Thursday, July 12, 2012

What I want our son to know...

This period of waiting for our court date is taking its toll on my heart. Up until seeing our son's picture I was very patient with the whole waiting game of adoption. After all, it's one we know well. You always hear the statistics about orphans in the world. Not that a person ever gets immune to hearing the heart breaking numbers of parentless children it just doesn't impact you the way it does when one of them becomes YOUR child! Everything changes in the moment. Everything. He is no longer an orphan but he is our son. He has a name & he has personality (from what we hear a pretty great one). He is wanted. He is loved. HE NEEDS TO GET HOME! I know adopting one child only puts a tiny dent in the number of orphans in the world right now but it changes everything for this little boy and for our family. Since I cannot stop thinking about our son I wrote him a letter today. I wasn't going to share it but I decided to. I want others to know how we are feeling and how insanely excited we are to be a family of 4. Glory be to God!

B (I can't wait to share his full name with you), 
You have been on my mind constantly since I saw your picture almost 3 weeks ago now. When I go to sleep, you are here. When I make dinner for dad & Cruz, you are here. When I pick up the floor scattered with little boy toys, you are here. You aren’t physically here but you are here in my heart. I eagerly anticipate the day I get to hold your hand, rub your back, learn about your life, cook your favorite meals and be your mom. Every evening I think about you in your bed halfway around the world. I wonder what your favorite color is, what games you like to play, what makes you laugh and so many other things. I love you so deeply already. My heart desperately wants to share in your struggles & rejoice with you in your triumphs. I want to be the one you run to when your feelings get hurt or your knee gets scraped. I look forward to watching you play sports, cheering you on from the sidelines. I can’t wait to proudly introduce you to the world as my son! I do realize however, that the reason I will get to do these things is because of loss. Because your first mother whom you love left you too soon, because you’ve had to experience things a child your age should never have to endure, because we live in a world that is filled with pain and suffering, because others have let you down. One thing I know without a doubt, my sweet son is that we believe in a God who loves new beginnings, who can restore our broken hearts, who meets us where we are at in life and fully accepts us, loves us & wants nothing more than to show us His greatness. Our God understands our frustration, feels our pain & eagerly adopts us into His family. It is my prayer that you will always feel loved, that you will always have hope & that you will always know how much God adores you. 
Since the moment I laid eyes on your picture I just knew you were my son. I knew I was meant to be your second mother, I KNEW God had a beautiful plan for your life. I consider it a blessing to be in the process right now of bringing you home to be a part of our family. I love you, son. More than you know.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cruz is going to be a (younger) brother!

We can't believe it's been almost 8 months since we announced we were adopting from Ethiopia! The months have been filled with paperwork, home study meetings, & watching the Lord provide as we have had to meet the financial obligations associated with international adoption. We have been excited about adopting again & had in our minds that it would be around 12-18 months from now that we would be home with our little one(s). Well as any believer knows, God LOVES taking our plans, kicking them to the curb & replacing them with something MUCH better! That is exactly what He has done in our lives recently. We can't give out too many details right now per international privacy policies but we are SO extremely excited to announce that we have accepted a referral for a handsome little 10 year old boy in Ethiopia.

After seeing him a couple weeks ago on our agency's "waiting children's list" I (Brittany) have had him on my mind constantly. At first I told myself that adopting a child of his age wasn't the "plan" and that the timing wasn't practical for our life. After not being able to get his sweet face out of my head & praying about it I told John about him, fully expecting that he would think I was a little crazy. When I showed John the picture of the little boy who captured my heart he immediately had a big smile on his face and remarked that "he looks really sweet". If you know my husband, you know he is very analytical and considering adopting this little boy would cause us to stray from our original plan. I asked him to pray about it & he promised me he would. I wasn't sure at the time if the Lord was putting him on my heart to pray for him or if it was something more, maybe even to be his mother.

One evening when John & I were praying together we were brought to tears as we prayed for the orphans in the world and especially the sweet boy who had left such an impression on my heart. We asked for His guidance & that no matter what, the outcome would be that HE would be glorified. After we prayed John looked at me and said "I really think he is meant to be our son".  I was slightly surprised by the conviction in his voice when he said it.  John has a sensitive heart and loves the Lord so incredibly much but he is not one to make irrational statements so I KNEW that for him to feel like that it was something that only the Holy Spirit could do. The next day we contacted the agency to get more information as we had numerous hurdles before even knowing whether it was possible for us to adopt him.

After a few days our agency allowed us to view more of his information & ultimately provided us his referral. For those of you not familiar with what a "referral" is it's a contract between you & the agency saying you either accept or decline to move forward with adopting a child.  It is in this referral that they provide the potential adopting parents with the child's entire file, which virtually encompasses all information pertaining to the child.  We of course humbly ACCEPTED it! It felt as though I had just found out I was pregnant... with a 10 year old!  The peace & joy we feel in making this decision is indescribable. We are aware adopting any child comes with unique blessings & challenges. We consider it a blessing to be able to adopt again & look forward to meeting our son.  Trust me when I tell you, he is a looker! So cute & he has a smile that would melt the coldest heart. God has changed our hearts & minds and thankfully has made it clear "B" (unable to share his name or picture at this time) is meant to be our son. We strongly believe EVERY child deserves a home no matter what their circumstances. After all, he has adopted us into His family despite our circumstances. How great is our God!!

So what now? We are expecting to have "B" home in 4-8 months. As with any adoption finalization, this does not come without risks and variables, but we trust that God's plan is perfect.  Please pray for our sweet boy & that the process to adopt him with go smoothly.  He has experienced many hardships in his life so far & we realize helping him grieve will be part of our transition. Please pray for his heart to be healed.  If you are still reading this we realize it's because you care & we ask for you to be our "village". One of my favorite posts on the topic of how to support adoptive families is- .

We love you guys & know with your support and prayers anything is possible!

1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

Britt & John