Saturday, September 8, 2012

Are we crazy?

They usually give me a look with raised eye brows & a half hearted, forced smile and something like "Oh, really. How neat" comes out of their mouths. It's not that I expect people to understand or even be genuinely excited for us when I share with them the news that we're adopting an 11 year old boy from ET.  To be honest I don't know what reaction I would prefer, maybe just a "It's great to see God bless you in that way" I don't know...I am just so sick of blank stares, warnings of what a challenge it will be & in-genuine enthusiasm. Welp, I guess this post already turned into a venting sesh. Sorry. John's out of town so this is what it's come to!  Now don't get me wrong. We have several friends & family members who's support & encouragement is amazingly overwhelming!  They know who they are and if you are reading this our "village", WE LOVE YOU & APPRECIATE YOU MORE NOW THAN EVER!

I am normally not the type of person who lets other people's opinions & words get to me but recently I have found myself getting frustrated. I realize it's not that common to adopt a 11 year old when you're 25 & have never raised a child that age. I realize it's not going to be a cake walk raising him in a completely different culture. I realize our son will have a lot to grieve over with the loss of his first family & everything he's ever known. I realize that our Bek will face ridicule from his peers for having white parents & being adopted. I realize that we will experience many challenges with our new son, some related to adoption others just normal kid stuff. I sometimes want to yell at people who start to inform me of all the struggles we are going to endure I say "DO YOU THINK WE DON'T KNOW THAT! DO YOU THINK WE WENT INTO THIS DECISION LIGHTY?" I usually end up biting my tongue, exchanging the half-hearted smile and try to end the conversation before I burst. If I sound like I am emotionally unstable right now it's because I child is on a different continent & there is nothing I can do to bring him home sooner. It is enough to drive a person INSANE & it's beginning to take a toll on my heart. When people make hurtful comments I want to tell them how amazing our new son is. I want to tell them how this sweet child is deserving a family despite is age...or yet especially because of his age! I want to tell them how kind he is & how wherever we are he runs to get a chair for me to sit in. I want them to see the look he gives me when he makes a goal while playing soccer with his friends, it would melt any heart! I find myself almost immediately sharing a photo of him as if that's going to make them understand. It doesn't but it gives me an opportunity to look at his cute face:) I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know without a doubt that this is the Lord's plan for our family. Are we crazy? Probably. But I think that's a good thing. People thought Jesus was a little nuts when He walked this earth so why should our lives look any different? Why should we not love with reckless abandon or take risks? Why should we play it safe in order to not draw attention to ourselves or make others comfortable or yet risk going through hardship? Although I would never have thought I would have an 11 year old at my age & stage in life I wouldn't change a thing. We are not perfect parents & still have a lot of learning to do but I am always comforted in the fact that Bek doesn't need perfect parents, he needs parents who perfectly love him. That we can do! The Lord freely loves me & shows me grace why can't I do that for a child, my child? I am reading about 1300 adoption/parenting books right now trying to prepare. Often times find myself putting the book down in a daze...although I am doing my best to prepare I can't under estimate the Lord's hand in all of this. He has led us to our son & I fully trust He will guide us through this crazy journey called life.

Praying we get cleared to bring Bek home next week. It's unlikely but God LOVES making the unlikely happen...He's a showoff like that;)

xo Britt

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So much to celebrate! Updates...

The past couple months have been extremelly exciting at the Hagensen home! We returned from Ethiopia a couple weeks ago where we passed court with the adoption of Bekalu Hagensen "Bek" on 8/7/12!! When we walked out of the court room I lost it. I was overwhelmed with the importance of that moment in our lives & the thought of all that has taken place for our new son's life to come to this point. For us it was a moment to celebrate, like you would a birth of a new baby into your family. For Bek's birth family though, the weight of the decision to "let him go" in hopes of him having a better future I'm sure brought sorrow to every inch of their body. Adoption is not ever an easy decision, never.

During our trip we spent most of our time at the orphanage playing with our son & the other boys there. It was amazing to watch these incredible boys interact. I couldn't help but notice how kind, respectful, & patient they are with one another. I realized just how hard it will be for our son to leave his friends, family & culture behind. The thought of it made me also realize the importance of doing everything we can to incorporate the beautiful Ethiopian culture into our family & daily life.

While in Ethiopia we got to meet Bek's living birth relatives. I cannot adequately describe the beauty of our time with them. We laughed, cried, prayed, shared stories & dreams with each other. That time with them with always be carried in my heart. We got to see just how loved Bek is by his family. The decision they made did not come easy in any way. We are blessed beyond measure to get to raise their boy...our boy.

Yesterday Bek turned 11! My heart literally hurts that we didn't get to celebrate his birthday with him. Although birthdays in Ethiopia aren't celebrated to the same extent they are here it would have been another opportunity to show this sweet child just how valuable he is. You can be sure there will be a be-lated celebrating in our home when he arrives! :)

Today we received BIG NEWS in our adoption journey. We were submitted to US Embassy!!! Basically what this means is that our case to adopt Bek is being reviewed but the US & they will either clear him to come home within the next 10 days or request more information. We are obviously praying he will be cleared to come home VERY SOON! Once we are cleared John will fly out a couple days later to ET where he will pick Bek up from the orphanage, go to their Embassy appointment, & come back home! He will only be in country 4-5 days. The decision for me (Brittany) not to go on this trip was extremely difficult to make & one I hope we don't regret. With Cruz, my work schedule, & finances in mind we feel it is the best decision. I am sure I will be an emotional wreck knowing John will be in ET with our newest son!

So that is the newest info! I realize we have been pretty terrible at updating our blog. Thanks so much for your continued support!!! Our God is truly moving mountains to bring Bek home & we are so grateful for that!

xo Brittany