We have only been home with Jorja for a few days and I am amazed at the amazement I have seen in peoples eyes when they see us coming! We really haven't gone anywhere as an entire family yet either. :) The other day, I had to take Brady to the Dr. and get x-rays on his leg (all is good with his leg - but he has to stay off of it for at least a week). I had Brady, Conner, Jailyn and Jorja with me. Kenzie was at school. Strangers were amazed at how many kids were with me and noticeably two were not biological.
I was asked today, why did we adopt? Were we just not able to continue the "natural way" to have a larger family? or is this a calling? I guess we feel it is a calling. That seems really weird to say. "A calling". I guess when God has placed orphans on your heart all your life it just seems like a way of life, not a "calling" in which I have to sacrifice something in order to be obedient to God.
I've been asked if we are "independently wealthy". I seem to laugh harder every time I think of that question. :)(Have you seen our cars, or our carpet?)
To be honest we went into Jailyn's adoption with the idea that we can pay for everything ourselves. And that is pretty much how everything happened. The journey to Jorja was a bit different. Though our adoption finances we had covered - it was the toddler beds that we now needed for both Jailyn and Jorja, and the extra car seat, and the clothes, and the extra food that our family would devour. I admit at times I wondered if we were really following God or just doing what we wanted to do. But, God is good! And His people are giving and gracious! When I mentioned to two friends that I was shopping garage sales for toddler beds - they both perked up and said, "We have one!" And one of those friends had an extra car seat that their child had grown out of. Another friend helped raise funds for our expenses by selling beautiful bracelets! $ for our Visa's were raised through this beautiful friend! and all the friends who purchased them. Thank you!
There have been so many friends who have helped us through both adoptions! Thank you sooo much!
"Isn't it expensive to adopt?" Is a question that I receive more then ever.
Yes, if that is the way you want to look at it. But, when I visited Jorja's orphanage and saw the 16 friends in her room, all different ages. I thought, I need to come back and encourage others too! How more much more "stuff" do I need? These babies need homes! They need someone to love them, hold them, discipline them, teach them! Tonight, for the first time, Jorja let me rock her and sing to her to sleep. It was so precious that I didn't want to put her down. When I finally did, she opened her eyes, I rubbed her tummy, thinking she was going to begin crying, but she gave me the sweetest smile and closed her eyes and was fast asleep. I'm sure she never experience this comfort before. I believe the nannies and orphanage staff do their best, but nothing compares the comfort and love of a family.
"But, what about your kids?" This question baffles me. All five of my kids are "my kids", and I love them all the same. I do get what people are trying to say though. "What about your bio-logical kids." My answer to this is - how can I not do this for them? They are part of God's plan to care for the orphan! God commands this! Sure they would love to have a Wii, and maybe they will some day, but the fun they have with their little sisters is so much more important then playing tennis in the family room. Today was Conner's birthday. It was so sweet to see Jailyn get so excited for Conner when I told her! She ran to Conner and hugged him so hard and told him "Happy Birfday!" All day, she asked, "How old is Conner!" She loves and adores her big brothers and sisters!
"Are you finally done?" I think I have received this question 20 times since we have been home in less than a week. The answer to that question is still up for discussion. Bryan and I are willing to do what God leads us to do. I did promise Conner I wouldn't leave to go to China again, so Bryan will have to go by himself, but having done it twice he would be fine. We are praying for the Lord's guidance in this area!
I would love to begin a group in town to encourage adoption awareness. I really feel the Lord calling me to this, so I am in the research phase. (in my free time :).
When I complain about the long air flight, or the paperwork and government red tape that needs to be cut through - I just look at the photos of these precious faces and drop to my knees asking forgiveness. How selfish am I to complain, while my child sits alone, freezing, and starving waiting for me to love him/her.
I pray for many more to heed God's call. Love the orphans as he does! Pray for them, sponsor them, or even bring one (or two) home to complete your family! Feel free to leave me a note or email me if you would like to hear more about adoption! I would love to hear other adoption stories too!