Archive | January, 2012

Don’t Stop Believing…

27 Jan

Yes we haven’t stopped believing but we have been devastated this past week. Monday morning at 1:30 brought a call from the social worker that the birth mom who choose us was in labor. We dropped the Wee-woods off at the Grand-woods and arrived at the hospital just minutes after he was born. We got to be the first to hold him, see his first bath, give him his first bottle. It was wonderful. Later that day got to be rocky and then things got better. The roller coaster wasn’t fun. We did everything we could to support the birth mom in her decision. Before I left for dinner she asked if I could come back in the morning. I showed up the next day and spent 4 hours with her. Many people were in and out of her room and around lunch I excused myself and went to eat. When I came back she had called her social worker and told her she had decided to parent. This was hard to take…she had previously showed little interest in caring for him but it’s her decision. I shortened the story but lets just say we had some amazing friends that knew every hill and valley of this event.

I feel just like I did when we had our miscarriage…shall it be called a misparent? We feel the same loss even though we guarded our heart (yes I realize there is no loss of life like a miscarriage). In reference to the baby…I wouldn’t do anything differently next time. I didn’t call him by the name we have chosen for him and I often thought well digital film makes it easy to delete if she decides to parent. It took a while for me to cut off my arm bracelet and I still haven’t thrown it away. It represents hope. I know there will be another baby to be born that a mother will put up for adoption.

Overall, I’ve learned to be more assertive…but then again not too much to deter the birth mom. We know ministry is difficult and anyone in ministry has shed lots of tears for what they love and those they minister to. If for nothing else I showed her how a mother truly can love and care for a child, how a husband and wife love each other, God’s love, and prayed many prayers of thanksgiving and blessings into the baby’s life.

I keep on waiting for the world to change…

17 Jan

Last night She-wood and I watched the documentary, “Waiting For Superman.”  It is a great film about the failing educational system in the United States.  It addresses the fact that there are major problems in the education system that have caused the United States to fall behind nearly all other developed nations when it comes to competency of students in math, reading, and science.  Throughout the film it follows the efforts of several pioneers in the education realm who have decided to work to try to change the way things are for students across the country.  They have made huge strides in the somewhat confined areas where they are working.  They have seen literacy and comprehension rates rise significantly and graduation rates are up sharply as well.  However, when they try to take there methods out into the education system at large they are met with disdain, opposition, and dead ends.  They are on the cutting edge of their craft, and yet they are being dismissed by the establishment because they are doing differently from how they have always been done.

I could not help but draw a comparison to the way things are at many churches.  There are people who are trying to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and they are trying to be innovative in the way they reach people for Christ.  However, they are met with opposition, disdain and dead ends from the “establishment” that does not want to have things changed.  The problem is that while the “establishment” doesn’t want things to change there are people who are dying and going to hell that are not being reached by a church that is using outdated and ineffective methods to share the gospel.  Why is it that pioneers who are trying to advance whatever it is that they are trying to advance are usually met with opposition from the “establishment” that they are trying to help?  Are churches so caught up in making things comfortable for themselves that they have lost their zeal for the gospel?  The early Christians understood how great the gospel was and they were willing to, literally, give their lives in order to share it and make it better.  Has the church gotten so caught up in being “the establishment” that it has forgotten why Jesus created the church in the first place?

It is time for the Body of Christ to get lost in the excitement of the gospel again!  That means that Christians of all ages are willing to do whatever it takes to reach those around them who have yet to respond to the gospel of Christ.  It invariably means that there will be points in time where every member of the body of Christ will be incredibly uncomfortable, but that is a good thing!  God has not called us to comfort.  He has called us to service, and that means that there will be times when the Holy Spirit leads us to do things that are outside of our comfort zone.  Of course, there will be times when we are met with walls from “the establishment,” but it is at those times that we should look all the more to Christ and follow His leadership to reach the world with the gospel.

I challenge you to be a pioneer for the gospel of Christ wherever you may be.

Well You took my day and You flipped it around

9 Jan

Lyrics by Jaime Grace today because our world was flipped around last week. We’ve already mentioned why but one aspect that we haven’t really worked out in print is the aspect of meeting the birth mom. We knew it would be hard…awkward but I didn’t really know I would suddenly see adoption in a different light. As we have tried to work through our fundraising I’ve often felt that people see us as asking for money for a baby…I wish everyone could’ve been in the room last thursday to see it’s so much more than that. Right now she is our primary mission field…they didn’t even respond to God, prayer, anything we mentioned about Christ. Yes I know we will gain a son if this all goes through and the funds are to pay for legal fees etc but right now may be our only chance to show her Christ’s love.

