Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Want to be a part of our son's story?

Wow.  What a week it has been!

We got THE CALL.  The call that made my heart skip a beat.  The call that changes everything.

I'T'S TIME TO GO!!!

I was standing at my office talking with out manager, about to leave for the day, when my cell phone buzzed.  I picked it up and as I looked down, there it was....caller ID confirming our agency was on the other end of the line.

I remember THE CALL with Cynthia like it was yesterday.  I guess some life events are just forever forged into your memory.

I think I may have squealed.  I know I said, "AH!  It's our adoption.....", but I answered too quickly to finish that sentence.

Our awesome caseworker, Randi, confirmed we have a court date....December 10.  That means we get to leave on December 7 and meet our boy when we arrive on the 8th.  If all goes well, he will be a Drake on the 10th.

I've been walking around in a bit of a fog since then, but at the same time trying to move forward.

Plane tickets, guest house dates, work schedule, childcare...etc, etc, etc.

Things are falling into place and we are SO blessed that we have more people offering to help that we need. (But we will need help, so if you've offered, we may be calling!)

AND.....
In the midst of all of this, we have been working on a fundraiser.

We are so blessed by the Lord.  We have plenty of resources to lead a full life with our family.

But....adoption is expensive!  It's a big financial commitment all in a short time frame.  When we embarked on this second adoption, we really weren't sure about how the money would all work out.  Well, we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received and continue to receive.  The Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills and it has been very obvious that he is providing.

We are so excited to be a part of a local fundraiser called Trot To Adopt.  This 5k/1mile race is in it's 4th year in our community.  Funds raised go directly to our adoption agency and will help to bring home our newest addition.  We have been included with two other local families, both of whom we have known for a long time and love so much, so that makes it even better!   To this point, we have been working to get corporate sponsors, which turned out better than we could have ever hoped!  If you know any of these awesome people, please thank them for their contribution.

Now, race registration is opening---Tomorrow, November 22 at 8:00am.  You can run a 5K, you can do a family 1 mile fun run with your family, you can ask friends and family to sponsor you as you run or walk (and that might win you a prize if you collect the most donations!), you can sponsor someone else who is running, you can simply make a donation, or you can come to the event and cheer on the participants!  As added motivation, the first 100 people to register will have their  registration fee matched, so you $25 will turn into $50 toward the adoption agency.  In addition, our family has been blessed with another matching grant, so it could be as much as $75 to our agency!!  So thankful for those that have made this possible!!

It is a really fun event, there will be a lot of people there who love orphans, love adoption, and most importantly love Jesus.  We would be so blessed to have a huge crowd there for 'Team Drake'.  So, lace up your shoes and register!!!  It will be such a testimony to our son in the future of the love of our community and the body of Christ when we tell him how many people helped him to come home!  Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support.

Check it out at www.trottoadopt.org

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dinner was a little late....

Deep conversations come at some odd times.  I was starting dinner and Cynthia was in the other room.  "Mommy!! Come here!"
There was a minor need, but then the questions started.

"When was Molly born?"
"Nov 28-her birthday."

"From your tummy?"
"yep"

"But when?"....this went round and round for a minute until she said, "No, like 2013?"
Ah!  We went through all siblings years of birth.

And they kept coming...
When were you born?
Grandma Carol?
Was she born or adopted?
From her mommy?
What was her name?

As she asked these questions with her sweet voice, my heart tore a little for her.  I could see the wheels turning.   I thought it was time to broach this subject a bit further....ever so gently.

"What about you?" I said.
She smiled up at me and said, "I wasn't born, I was adopted."
"Well, you were born, then you were adopted."

With full confidence, she said, "But God didn't leave me there, because He wanted me in our family, right?"

"Right."

Still with no sadness, she seemed to state a simple fact. "But, I don't know who's tummy I was born from."
"Me either."  Heart tearing a bit more.
"I wish I did."
"Me too."  Rip.
I asked, "What do you think she was like?"
Thinking, starting to twirls her hair...."Brown hair." "Or maybe blond??"
"I think brown because she was Chinese." "I bet she was beautiful...I bet she looked like you."
She looked at me a little confused.
"You know how people say all the time that Molly looks like me?  A lot of times people look like the people they are born from."
"But I don't look like you because I'm Chinese." Said with a sweet smile.
"Right, and your tummy mommy was Chinese."
"Yep."

She thought another minute, and then moved on.

Another step closer to her understanding this path she has been on...and that we are blessed to walk with her.  I pray the confidence in her place in our family and in our hearts will continue to grow as she grows in the understanding of that path.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Baby Steps

THANK YOU!!!  To all of you who have asked this week if we have any news.  Thanks for being excited with us, praying with us, and anxious to hear with us!

Got a quick update just now that the court date went well, but there is no next court date assigned for us, yet.  So, we wait.....

I was excited to hear that the process went well, but I was a little surprised that I also felt a little sad....that his 'orphan' status was confirmed.  Thankfully it will be short lived.

Keep asking, keep the excitement, most of all keep praying.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Orphan Sunday at FPC

I love our church.  We've been there a long time and have seen lots of change and growth.  Some hard times, but mostly it has been a rich, rich environment to grow and learn about God and God's heart.  I see that God is really stirring in people's hearts to really live out their faith. We all, of course, think that the direction our heart is tugged in should be how everyone thinks.  But I see the body of Christ really being worked out in our church as people find the specific area they are called to and really give of themselves.  Some do that by serving the church body, some by serving their families, some their community.  There are so many excellent outreaches from our church that I admire so much....Heritage Academy, Hope for Augusta, Christ Community Health Services, Fireside Ministries, tutoring, missions, MCO, and many, many more.

