Archives for posts with tag: adoption

finding true love
finding true love
finding true loveI read their words once, and then again.

The first woman was responding to an article online about adopting children who are still healing from trauma. She was worn out from trying to keep a little one safe, trying to patiently enforce boundaries.

She worried that she didn’t feel the warmth and lightness of love toward this child. Only duty. Only the humdrum motions of mothering.

Then – and this is the important part – in the next comment, a woman responded and said love is in the humdrum. Love is in the acts of service. Love is in the welcoming, the protecting and in the freely giving of yourself.

It seems we’ve fallen for the feeling of love. We are most comfortable with the butterflies and rainbows, the hearts with our initials scratched inside.

Without realizing it, we’ve put our confidence in an emotion that ebbs and flows. We’ve boarded a boat, and each time a wave comes, we doubt ourselves and the seriousness of our love.

But when see love as an action, as an expression of God, it serves as an anchor that steadies us. Even when the waves and the arguments and the hurt feelings come, love is still present in the scrubbing of the toilet, the punching of the time clock and in the tender holding of the hand.

Love is there when the rainbow fades and the paint gets scratched, when the hurting child acts out and you listen and hold tight.

Love is there.

Those people who come to weddings and adoption ceremonies and birthing rooms and tell you that all you need is love? They are right.

You need the action of love. The patience. The kindness. The humility. The showing up day after day after day.

That kind of priceless love is what you need for a strong friendship, or marriage or family. That kind of love will hold when you are bone-tired and broken. It will hold when you are afraid and so far away from your comfort zone that you worry you’ll never find your way back.

It will hold. And it is all you – and any of us – need.

The importance of a kind word

IMG_8448When Jessie first came to live with us, I was scared that I would go to register him for sports or school and people would ask me questions that I didn’t know the answer to. I wanted us to blend in with the other families so I actually practiced over and over again.

He was born in 1998. At Tulsa Regional Hospital. Like Benjamin, he weighed right around 8 pounds. He’s crazy about apples but hates apple cider.

It wasn’t that I was ashamed of adoption or of his past. It’s just that I didn’t know how much of his story he wanted to share – or whom he wanted to share it with. I figured those were his decisions, when he was ready.
Even now, years later, I find myself tongue-tied. That’s why I didn’t say more when Mr. Wickham gave Jessie a dollar for entertaining and exercising his golden retriever.

“He’s a really good kid,” Mr. Wickham said, tipping his head toward Jessie. “And he’s great with Abby,” he added, just as Jessie tossed Abby’s toy for another round of fetch.

“He is great,” I told Mr. Wickham, “It’s nice to come out to the farm and watch him relax. He can be noisy and run around,” I said, trailing off because I wasn’t sure how much to say.

While Jessie played with Abby, I picked tomatoes and kale and flowers. Other families came and went, all of us part of the Wickham Farms CSA. I could hear Jessie laughing across the field.

For Mr. Wickham, the compliment was a small thing. A kindness that came naturally.

But for Jessie and I, it was an acknowledgment of the good inside. A respite from lectures about missing homework assignments and running in the house. A moment where he was just an average kid, not one who has nightmares and more emotional baggage than people four times his age.

Just an instant where someone saw Jessie as Jessie – joyful and playful.

We all need that, regardless of age. Regardless of background. We know we need the people in our lives to stand with us and for us. But occasionally, it sure is nice to have people who aren’t as close to us offer a kind word, too.

We can all do that for one another. We can notice the good. And we can make a world of difference.

ImageI am really hoping to generate some excitement around our Facebook chat with Jeff Manion, author of Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption.

And what generates more excitement than a party?!

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • 10 of you invite a few friends to your house, your place of worship or your favorite coffee shop on Tuesday, March 25.
  • You visit. Talk about the book. Maybe have some snacks.
  • Then, at 6:30 p.m. EST, you log on to the Simply Faithful Facebook page and ask the author any questions you have about the book or about living a life of contentment.

IMG_6118As a little bonus for hosting, you’ll get a few freebies to use as door prizes… and friends? I love all the gifts. (You’ll get modern stationery from LouLouBlue; a fabric wallet from Treasured Word that helps you memorize scripture; a beautiful gift from Lavished Grace, where the proceeds go toward funding adoption; and newly released CDs from The Adams Group.)

So, what do you say? Can we count you in?

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Or, if you are in the Rochester area and would like to meet-up with people, I’ll be at Alpha and Omega Parable Christian Store, 1601 Penfield Road in Penfield, starting around 6:15 p.m. The owners of that store have also generously offered to provide some door prizes.

