Where have we been? (The Folsoms)

By: Courtney

Update… A long (really long) time coming,

WHERE HAVE WE BEEN?????
Four long months of silence…
An update is LONG overdue.
I have had several people approach me and ask me about the blog, so I decided I must carve out time and update you all! I am actually only getting the time to do this now because I have been sick with the flu and my mother-in-law is fabulous and is entertaining our kiddos.

WHAT? OUR KIDDOS?!?!?!
Are you wondering what you have missed?
No, we have not brought home our little one from Ghana.
However, we have had 2 children in our home for the last 4 months. (Hence the cyber absence…)
I TOTALLY should have blogged about our experience over the last 4 months. It probably would have been therapeutic (which I cannot lie I probably needed some therapy every now in then in those months).

Matt and I went from family of 2, into overnight an instant family of 4.
TOTAL SHOCK.
No lie.

In our new life thrust into parenthood, time has flown by.

The last 4 months have been a whirlwind of:
morning hustle & bustle
sporting events
soccer in the yard
clothes shopping
grocery shopping (x50!!!!!!!!!)
homework
reading books
temper tantrums (both mine and the children)
lots of “firsts” and learning new things

Now why didn’t I blog in all my free time?
That’s right! I was trying to find time to bathe MYSELF and sleep every now and then. (I SALUTE SINGLE MOTHERS! THIS JOB IS HARD ENOUGH WITH 2 OF US!)

There was an obvious and LARGE learning curve. Yet, there were maternal/paternal instincts that take over that you never knew existed.

We are learning to:
cook kid friendly meals
stop dreaming of a clean house
give the right amount of love and discipline
navigate 2 opposite ends of the spectrum of discipline with a preschooler & a teenager
throw away the idea of the way you always thought things would be
make time for US together as a married couple
seek God’s grace daily (understatement of the year)

I so badly want to share the plethora of things the Lord has been showing me through this process. But those will probably be 30 different blogs. WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much to fit here.

So where have we been?
In the trenches, living life, trying to figure it all out.

Updates on the adoption coming soon...

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A New Journey


By: Khylee

Being a mother. No one can prepare you for it.  You can read all the books required by your adoption agency, but when those little eyes are staring back at you in defiance and you hear “I don’t want to” all that knowledge flies out the window.

For those of you who don’t know, Adam and I have become foster parents to two precious kiddos.

To be honest we weren’t looking for this.  When we started the adoption process the words came out of my mouth that we would NEVER do foster care.  But, the Lord has changed both Adam and I’s heart so much over the last year that when we found out these babies needed a home, where they could be safe and loved on, without hesitation we said “yes.”

I don’t mean that in anyway to say “look at us and what we are doing.”  Far from it.  I don’t feel qualified.  We didn’t feel “ready” to be parents.  We.are.stressed.beyond.belief.  But like Scott, a friend of Adam’s said, God equips the called.  And we know we are called, and he is being faithful to give us what we need EACH day.

In the last two weeks I have learned that:
·         Shaving your legs is not a necessity.
·         How do women with children always look so pulled together and cute.  I am lucky if my outfit matches and that I haven’t already worn it that week.
·         Don’t wear a v-neck shirt/dress (or any low neck-line) while toting around a 19 month old…you will be exposed.
·         If you wear a t-shirt and underwear in the morning while getting kids ready, the painter will see you.
·         Hallelujah if dinner gets on the table.
·         Sleep…oh sweet, sweet sleep.  I need you in order to function.
·         Discipline looks completely different for an almost 3 year old and a 19 month old. 
·         Discipline=love. 
·         I need more patience.  And I need to learn how to ask for help.
·         There is nothing better than hearing at 6:45 in the morning “Ty-lee” “Oh Ty-lee”
·         Kids who have experienced hurt or loss  and are toddler age, won’t always know how to tell you what they are feeling so they will act it out, throw tantrums, refuse to eat dinner, push you away when you are trying to love on them.  We are learning how to love them through it…and it isn’t always easy.
·         It’s ok to cry. 
·         Routine. Routine. Routine.
·         Cuddling and rocking our little man are gifts from God.
·         Visit days are hard days. The kids just don’t completely understand what is going on and so they act it out in their behavior.

