Monday, February 21, 2011

Have my cake and eat it too...?

Ever want to have your cake and eat it too?  I always want that.  but you know what...this week I may be finding myself in that situation and I am scared...why?!?!?!

I am afraid of the change in a big aspect of my life, of going from super structured to super unstructured, of going from a sure thing to something less certain, of having the possibility of having my cake and eating it too or having the possibility of ending up hungry with no cake...

Yeah, it might not work out, but if it does...WOW... how would that be?!?!?! To have some flexibility in my life, freedom to pursue other dreams and goals while still providing what my family needs, the ability to take care of myself and my family, to have time to pray and think and live a life that is bigger than the box I feel stuck in now.  How would that be?

It's exciting, and scary, and uncertain, and kind of mindblowing.

So, we'll see. 

We're praying and considering all the options and asking God to show us the path he has for us...

Monday, February 14, 2011


P.S. Congrats to all the IAN families who are traveling for court soon!!!

P. P.S. Am I the only one who thinks candy hearts are gross? I'd rather red hot hearts, or my all-time fave (but not as lovey-dovey of a candy) the elusive. but amazing gummy CINNAMON BEARS.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We're back:-) and some thoughts on children and families...

I know the suspense is killing you, but our BIG NEWS will have to wait a few more weeks...

Now that we have that out of the way, let's get this blog back up and running again:-)

Throughout this adoption process we've thought a lot about children and birth families and adoptive families and the process of adoption.  In the past few weeks we've thought even longer and harder about these issues as Ethiopian adoption is encountering increasing scrutiny from the Ethiopian government and the US Embassy.   I'm sure we'll do more in-depth posts about each of these thoughts, but for today here's a summary of where we are (I know some of these statements are kind of inflammatory, we'll provide more explanation of why we feel this way in the in-depth posts) you'll have to stop back and read those:-) 

1. The process of adoption is to provide children who do not have families that can take care for them with new families who will unconditionally love them and care for them.

2. International adoption where a family in the developed world is adopting a child who was born into a family in the developing world is fraught with inequalities, ethical dilemmas, and challenges.  These arise not only in the circumstances of the birth and adoptive families, but also in the entire adoptive process.

3. Because of these inequalities and challenges it is imperative that families, agencies, and governments of developed countries who are engaging in international adoption go over and above to ensure the process is unfolding in an ethical way.  Right now Ethiopia and the US are trying to figure out the best way to do this on a governmental/legal level, but adoptive families and agencies play a critical role in this process.  Prospective adoptive parents should base their adoption choices on what will best help ensure ethical and transparent adoption practices and the adoption of a child who does not currently have a family who is able to take care of them. Even in seemly mundane tasks as choosing a country, agency, or setting parameters of a child they want to adopt, prospective adoptive parents must recognize the power of their decisions in shaping a child's future and a country's adoptive process, and make decisions as good parents and responsible global citizens.

4. Adoption is not a solution to help a developed country.  It occurs on too small a scale to make a dent in the needs of children in the developing world and, even if it were, it would not typically be in the best long-term interest of a country to allow adoption of an entire generation(s) of children! Adoption can have a profound and lasting impact in the life of an individual child and we fully support adoption (obviously:-), but we as adoptive families should also actively seek profound and lasting positive impact in our child's birth country and in developing countries around the world.

Throughout all these discussions of adoption, birth families, adoptive families, birth countries, adoptive is the deep an abiding truth.  Children do not "belong" to anyone.  They are unique, individual beings, created by God, loved by God, and eternally parented by God.  Birth parents, adoptive parents, birth countries, adoptive countries...they are all very important and have a special role in loving, caring for, and helping to shape a child, but they are not of the ultimate importance. They are bright and vibrant and important threads in a child's tapestry of life, but they are not the tapestry itself...
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
from Kahlil Gibran – a Lebanese poet