Archive | April, 2013

Humble Orthodoxy

13 Apr

It is very seldom that you can find such profound truth explained so thoroughly in such a small book.  However, that is what I have found in Joshua Harris’s new book, Humble Orthodoxy.  Joshua takes a look at the importance of adhering to orthodoxy for us as followers of Christ.  His ultimate idea is summed in this statement found on page 5, “truth matters…but so does our attitude.  This is what I mean by humble orthodoxy: we must care deeply about truth, and we must also defend and share this truth with compassion and humility.”  How true are these words?  With our current cultural landscape being one where you find either those who are arrogantly boastful of their command of knowledge in orthodoxy, or the exact opposite where you find those who are nearly heretical in their unorthodoxy, a book like this is vitally important.

I love the fact that this book is so accessible.  It is short enough that you can read it in and hour or so, but it is practical enough that you can take what you learn and immediately apply it. It was very thoughtful in its approach to pointing out the fact that our attitude is a huge part of the way that we teach, correct, and inform others in orthodoxy.  It is very easy to fall into the trap of becoming overly critical of those who disagree with “your” orthodoxy.  It is so true when Joshua writes on page 26, “if being right becomes more important to us that worshiping God – then our theology is not really about God anymore.  It’s about us.”  This is an integral idea of the entire piece.  Humble orthodoxy is all about Jesus, and really has nothing to do with us.

Harris ends the book with a challenge.  What are you going to do when your orthodoxy comes into question?  He writes on page 61, “We must be humble even as we contend for the truth and seem to be losing.  God hasn’t commanded us to win.  He has told us to trust him and do as he has taught.”  It is difficult sometimes to keep this mindset when you are so ardently passionate about the truths of God, but God doesn’t need us to fight the battles for him.  Overall, Humble Orthodoxy is a great book.  I would highly recommend it for those who are ministry leaders and those who are sitting in the pews from week to week.  It is good for every Christian to understand how to defend our faith in a way that draws people to our Savior, not offend and push them away.

Right here, Right NOW

11 Apr

That’s how you feel after the home study is finished- you want the child RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

Recently, He-wood and I were part of a panel of adoptive parents with an audience of prospective adoptive parents. Sharing the journey of adoption is hard but necessary. God has been so faithful to us throughout the whole journey and we know he will continue because in all honesty it doesn’t end when we finalize the adoption.

One of the questions we got and we’ve heard before is what do I do to prepare. My heart sinks because 90% of what you would do to prepare while you are carrying a child or your wife is carrying a child is the exact same as for an adopted child. You have certain things you will always need to do. Obviously you need to get supplies- car seats, sleeping arrangements, supplies to feed whether its a toddler or a baby they need these things. I stockpiled diapers because I knew we were set on an infant. If you are getting an older child maybe buy a gift card once a month to a shoe place or clothing store so they can help influence the clothing choices once they are in your care. A pediatrician is needed along with childcare if both parents will be working. If one is planning to stay home after the child comes then maybe start living off one income and saving the other for finances of the adoption.

Things that are adoption specific- maintaining an active status with the adoption agency and keeping paperwork up to date. Finding an adoption attorney- someone who specializes in this an understands the laws. Note about pediatricians- if at all possible find one that is pro-adoption and consider the race of the child. We were blessed with a practice where the two main doctors we always see one is an adoptive mom herself the other is African American which is key to helping our transracial family. If you have an older child- particularly of a different race- consider where they will get their hair done. I am looking forward to Wee-Wood 3 having a great relationship with a barber- Lord and budget willing. Speaking of budget- adoption can be costly. Ask your HR rep if there is adoption assistance. Have a Both Hands project like we did to raise funds. Sell stuff, garage sell, make stuff to sell…etc to help you afford adoption. Also explore the tax laws on adoption tax benefits since they change from year to year.

Another aspect is education- while you may not be reading “What to Expect While You are Expecting” doesn’t mean reading should be crossed off your list. Grab books, blogs, etc about how to educate yourself on the many different facets of adoption. Help your family understand how to be part of the process and allow them to know how to answer questions people ask. People will ask the grandparents crazy things just like you.

Prayer and Patience- You can never pray too much for the birth parents of your child. I can do a post on open verses closed adoptions later but lets just say we grieve (and know our child will too) that right now I cannot tell Wee-wood 3 what his birthmom looks like. What his birthfather’s favorite sport is…does he even like sports? What would make them proud of him? I pray she chooses to have openness one day. Also pray for their safety and support during this tough time. While it’s a very happy time for you it’s one of the hardest decisions they have ever made.

There is so much to be done and this child is just coming into your family in a different way,  but preparation is still so similar. I’m a firm believer that whether you are walking out of a hospital with a biological baby or out of an adoption agency with an adoptive child you are never fully going to be prepared…but I think that’s God’s plan. If we were fully prepared we wouldn’t NEED him.