Through this process I have also learned ways that people have helped that have blessed us so much (and that made me cry in gratitude).  So if you know of a family that is fostering, or has just adopted, here are some sure fire ways that you can help out:
·         TAKE THEM A MEAL.  I cannot express how much this can help a family whose dynamics have completely changed overnight.  We have had a couple of families at our church do this and it is SOO nice knowing that you don’t have to worry about it.
·         HELP THEM UNLOAD THE KIDS.  At church on Sunday, a man I know well in our church saw me pull up and helped me unload the kids out of the car and take them to their class.  I am crying as I type this for how much I appreciated this small gesture.
·         TOYS/FURNITURE/CLOTHING/ETC.  If you have extra stuff laying around the house that isn’t being used,  see if the family needs any of it.  Many times the kiddos don’t come with much so there is a lot of items that the family needs to purchase.
·         BABYSIT FOR FREE.  While you may not feel called to foster a child, this is a service you can provide that would help the mom and dad to have a night to reconnect and reenergize.

14 But I trust in You, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.” 
15 The course of my life is in Your power;
                                       -Psalm 31:14-15a

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Sleep Deprived Spiritual High

By: Courtney


I just got back from Falls Creek where I spent the last week as a sponsor for our church's junior high students.


The beginning of camp is always so exciting.  What will the week hold?? Spirits are high. Everyone is so cheerful and excited. And you are willing to take part in the fun, silly, outrageous stuff like this....

Love these girls! They are rockin the "Neon Night" theme.


Yet, with camp, it never fails. By the end of these week you end up like this...
I cannot lie - at 9pm on Thursday evening (even after drinking a coke) I was bartering whatever I had on me for a cup of coffee!


I feel like that as the adult at camp we often ask the students what they learned but we don't ask that of ourselves. I honestly feel like the Lord speaks to the adults just as much as he does the actual campers. (at least I know he did with me!) But I think we can often miss it. We focus on the students (whether it be their involvement, discipline, or even their spiritual or physical well being) but don't take the time to hear God and see what He is trying to say to US.

How could you not hear from God while at Falls Creek? You wake up, have a quiet time, praise & worship, hear a biblical lesson, discuss with a small group, praise & worship again, hear an amazing speaker/preacher, praise & worship again, and discuss with a small group. Your day is (or at least should be) focused on  GOD!

This week the Lord showed me a few things.

1. He is POWERFUL.
Like really, really, really beyond my comprehension, holds the universe in His hands, knows how many hairs are on my head, we will never even come close to understanding even an ounce of His power - -POWERFUL.

2. He wants everyday to be missional - not just while at camp.
Why do we feel like we have to wait until we are at church, gone to camp, or on a missions trip to share Christ? If we truly love Christ it should spill out of lips everyday. Our lives should shout His glory.

3. When it is all said and done I will answer to God and NO ONE ELSE.
It doesn't matter what others think, what others say, if others disagree with me, if I don't please every single person I come in contact with (I might have a tiny issue in this area).


These girls were so great! It truly blessed my heart to see the Lord speaking to them and moving in the hearts and lives.
I'm so sad Emily Estes was sick and missed out on our group photo! :(   Emily rocks!

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One Step Closer

By: Khylee
 
Photo By: Courtney Folsom Photography

Well we received some awesome, stupendous, triple fist pump kinda news here in Forgety household.  Our dossier was translated and officially submitted to the INHFA committee for approval on June 8th, 2012! 

Praise the Lord! Halleljuah!

Translation- all we are waiting on now is for this committee to approve our dossier and then we will be assigned our waitlist number!

It could be this month, it could be next month, it could be the September.  But once we are on that blessed waitlist we will finally start the “official” wait for our children.  (Yes, that’s right, we haven’t even started our 2-4 year estimated wait-time that our agency gave.)

So, please be praying this month that our documents won’t be expired,  that the committee will meet, and that we get approved and assigned a number!

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New Perspective

By: Courtney

I truly believe that God's timing is perfect. How many of us can look back at events in our lives and see God's hand ALL over it? At the time it might have seemed so dark and lonely but looking back it was all part of His master plan.

