Friday, February 11, 2011

waiting ...


Waiting that is ... as of yesterday, our paperwork has been in Ethiopia for 2 months and for 2 months we have been in "line" to be matched to our son (a referral).  

We know our time and our day will come.  We take great peace in knowing that the Lord knows exactly who our Levi is and on what day and at what time he will reveal him to us.  

I love to sit in that thought!  

As I prepare to leave for my mission trip though, I find myself longing more and more to see his face and know his birth name.  I suppose part of me was hoping that I'd jet off to Ethiopia just knowing.  There is something so wild to think that I'll be walking the very city our son will be in, roaming the very countryside he calls home and not KNOW yet who he is.   I think I'll wonder with every sweet face I see ... will he have those eyes, that smile, those curls?  Will he be that shy, that outgoing, that determined, that loving?  Will he be short or tall?  Will he want to sit on my lap awhile and read a book or would he prefer to grab a ball and run like the wind?  Which toy would be his favorite ... the hackey sack?  the soccer ball?  the matchbox car?  All my wonders wrapped up in the faces of so many children just like him ... in an orphanage, without a Mommy waiting!  That might be the hardest part.   So many waiting, wanting, needing and hoping ... I'll see it in their faces and know his says the same.  

Today, my child is an orphan!  Today, my child is waiting just like me to know who I AM, only his wait will have been far longer than my "wait" has been!

Cross em' off ... two months down.  Only the Lord knows how many we have to go, or how many their have really already been.  

Psalm 139: 15 -16 "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be".

Monday, February 7, 2011

What if the Super Bowl ...

Go Packers!  Millions sat around their TV's last night consuming wings, pizza, burgers and beer while they watched the Steelers fall behind early in the game.  A second half rally left them within 3 points but all those who love their Packer's were excited to watch them persevere to a 31-25 win.

We all watched and waited for each commercial to air.  Probably a highlight for many of the game.  Each 30 second ad, working to capture the attention of targeted consumers.  At a cost of 2.6 million for one ad, it's a hefty price tag no doubt but one business's must see as worthy.

I couldn't help to watch and wonder how many billions of dollars goes into this one event.  One football game captures not only the nation's attention but billions of dollars.

I preface this post by saying, I believe in Capitalism and the week closing into Super bowl is definitely one for the liking for grocers, restaurants, hotels and the NFL.

It leads one to wonder though.  What if the Super bowl could help change the world? What if the Super Bowl could help Bring a Hope and a Future?

At Ground to Cup Coffee, the company my husband is a partner in, they have put together a business model that we believe in.  The goal like any business is to make profits but they have that goal with the mindset of knowing that the more they make, the more they can give!!  40% of each sale through their partners and fundraisers goes back to their causes.  10% back from all straight retail sales.  

It makes me wonder, what if the Super Bowl and everyone involved modeled the same?

It was predicted by the National Retail Foundation that 10 billion dollars of consumer spending would take place during the Super Bowl.

Each 30 second ad cost 2.6 million.

GM alone spent 15 million on air spots.

The average price of ticket sales were $5,000 but many going as high as $13,500 for one ticket and $450,000 for a box.

The stadium attendance that night was 103, 219 ... just shy of the 1980 goal of 103,985 that brought in 1.3 billion.  Factor in inflation on those tickets.  I'm sure last night rivaled in revenue.

$200 dollars just to sit outside and watch the game on a jumbo screen.

What about the players salaries ... I can't even imagine.

So what if 40% of all those proceeds were used to change the world?

How many adoptions could we fund at $30,000 give or take an adoption?

How many water wells in Africa could we dig?  According to "The Water Project", a well in Africa and India costs around $4,500 for one well and will serve hundreds of families.  Go check out Glimmer of Hope and read their stories of how they have changed entire communities.  Can you imagine what the Super Bowl could do?

How many Food Pantries could we serve?  How many homeless shelters could we build and staff?

How many school districts could we change?  I know ours is letting teachers go and increasing our class sizes from 22  up to 30 or more kids in a class because of district cuts.  What if we used one event each year ... just a portion of 40% of the revenue brought in and actually kept teachers in classes, supplied districts with the tools/computers and resources that they need.
We talk of wanting to make education a priority in our country.  What if everyone involved in the Super Bowl and all those revenues were a part of that change?  Now that would be a role model for our kids and grandkids!

