Friday, January 25, 2013

Adoption: before the foundations of the earth...

I am a gentile.  I am not Jewish.  I am adopted into the family of God through the work of Jesus Christ.  Did God settle when he adopted me?  Did he adopt me simply because His natural children rejected Him?  Was my adoption plan B for the Creator of the universe?  And then, is my identity less of God's child than a Jew?  Like, I'm not His "real" daughter...just an adopted one.

Or...did He know of me before He created the foundations of the earth?  Did He have a plan  to bring me into peace with Him from before the beginning?  The answer, of course, is YES!  My adoption into God's family was part of how God made His family!  I am co-heirs with Christ!  I am a TRUE, REAL, BONA FIDE daughter of the King!

When we tell people that we are adopting our 4th child, sometimes people ask if D,M and K are our real children...or "can you not have kids?" I don't mind those questions.  People are curious, and that is normal.  It is actually a really good time for me to explain our reason's for adopting BabyJ.

It is interesting, though.  And the truth of the matter is that adoption is part of God's plan for humanity.  He has been adopting almost from the beginning! His own Son was adopted! :) And He chose BabyJ to be part of our family before he was even knit together in his birth mother's womb.  We aren't God's second choice for BabyJ just as BabyJ isn't our back up plan.  He isn't anything but our "real" child.  It is cool to think of that!

And, for those of you that don't have much experience with adoption, let me give you a small piece of advice.  Don't ask people if their child is their "real" child.  That implies something that you may not mean to imply.  Instead ask if they are their biological children.  This isn't political correctness, it is about being factual and precise with your language.  And if you want to know why they chose adoption, just simply ask that: "Why did you choose adoption?"  You might want to avoid assuming things.  We all do that too often, anyway!  :)

So, if you are a Gentile Christian, relish in the fact that you were adopted into His family, and that you are His REAL child!  And maybe consider how God might be calling you to testify to that adoption!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

All the anticipation of a new baby!

So we are done birthing children.  Have I mentioned that before?  I mean, as far as we can tell, we are done.  I don't want to birth any more children.  This is one of the mountain of reasons why we chose adoption.  I have done the pregnancy thing several times now, and it was wonderful and magical and all that jazz, but my wedding was wonderful, too and I'm not gonna do that again either.

One of the more difficult parts as well as one of the more fun parts of pregnancy is the anticipation.  Once you find out you're pregnant the first thing you do is calculate your due date.  Then you start anticipating your first sonogram...will you see the heartbeat?  How many are there? etc.  Then, if you of the more modern type and want to find out the sex, you have to wait a WHOLE 19 weeks or so to find out if you are having a boy or a girl.  You just desperately want to buy some pink or blue, but you feel like you must wait until you know!  Then after that, the only thing to wait for is the babe to come.  I mean, you may have to wait on your furniture to arrive or your custom bedding to be made or you have to wait for the baby shower and stuff, but there seems to be a long time just waiting for the baby to come.

It is pretty remarkable how similar this part of adoption is to that part of pregnancy. I mean, we started this process and I just wanted to get some basic info...what country, how much, how long, etc.  Then we did all the paperwork and we were waiting on a referral...what are we going to get? Who would our child be? boy or girl? special needs? how old?

Then the call came..."its a boy!"  Oh, that was very exciting.  Then we spent hours looking stuff up online and just staring at his picture.  It was such a joy to get to share his photo with friends and family! (we wish we could share his photo here, but for his own security, we aren't allowed to yet.)

Now we are waiting again.  During these long months there are days that all we can think of if LittleJ.  We are planning trips and wondering if he'll be with us or not.  We rearranged the boys' room and planned where we would store his clothes.  Then there are days when we just don't think about it that much.  The children that we have demand our attention, or we have to travel, or whatever. Just like those days when I was pregnant.  I would have days where I hardly noticed the little one doing somersaults in my gut, and other days that I had trouble doing anything else.

So, even though I'm not pregnant, I feel all the anticipation of a new baby.  I pray for LittleJ daily, and lately the anticipation has been high.  And boy, is it exciting!

Monday, January 14, 2013

What My Kids Need From Me

As my kiddos age and change, and as I prepare to bring another kiddo into our home, I have been feeling like I haven't been for my kids all that they need me to be.  In those quiet moments alone I have felt a little disappointed in myself for my lack of patience, for my raised voice, for my critical word.

It has caused me to think through what it is that my kids need from me.  What kind of mother should I be to minister to them; to their spirit, their character, their personalities.  I wanted to briefly share what it is that my kids need and then ask you to do the same.  Even if you don't want to post here a response, I would ask that you consider the question.

First let me say that BoyD is 7, GirlM is 5, LittleK is (almost) 3, and BabyJ is 7 months and in the Congo.

BoyD needs me to be free to listen.  Needs me to not be focused on work, or getting through schoolwork, or making dinner.  He needs me to hear his stories and his ideas and then help him realize them.  He needs to not hear criticism, and he needs the freedom to be wrong. He also needs a lot of hugs.

GirlM needs me to play with her on the floor.  She needs me to put on a crown and a pretty dress and be the "queen" so that she can be a real princess.  She needs me to teach her to make a sandwich and to teach her how to put doll clothes on her tiny baby.  She also needs to know how important she is in this family and to me.  Oh, and hugs.

LittleK needs supervision!  haha!  And he needs constructive direction.  He needs me to read books to him and to play sing-song games with him.  He also needs lots of hugs. Oh, and he needs consistent discipline. He needs me to never be to busy to redirect, correct, or punish.

