Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Isaiah 53

The Message (MSG)
53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
    Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.
7-9 He was beaten, he was tortured,
    but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
    and like a sheep being sheared,
    he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
    and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
    beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
    threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
    or said one word that wasn’t true.
10 Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
    to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
    so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
    And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.
11-12 Out of that terrible travail of soul,
    he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
    will make many “righteous ones,”
    as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
    the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
    because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
    he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Last Saturday, Jon and I attended the Dallas showing of STUCK.  The film was produced by the organization Both Ends Burning to bring awareness to the crisis that's building in international adoption.  The film followed the stories of three families, each who's adopted from a different country.  One of the families was in the middle of adopting from Vietnam when that country closed to inter-country adoption.  My heart ached for them as we watched their desperation grow as they fought to bring their son home.  After the film a couple from Arkansas got up and spoke about fighting to bring their daughter home from Guatemala for the past six years. They're still fighting.  For a family who's at the beginning of their international adoption journey, the whole evening was very sobering and a little terrifying.  However--heart-wrenching terror aside--I encourage you, beg you, to watch this film.  Even if you're caring for the orphan here in the U.S. or if adoption isn't on your radar at all, these kids are worth fighting for.  Check out the trailer below; you can watch the film in its entirety at  

Contrary to popular belief that international adoption is "trendy" and that loads of people are doing it, it is actually becoming more difficult--more expensive, more complicated--which is turning a lot of people away.  Some countries are more difficult to adopt from than others.  Ethiopia has historically been one of the easier countries to adopt from, which led to the peak number of Americans adopting from Ethiopia in 2010.  But, check out the stats below from in 2010, only 2,511 American families adopted from Ethiopia.  Things started tightening up and getting a little more difficult in 2011, and you can see that nearly 800 less families adopted from Ethiopia that year.  The stats aren't posted for 2012 yet, but I'm sure they will be even lower.  For a country with approximately 5 million orphans, that's not a lot of kids being adopted.  

I pray that international adoption doesn't continue to become more and more difficult. Please watch the film, and sign the petition which the leaders of Both Ends Burning will be presenting on Capitol Hill this May.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Waiting Well
I've been thinking for several weeks about writing a post on "waiting well," but I just hadn't gotten around to it.  This evening someone in our agency's facebook group posted the question "what does it mean to 'wait well'?" and I figured it was a sign that I needed to get my butt in gear.
We have officially been waiting for 1 month and 3 days.  It's hard for me to believe that we've gotten to this point in the process, after over a year of agonizing over the wait to wait.  Our dossier arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Valentine's Day.  I've always hated Valentine's Day (I don't appreciate cheesy, forced romantic gestures), but now I guess I have to like it, at least a little.  When I got the e-mail below from FedEx I just stared at it for a few minutes.  God bless Selam (which actually translates to "hello" in Amharic), whomever he/she may be.
As I said, we're only 1 month and 3 days into the wait. However, I've been thinking about what it means to "wait well" for a long time already.  I'm sure that over the year/s we have until our kids come home my thoughts and feelings will change a few times, so this is probably the first of many posts on the subject (get excited). 
For us, for now, waiting well means preparing ourselves--every part of ourselves and our lives--as best as we possibly can, so we are well equipped to provide our children with everything they need.  It means getting our finances in order, it means getting in shape and establishing good eating/exercise habits (neither of which we've been super successful at in the past) so that our kids will grow up healthy and active, it means learning as much about attachment and adoptive kids' needs as we possibly can. 
At this point, we're feeling okay with--and even thankful for--the long wait we have ahead of us.  From the moment the judge in Ethiopia says "they are yours," our lives will change forever.  For now, we're savoring the last little bit of this child-free chapter in our marriage.