Saturday, September 22, 2012

In Touch

I just wanted to give a short update on the adoption process- we connected with CCAI yesterday and they are going to make inquiry at New Day about the child we are interested in.  Once that is made, we will know where to begin in the process- whether we are applying for a specific child or at the very beginning so that one can be matched to us.  Anyway, I will let you know!  Thanks for your prayers and support.

Kerri

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Do You Gather?


Some would gather money
Along the path of life,
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin,
I would seek a golden curl,
And a freckled, toothless grin.

For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.

But oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven
I can take them in with me!

Author Unknown

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Big Picture

We received our CCAI packet today.  While watching the introductory video to the organization and their work, my heart filled up again with that knowing that we're on the right track and that longing to welcome our own adopted child into our family.  

Having never heard of CCAI before the China trip, I am so impressed with what God has done through them.  We are at peace about pursuing adoption through CCAI and are making little steps in that direction; the first one being an online family info form in which we inquired about one of the children I met at New Day.  We are waiting to hear back on the availability of that child to show us the next step.  We are always open to whatever God has for us, but our hearts have been drawn to this specific child even though my husband hasn't met him, so we were compelled to ask about him first.  If God has another child for us, that is okay, as long as he gets a wonderful forever family as well!

We continue to need and appreciate your prayers!  The Lord has already provided for up-front costs to begin the process...we will be applying for grants and such when the time is right in this process.  Just for your info, the process (and it's a big one) goes something like this:
  • Application
  • Compilation of Dossier materials with home study (5-6 months)
  • Dossier Review and mail to China (2 weeks)
  • Child match (ave. time of 6-12 months)
  • Travel (approx. 10-14 weeks after match)
  • Post adoption services and adoption validation
I am a big picture person even though administration requires dealing with details; this helps me not get so bogged down with the small things that I have trouble seeing God at work in the bigger scheme of things.  And as this adoption process moves along, I see God's hand in so many ways, big and small, and I love that.  He's so much bigger than our limited understanding and vision; sometimes we need to step back and take a look at the bigger tapestry He is creating in, through, and around our lives.  I am utterly blessed to be woven into a small part of it.  

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'”  Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

"I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’"  Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Monday, September 10, 2012

First Step

We made a big first step today by printing out the application form and submitting a request for more information with an adoption agency that specifically works in China- CCAI, Chinese Children Adoption Int'l.  You can find out more about it at http://ccaifamily.org.  

We also pulled out adoption information we received from a Focus on the Family adoption conference we attended last year or so, of which we found a nice poster with checklists for each stage of the process.  I like checklists!

Isn't walking by faith fun?  It can be a major stressor but it can be a total blast, depending on how you look at it and in whom you place your trust.  As it is, I know too many people who must have everything so controllable and comfortable that they would never step out into the unknown without being able to see.  I have no doubt this new journey of ours is considered crazy in some eyes, but what does Hebrews 11:6 say?  "But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that he rewards everyone who searches for him."  So what is faith really?  Hebrews 11:1 tells us that "Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see."  We who follow Christ are told over and over again in Scripture to fix our eyes on what is unseen, not on what is seen...and to be about the will of our Father no matter where He leads and what it costs!

I was singing "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)" for practice the night before the Sunday morning worship when I would give my China trip presentation.  We never did get to singing the song that morning but God spoke to me clearly as I was singing these words of Chris Tomlin's chorus:

My chains are gone, I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace.


He, in essence, said, "Adopting you and all others who call on My name was at great cost to Me...not a little, but much sacrifice. I bought You not with money but with My Son's blood.  To adopt a little one in My Name will require a purchase as well, and I will provide.  Nothing you give or spend costs too much to bring one of Mine home."  I was deeply moved to say the least and knew then that whatever this adoption process would cost, in time, energy, money, etc., it would be worth it and a testimony to the purchase God ultimately made for us on the cross.

So, friends, God is already providing for this journey in faith, joy, and peace as we trust in Him.  I love the adventure He calls us to when He calls us to Himself.  I have never been disappointed!  Let us not forget the ending to the song I mentioned...a beautiful picture of adoption:

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Questions

We are so ready to begin the adoption process but do not know where to begin. We know about the process itself but other things, the specifics, we are seeking the Lord on and have more footwork to do. We are resolved to do it...but here are are our questions; would you pray over them on our behalf?
1. What agency do we work with? Which agency will advocate for us for the child of our choosing and with the government regarding regulations and our qualifications?
2. How will we pay for the process, when do we begin fundraising, and how much should be there before we begin the process?
We trust the Lord fully for the child He has planned for us (or as my Dad would hope, "children":) and for His timing b/c He knows perfectly who and when is best; we are just a bit clueless about the logistical process we need to be about.  So thanks for your prayers...now, when I see the children from the foster homes in China, my heart fills with longing and readiness to welcome and hold our adopted child.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chosen for Adoption

Please read on to the end for a great surprise!!!
Have you taken to time to read and meditate on Ephesians 1:3-14?  Wow...from the  Contemporary English version, in Christ we have been:
  • gifted with amazing spiritual blessings
  • chosen to live with Him
  • chosen to be His holy and innocent and loving people
  • chosen to be His adopted children
  • the objects of God's kindness
  • set free by His blood
  • forgiven of sin
  • shown His mysterious ways
  • chosen to bring honor to Him
  • chosen to have hope
  • brought the truth of how to be saved
  • given the promised Holy Spirit
  • shown to belong to God
  • assured we will be given what God has stored up for His people
Psalm 68:5 says that "God in His holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless..." This is not only true of orphans, but of us Christ-followers.  The truth is, before Christ we are spiritually Fatherless and not only so, but Scripture teaches that we are enemies of God the Father due to our nature to rebel against Him.  But hear this: "See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children—and so, in fact, we are..." (1 John 3:1 GNT).  

God continues to teach me so much through the special needs orphans I just had the privilege of meeting in China.  What the world discards and considers worthless, God has made invaluably precious and vital to our lives.  Through children such as these, God is imbedding upon my heart this great plan of His for adoption.  God not only likes to adopt, His plan from the very beginning has been to adopt!  And to adopt me!  

Randy and I had a discussion a couple of days ago on this: As marriage is God's glorious picture of the relationship between Himself and His people, between Christ and His bride- the Church- so earthly adoption is a glorious picture of God bringing rebellious, sin-ridden people into His cleansing love and forever family.  And so, if adoption is God's heart, should it not be ours?

So what does the adoption process look like? Well, from Scripture we see that it involves a plan, choosing, sacrifice, purchasing, and a whole lot of love.  Practically, it requires faith, paperwork, funds, time, energy, meeting requirements, and yes, a whole lot of patience AND love.  Randy and I are at that point of saying yes to adoption for our family unless and only unless GOD says "No."  God's heart is adoption and because He has put His heart in us, ours is becoming adoption as well.  We have had this desire for many years actually but it seems that it is time, God's time, for us to walk it out.

So, as we seek God's wisdom and guidance, step out in faith for His provision, and open our hearts and home to the child God has already chosen for us, please PRAY for us and the process.  May our lives be a radical picture of what it means to be adopted in Christ.  Thank you!

Kerri