Friday, August 27, 2010

inception and adoption...

(JS) So I just saw Inception yesterday. I'm not really much of a movie guy anymore because they all "have a little poop" in them.

Anyhow, I had read a few reviews and heard it was an intriguing flick. I didn't know what to expect. I was blown away. These kinds of movies are awesome. They are like giant jigsaw puzzles that need put together.

I like puzzles.

What amazes me about the movie is that Cobb (DiCaprio's character) initially wants to live in his dream. There he will find comfort, stability and love. But it's not reality.

So this is where it goes a little deep. As I thought about this movie, I related it to our adoption. How many of us find comfort in our "dreams"? That fictional reality that we create for ourselves? The place where it's predictable, easy. It's a safe distance from the hurt, pain, & poverty in the "real" world.

How many of us don't want to "wake up" to see the reality of what's happening around us? I look back on the first 30+ years of my life and feel like I have been living in a dream. Honestly, sometimes I want to stay there. It would be easier.

In the end Cobb chooses to "wake up". Will we?


Friday, August 20, 2010

a great reminder

(KS) As Lincoln sat next to me in bed this morning, poking and prodding my face, while I tried to catch a couple of extra zzz's, I was reminded of a blog that Jeff read to me the other day by Carlos Whittaker. I was going to try and paraphrase it, but I couldn't do justice to it, so here it is...

God May Not Have Woken Up

Hey son…
I woke up this morning to you sticking your finger in my right nostril.
I didn’t open my eyes because I was intrigued as to your intentions.
You were doing it very lightly as if not to wake me.
You moved to my eye lids.
Rubbing them lightly.
You then traced your finger down to my lips.
You plucked them like someone would a bass guitar.
I heard a giggle.
Then your tiny finger traced its way to my ears.
My ears are really ticklish so it took all I had to not bust out laughing.
But I was intrigued.
And then yes…you traced your way around the maze in my earlobe like the race car driver you dream of being…
All the while making those race car sounds…
“vrmmmmmm, eeeerrrrrrrkkkkkkkkk, pckwshhhhhhhh”
Your hand then slowly traced its way to my chest.
It stopped there, flat against it.
I could literally FEEL you staring at me and FEELING my heart beat.
Your wispy hair then landed in my chest and I felt your breathing slow down.
It wasn’t long before you were back asleep after searching every crease in your fathers face for a good 10 minutes.
I shed but a single tear of joy that you just wanted to see my face and know it so deeply.
I shed another that I had not done that with my Father in a long time.
Just staring at His face with no more intention than just wanting to know His face better.
Thanks for the lesson kid.

http://www.ragamuffinsoul.com/2010/08/god-may-not-have-woken-up/

what a great reminder...
may all of us want to know our Father so deeply.

Monday, August 16, 2010

humbled.

(JS) We've been humbled at the blessing of our last post for a couple of days. But I was struck at the comment my wife made to me the other day when the woman who does her hair told her that her haircut was no charge. It was her way of donating to the adoption. This was apparently the second time she has done that. KT insisted that she pay, but she kindly refused...again.

Call me crazy, but I was blown away at her gift. Okay, so you're asking what does a hair cut cost these days? Maybe forty or fifty bucks? That's like a drop in the bucket compared to the insane fees related to international adoption.

What I love about this journey that we're on is that each person is giving what they are able to. It may be a hair cut, it may be something much bigger. But each time I hear about someone who is giving to this "God-thing", I well up with emotion because they are ALL giving to something that is deep at the core of what Jesus cares so deeply for.

Any gift...small, medium or large is not measured by dollar signs. It is measured by the size of the heart that gives it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

our "dear anonymous" letter...

(JS) I find it ironic that just yesterday I was reading a blog entry from another adoptive family that opened their mailbox to find money orders for their adoption.

Hold on just a second...I just need a moment to catch my breath.

It was not but a couple of hours ago I handed my Blackberry to KT and had her read an email we received with the most amazing words inside.
"I am very happy to inform you that a group of people requesting to remain anonymous have sent you money towards your adoption."
I read it twice...and then I read it a third time. And then I smiled, and then couldn't stop laughing. That laughter has now turned into tears as I type this letter of thanks to the anonymous individuals who have graciously given of themselves to stand along side us as we rescue an orphan(s) and bring them home.

