Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orphan Sunday 2014: In Whatever Way He Calls

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – Radical by David Platt.
What's true for author David Platt has also been true for our family. Before we hosted Eta last Christmas, orphans were still numbers ... sad statistics that made us pause momentarily.
Our hearts have been broken in a way I cannot explain since these numbers became names: Eta, Nauris, Alina, Julia, Viktors, Viktoria ... the list goes on.
Today is Orphan Sunday, a day of advocacy for orphans and orphan care. We know, because you are here, that you already care. We know you want to help. We are in the same boat; we want to help. We want to push back on the darkness.
One of the ways we feel our family has been asked to push back that darkness is by hosting and adopting orphans. Right now, we are preparing to host M, a 12 year old from Eastern Europe, with the open heart to adopt her and her toddler sister, G.
Today, this Orphan Sunday, will you help in whatever capacity you can? Here are four ways you can help from the comfort of your home! Choose one or choose all!

!. Simply share this video and share with others. 

Orphan Sunday 2014 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

2. Commit to praying for a specific orphan or family adopting {you could totally choose us!!}.

3. Share one of the New Horizons for Children kid's pictures before hosting matching for Christmas closes tomorrow.

4. Participate in our raffle for a beautiful necklace created and donated by my generous friend Bethany Seaton Aubin of Oxford Bright.

It is our deep hope that our friends will choose one, and commit, even just for this day, to using your voice, your resources or your talents, to advocating for orphans and orphan care.

Raffle Info:
If you'd like to participate in the raffle, simply comment here that you'd like to purchase a ticket with cash or check or simply send the amount via paypal to adopt {at) ajustlove {dot} com, and our boys will be sure to write your name on the raffle ticket.

We'll pick a winner to receive the necklace this Tuesday, November 4, John Worth's birthday!
Here are the ticket details:
One raffle ticket for $6
Two for $10
Three for $14 {the ages of both girls put together}
Eleven for $32 {John Worth's 32nd birthday is November 4}

Thank you, friends, for caring. May God Himself bless your faithfulness to movement in whatever way He calls you!

Friday, October 24, 2014

God-sized Dreams: Can't Not Move

As we're driving and pretty much late, we hit every red light on the way to our destination.

John groans. Seriously, he says. Every single red light.

I can't help but laugh aloud at this because it's totally applicable to our life in a way that is only worthy of an insane amount of laughter or an insane amount of tears.

Today, I'm choosing laughter.

Today, I'm choosing purpose.

Today, I'm looking at all the red lights we've hit during the past few years as all purposed for us to stop so that when the green lights of life came we could press the pedal to the metal and go go go.

That's what happened this past January. We felt a green light to go go go when we prayed about pursing the adoption of our host daughter.

But that wasn't until after a series of red lights in our life, most of which we just blew right on through ... until we couldn't anymore. In March 2013 we encountered the one red light we just could not run when our daughter crossed into eternity during the 12th week of my fifth pregnancy. 

It stopped us dead in our tracks. And we then began realizing that in order to really heal, we needed to drastically slow down. We then began quitting things, really really good things, one at a time. 

And in that newly open space we found ourselves in more quiet with The Lord than we had been in some time. As we cried out to him to help us understand our desire to grow our family he began to break our hearts for children who didn't have families.

The more we began to understand this call on our hearts, the more we knew we had to let go of some things that were keeping us too busy to fully engage with the people currently in our lives and the tug we began feeling on our heart.

Last year at this time we thought this call looked like hosting a child through New Horizons for Children. We weren't wrong. That was our call. And it may still be in the future, but as we prayed about it we began to realize we desired to care for the orphan in her distress in a more permanent way. We felt God asking us if we could make room in our family permanently for another child. 

We loved our host daughter so deeply and felt so strongly that adoption was our route that we decided to pursue her adoption. And we have pursued her. Until we hit a big fat red light with her after her second time being hosted in our home. She returned to her country the first of August and pretty quickly decided she no longer wanted to be adopted by us. 

While we were saddened and jarred by her seemingly 180 degree turn I almost immediately felt peace, and I heard God say to my heart: there is deep purpose in this.

Of course, I couldn't fathom what. So we began praying hard again, asking him why our hearts were so broken over children without families if we weren't supposed to adopt ... Why had He provided so much in terms of resources and support and encouragement and finances if we were supposed to do nothing? And more importantly why were our hearts so deeply grieved still and desiring to include more children in our family if this was the end of the road.

And he answered -- because it wasn't. It wasn't the end of the road in our adoption story.

About a month ago, another New Horizons for Children family began advocating for two sisters. When we first spoke to the host mom via phone we realized we not only connected with her but we also connected deeply and unexplainably with the two girls for whom she was advocating.


As with other kids we have become connected to our family began praying for the girls and asking God to provide them the perfect family. We also told Him we were open to being their family if that's what He intended.


God has steadily been working on their behalf, gaining clearances for them during the course of the last year and a half. Their case has been very slooooow for 18 months … until just the last couple weeks. This week we were told the girls were legally cleared for adoption.


Over the past several months God’s also steadily been working in our hearts and minds as we pray about what He would have us do. Right now we believe He’s brought these two girls across our path for a purpose, the first being hosting the older sister this Christmas (the younger is too young to travel for hosting). He’s repeatedly asked us to be brave, to trust and to have faith, specifically in regard to this adoption process that started more than 10 months ago.


So what’s this going to look like? Well, honestly, we don’t know! This has been a big week, learning the girls are legally cleared for adoption and receiving new approval from the state of Illinois to adopt a child as young as the younger sister.


While we don't know everything or really even much at all right now about how this is all going to pan out we do, at this moment, we know this:


We can't not respond to the passions He's placed in our hearts.


We can't not be brave and follow where He leads.


When God gives a green light, we can't not go.


We just can't not move.