Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
As a way to make this date especially meaningful, we have decided to celebrate Jadon's birthday on the referral-versary! Indeed, today was a great day for celebrating -- three-year-old-style!
When you think about the short life this little boy has lived, complete with incredible amounts of loss, change, and pain, it can be quite overwhelming.
In light of this, I marvel all the more at the joy the emanates from him! The shy and serious two-year-old boy we were referred one year ago hardly resembles this silly, snuggly, terrific three-year-old who squeezes my neck and giggles with glee! You might think that he got lucky, landing in our family. I can only say that it is our family that has been tremendously blessed. Frankly, as hard as I try to wrap my mind around it, I can't quite decipher exactly that balance of God's sovereignty and (hopefully) faithful human response that has been worked out through an international adoption process. Psalm 139 says it this way: "Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
As it was, today was a day of celebration!!! I tried to capture a few special moments.
Jadon licking the avocado (a definite favorite) off his fingers.
The serious "Do you know how grown-up I am?" look!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Interested in some other projects I dream of completing some time?
- running in an official race (not necessarily a full marathon...but I've never actually signed up for and run in any event of any distance)
- directing a 100+ voice choir
- writing an article for a scholarly journal
- sharing a particular jazz band piece in 5/4 time in a worship service
- becoming more proficient in French
- traveling (especially to warm places...for business, pleasure, ministry, etc.)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
In any case, the past week with Andrew has certainly lived up to my roller coaster standards. To be quite honest, I don't want to share the lows or unexpected twists with the whole world--some of these hard things are part of his personal story. I'm only going to show you a fun, high point. However, I don't want to feed the misconceptions that all adoptees need is a little love, that there's a simple formula, or that you reach some point of having overcome all the issues. One of the articles I read this week appropriately accentuated both the challenges and rewards inherent in adoptive parenting:
...it is well established that children impacted by adoption or foster care have suffered some sort of loss and as a result are more likely to struggle with a variety of quiestions and issues relating to that loss. With so much seemingly working against these children and those who love them, it may be tempting to feel defeated and believe there is little hope. Do not despair -- there is hope! . . . research and experience makes clear that children can make tremendous strides in overcoming these challenges -- and you [adoptive parents] are God's plan to make this happen. . . . [Therefore], become a healer for your children, and in so doing rediscover the joy in parenting and caring for them while at the same time allowing them to fulfill all that God has called them to be and to do. (Read the full article here.)
A High Point: Mastering the two-wheeler!!!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Most adoptions, from start to finish, take at least 1 year to complete. (Our Ukrainian adoption in 2006 took about a year and a half. Our Ethiopian adoption process took almost 2 years.) Usually, the process of adopting from Haiti can take even longer, often up to three years. Many of the families you've probably heard about getting expedited visas for their children had already been well into this waiting time. No family that recently brought in children from Haiti just started the process. As the Haitian government focuses on meeting basic needs and recovering from the devastation of the earthquake, the acceptance of new adoption applications are currently on hold indefinitely.
As for the state of orphans around the world, here are some statistics for your consideration:
--The estimated number of orphans worldwide ranges from 140 million to 210 million. (To get a handle on this, consider that the current population of the United States is a little over 300 million.)
--There are 380,000 orphans in Haiti and that number may double due to the earthquake.
--There are approximately 500,000 orphans in the U.S., 20 million orphans in China, 5 million in Ethiopia, 4.5 million in the Congo, 2.5 million in Kenya, 2.5 million in Uganda, 1.3 million in Zimbabwe, 2.1 million in Afghanistan, 25 million in India, 1.5 million in Eastern Europe, and the list goes on and on...
--Every day, 5760 more children become orphans.
--Last year, in the United States, 12, 753 intercountry adoptions were completed. A comparable number of domestic infant adoptions may occur yearly. In addition, approximately 50,000 adoptions from the U.S. foster system occur each year. In Canada, less than 2000 international adoptions occur yearly. Domestic adoptions are managed provincially, but it is estimated that 1500-2000 occur across Canada each year.
--Admittedly, the statistics on the worldwide orphan crisis are quite mind-boggling. The complexity of the issues that lead to so many family-less children is enormous as well. I don’t mean to suggest that adoption answers all these concerns. However, I do feel strongly about the Christian call to care for orphans—the individual children who face life without the provisions only a family can offer. I only hope and pray that all the recent curiosity will translate into positive action for orphans around the world. (That would be you and me taking action!)
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. Isaiah 1:17
The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. Psalm 146:9
No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. John 14:18