Mulah and a little craziness

Now that you know I am addicted to blogs (see previous post), you will not be surprised to hear that I stopped by one of my favorite blogs this morning and read a post on a crazy love party. Linny has an amazing story--her banner alone will make you do a double take!! Yes, they're all hers! A beautiful family, amazing story, and she's a wonderful writer and encourager...

Which is why I'm sure none of her readers are surprised by her latest request. She is encouraging others to give (and receive) with "reckless abandon" (I personally love her choice of words...: )). And she's set up a link so those with needs can post, and those who are so led, can give. So I'm posting here for two reasons...

1. Go to the post. First, just so you can meet Linny, she's a cool lady. Second, there are so many with needs, and even the little bit can help. I was blown away by some of the stories...single moms adopting children...families who's dads are out of work and struggling but who's hearts want to adopt...young ladies and families stepping out in faith to go on mission trips...who knows, maybe God will use you to be a part of their stories.

2. And, yes, we have a need. No greater, really, than any of the others who have posted links, but we do have one. We are adopting and fundraising for it all, right now specifically for our dossier fee ($4100). So for those of you stumbled here via link, and who want to hear our story, I recommend reading here:
Because Linny asked~ yes, we do attend church, Lifebridge Church that we planted here in Florida a little over two years ago (www.lifebridgechurchpinellas.com). We are faithful tithers not only of our money but our blood, sweat, and tears as well. We have had rough patches, and have struggled to just pay our bills, but God has always provided. Joe is currently bivocational, a huge shift after 11 years in full time ministry. And then, God called us to adopt, right in the midst of it all. We figure He who calls will provide in His way, in His timing. We are committed to doing all that we can to raise the funds for our adoption. Our next fundraiser will be a dinner & raffle/silent auction on May 15th (stay tuned because there will be a raffle item that even you, our long distance friends, can participate in!!) (If you want to contact me, you can email me here.)

So there you have it! If you're new to these here parts...nice to meet you! Friends who have been patient with my posts on missions trips and other people's blogs, but have been wondering what's up with our adoption process...we're just STILL finalizing paperwork, raising funds, and hoping to have our dossier in before summer. That could mean a homecoming sometime around early next year. Keep praying and we'll keep you posted!

My crack/cocaine

SOOOOO, I'm really not trying to be lazy...I know I've been linking to alot of other blogs lately, and it's not because I don't have anything to say myself...(ask Joe...I talk all the time, lots of great stuff, tons of words, he can't get enough...)

But since joining the adoption world and blogland, I have been so blessed by the blogs I read and the people I have met through them. There is some great stuff out there! Wonderful, everyday, average women with spit-up on their shoulder, and petrified french fries in their minivans, and clutter on their dining room tables...and they write wonderful posts that encourage me, and cause me to think, and rethink, and cry sometimes,...and I think it's because I feel like even though I don't know most of them personally, I get them....and I feel like, if they ever met me, they would get me...we could have a cup of coffee and talk and laugh and probably feel like we've known each other for alot longer than 10 minutes...because we love Jesus and care about the things He cares about and you can find alot of common ground when that's where you begin.
(That was a really long run-on sentence and some of you might be wondering if the state of FL made a mistake in allowing me to homeschool but don't worry because my kids do school on the computer and some days I don't even talk to them let alone actually teach them so we're all good.)

Anyway...today, I enjoyed two blog posts in particular:

I don't want my children to be happy ...a letter to her kids in light of some who said her children would resent her for using their college funds to pay for an adoption. Read it to the end...GREAT.

Stuff white people like ...insightful and funny and strangely true in a context where--when you're planning to adopt a black child, like we are--I'm wrestling with what it looks like to celebrate a new heritage and culture and yet not over compensate and become weird and be afraid to celebrate my heritage as well. Or that admitting the good means we have to ignore the bad, like our prejudice and resentment. Maybe now I'm talking too much (and not making any sense which is a bad combo). Let her do the talking...check it out.

Just take a few minutes and read these links, cause these posts are awesome. Or heck, get a cup of coffee, settle in, and read through more of their blogs...these chicas can write, and how they find time to do so I may never know, but I hope they continue to do so. Because while some stay-at-home moms might be addicted to daytime soap operas or farm town, I confess...I am addicted to blogs. I get lost in them. And a girl needs her fix.

Change

Sorry...not much time to post...I'm working on our taxes (ie that's my tiny voice you hear coming from underneath the pile of receipts and papers on my couch---heeeelllloooo...)

But wanted to mention a couple of things:

You may or may not know, but last week it was announced that the Ethiopian government was going to begin requiring parents to travel TWICE to Ethiopia in order to adopt. This was a blow to many already struggling with the costs of adoption. While the cost would certainly be higher and the logistics a bit more involved, with that change would come the added benefit of not having to readopt the child once they enter the US. Under this new requirement, once the child stepped foot on US soil, they would be considered a US citizen. Some of you might be like--hun?, whadud she say?--and I would completely understand because I don't even know what I just said. : ) Simply put: 2 trips=change, and change is always hard. In some ways better, in some ways worse, but none the less, hard. This requirement is still not certain, but we are wrestling with what this might mean for our own adoption process.

But today I read a GREAT post here, regarding ethical adoptions and mentioning the changes we are dealing with in Ethiopian adoption laws. I think everyone who has an interest in adoption should read it, but particularly if you are wrestling with international adoption because of the difficulty of the process. It served as a call to arms for me-- a reminder that we are engaged in a battle--we should expect it to be hard, but know it is a glorious thing we are fighting for. Namely, redemption. My friend Erica posted this quote on my Facebook yesterday:

"My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him." -Derek Loux

OK, so after reading that, maybe a little time and cash aren't that much to sacrifice, in light of the cost of my redemption. I believe the littlest Walser waiting in Ethiopia is worth it. And maybe while we are fighting for our own child(ren), we can also fight for a process that is fair and ethical and beneficial long-term-- the greatest good for the most children.


P.S. Want to help a great family deal with the uncertainty these changes are bringing to their adoption costs/process?! Go stop by the Dixons' blog and buy a raffle ticket to win an ipod touch--let's help bring this little girl home!!

P.S.S. Did you click the link to read the article?! If not, do it now! It's good, people!

Stop by these two blogs today!

Ran across a couple posts and thought you should check out these blogs today:


One is my friend Wendi's blog here. She and her husband run the non-profit HopeMongers, and they want to bring awareness to the human trafficking situation in Moldova and provide giving opportunities through their organization. (By the way--you'll also find giving opportunities for the leper colony, Korah (where we were last month) on this site here.) Stop by, and bookmark the HopeMongers site. They are facilitating ways for us, here in the US, to help those around the world in tangible ways that link us personally to specific needs and projects. I love it. Link


The other site is Junk Posse. Tracy creates the most beautiful jewelry to help raise awareness and funds for adoption. (LOVE her Africa necklace and Ethiopian Angel Wing necklace!! Joe...hint hint.) She created these necklaces specifically to raise money for Haiti. And she's giving the first two away! Post a comment on her blog and be entered to win!