That exact reason is why I am trusting 100% in God's timing with our adoption. I have faith that His timing is perfect. While the wait can be grueling, I know he is using it to teach me. I can already see the work He is doing in me in this short (or not so short) period of time.




He has given me a new perspective in so many areas. One area the Lord has truly opened my eyes and my heart to recently is foster care.

In the past I had such a misconception about foster care. (I believe many of us do!) What is the first thing you hear when you say "foster care"? "Oh, I could never do that. It would be too hard to give them back."

This comment now ignites a fire in me. I, too, have previously thought and said this statement. But man oh man, the Lord has changed my perspective.

First, it started with the facts. I heard a sermon about foster care in Oklahoma. The facts were staggering. The pastor's call to the church was heart wrenching. The Holy Spirit tugging at my heart was undeniable.
(City Church Tulsahttp://citychurchtulsa.com/media/page/3  111Project:Defending the Fatherless)
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/18930861

Here are some facts -

Research shows that young people in foster care are far more likely to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment and incarceration after they leave the foster care system.
  • 54 % earn a high school diploma
  • 2% earn a Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 84% become parents too soon, exposing their children to a repeated cycle of neglect and abuse
  • 51% are unemployed
  • 30% have no health insurance
  • 25% experience homelessness
  • 30% receive public assistance
(angelfoster.org)
the above facts are national and not specific to Oklahoma


Forty-five percent of Americans believe that kids are in foster care because they committed a crime. The reality is that children enter foster care as victims of neglect, abandonment, or abuse. It’s not their fault they don’t have a home. The average age of a foster child is nine, but they range from infants to teens.

(parentsociety.com)
the above facts are national and not specific to Oklahoma

According to Oklahoma DHS statistics, in January of 2011 there were over 8000 children in foster care in the state of Oklahoma; of those 8000 over 40% were under the age of four. 
(http://www.annashousefoundation.org/)

A little education goes a long way. I was blown away by the statistics!


I started thinking. Ok, maybe we could foster a little baby.


Second, it continued with experience. I met foster children, foster parents, and former foster children. Once you you have a real life encounter and put a face to a specific injustice, you will never be the same. It is one thing to say "foster children" in a generic term that means some children far away somewhere. But it is different when you say "Sarah" or "Billy" and you know this person on a personal level.

I saw real families, real people I know, loving foster children and pouring into their lives for a few short months or some even for years. I saw the love of Christ displayed through these families.

I saw sweet, innocent little children living in a youth shelter because there were no foster homes.

I started thinking. Ok, maybe we could foster a young child.

Every time you allow the Lord into one small part of your heart he shows you more and more and continues to make you grow more and more. Every single time I start opening myself up to the possibility that the Lord could use me in some tiny way, the Lord blows the doors wide open and shows me so much more.

Because then I met a sweet teenage girl without a family to take care of her.

The Lord was showing me - THESE ARE MY CHILDREN.
ALL of these children are mine and I love EACH and EVERY one of them!

Then I started thinking. We could and WOULD be open to fostering or adopting any age child. Why don't I stop putting limitations on what I will do for the Lord and just say YES, LORD! Whatever it is! Whatever you are calling us to do - the answer is YES!

"Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them. For the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:5


"The harvest is plenty, the workers are few." Matthew 9:37 


He says it time and time again:
Seek justice.
Love mercy.
Defend the fatherless.
Welcome a little child.
We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.
He knows the number of hairs on each child's head.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

When will I start listening?

Yes, we are still adopting. Yes, we are still adopting internationally. Yes, we are going to wait as long as it takes to bring our little Richmond home. 
But - YES I think the Lord has called us to love and protect children. I believe he has specifically called our family to be an advocate for children. 
There is such NEED. There is such need EVERYWHERE!

I strongly encourage you to consider foster care, adoption, or even just volunteering your time. Be a tutor, a mentor, a friend. Step out there for the "least of these".

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Update - The Folsoms

By Courtney:

Something I have discovered through this process is I'm an avoider. I avoid confrontation. I avoid the difficult stuff. I definitely avoid sharing my feelings if at all possible.

Perhaps that is why I have found blogging so difficult.   Something we all (the Forgety family and Matt and I) decided from the very beginning was to be as open and honest as possible with our blog. So I put it off and I put it off.....

