Monday, May 27, 2013

T-Shirts, A Website And An Update

I just love it when God confirms something that I think I'm supposed to do.  I had just told Chris that my next blog post was going to be about T-shirts.  Last week, I was on some blog websites and I saw some people's fundraisers, some of which were T-shirts.    I thought, how cool would that be when I feel like I need some new shirts to be able to bless someone's efforts towards adoption AND be able to use my choice in clothing to witness to and inspire people who see me.  Earlier in the week, I had received an email for people who were frequent sponsors of the Birthday Buddy program here to purchase a Foster and Adoptive Care T-shirt, which I did.  That got me thinking about using what we wear as a way to witness, start conversations and speak to other people.  We all have shirts that promote our favorite team, our favorite places to visit and our favorite brands, so why not use this as a new platform?  I often tend to notice people's shirts, and I think everyone does if you are standing in a long line somewhere or traveling where you might see the same person for long periods of time, so what a great way to promote your favorite charity or organization or fund. 

So, how did God confirm this blog post?  My sweet niece found a website where you can enter a shape and words, and these words are put into the shape onto a T-shirt, so tonight thanks to my wonderful brother-in-law, sister-in-law and nieces, I received the T-shirt pictured below.  Beautiful!!

The other thing I wanted to email about was the coolest website I have discovered!  If you have never checked out, you should!  It has some awesome free Bible studies, inspirational videos and there is a book study starting up in a week!!  I have really loved finding this website and I want to definitely share it with others!!

So, for the update on the adoption.  We just had a phone webinar with our agency (and I really love how proactive they have been since the beginning about any changes) this week to talk about possible upcoming change with Ethiopia.  Basically, Ethiopia is re-evaluating the process, the programs and corruption, so changes could be ahead, although no one really knows exactly what that could entail, but what it will definitely entail will be longer wait times.  They are preparing parents now for 3 and 1/2 years at this point.  We would love to ask for your prayers as we process everything and decide how this looks for us.  We will also no longer be receiving wait list numbers, so after April 2013, our wait list numbers will not be listed on here. 

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.  Acts 20:24

Monday, May 13, 2013

How To Help The Orphan Crisis

When we first decided to adopt, I had no idea how controversial the topic of adoption is.  Although some people say, "Good for you," many have other feelings.  People think it is a bad idea to adopt from other countries, people think it is a waste of a lot of time and money, people think that you are contributing to a corrupt system, people think that your choice of countries is bad, and on and on.  I can find articles and blogs all over the internet talking about how great adoption is and how terrible it is.  However, I bet that a child in the U.S. foster care system doesn't really care about the controversy, I bet a child in an orphanage in China doesn't care about the paperwork it takes to adopt, I bet a hungry child in Africa isn't thinking about the debate of red tape.  They just want to be part of a family who cares for them and protects and guides them.  

So, what to do in the midst of controversy?  I don't know.  That's the real answer.  Everyone has to decide for themselves-pray about it, research, read up, ask questions, but just don't ignore it because it is controversial.  We have prayed about our decisions and God has moved us in different ways since we started this process.  There are so many ways that you can help children who need it.  Our foster care system in St. Louis has wonderful programs to support kids in foster care system.  I just found an organization this weekend that takes care of kids in Uganda and fosters them and they were doing an online auction because they had just received 40 new children from an orphanage that had shut down.  Everyone can find child sponsorship programs that help feed children all over the world to donate to and even start a relationship with a child.  Feel called towards adoption, but not ready to do it yourself?  Check out etsy and look at all of the wonderful things people are making and selling to support their adoptions.  Take a mission trip-it will change your life.  There are so many ways to become part of the help. 

I don't know what is the answer.  There are corrupt systems.  There are not enough programs to support people in poverty.  There is way too much red tape for adoption.  There are not enough programs to prevent poverty and corruption and provide education and support.  Children are starving, dying, living in conditions we would not even fathom, growing up thinking no one in the world cares about them, they are being used and neglected and abused.  The first step really is to just make yourself think about them.  It is not pleasant, but you can't help but care when you put faces to the issues and put feelings to the faces.  These children are part of our world and they will be the adults of the future. 

OH, and if you don't know where to start or can't find a charity that you love, ask me and I would absolutely love to help you find something you are passionate about.  :)

"If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?  Does not he who guards your life know it?  Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?"
Proverbs 24:12