I have been blessed to be involved with our Minus 1 Orphan Ministry.  And it is really encouraging to me to see how there are people who are truly wanting to serve these children in such need....through all areas of adoption, foster care and orphan care/support.

We've had some events and presentations in the past, but Sunday was my favorite by far.

Sunday was International Orphan Sunday....if you haven't heard about it, read about it here.  We had and event called the Orphan's Table.  We were able to experience a meal that an orphan somewhere in the world might eat on any given day.

The event was set up to help create an 'atmosphere' as well....

Our communal pot for serving the meal.
Our set up....


 A sample of what we were eating and explanation that some kids eat about a cup of this rice/veggie mixture as their one meal....ALL DAY.
 This was my favorite part....and I think made an impression on most people as the line kind of stalled as they passed by this table....Our display of rice to give people an idea of HOW MANY....each grain of rice represents a child.




This HUGE bag was 50 pounds of rice.  When we were trying to come up with something for this display, we were a bit overwhelmed with how MANY it would take to represent....105 bags of this rice to equal the number of orphans in the world.  Wow.  Kind of left me speechless when I realized that.  Even though I 'knew' that number, the visual/physical representation was still really impressive.
We tried to create the atmosphere of what a child might experience...eating on the 'ground', under the 'trees', waiting in line for someone to give them a scoop of the food.








I think overall, it was a neat experience for those that participated.  One reason I love our church is the people.  Such hearts for seeking the Lord.  People really wanting to have their hearts break for what breaks His.

After we ate, we watched a video about our Haiti trip.  (hope to have a link for that soon.)  

Then, David Wooten of Lifeline Children's Services talked about 'A Cross-less Christianity'.  He related the story of Peter wanting to protect Jesus from going to the cross.  That is how most of us would like life to be----to have the good ending, the hero, the glory, but without the trial or suffering along the way.  Orphan care is like that.  If we are truly willing to visit orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27) then it won't be easy--there will be trials because the children have been through hurt, pain, grief, loss.  But it is where God's heart is, so it is where we should be, too.  

There seems to be a movement in our community to reach out not only to orphans in the area of adoption, but to step into the really hard area of foster care.  What a way to love our community, our neighbors in need and to share the hope of the gospel with these precious children....if only for a season.  Praying that good things come from the events of this week....even if the road through them is hard.  

I will leave you with the 'quotes' we had on the wall as people walked through the line.....From the heart of God and from the hearts of people......

We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – Radical by David Platt

 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  John 14:18


If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. 
Mother Teresa

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.

To me, a faith in Jesus Christ that is not aligned with the poor…its nothing.
Bono, Lead singer U2

Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.  Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”  -Deut 27:19
The answer to 168 million orphans in our world can be summed up in two words: family and church.
Kay Warren

Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
Saint Augustine

God sets the lonely in families,[a]
    he leads out the prisoners with singing;
    but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. Psalm 68:6

The first question which the priest and Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’  But the good Samaritan reversed the question: If I do not stop to help this person, ‘What will happen to him?’
Martin Luther King Jr.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
Mother Teresa

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.  Psalm 10:14

Sympathy is no substitute for action.
David Livingstone, Missionary to Africa

 “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 25:40

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.
Bill Wilson

Learn to do right; seek justice.
 Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17

Yes, orphan care can be risky. Justice for the fatherless will sap far more from us than just the time it takes to advocate. These kids need to be reared, to be taught, to be hugged, to be heard.  Children who have been traumatized often need more than we ever expect to give. It is easier to ignore those cries. But love of any kind is risky. 

The Gospel means it’s worth it to love, even to the point of shedding your own blood. After all, that’s what made a family for ex-orphans like us.
Russell Moore




Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. Exodus 22:22

The orphan is not a cause. The orphan is not an issue. The orphan has a human face, and that face is Galilean. Jesus tells us that when we see the poor, the weak, the vulnerable, the tossed aside, we see Him there.
Russell D. Moore


Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
-GOD

Dreams

Ha!
I keep thinking how I feel like I'm waiting to go into labor.  I've known that feeling....wondering if today is the day, falling asleep wondering what will wake me up--my alarm or a contraction?  Being disappointed when it was the alarm.

Now, we are waiting for a phone call or email.  We went through this wait last time, but once we got the call, we knew we were going to have some time to prepare.  This time, it seems it is going to be really fast....a very short time between getting the word to go and going.  So, it seems more imminent.

I'm honestly not completely focused on it because so much else is going on, but I guess in my subconscious that constant wonder is there...

Because....

I had this dream.

I was in some kind of game room and I was having to go through/over/climb/conquer all of these obstacles.  One after the other---a never ending line of them.  And when I got to what looked like the last one, there was a door--to another room full of them.

As I made my way through them, the scene changed (as dreams often do....amazingly transported to another time and space.) to a hospital type waiting room.  There were lots of women in hospital gowns, including me.  Several of us were moved into the next room.....a group Labor and Delivery of sorts.  But none of us looked pregnant. But we were all waiting to be induced.

I sat and waited my turn...as others came and went.  IV's, gurneys, nurses swirling around.

And I was sitting in the midst of the whirlwind just waiting--it seemed with no one paying attention to me at all.

And then it came....

My alarm clock woke me up. :)

I'm laughing at the craziness my mind comes up with, but see so much symbolism in it.  I'm also amazed at what our brains can obviously process without our 'control'.

Here's to waiting for labor to start.....
Have a great day.
:)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Happy

'Normal' life does go on amidst all of the adoption whirlwind.....
A Happy Halloween was had by all!

He He. :)