And for those of you who need to be home that evening, we welcome you online, too.

Looking forward to chatting with you all!

Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer

When I first interviewed bestselling author Tricia Goyer to talk about her Amish novels she had just finalized the adoption of her two youngest children. So when I decided to focus on welcoming during Advent, I knew I wanted Tricia to share her story. I’m thrilled that she agreed, and I think all of you — those who want to adopt and those who want to support foster and adoptive families — will be blessed by her words.

Tricia…

Every Christmas is special, but I have to admit I’m especially looking forward to this upcoming one. You see this year we added two new children to our family, 6-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Casey. We adopted them from the foster car system, and it’s been a year of hardship and joy, a year of seeing broken hearts start to heal, and a year of firsts. A first out-of-state trip, a first movie theater experience, first birthdays as Goyers, and now our first Christmas together.

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Last Christmas my heart had been prayerful as I consider our growing family. You see we’d just finished all the paperwork and our home study, and I knew that the Department of Social Services could all us any day with a child. They called with children … two of them on January 7. Children who’d lived in numerous homes over the last few years. Children with struggles. Children who’d been hurt. Children who needed a mother and a father.

John and I were willing to open our home, because we longed to give ourselves to children, knowing that the gift we offered them was a godly home. A home that exalted God and parents who strove to serve Him and to glorify Him with their lives.

Over the past few months we’ve taught our children table manners and we’ve trained them to listen and to {most of the time} obey. We’ve proven through our actions that we will provide the food and clothes they need. We’ve proven ourselves as we’ve shown them unconditional love.

Did we do this just to show them what a happy home was like? Yes, we wanted that for them, but even more we wanted them to understand the ultimate gift given on Christmas. We have taught our children to trust us, so that some day they will trust Jesus. We want them to see our walk and become curious about His plan for their lives. We want them to start asking questions and to listen as we share about God’s Son, our Savior.

As we gather around the Christmas tree, the story of Christ’s  unconditional love and sacrifice is something our children will hopefully understand because we’ve lived it out throughout the year.

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Maybe God has put adoption on your heart. If so don’t let fears and worries keep you from following God’s call. But even if you aren’t called to adopt consider blessing a family this Christmas who is. Offer your support and your prayers. Help them give the greatest gift to a child or two next Christmas—the gift of family—and the gift of the Good News of Jesus, offered up with joyful hearts.

And on Christmas morning if you hear extra excited squeals, you’ll know it’s coming from our part of the world—from new Goyer children.

Tricia Goyer is the author of 40 books, including the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. She has won ACFW’s Carol Award twice, and is a Christy Award and Gold Medallion award finalist. Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com or www.notquiteamishliving.com. She’s also hosting a Facebook chat starting at 8 p.m. EST Dec. 4 to talk about hearing God in the simple things. You’ll find details here.

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Can I tell you something about living with someone with depression? Can you draw your chair closer so I can whisper?

When one family member battles depression it becomes a battle for everyone else, too.

My husband isn’t cranky or blue. He isn’t even a glass-half-empty guy. But he does have bad days where dishes don’t get done and laundry doesn’t get put away. Where it’s hard to pull himself out of bed. Where he fusses and starts a fight before we see his family for the holidays. Where he just doesn’t have the energy for the fun day we had planned.

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It makes the regular roller coaster of life have even more highs and lows, more tight curves where you feel slammed against the side of the coaster. And sometimes it makes it hard to catch your breath.

We show up late to events and appointments. We miss church. We limit the number of activities through the week – just to give us more margin, a chance to catch up if we need it.

It’s hard on all of us, but we’re all on this ride together. Brian is doing what he can. He’s learning more about the illness, getting treatment and changing years of habits. And the rest of us?

We love him.

We love him in his brokenness just as he loves us in our brokenness.

Dealing with depression or cancer or diabetes is tough but that’s what love is made for. It wasn’t meant to sell greeting cards, it was meant to greet us in our time of greatest need.

When my daddy was dying of heart failure in a hospital room, Brian drove 1,200 miles to be with me and we had only been dating three weeks. And when we took foster parent classes and they told us all the behavioral challenges we might expect, I asked Brian if he was sure he wanted to do this because I had been the one pushing for adoption. His answer: God tells us to take care of the widows and the orphans, and he doesn’t say to do it only if it’s easy.

Is your chair still close?

This battle that we’re fighting? It’s OK. Love wins.

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