Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas!

Well, the Christmas season is in full force and as usual, busy.  However, we had a good home study visit yesterday, probably the last we will have in our home.  Next time, we will drive in to meet our social worker in her area.  She did get to meet our boys and they did great answering her questions, as well as listening as she sought to help prepare them for Henry's coming.  We have one to two more visits, and still a few paper items to gather.  However, our FBI background checks came in today, so two less! 

We also have 12 hours of online parent training to do; then, once the home study is approved, we can submit for immigration approval to adopt internationally, as well as apply for grants.  We do have fundraiser ideas in process, like selling flower bulbs in the new year, and doing a large rummage sale.  For me, the paperwork is abundant but easy...it's the trusting God to provide such a large amount of money that tests my faith!  However, I have seen God do it again and again and know He will come through.  Henry was His idea and He is faithful always.

It continues to be a blessing to see how well Henry is doing in his foster home; he is getting to experience the wonder of Christmas with decorations and celebrations, and from what we've seen, he is a good eater and likes American food!  We can't wait for him and Lucy to open the gifts we sent them.  We also just cannot wait to hold him and share our lives with him.  The boys are really getting excited and as God would design it, have a great big brother from Armenia showing them how to be great big brothers themselves.  God is good!

Let us remember orphans this Christmas, whether from abandonment, sickness, violence, or whatever.  Christmas is difficult for any of us without loved ones, but especially for those who have had no one to begin with.  Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song from an orphan's perspective:

All I really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in
A shoulder to cry on if I lose, shoulders to ride on if I win
There's so much I could ask for, but there's just one thing I need
All I really want for Christmas is a family


Merry Christmas to you all; may your heart be a home for the Christ-child and full of love for the orphan-child.

Kerri




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Henry Noah Brown

As requested documents continue to arrive and references get mailed in, we are moving along very well in the process.  Our home study was cancelled last week, though, but has been rescheduled for December 19th.  We are looking forward to that and to the social worker meeting our boys.

It does seem quiet but things really are happening.  I feel that I have a grasp now on the paperwork and all that is required for this process.  I am anxious to begin grant applications but know God's timing is absolutely perfect for all parts of this adoption.  It has been fun to see photos of sweet Henry and at some point, when we get closer to the time to go get him, we will get to Skype with him.  Very exciting!

By the way, we are narrowing down his name to Henry Noah Brown.  Isn't that a great name?  Henry means, "Home ruler" or "Rules his household," and Noah, "rest" or "peace."  Our hope is that Henry would find rest and peace not only in the Brown household but in the family of God.  Just as Noah was found to be righteous, was saved from the flood, and became the father of many, may dearest Henry Noah become a man after God's own heart and be used mightily for God's purposes.  We know God has saved his life and set him apart for very special reasons.  We cannot wait to help him find out what those are!

We so appreciate everyone's prayers and encouragement. It also means a lot to us when family and friends indicate that they will embrace Henry as a permanent and special part of our family.  Adoption is forever!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pre-preparations

Isn't God good?  I've heard this saying time and again, "God knows what you need before you do." This is true because God's Word says it, and it has certainly been proven over and over as He has worked to prepare us for situations ahead; yes, even before we knew what was coming.  Well, I see God at work again in the pre-preparations of adopting Henry.

Early last summer, I started thinking I should find a part-time job to help supplement our income to help with rising costs and our exchange student coming.  As I was driving along on my scooter and approaching the high school, I had a fleeting thought that substituting would be perfect.  I turned into the district office to find out more, thus beginning the application and certification process. 

I have really enjoyed the flexibility, spontaneity, and variety of subbing jobs in our schools. It fits my personality and family needs perfectly.  However, I had no idea that it was going to do even more for us in regards to adopting a child with special needs.  My first substitute teaching jobs were mainly for special education classes, an area I have little to no experience in.  What I have gained through them has been incredible preparation for our future with Henry.  I am learning what our schools offer, what resources are available, and even the basics of working with the different needs of children.  Even tomorrow, I am going to be learning about the bus system for children with special needs.

To say that we were hesitant to adopt a child with special needs is an understatement.  We simply did not think we could manage or resource what that child would need, and so did not even consider the possibility.  But, after seeing the different kinds of needs and care of orphans in China, and witnessing firsthand God's faithfulness in providing for them even there, my heart was opened wide to adopting a waiting child...Henry!

This is, no doubt, a whole new world to us.  I firmly believe that God sees in each of us what we do not yet see and even have trouble seeing sometimes- the potential and all He intricately wove into us to be used for His purposes and glory.  It's always a little scary to step into the unknown but when hope lies in the One Who made and holds it all, courage and trust rise enough for the journey.  It is really neat to see how God has been working to prepare us all along for Henry.  Isn't God good?