"Soooooo..... have you heard anything?"
Matt and I probably get this question more than once every single day.

For the longest time we honestly just had nothing to update. We had no news to share because we had received no news.

But then there was news to give, I just didn't want to give it.

"Soooooo..... have you heard anything?"
Who wants me to bombard them with the pain? The tears? The truth?

So instead I just lie and say, "No news".  I lie because I feel like the majority of people are only asking to make small talk. They honestly don't really want to hear all the hairy details. And honestly it is just too emotionally exhausting to share every single detail with everyone.

So here is the update:

At one point we believed our adoption was over. It was probably one of the darkest weeks of my life. I had a day where I struggled to even get out of bed. I actually became physically ill. I felt awful. I could barely function for an entire week. I doubted God. I was mad at God. I was sad. I was beyond sad. I was grieving. I was mourning. This child is already considered part of our family and when we were told the adoption might never happen, it felt as though I had just experienced a death. I was mourning the potential loss of our child.

Yes, recently we received news from our agency that the adoption might never happen.  At a later date we were updated and we did receive clarification that the adoption will more than likely still happen, they just have no idea when. The Ghanaian government interviewed Richmond's grandmother (his only known living relative) as part of the adoption finalization. During the intervew it was mentioned that there is also a living uncle. (which was not known before) Well, he is now important to this process since he is the oldest living male in the family. They need to interview him in order to move forward with the adoption.  Sounds simple, right? There is one little problem... Uncle is working in ANOTHER COUNTRY! He will return and can be interviewed at that time. No one knows when that might be, though.

At this point it is just a waiting game. All we can do is wait and pray. Pray and pray and pray. (feel free to join us here!) I cannot do anything about our situation but God can. My God - the God of Ada, Oklahoma is also the God of Ghana. He is mighty and powerful and sovereign.

When we do update people and explain the situation people often wonder how we are so calm (as you read it hasn't always been that way!) All we can say is the Lord has given us a peace that surpasses all understanding. God is in control. His hand is over Richmond. He is guiding us. We have faith.  We don't understand everything but we don't have to.  All we have to do is trust HIM!


John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.


Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.


Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

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Unexpected blessing

By Khylee:

This past weekend we had a garage sale to raise money for our adoption.  For an individual who likes her home tidy, clean with everything in its place, my home has literally been a thrift store dumping ground for over a month.  All of this was INSIDE my house:
 
7 long tables, 5 round tables. All with stuff on top of them and underneath them. FULL OF STUFF that had previously been sitting, useless and disregarded in people's homes.

Here was the "clothing corner."  We had boxes and boxes of clothing and shoes.  So much so that we couldn't display it all.


 And lest we forget, the front yard had a slew of stuff in it as well:

We had people at the house starting at 6:30 Friday morning and had constant flow the entire day.  Matt, Courtney, Matt's Mom, Adam, and a slew of other volunteers were busy moving the product ALL.DAY.LONG.

We posted signs that said "Proceeds to benefit adopting family"  and through that little statement we had the opportunity to hear the stories of people who had adopted, were adopted, had been in the foster care system, or had grandkids that were adopting. We had one set of neighbors that we barely know donate a pool table, another set of neighbor boys helped people carry things to people's car, another neighbor helped us all day Friday and Saturday with whatever we needed.

What started out as an event to raise money for the adoption, turned into an event that helped Adam and I connect with our neighbors.  IT WAS AWESOME!

Can a garage sale seriously become a spiritual experience, ordained by God? 

It was.

We have been praying that God would give us opportunities to get to know those that live around us, and this garage sale was the answer to that prayer.

So thank you to each one of you that contributed your time, your stuff that was sitting useless in the corner, or came and shopped.  Not only did you help us to raise money to bring our kiddos home, but you also became a part of something bigger, something eternal, to potentially change the course of lives of people living on 16th street.

So, now for the part that you all have been waiting for. The GRAND TOTAL that we raised this weekend was:

$2004

So THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  Only God could have taken our pile of leftovers and turned it into that! 

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Adoption "Maternity" Photo Session

By: Khylee

For my birthday, my incredible hunk-of-a-man decided to have us get professional photos done with one of our best friends, Courtney Folsom.  Courtney did AN AMAZING JOB of capturing this gestational period of waiting on our children (because we will have "carried" our children for a longer period of time than a mama elephant). 