I love watching the Super Bowl.  The food, the friends, the commercials and I think somewhere in all the hype, the game!  But this year, I couldn't help wonder ...

What if the Super Bowl could change the world?  What if 40% of the billions went back to bringing a Hope and Future?  

Think on these things ...

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's just a practice ...

Adoption; the act of the Lord pruning, refining, and constructing who he wants you to be SO THAT ... he can then bless you abundantly beyond your imagination as a reward for your persistence.

O.K., O.K., so maybe that's not the actual definition of adoption but if you asked any one of my friends walking down the road of the journey, I am certain they'd agree with me on many levels.  You see, we set out on this journey thinking it's about a son or a daughter.  We set out thinking it's about THEM only to discover somewhere along the way that we are oh so wrong!  Nope, it's definitely also about us!  The reward for our "Holding on" is the sweetest joy and the sweetest love he could ever bestow!  Oh how I wait and long for that sweet reward ...

You can't walk the road of adoption without learning a lot about yourself and the lovely "Fruits of the spirits" we all work to attain.  Patience, oh the patience!  Don't pray for it, you might have the gestational "paper pregnancy" of an elephant or wait forever for those court dates and embassy dates.  Don't you know, you pray for it and he'll give you lots of opportunities to practice it!   Joy - you better believe the process will be full of joy.  But you will also have days where you'll get to put that "joy amidst trials" into practice.  Adoption is full of joy and learning to have joy even in the middle of trials is probably on the top of the list.
Self Control; let me tell you, this one takes the cake on some days.  There is NOTHING about adoption you control and you have no choice other than to surrender, gain your composure and practice!  Peace; if you don't simply let go and live in it, you'll have grey hair when it's done.  I am telling you, this go around, I am proud to say I have been much more at peace in knowing God's timing.  I think having done this once and seeing the end result ... the daughter he so perfectly crafted for us, I have peace knowing that this time will be no different.  His timing, his peace = my peace!   Amen!  Gentleness, Kindness, Goodness; sure, you get to work on these.  But often, the Lord loves to show you these through OTHERS!  That's the fun part of adoption ... when and if your community comes along and joins the adventure.  What an amazing blessing to see Kingdom right here on earth!  Along the way we've been blessed by the kindest people who have given on our behalf, worked tirelessly to do a bake sale and garage sale or simply purchased one of our T-shirts and showed us a little Goodness and Kindness.
Faithfulness; the whole process is full of this.  You simply have to trust that the Lord said "GO" and if he did, then he'll provide, direct, and complete the work he has begun.  Faithfulness .... simply knowing and trusting that his Yes was Yes and he WILL complete the journey and path HE set you on!

So, we continue on our road to Levi not knowing what day will be "our day".  It's a little like Christmas each morning, waking and wondering if their will be a glorious present on that day.  Some days, I simply live life in the chaos of our home and rest in knowing it will come.  Others, I find myself day dreaming of the who's, where, when and how of it all.

This week I e-mailed my family coordinator to let her know I'd be out of the country the end of February for a few weeks.  Since I know there is a timeframe on accepting a referral and that more than likely she didn't have Doug's cell number, I thought I should let her know. I also had to let Doug know that absolutely without a shadow of a doubt, if he saw area code 703 on his cell .. he'd better STOP what he was doing and answer it!
 I had to laugh a little with my e-mail back from my awesome FC, the Lord left me a little breadcrumb to let me know ... it's coming!  But, once again, he didn't let on to any more of his plan!
Here's what she said:
I am not sure what the time frame is for your wait, but I can tell you that there are not many families before you who have a similar age request. However, with international adoption this could mean a few weeks or a few months! But knowing that you will be away February 15-27th I will make sure to call Doug, should a referral happen during that time. If you were to receive a referral you would have 2 weeks to decide to accept or reject. Obviously, should a referral come right when you left, we could extend the time to give you a chance to process the information once you were to return home. 

Hmmmm, what I tell ya!  Just enough bait to let me know we'll be "soon" ... and just enough to let me continue to practice all those fruits: patience, peace, faithfulness, self control.  

You watch ... Doug will get the call and leave me some sort of twisted message about how he's staring at our sons face.  I can see it now, him gloating that he got to "See him first".   That would bring him JOY ... and me the opportunity to practice it!  

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