Catch ya on the flipside….

Well, I am crazy in packing mode. So next post will be from Huahine, Tahiti!  We leave tomorrow…..I am excited, frantic and nervous.  We will have internet access, so check back for photos.  : )

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Update on baby James! : )

Sweet Baby James Update/ Thoughts on Adoption

Well, evidently there are a lot of people interested in Sweet Baby James!

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I just spoke to the receptionist at A Helping Hand and they have been inundated with calls and emails – over 300 in one day. They are somewhat overwhelmed at the moment, and have released a mass mailing, but do intend to wade through the responses as quickly as they can.

The good news is that because of the enormous interest shown in him, James’s file will not be sent back to China at the end of the week, but a committee will be put together to begin the process of reviewing applications.

If you are a reader whose interest was sparked by James’ story, perhaps your family will eventually be the one blessed to receive him into your loving protection. If so, I hope to hear from you, because I’d love to write the story.

But if you are not the family God intended for James, perhaps he was trying to capture your attention and give you a nudge in that direction. Perhaps it’s not the first nudge. But perhaps it will be the last – either because you will heed the call and do what you need to set out on the journey of adoption, or because God will stop nudging (Have It Your Way!) and turn to someone else.

The folks at A Helping Hand are hopeful – and I am too – that perhaps the eagerness shown to meet James’ need for a family will spill over onto some of the other special needs children waiting for homes. Though there is only one James, you can see other sweet little ones here.

So ultimately there may be more than one happy ending to this story. I hope there are many, many more.

If for any reason you feel called to adopt but some piece seems to be missing, remember that God doesn’t call the equipped – he equips the called. He may be waiting for a full expression of your willingness. Money can be an obstacle, but there are some resources if you look around. A Helping Hand offers some information at their site. I think churches should support adoptive parents the way they support short-term missions – maybe your church would take up a collection.

Two of our three adopted sons with Down syndrome were united with us through Catholic Charities, which charged us $50. each. That’s right – fifty dollars. Catholic Charities in California – and probably other states as well – completely subsidizes adoption of special needs children (and being Catholic is not a requirement). There are also adoption subsidies to assist families who want to adopt special needs children (from the US) but for whom the additional financial burden would be too great. Remember, though international adoptions are trendy right now, there are plenty of children waiting to be adopted here at home and support in place for families who will take on that responsibility.

I’m serious. If you are feeling called to adopt, it’s time to take the next step and start overcoming any perceived or imagined obstacles to your being united with the child – or children- God intended to be part of your family.

Adoption is a journey and adventure.

As in the Steven Curtis Chapman song, The Great Adventure, which has started humming in the back of my mind as I write this:

Started out this morning in the usual way Chasing thoughts inside my head of all I had to do today Another time around the circle try to make it better than the last

I opened up the Bible and I read about me
Said I’d been a prisoner and God’s grace had set me free
And somewhere between the pages it hit me like a lightning bolt
I saw a big frontier in front of me and I heard somebody say "let’s go"!

CHORUS
Saddle up your horses we’ve got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace
Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other – this is The Great Adventure

Come on get ready for the ride of your life
Gonna leave long faced religion in a cloud of dust behind
And discover all the new horizons just waiting to be explored
This is what we were created for

(Chorus)

We’ll travel over, over mountains so high
We’ll go through valleys below
Still through it all we’ll find that
This is the greatest journey that the human heart will ever see
The love of God will take us far beyond our wildest dreams

Yeah… oh saddle up your horses… come on get ready to ride

Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife had already raised a family of their own and were on the verge of Empty Nestdom when they felt called to adopt. They have since adopted three little girls from China. The change in his heart that springs up from his song definitely resulted in actions that spoke louder than any words.

This is what it means to be loved by our Heavenly Father. We are all adopted heirs. We were also created in His image – and the opportunity to embrace a child in adoption is an opportunity to experience and reflect on a small scale the tremendous love He has shown to us. Not because we need to earn our way to heaven, but because like Mary, who broke her alabaster jar to anoint her blessed Savior, we just can’t help but break our own.
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Pssst! If you linked to my original story on James, please follow up by linking to this one as well! Many thanks for spreading the word.

Packing Packing

Well, we are in full swing of packing and organizing for our big trip on Saturday.  I feel overwhelmed.  3 kids to prepare for as well as myself- and making sure Michael’s stuff is ready to go….sheesh.  I feel like we are preparing for China all over again.  Snacks, clothes, diapers, wipes….ahhhhh…..will we survive the plane flight with 3 kids???  I am really looking forward to spending time with my niece, Lindsay, who is coming to help out and hang out!  OK, enough stalling…..on to the samsonite.