BabyJ needs me to pray for him.  He needs things that only others can provide.  He needs me to be in serious intercession for him.  And he probably needs hugs that I can't give him yet.  No worries...I'll make up for it when I get him.

So...can you share what your kids need?  It is a fun and convicting exercise. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Adoption Update: The Arrest Record

Hey folks.  We get questions periodically regarding the adoption process, and some things have happened and I thought I should update.  Just a brief history in case you don't have a clue what is going on.

We are in the process of adopting BabyJ from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  If you want to know more about that process or where we are in it, please check out Help the Scotts Adopt, our adoption website.  Brandon has kept that up to date and you can get all kinds of info there.

So, we get a letter sent to my mom's house from the USCIS (the government body responsible for granting a visa to our adopted child and approving us to adopt internationally) that says that they can't complete our request until they receive some paper work.  What they need is an arrest record.

You see, Brandon was arrested when he was in high school.  He was 17 and we out in the middle of the night with some friends.  They decided it would be a good idea to steal a flag that was hanging outside of a model home.  Well, they did it, and there just happened to be a police officer sitting in the dark watching the whole thing.  He also had some fireworks (illegal) in his trunk as well as some sort of illegal weapon.  So, he went to jail.  He spent the night in jail and his parents had to come and get him out.  No charges were filled, but he still has an arrest record.  We had told this story to our social worker and the story went in our home study.  We were advised by many that leaving something like that out is a sure way to get denied.  The problem was that we didn't include the arrest record in the home study.  Why the social worker didn't request it is unknown, but now everything with the USCIS is on hold until we can provide it.  We also have to provide a written statement about the circumstances of the incident, any rehabilitation that took place, etc.

My job today is to call the Flower Mound police and our home study social worker to get all this worked out.  You can pray about this for us!

Apart from this, we are waiting for a Congolese judge to make a judgement on whether or not we can adopt BabyJ.  Pray for that, too, please.  Our whole family is ready to get this little man home to us!  :)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Better Me Monday

A New Year!!  Yeah!  I love new beginnings.  I love mornings because I feel like I have a fresh new day in front of me.  I love Mondays (I know not really the first day of the week) because I feel like I get to start again checking items off my to-do lists.  I love flipping the calendar over to a fresh new month and filling everything in.  And I LOVE starting a new year!  Feeling like the past doesn't hold me, that I can do things better, different, do it how I want it done!

In the spirit of newness, I am beginning a new series called Better Me Mondays (or BMMs).  Mostly this will be a time when I write out my monthly goals, challenges, etc. God is growing me (Praise Him) and I want to document here a little of what He is doing.

So for my first BMM, I want to write out my goals for this new year.  I don't like the term "resolutions."  I guess it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  I prefer goals. I will write my yearly goals and each month I want to post my monthly goals as a sort of report on how I'm accomplishing these yearly goals.

Let me also say the following: I had been aching to take the time with the Lord to go through and think and pray through what I wanted 2013 to be like.  I had my first REAL alone time with Him a couple of days ago and as I sat and wrote out all of the things that I wanted to do/be, I was feeling both very satisfied with myself and a little overwhelmed!  Then I opened my devotionals for the day and God put it all in perspective for me.

In John 13, we see Peter telling Jesus "I will lay down my life for you!"  Quite the resolution, wouldn't you say? Jesus then informs him that he will deny him 3 times before the rooster crows.  That had to have been disappointing to hear.  I wonder if Peter believed Him.  This was before Peter was given the Holy Spirit (that came at Pentecost)  and all of his effort to keep that goal would be in his own power.

Then I read in My Utmost For His Highest:  "All our promises and resolutions end in denial because we have no power (in ourselves) to accomplish them....There is now only One who directs the course of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Then in Jesus Calling  the author writes "True dependence is not simply asking (Him) to bless what (I've) decided to do.  It is coming to (Him) with an open mind and heart, inviting (Him) to plant His desires within (Me)."

So...I was super convicted!  All of these plans belong to the Lord and are for His glory.  If nothing else happens, if none of my plans succeed, my #1 goal for 2013 is to RELY ON JESUS.  More on that another day.

Let's dig in (these are in no particular order):
Personal Goals: 
1. Write 3 blogs a week.  This is an ambitious one.  I want to write a personal blog, a ministry blog, and an adoption blog every week.
2. Learn French.  At least some French.  We are going to be doing it as part of home school and it will be good for BabyJ who will be joining our family this summer (we think).
3. Read 2 non-fiction books a month.  Later I will be listing those books.  So excited about this one.
4. Consistently get enough sleep. Sleep in when I can, go to bed early when I can, take naps when I can.  I am a better wife and mommy if I have slept.  I need to be a good steward of my body.

Ministry Goals:
1. Set a curriculum for teaching sewing to the girls at the orphanage and get the two older kids involved there somehow.
 2. Home school the kids with consistency,  attention, and pre-planned activities for LittleK to do. Less spontaneity in our schedule so I'm not frantic to get done by the end of the year.
3. Get out b-day and anniversary cards each month.  Whew.

Family Goals:
1. Take each kid on a date 1 time each month.  We don't have to spend $, we have to spend time.
2.  Be a flirtier wife.  :)

Homemaking Goals:
1. Create and maintain a mending basket. A place where I keep all things to be repaired, and a time each week that I set aside for mending.
2. Have some homemade gifts on hand for surprise hostess/birthday/thank you gifts.  This goal needs to be quantified a little bit.

Social Goals:
1. Meet once a month with my Gringa girl's Bible study for prayer and encouragement.
2. Have a Spanish couples Bible study weekly or bimonthly.

Ok.  That about sums it up.  Keep me accountable, folks!  I'll let you all know how it goes.