Enjoy!
 









Matt was Courtney's assistant and didn't even realize he got in this shoot (and neither did Courtney!) 


THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Courtney!  We couldn't be more happier with how EVERY picture turned out!  

And this is only a sneak peak friends...there is more to come :)

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the Dump

By: Khylee Forgety

(Disclaimer: Sorry to disappoint, but my post has nothing to do with fecal matter or the ever-so-popular youth camp song.)

Change. Making a difference. I can be a part of it, but more often than not I choose my own comfort.

Since the beginning of March I have been wrestling over this verse in Isaiah 42:20:
     "You see and understand what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear, but you don't really listen."


Which brings me to The Dump.  A place in Tegucigalpa, Honduras that people call home. 

When I was in college I went and did ministry at a dump in Matamoras, Mexico.  I watched as people dug through rotten food, used toliet paper, paper, plastic in order to try and find either something to eat or something to sell. And they did that every day. Old. Young. Adult. Child.

To survive.

This is in my children's country. The place they call home right now. And when I see pictures and video of children, women, and men digging through the filthy leftovers, I cannot help but think that could my kid, their birth parent, their grandparent. 

I want to quit refusing to act when I see something that breaks my heart and plagues my minds for days. I want to quit listening to my selfish, sinful nature that makes 101 excuses and start loving lavishly and sacrificially like my Jesus. 

Take 5 minutes, watch this video. 


For more information on the Dump you can check out this man's website: http://treymorgan.net/. 

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
     -Matthew 25:34-40

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Thank You is not enough!

Words cannot express the appreciation we feel. THANK YOU is just not enough. The people of Velma Baptist Church have truly shown us what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ and what it means to be brothers and sisters in Christ! I am literally getting teary-eyed as I type this!

A friend of mine (Dana Rose -my life-long friend!) had asked me recently on one of our early morning chats (I find these calls, and her friendship, to be refreshing to my soul!) if we would be free for a dinner fundraiser. I was thinking just a simple, spaghetti dinner.

Oh, my little dreams.... wow.... were BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER!!!

First, at church Sunday morning they surprised us with “Change an Orphan’s World” change buckets that families had taken home months ago and filled with their change. It is amazing how far loose change can go!


Sunday evening Matt and I came into the Fellowship Center where the dinner was going to be held. I could not believe my eyes! (or ears!) The decorations were all in the colors of the Ghana flag.



There was a huge Ghana flag! (thank you to the Sanner family for this amazing flag! I actually want to hang it in our house!) There was even a children’s choir from Ghana playing over the sound system.



I could not hold back the tears!

In the kitchen were the young (selfless) ladies working away! Some of the ladies I have known their entire life and some I did not even know. It made me so proud to see these young ladies being the women of the church! They cooked. They cleaned. They decorated. They served.

There’s more….
There was a dessert auction set up. Several members of the church had made desserts for the dessert auction. (Even a college boy made a dessert! Thank you Cord Gothard! That just blows my mind! AND his dessert was amazing!)

And the people….
It was so great to get to talk with all the people there. They are all like family! Each and every person was genuinely concerned about our adoption, about our son. They all hugged us, loved on us, and encouraged us.

Velma Baptist Church is not the largest church out there. They don’t have thousands of members. (shoot, Velma doesn’t have thousands of people!) But they do have LOVING and GENEROUS people! They do have families that have a heart for orphans, families that are willing to give to help out others, families that choose to live out what the Bible says.

I am so blessed to have EVER been part of such a wonderful church and a loving community. I am so blessed to have life-long friends that love me and care about my needs. I am so blessed that others in my life are faithful to live out the Gospel.

Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 John 3:17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.


TO ALL OF YOU THAT HELPED OUT IN ANY WAY –

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU TENFOLD! YOU HAVE GONE ABOVE AND BEYOND! YOU ARE CHANGING THE LIFE OF AN ORPHAN. YOUR SELFLESS GIVING IS HAVING AN ETERNAL IMPACT! YOUR ACTS OF LOVE MEAN MORE TO US THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!