So you probably want to know how much...I will just say that it was significant. Significant enough to confirm to us that God did indeed ordain this, and he is filling in the financial gap, just like we believed He would. There are two things that I would like to share with this anonymous group of amazingly special people.
  1. Luke 6.38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Jesus said it best.
  2. Next, I want you to close your eyes, and when you do, I want you to imagine the face of Jesus. I don't know what he looks like either, but just imagine Him smiling. When I saw this email...that is exactly what I saw.
I believe that there is much rejoicing in Heaven at this very moment. Rejoicing that all of us are listening to God's whispers, and being moved to act.

Words don't seem to be available to describe the joy found in our hearts at this very moment...so we'll resort to the only ones that seem to come naturally.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.  I know that God will bless each one of you.

Finally, to the one I owe my life to. Major props to my main man...THE man.
Jesus, when You set us on this journey, I didn't know when, where, what and how all of this would happen. There were so many questions. Today I find myself in awe of your awesome, almighty power. I read a prayer the other day that captures my thoughts...that when people see our journey, they would ultimately see You. We want to love like you love. Thank you Jesus.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"i forgot"

(JS) Something really struck me today. I don’t know about the rest of the parents out there, but these two words get used pretty frequently by my kids. For example;
Me: Hey JB, could you please go clean your bedroom?
JB: Sure dad.

(15 minutes pass…)

Me: JB, did you clean your bedroom yet?
JB: Oh sorry dad, I forgot…
This is the typical response for nearly all requests KT and I make with the kids. Is it because they don’t want to? Possibly. But the more likely scenario is that they get distracted. The toy they are playing with is more fun than the task we’ve asked them to complete. The video game is more engaging than the task…you name it.  Virtually ANYTHING is better than the task.

Last week we shared a short documentary on a small village outside the capital city of Addis in Ethiopia (see below). I was moved to tears. How is it that children in the world today must resort to eating from trash dumps?

Although I couldn’t shake the images for a couple of days after watching, I eventually got back into my routine and forgot about it.

It hit me that it’s so easy for us to forget about these circumstances. It’s hard to look at. We often avoid it because it would take too much work to do something about it. What impact could I have on any of that? The problem is so big…

All of these thoughts have run through my head as well. But this is the task of the church. This is our work.

When our kids get frustrated at the task of cleaning their room, I tell them that you start by picking up one toy at a time.

I believe that is what God is calling His church to do. To love…one step at a time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

here am I...

(KS) I'm always amazed at how quickly time passes by. Jeff and I will be celebrating 16 years of marriage in the fall, which means we fell in love 20 years ago!















Yet, it feels like just yesterday that we met. My love for Jeff has deepened more than I ever thought possible. I respect and love the man that he has become. I'm honored to be walking beside him on this journey of life.

As we watch our children grow, literally right before our very eyes, I'm in awe of how God is working in each of their lives.




















There are times when I think, "what did I do to deserve God's grace in my life, being saved from sin and death? Not to mention being blessed with an amazing husband who loves The Lord, and 4 incredible kids... with more on the way?"

The only answer that I can come up with, is that God loves us.. more than we can ever imagine. He has great plans for us.

I was praying yesterday morning and getting ready to unload all of my "thanks" on God... you know, for health and freedom, kids and a rockstar husband, clothes and food etc., when all of a sudden I thought: better than all of those things that I just listed, BY FAR, is our amazing gift of salvation.

I was hit like a Mack truck when I thought: this really is a very serious thing... that we need to be sharing with "reckless abandon" to as many people as we can. This gift isn't just for me to keep to myself, rather it is something that our Savior wants all to know about and to receive. I feel that in a very real way, adoption is part of the Great Commission that Jesus charged us with before leaving this earth. I want to be a part of it. I long to be doing something.

I'm thrilled that He is molding and shaping Jeff and I to do this very real thing. It's exciting. It's invigorating. I'm eager and nervous all at the same time. But I can't wait to continue, not only raising our amazing birth children, but to begin raising our adopted children as well.


Here am I. Send me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

dear Dr. Moore...

(JS) I just wanted to say thank you.

For what you ask?

For being a voice. Just one of the many voices that have supported the divine cause of adoption. In the speech you gave at the "Together for Adoption" conference in 2009, you articulated exactly where I'm finding my heart today.














I will be honest. A lot of the things you mention in this speech are things that I've ignored for years. "I'm sure someone else will take care of these problems..." I had been wrapped up in the illusion of what the world defines as success. Career...money...things.

But my vision is getting clearer. It's not always easy, but there are voices, like yours, that support all of us who are trying to "see" the world through His eyes.

Thanks again.

[Interested in what Dr. Moore had to say? You can listen to him here.]