Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Prayer and Our Next Steps

Hi all, this is Mike.

At Mass this morning the priest used the Collect (opening prayer) that we'll all hear this coming Sunday:

O God, who through the grace of adoption
chose us to be children of the light,
grant, we pray,
that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error
but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

In this journey of infertility and endless waiting, it's easy to fall into the lie.  It's tempting to enter into the darkness of error and think God has somehow forgotten us, or forsaken us.  At a certain point, the absurdity of what seems so arbitrary can really blind us of God's love.

This prayer reminds me that, as one adopted myself in God's grace, I'm called to reject that darkness and error, and embrace the bright light of truth, that God is intimately involved in every aspect of this process.  There is nothing arbitrary or uncaring that is happening.  It is all part of God's plan, even when I cannot see it becasue I'm standing in the darkness.

And when we finally adopt, and bring home the child God has destined for us from all eternity, I'm pretty sure the darkness will show itself to be the shadow of his hand guiding us.

So, here's the news.

We're getting ready to start the home study process.  We haven't moved off of any of the waiting lists we are on, but we figures that since we sent out flyers and business cards with our info to about 50+ folks, we should be ready if anything comes of it.  We'll probably be going through that process in July and August.  So, lots of paperwork, lots of meetings, and a bit of money.  So please say some prayers for us!  We'll keep you posted.


Friday, June 14, 2013

An Unexpected Blessing

I had an unexpected blessing this week. I'm part of a Catholic infertility group on Facebook. Though the group, I have "met" so many wonderful women who are also going through the struggle of infertility. I am so grateful for the support, prayers, and encouragement of the gals in the group, especially on my worst days. Mike and I even got together with one beautiful couple in our area, it is nice to make friends and know we are not alone.

This week a group member shared that she and her husband had adopted from Uganda. Fr. Celestine, the priest who married Mike and I, is from Uganda. Since getting to know Fr. Celestine, and some of his fellow Ugandan priests, we have developed a love for the country. The people from Uganda are some of the most joy-filled people I have met!

When I heard about this gal's adoption, I was intrigued and emailed her. She offered to share her story with me.

What a treat!

She spent over an hour sharing with me the beautiful story of how she and her husband adopted twins from an orphanage in Uganda.

Learn about the orphanage: http://bridgetouganda.org/join/ibandababieshome/

She shared the ups and downs, frustrations and excitement, and most importantly how God guided them through it all. I know God guides us and has a plan, but sometimes it really helps to hear concrete examples from someone's life. It certainly builds my faith.

It was encouraging to talk with someone who is still going through infertility, knows the deep sorrow and pain, but has also experienced the great joy of becoming parents through adoption.

God is so good. My new-found friend seems like such a kindred spirit. I wish we didn't live miles apart and could get together for coffee, I could meet her beautiful children, and ask her many more questions (Thank goodness she was sweet and made herself available as a resource on adoption in the future)!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dr. Ray Explains it All

One thing that has helped me on this journey is reading books about adoption. Last summer I read, "Adoption: Choosing, Living It, Loving It" by Dr. Ray Guarendi. It was super helpful.

Dr. Ray is known for his no-nonsense advice about parenting. He and his wife have adopted ten children!! If anyone knows about adoption, Dr. Ray and his wife do. It was reassuring and encouraging to learn from him.. I trust his perspective not only because he speaks from personal experience, but also because he is a clinical psychologist, and speaks from professional experience as well.

The book was Q&A format (which is not my favorite) but the topics and questions were relevant, such as different ways to adopt, home studies (the process whereby a couple is approved), how to talk about adoption with your child(ren), answering questions from family, friends and people at the grocery store, open adoption, transracial adoption, special needs adoption, birth order, discipline, and costs.

Dr. Ray addresses a number of common questions related to adoption, in a practical, entertaining, and often humorous way. This is perfect for me, because I have so many questions about the process, and am sometimes fearful that I will lack what it takes to parent our adopted children.

For example, regarding the potentially unknown, or even known, background of the child, Dr. Ray says: "Genetics maybe the foundation of the road, but Mom and Dad are driving the bus. The kids sit in separate seats, but the bus is going in the same direction. Once more, 'You can't know what your getting.' Absolutely true, no one can, be it with a birth or an adopted child. Much of the genetic world lies beyond our control, even understanding. Yes, there may be more unknowns in the histories of adoptive children, but how and where those unknowns become known is the big unknown. If one wants certainty in life, having a child is not the place to start" pg. 45.

How many parents, adoptive and non-adoptive, have experienced this first-hand?

After highlighting the growth of his family, Dr. Ray closes the introduction by sharing, "Ten kids in a little over twelve years involves a lot of factors coming together - prayer, timing, perseverance, searching, openness, blind luck and a willingness to adopt more than one child at a time. In the end everything funnels down to a simple fact: Many babies and children need a mommy and daddy, and if they are less than "perfect," they are really only like their parents-to-be" pg 9.

Thankfully we have a merciful and gracious God pouring down graces on us, and our children, to grow more perfect, like him, every day.

I am excited for us to become adoptive parents, and share God's love with our children. Thanks to this book, I am also more equipped for the journey.

- Mary Beth