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In Honduras

By: Khylee

Our dossier is in officially in HONDURAS!!!!!! Excited is an understatement for all the emotions Adam and I are feeling!

I received word from our agency this afternoon that our little stack of love has made it from the United States all the way to the Tegucigalpa, Honduras.   

So lets recap:
  • May 21, 2011: Came back from vacation and decided to adopt...who does that?
  • June 2011: Sent off Application #1 to Dillon
  • July 2011: Sent off Application #2 to Dillon
  • August 2011: Approved for Home Study
  • October 2011: Finished both home study visits
  • December 16, 2011: Approved by Dillon to begin Dossier
  • February 02, 2012: Approval for fingerprints at the USCIS office
  • February 24, 2012: Fingerprinting at the USCIS Office
  • March 28, 2012: Received 171-H, our last document for our dossier
  • April 12, 2012: Sent dossier to Buckner
  • April 23, 2012: Dossier officially in Honduras
 So from here our dossier is in the process of translation, approval from INHFA in Honduras, and then we will be on the waitlist for our kiddos.

We still have a while before our children come home, but today we are rejoicing that we are one step closer to them! (triple fist pump....)  

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the Dossier


By: Khylee


This 6 lb beauty left our house Thursday of last week, that's right, I birthed a 6 lb paper stack!  Many of you may be wondering, what is that thing?  Well it is the beloved Dossier, the final set of paperwork that will actually be submitted to Honduras, and it has been my life for the last 5 months.  With this small stack of paperwork, we will FINALLY be on the list to begin waiting for our children. 

When we started this process in June of 2011, my goal was to have this thing submitted by January 2012.  We came up a little short of that goal, but four months later, and few thousand dollars poorer we are done, finished, finito.  Through this entire process I have learned a few things about my need to always be in control.  Courtney sent me this quote the other day:

"When our [plans] are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) "toward the goal of true maturity" (Rom 12:2 JBP)." - Elisabeth Elliot

 There have been countless days that have felt wasted and useless throughout the last 10 months. But God is the author of this adoption story, not Khylee and Adam.  As much as I want it to go quicker, to be done, to know who our kids are, I also know that there is a purpose, a reason for every wait that we have encountered and every piece of paperwork that has had to be redone. We will be on the perfect spot on the wait list, so that we will get OUR kids, the ones that the Lord has chosen to become a part of our family. 

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On Egg Shells

By Courtney:

The silence is always so loud. It’s like you can hear the egg shells crunching. It is that exact awkward moment when you realize the person you are conversing with does not agree with or has a problem with what you have just said. And that even more awkward moment following where you have no idea how to respond or what you want to say is soooo not lady like.
“Hey! I saw you on the cover of the HUB. So you are adopting? From here?”
crunch.
“We are adopting from Ghana.”
crunch. crunch. crunch. CRUNCH.
“Oh.”
CRUNCH! CRUNCH CRUNCH!!!
Unfortunately, this is the exact conversation I had this morning.
Sometimes the result isn’t awkward silence. Sometimes it is really unkind or hurtful words.
A while back a missionary spoke at our church. I wish I had the video to show here. His message spoke directly to my heart. I wanted to give a fist pump and shout “AMEN, BROTHER!” 
This missionary said that when he returns to the United States he always gets the same question - “Why there when there is so much need here?” This struck home with me because we have gotten this question multiple times referring to our adoption.
This missionary said if you look at life that way you could use it as an excuse to never do anything for God. Why help another country when our country needs help? Why help in another state when our state needs help? Why help in another community when our community needs help? Why help another family when my family has so much need? Why help another person when I have so much need?
I have no doubt this is NOT what God wants from us. Focused on self. Lame excuses. Apathy. Fulfilling selfish desires.
I believe that all humans are made in God’s image. Therefore, they are all valuable and special creatures of the utmost worth. ALL of them. I believe that all men are equal in the eyes of God. Being born in a specific place does not make you more important than someone born on another continent, in another state, or to another family. 
God loves us. GOD LOVES US ALL.
God calls us to love.  GOD CALLS US TO LOVE ALL.
"Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us?" Malachi 2:10

"There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;  but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism." Romans 2:9-11
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27
"Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done." Psalm 105:1
"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Mark 16:15

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