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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Round Two

We just received word today that we have been accepted back into AWAA's Ethiopia program for a second adoption. This time we are looking for an older male child (2-5 years) with special needs. This would include a child who is HIV+.

(Not that you couldn't tell from the tone of my last posts :-)

We are VERY excited about our second adoption. Of course the second time around we've learned how to temper our excitement with realistic expectations. We expect this second adoption could take another year and a half to two years to complete.

Summer Comes to a Close

The kids are heading to school next week. It's kind of sad that school begins so early in our state. I just don't feel like we've had enough of summer yet. Well, I'm so OVER this heat but you know what I mean.

For Rory and Ally it will be their first time in a traditional classroom setting. We are all really excited. The kids are going to a charter school not far from our home that has a reputation for being top notch. In fact, it was one of the top ten school in the state. We are really comfortable with the staff there and have peace about the decision we made to send the children.

We had previously planned to have the kids attend a private Christian school but we just couldn't choke down the cost of tuition. Especially in light of the fact that we want to adopt again. We knew that the choice came down to adding another child to our family or private education. You know which choice we made.

The girls have to wear uniforms and in true girly fashion couldn't be more thrilled. Mom likes the simplicity uniforms offer. Yeah for not having arguments in the morning about what they will wear for school!

I just don't know what I will do when Jonas and I are alone during the day... but I have a few ideas. I'll keep you posted as news comes in.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More on HIV+ Adoption and Education

Positively Adopted is a wonderfully informative website. Check it out.

And THIS is an awesome video about two adoptive families with HIV+ kids.

This is a brief video which discusses risks of transmission within a household

But you still need to know this important basic information. It's HIV 101

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Am I seriously recommending a show on MTV?!?!

Dustin and I have followed this series off and on (mostly off) but tonight's episode drew us in and wouldn't let us go. MTV's 16 & Pregnant featured a young couple that was very much in love with each other. The two of them made a gut wrenching decision to relinquish their daughter for adoption against the wishes of their parents. Watch the episode. I thought that it was a thorough, unbiased portrayal. Kudos MTV.

Monday, July 20, 2009

CDC and Immigration Ban

Please take a minute to read this article and visit the CDC website (link contained in the article) for futher information. Consider your opinion on the matter.

I am supportive of lifting the ban. Many arguments in favor of the ban are based on fear and lack of education. Some are concerned about the financial impact HIV+ immigrants will make. That is a viable concern in my opinion but one that doesn't sway my support for removing the ban. I am also in favor of lifting the ban because many of the immigrants banned entrance to the US are orphans.

Families who wish to adopt an HIV+ child must apply for costly visa waivers and jump through many bureaucratic hoops. Helpless orphans who contracted HIV through maternal transmission should not be discriminated against for truly they are the most vulnerable in the world. If families are willing to adopt them the process should be the same as adopting a HIV negative child. Today, HIV is a chronic yet manageable disease. HIV positive people who receive treatment can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and be productive members of society.

For more education about HIV/AIDS transmission AVERT has a very informative website.

Lastly, below is a quick video tidbit about possible advancements in HIV transmission prevention that I thought was noteworthy.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Note Worthy

Here are some blogs related to HIV+ and AIDS orphan care, adoption and advocacy.

Advocating for Orphans with HIV

Full House, Full Hands, Full Hearts

Positive Families

HIV Child

Children With AIDS Project

God Given Passions (My Bloggy friend Audrey!)

Cool Program

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Fire No One Wants to Walk Through

Pleae say a prayer for this family. They have endured so much on the road to adoption and will have more yet.

Free Audio Book

A friend gave me the heads up that Crazy Love by Francis Chan is available for FREE to download HERE you must use the code JUL2009 to get the book free.

Happy listening

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More Sources on Orphan Care

I've mentioned briefly that our Home Team is working our way through the book Fields of the Fatherless . I can't recommend this book enough for a small study group. It has questions in the back and video from Tom to help direct discussions.

As we branch out to sources other than the book one member of our Home Team, Mark who happens to also work for a fabulous organization called *World Orphans , directed us to this video from Rick Warren. I though I would share it here as well.

World Orphans has an article titled The Mega Issue on their website that I recommend reading as well. I just LOVE everything about World Orphan's website. It is rich in information. But it's the haunting music of the home page that draws me in. It creates an unsettled feeling in my heart just as should be there when I consider the plight of helpless children around the world and how to help)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Exploring New Perspectives

I feel a personal duty to become as educated as I can become on all aspects of adoption. For Jonas, for Jonas' first mom, for our other children and extended family, for those around us who might consider adoption as a means of expanding their family, and for members of society around us who have not yet been touched by adoption.

