Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

Giving thanks......Thanksgiving.....that is what today is all about.  It is about stopping our fast paced lives to take at least one moment and reflect on the blessings we have been given.  Hopefully spend at least some of the day surrounded by the blessings of family and friends.

I have many many reasons to give thanks.  I have been blessed beyond measure.  I have a wonderfully generous, understanding husband; beautiful children entrusted to me by my Savior who died for me so that I may have eternal life. I have a community of friends around me who support my family in every way needed.   I have a home, warm clothes, money to pay for utilities, no need to ever feel hunger, 2 cars, a bed with blankets and sheets....

Yet today, on this day of Thanksgiving, I find it difficult to completely surrender to the spirit of thankfulness.  I CAN NOT move past the fact it has been 2 years since we found out a boy who had been on our hearts and minds for years needed a family.  And he still isn't here.  He is now a boy/child rapidly turning into a man/child.  He is without the love of a family, comfort when he is sick, he feels the pangs of hunger, has never experienced unconditional love.....And I have personal knowledge of what this does to a child. Times 3.

My patience in the process is depleted.  I desire to step over the political lines to champion for my son.  Mama Bear mode is rising.  And though I am thankful to BE a Mama Bear, it isn't always the most fruitful mode.  You know, when Mama Bear could interfere with adoptions for ALL people...not just your own.  Mama Bear is best kept at bay.  But I don't always feel that to be most fruitful for my "causes".  Like my son's well-being.  It's a merry go round my brain just simply can't shut off. 

So it leaves me with this......There is a child missing from my table of Thanksgiving today. And for that, I can't give thanks.  No parent can or should.

But that isn't real life.  So I WILL give thanks for my FOUR children and rest in the knowledge it is all in God's hands.  Please hug and kiss EVERY single one of your children.

Happy Thanksgiving~

Thursday, September 5, 2013

HIS story

Every child has a different story of their introduction to their family. Both biological and 2 stories are alike.  Here is our newest son's.

Technically, Dominic's (his American name-we aren't able to share his Thai name or picture publicly until we finalize) story starts with Gabriel's story. In fall of 2007, we found Gabe on a waiting child photo album and he became our our hearts. We received video of Gabe playing ball with another little boy and, in short order, found out he was also being adopted to a family in America. And they were best friends. We kept in contact and looked forward to bringing our sons home and helping them stay best friends.

We traveled first to bring our son home and took presents for his best friend, from us and the other family. We spent an afternoon, playing with these boys, taking tons of pictures and enjoying seeing these boys together. Only we understand the notion it would be awhile before they could see each other. No 8 year old understands the distance between Thailand, America, the Midwest and the west coast! But even we didn't have a clue the enormity of what would evolve from that carefree afternoon in Thailand.....

As happens in adoptions, paperwork errors happen, situations change, children can be adoptable one minute and not the next for reasons unknown (and rather unacceptable) to the most seasoned of adoptive parents or workers. And that happened to our Dominic.

By the fall of 2010, we had put in many phone calls, prayers and held many conversations trying to figure out what could possibly be done to change this situation. We just could not accept the fact our son's best friend would not have a forever family; never know the unconditional love of parents and siblings.

Gabe would share stories of the conversations he and Dominic had about coming to America. How things that happened to them, wouldn't happen here. How could we tell him his best friend wouldn't be coming to America? And that left his future rather bleak.

In November of 2011, we received one of the craziest phone calls. EVER. I still have it saved on my phone....I simply can't erase it. Our agency's contact for Thailand was wondering if we could give her a call. We couldn't return the call until the next day....what a long night!

Our son's best friend for 8 years was now adoptable. No explanation. His paperwork showed up in a packet along with other children's. Before they started advocating for him, they wanted to ask if you were interested in adopting him. Since we had been so interested in what happened to him. WOW Talk about a heart pumping, tear flowing conversation!

We weren't in process, we weren't even thinking about adding another, let alone a 3rd within the same age range, still paying for the last adoption.....blah, blah, blah.....many reasons NOT to go forward with adding him to our family.

But simply put, God called....we answered.....stepping out in faith He would provide every step of the way.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Long time away

I am not a great story teller it seems.  I am committed to telling it though.

Pregnancy vs. Adoption, my take. 

When you are pregnant, you are given a due date.  It is a general time frame of when that baby will be born.  It can vary a couple of weeks either way.  But by, say, 43 weeks, your baby will be out of the womb and part of your physical family.  From my understanding/viewing, pregnant ladies do get quite tired, uncomfortable, and ready for baby to come near the end of the pregnancy. 

When you are adopting, you are given a time frame as well.  Each step of the way is actually given an "average" time frame.  There can, however, be a HUGE swing that makes up the average.  You could be 2 months, or you could be 22 months.  And that can happen for each step.  Added to the mix is the fact TWO governments are involved in the process ( enough said!) and at least a few agencies, in two countries.  Days off, holidays, laws, political unrest, other families adoptions, finances, all play a part in this balancing act we are engaged in.  All these factors, and more, make it impossible to pin point a "due date".  Even allowing for a month allowance either way, it can't be done.

And that can be difficult, at best.  'Cause we have a sweet almost 12 year old boy who belongs here.  In our house. In his bedroom with his brothers. Loving parents having blessed him and kissed him goodnight.  Not in a cottage with 31 other boys and one caretaker watching over them.

This is our 4th adoption.  I have learned a few things along the way.  I handle having a son living on the other side of the world the best I can.  I got lost at times when we were waiting for Jet.  Leaving my "here and now" life wondering how my son was, what he was doing, when we were going to be able to travel, researching hotels, airfare, adjustments, etc.....I have 3 beautiful kiddos in the here and now!  Who are rather rapidly growing, maturing, changing into tweens and teenagers.  I can not blink or get lost.  I will miss too much. 

So I have to compartmentalize. I think about #4 EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  Let me make that perfectly clear.  He is prayed for in our morning devotions before we start our day. He is prayed for in my daily prayers.  I think about him whenever planning school, for every holiday, birthday celebrations, family get togethers, when purging clothes, toys, books, when buying new clothes, new get the idea.

But I, just like you, have many things I need to fit into each day. And for the last almost year, with each setback, problem, hiccup we have had, I have not been able to expand more mental energy on things like blogging about our boy.  It causes me to focus SOLELY on him and the fact we are really NO closer to have an idea of when we will be able to hug him.

It makes me wish we were financially well off.  The kiddos and I would be living in Thailand hanging out with #4 every day.

So I couldn't blog. But now I need to, so I will.  Hope you enjoy his story.