Thursday, June 26, 2008

Giving my husband some props......getting myself out of the doghouse!

Tim and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary last week, it was only a few days after Father's Day. The kids and I made a nice cards for Tim for Father's Day and we made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and then the kids woke him up and gave him the cards and then they kept saying "Happy birthday father's Day". They were a little confused about Father's Day and birthdays and all that. Last year we gave Tim a very, very, very nice Father's Day/anniversary gift that will not be topped for year's to come, so I figured this year would be much more simple. Our anniversary was a few days after Father's Day and life was a little crazy and I must admit I am quite pre-occupied with the kids these days so I planned a nice dinner, Mr. and Mrs. D babysat but I didn't do anything beyond wonderful and sentimental card proclaiming my undying love for my husband, no grand gift......just dinner. The night before our anniversary, Tim stayed up really late working and then even later making me a card that celebrated milestones during our marriage, so when he realized I did not have a card for him, he gave me a hard time! Then I directed him to our freinds website where she and her husband had just celebrated their 9 year anniversary and she used her blog to proclaim her love for her hubby and what a great time they have had. Needless to say, I have not been able to live it down since then, so Tim this is for you: I love you, I love you, I love! You are a great husband, a great father, and my best freind these last 8 years!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A response.

I, Tim, would like to make one specific comment to a portion of what Leala wrote below.  She briefly mentioned that someone stated we should not have adopted because we have now, effectively, deprived Kade and Piper of a portion of our love.  I would like to respond.

We believe that God led us to the decision to adopt.  In that, we know that we can rely solely on Him for our strength and love for our children each and every day.  We need to remember that we are so dependent on His grace for everything -- air, food, life, etc -- that we surely would not be able to express His love to our children without His granting us that ability as well.  Additionally, as we continually tell our children, God has put this family together.  He has sovereignly placed each of us together.  The Bible tells us regarding marriage, "What God has put together, let no man separate."  Moreover, we believe God chose Mia, Joey, Kade and Piper to be a part of our family before time existed.  Thus, it was God that chose to create our family in a non-traditional way, and it is God that will allow us the strength and love to fully support our family.

Finally, on a different note, one reason we chose to adopt was to reflect God's love for His children in a tangible way with our family.  God had a son, Jesus.  Rather than devote all of His love to His son, as he had the right to, He created mankind and shifted a portion of His love to His creation.  (Remember how much God loved His son, "This is my BELOVED Son, in whom I am well pleased.)  Indeed, God not only created mankind, He then crushed His BELOVED Son so that He could take all steps necessary to restore a relationship we had broken.  He then ADOPTED us as His children and gave us the FULL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES of natural children -- the rights and privileges that had been solely Jesus' up until that point.  Now that, my friend, is a selfless love that I can only pray to understand a little more.  

Leala and I are not perfect and, as a result, there WILL be times when we do not perfectly love our children.  That has nothing to do with how many children we have; rather, it has to do with the condition of our hearts.  We will continue, however, to pray and grow and rely on God for the strength to care for our family in a loving and right manner.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Common question....."Why adoption"

Tim and I are often asked by friends, acquaintances, strangers, etc....."What made you decide to adopt?" This question is all the more intriguing to people when they find out that we have biological children already. Some people think most couples adopt when they are unable to have children of their own, some people actually feel that if God has given you biological children and you are able to have children then you should not adopt and if you do so, you are depriving the biological children of your full love, some people feel like adoption is some huge humanitarian thing that only really good people do, some people just think it is not natural and just seems strange and out of the ordinary........people have many thoughts and assumptions about adoption that go on and on.

I, Leala, have liked the idea of adoption since I was a teenager because it mirrors what Christ has done for us. Our friend David Gunderson has summarized it well: "We ourselves have experienced the grace of adoption, and on a much grander scale. We were slaves of sin, and are now children of God (Romans 8:15). We were dead, and are now alive (Ephesians 2: 1-7). God was our judge, and now He is our Father. We faced a foreboding future in hell, but now we anticipate an abundant inheritance in heaven. God is the Father of the fatherless, and He has made Himself that for us."

Several years ago while Tim was in law school, he used to listen to John Piper, a pastor from Minnesota, when he studied. Each year Piper preaches a sermon on the weekend closest to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade about the darkness of abortion, the need to compassionately love those that have been affected by abortion, God's passionate love even for the unborn, or a related topic. While listening to one of these sermons, Tim was weighted down with the concept that one of the most pro-life things he could do was to have room in his life for those that may not be wanted. To be always available to take a child that is not wanted. In short, he was convinced God had a place in our family for the neglected, the unwanted, the lowly, and that which the world had long given up on. Moreover, as believers of Christ that have been given a perfect love, why are we not the ones that are doing everything we can to provide homes for children that would have otherwise been aborted or neglected. In scripture we are called to take care of widows and orphans, so why are we not doing it? That sermon had a profound impact on Tim and his thoughts about adoption. Our conversations about adoption began after he heard that sermon.

In the Bible, children are referred to as a blessing but often they are not viewed that way. I enjoy my kids........ I love seeing the personalities the Lord gave them, the things they think are funny, the crazy things they say and do, the sweet little hugs they give, their childlike perspective on everything, and the joy they bring to our home! I also appreciate the very profound lessons that can be learned from having children! The Lord has used my children to open my eyes to areas that I was blinded to.........children are definitely a blessing that people sometimes just don't see. Adoption can be another facet of the joys and lessons that children bring. Our little ones have only been home about 7 weeks but I can clearly see how the Lord is using the adoption challenges and the enjoyment of added children to bring about great change in all of us!

Even as believers, I often feel like it is really easy for us to lose perspective on how we are called to live our lives, that is, to glorify the Lord in all we do. Sometimes we fall into living out the American dream with having a successful job, a happy marriage, a nice home, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. Adopting two little kids from Uganda and having four kids under the age of 5 doesn't fit into most people's idea of what is "normal," what is "smart," or what the "happy little American family" is! People often treat us as if we are doing something that is really crazy, really amazing, and something that normal people don't really do. Tim and I are normal people that the Lord gave a desire to open our hearts to a different picture of what our family would look like. I believe Tim and I have been obedient to follow the desire the Lord gave us and He has provided the grace we need for everything we the only thing amazing about our family is God's plan and God' grace!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The kids appreciate their mommy.

On Saturday, Kade came up to me and told that he is glad mommy takes care of him.  I told him to go tell her and he went up to her and said, "Mommy.  I wuv you.  Thank you for taking care of me."