I do not necessarily endorse or subscribe to the ideas represented in the following links but provide them for others who might be interested in exploring new perspectives.

Domestic Adoption
Concerned United Birthparents:

Bastard Nation:

American Adoption Congress:

Adult Adoptee Blogs
Twice The Rice (Transcultural Adoptee):

Neither Here Nor There:

Harlow's Monkey (Adoptee and Adoption Professional):

Diversity Related:
Anti-Racist Parent Blog:

Anybody have some websites or blogs with a perspective worth considering ? Leave a comment below.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Thoughts on Vertical Adoption

I'll admit I'm digging deep through Scriptures to investigate all the Spiritual implications of adoption. Adoption is very complex and multi faceted (read WAY over my head) and it's no big surprise I'm ill equipped to clearly communicate the vast truths wrapped up in the Bible related to adoption. When I wrote the last post I was addressing my thoughts in relation to the John Piper video and the utter depravity that sin causes in our lives. I do still adhere to the belief that missing the mark of God's perfect holiness does render us unworthy and dirty (as in defiled and unholy) orphans. God cannot reject His own children so all those who fail to accept the grace of God through Jesus Christ cannot be His children or God would be a failure of a father by eternally casting them from His presence. For God to reject those people they must not be his children. Therefore before faith in Jesus we must all be orphans.

A friend E made a great comment to my post which inspired me to do more searching and praying on the other end as well. Because I believe there is also more to our being made in God's image. The part that gets sticky with me in assigning myself worth because I've been created in the image of God is the issue of our requiring absolute and total grace for salvation. I'm not entirely sure where the boundaries fall with regard to that. I will not assign myself value and worth apart from Christ, I know that much. I realize this would be a sticking point for some people. Possibly more so from a person looking for validation and a sense of worth in this world apart from Christ alone. I hold firm to the idea that Christ bestows His value upon us (Just how that happens I've yet to fully come to grips with.) Something we discussed in Home Team that resonated with me was this idea that God owns us twice (found in a message from Wayne Cordero.) That He is our Creator and Father. We belong to Him both ways and have our roots in Him alone.

I came across a post by an adult adoptee at NeitherHereNorThere which was very interesting to me as I strive to view adoption through the eyes of adoptees.

I'd love to hear more feedback from all of you. I realize that here I go opening up a theological can of worms and that convictions will vary and passions will run deep. So if anyone chooses to respond be patient and kind.

Careful, The Little Listening Ears

As discussions have made their way around me lately about vertical adoption (that's God's adoption of us) versus horizontal adoption (humans adopting humans) I have had an increasing desire to stress some important points.

You see, while I accept and fully believe that God adopted His children as filthy unworthy orphans out of the abundance of His grace for the praise of His glory I am nearly nauseated when I hear discussions simply end there. While the parallel is certainly to be made I often notice a gaping hole where horizontal adoption is concerned. I have lately found that I feel a very urgent need to remind myself and other people that when drawing such comparisons we might easily leave our adopted children feeling dirty, unworthy, and sinful simply because they were once physically orphaned too. And, that is a lie I'm sure we all want our kids (and adult adoptees for that matter) to stay away from. Completely.

It is important to me to acknowledge that in horizontal adoption as in vertical adoption the orphan has very real value because God has deemed them valuable. God has deemed the once orphaned child worthy of love, justice and full rights as an heir through faith and because of Christ's worthiness bestowed upon him. I want to stress to our adopted children that this bestowing of value upon us by God is the ONLY way WE ALL gain value whether we have been raised by biological parents or adoptive parents. I am burdened to hear conversations fall short of acknowledging this truth aloud especially in the context of adoptees listening ears.

As an adoptive mother I need to continually meditate on what it is to have been orphaned myself. Too often I've become uncomfortable at my own willingness to fall into the prideful, delusional trap of taking on some rescuer complex which fails to EXALT ( and I mean HIGH, HIGH above myself) the truth that adoption is God's idea for His orphaned children in this world, not mine. I've failed to soak in the knowledge that unconditional love was authored by a pen dipped in the ink of Jesus Christ's blood, not mine.

I want to make sure I stress all of the parallels in adoption. But, I'd also like to beat to death the point that our adopted children didn't do anything to deserve their orphan status except be born under original sin and that just like every other child born into the world the consequences of original sin made pain and loss a guaranteed experience in this life for them. That is to clearly and often say to them that they did nothing in any way to personally deserve being orphaned on the horizontal plane.

I want our son to hear these things over and over and over again.