To see her and her family heartbroken that they cannot provide for the child like they would like is heartbreaking. It’s even more heartbreaking to know that they might not know God’s love…which through adoption we are trying to show her. Our motives for adoption aren’t because we want a larger family  but it’s obedience to his calling for us and his Word. We are so excited to be bringing him home soon and the opportunity to minister to her. Over this past week I’ve often related the experience of ministering to any other type of ministry…it just happens that we get a lifelong ministry in the end, a son. It won’t be easy for us since adoption has many obstacles, especially a transracial adoption.

It happens in a blink…

6 Jan

It is truly amazing how our lives can change in the blink of an eye.  It is astonishing how one phone call can turn your world upside-down (in a good way this time).  God orchestrates things in a way that baffles me sometimes.  However, I know that I am merely on the ground level and my vision is limited, and God can see it all, the whole big picture.  As many of you know, we are in the process of adopting a third Wee-wood.  well, we have been chosen by a birthmother to parent her child.  It is a totally surreal experience right now.  I’m not really sure that it has totally set in yet.  We got to meet her and some of her family yesterday.  What a sweet experience!  I got to pray for her and the baby, and we got to share how we are being led by God to adopt a child.  We got to learn about her and why she is placing this child inside her up for adoption.  It was somewhat gut wrenching for me to experience her emotions.  It became clear to me how difficult of a decision this is for her, but she knows that it is the right decision.

So God is using this situation to change the courses of many lives.  It will obviously change our lives.  It will change the birthmother’s life.  However, it will also change lives for centuries to come.  This one decision made by a 24 year old young woman to place her baby for adoption could have astronomical impacts.  I don’t mean to oversell the situation, but truly it could have incredible implications in years ahead that we currently have no idea about.  It is exciting to think about.  I think that same thing for Wee-woods 1 and 2.  The could be the next huge impact person to change the world.  The potential is huge for them, and I am so glad to get to be a part of parenting them.

The part of this that is a bit scary for me is that she could have this baby at literally any moment!  I mean we always knew that this was coming, but now that it is actually here I am kind of taken off guard.  I know that this is part of God’s sovereign plan though.  It has happened so quickly that that we have not become totally prepared for the finalization of the adoption.  This is where She-wood and I are appealing to the Body of Christ to help us bear this burden of sorts.  I believe that the words of Paul are true when he tells the church at Galatia, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).  We are also clinging to Philippians 4:19 where Paul again writes, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  We know that the financial portion of this adoption is the very small part for God, however the remaining $12,500 that we need to complete this adoption is large to us.

We look forward to watching God provide this as we have seen Him provide over and over for us through our lives.  We have partnered with Lifesong for Orphans to help us raise this money.  Every bit of the money that you donate to help with our adoption will come to us, but Lifesong provide a tax shelter to make your donation deductible.  If you would like to help, and we pray that you do, there are two ways you can help.

You can write a check and mail it:

Write preference Arrowood #2439 Adoption on the note line

Lifesong for Orphans Attn: Arrowood #2439 Adoption

PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St.

Gridley, IL 61744

Or you can donate online through PayPal through this link here just scroll down and click on the donate button in the middle of the page.  Also remember to designate preference Arrowood #2439 at the top of the PayPal page.

We strongly believe that God wants the Body, His Church, to help us in this venture that we are taking with Him.  I know that He can stir hearts to help us with this.  We believe in James 1:27 which states, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, The Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”  Please don’t read that verse in passing.  Apply it to your life.  Thank you in advance for what God will lead you to do.  We love you.

And I know that You will be Blessed

6 Jan

Today’s post stems from a wonderful meeting we had with a sweet lady last night and her family. She’s a woman who has chosen us to parent her son. We are feeling confident in her decision to go through with placement but we know nothing is guaranteed at this point. Now that that’s aside here’s our deal…we really got our eyes opened to how fast this is happening. She is due in 5 weeks but probably won’t be able to make it that long (read here maybe 2 weeks longer). It has always been our goal to not need a loan for the adoption, however when He-wood lost his job last June we needed our savings, my job, and his 2 part-time jobs to stay afloat.

This is where the community of Christ and his church comes in. We hate asking for money but Lifesong has been so gracious to allow donations to be accepted through them with a tax deductible gift for the donor. He-wood has proclaimed Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”. We have seen God provide for us this past year and look forward to seeing him work this out because to God $12,500 isn’t much. But to me it’s a mountain…it’s something that right now is keeping me from being able to fully minister to this lady and her family. We’ve got the love…we’ve got the means to care for him and crib and everything we just need the money for lawyers and our agency.

So if you would like to donate you have 2 options:

Check: write preference Arrowood #2439 Adoption on the note line

Lifesong for Orphans Attn: Arrowood #2439 Adoption

PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St.

Gridley, IL 61744

Or donations can be taken online here: Please remember to designate in the purpose line preference Arrowood #2439 Adoption

We are just needing some financial assistance as we try and obey James 1:27. Can you help bear our burden? Any donation helps and we are eternally grateful.