friends on facebook who posted your Crazy Love #5 on their walls. I found this post after reading that one and looking at your special post lists.

    This one really touches my heart. I have a very heavy heart and feel a very real sense of urgency that our next child is out there waiting for us to come and bring them home.

    But my family is NOT into adoption. I have had every typical anti-adoption comment there is and we haven't even filled out the application yet! :(

    Thank you for having an open and real heart for adoption. I am sure I will be returning to your blog for reference. :)

  90. Linny! How could I have missed this post???? You should re-post this gem. It does feel so lonely sometimes in this non-adoption world we live in. It is such a HUGE source of encouragement to see other families who have walked through it and have chosen God above all else. Thank you so much!

  91. Linny,
    Thank you so much for this post! I know it is an old post, but I just had to comment anyway.

    We have nine biological children, and are beginning to adopt now at 46. The road to a big family is lonely indeed. Noone celebrated the news of our pregnancies after our third, and we are both from Christian families. We are even alone in church. What's up with that?!?

    When I told my sister I was pregnant with our ninth, she said, "I think you must need your head examined!" The comments have been so hurtful.

    The story doesn't end there though. Our family is richer for each child. Our children are richer for each sibling. God is good. We are investing in eternity. And He is blessing with eternal blessings!!! We will follow Him no matter how lonely the road.

    I'd like to share a post I wrote with you. It's called Our hands are full indeed!

    God bless you!

  92. I just found your blog, and am absolutely delighted! Thank you so much for sharing. I have been interested in adoption for quite sometime. But it was not until reading "Adopted for Life" by Russell Moore that I truly experienced the burden I now have for adopting.
    You have been an encouragement to me tonight. I am certain I will return.
    Thank you

  93. Thank you for post, it is hurting my heart that my daughter that is an adult living on her own across the country won't speak to us, because of Gods call on our life.

  94. I just found your blog today and several of your posts spoke directly to my heart! I am a pastor's wife with 5 biological children (under the age of 8) and we are in the process of following God's call to care for the orphan by adopting 2 from Ethiopia. Your words of trust in God financially and emotionally have really spoken to me, as we also are experiencing disbelief, doubt, and even discouragement from friends and church members. Even though I grieve for your lack of support, it does comfort my heart that you are thriving as an adoptive family and still excited about following God's heart for the orphan! Thank you so much for taking the time to encourage others like myself.

  95. Thank you so much for sharing!

  96. Totally needed to read this today. Thank you for your sharing your heart with us.

  97. Oh Linny, This is a very anointed and truthful post. It is just what I needed to hear. All these years I have felt VERY alone in adopting all of our children. I never knew it was this way for any other adopting families. Never a shower given as we were rejoicing in each new adoption. Harsh things said to us. Family and friends lost. No support thru the many surgeries and therapies. The shunning of my children as my children reach out to them to love them, breaking the kids hearts. When one of my adopted children passed away the terrible things said. Only two meals brought to our home by some very precious people we knew. The people that have reached out in obedience to God and helped us the most have been strangers or people we don't know very well. I know I have God and He is all I need. He has always been faithful and true. My two best friends are my husband and dad and I am so grateful for them. Very grateful. I have a friend that does pray for us and love my kids but we hardly see each other. Praise God and bless her dear Lord. I started blogging for many reasons. But one of those reasons was sheer loneliness. My mom passed away 9 years ago and she and my dad were the only ones all these years cheering us on. Embracing each new grandchild. My husband and I have been praying and now that God has stabilized my health, feel led to go back into foster care with the intentions of adopting again. (we do special needs and medically fragile children) Oh the reactions that has brought out of most people we have spoken to about it. I trust in God and pray to stand before Him on judgement day and hear those words I am longing to hear. The ones we all want to hear our God say to us. Well done thou good and faithful servant. The life I gave to Him that He bought and paid for has been a wonderful and blessed one. I will serve no other. God be with you.


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