Sunday, August 25, 2013

CPR Training

Mary Beth and I will have been married five years in October.  We've gone out to dinner together many times.  We've been to lots of movies together. After a while, you have to get creative about what to do for a date.  Well, this weekend we spent a few quality hours together learning CPR.

While it actually turned out to be a fun date, we signed up for the CPR class as part of the home study process for our adoption.  Besides a couple of on-line classes and some interviews, this CPR class is the end of most of the paperwork-gathering for the home study.  We've both gotten physicals, collected vital documents, sought half a dozen recommendations, and even got the cat's shots up to date.  And now with the CPR class done, we're yet another step closer to finishing the home study so we can get "out there" with our adoption agency.  September will be a month of meetings and interviews, and that should do it!

Thanks for following our journey.  Part of that journey is the financial demands of the adoption process.  If you'd like to become a part of our story by helping us fund raise for the adoption, please visit the link HERE for more info and ways to give.

Thanks for reading, and please keep praying for us and our future family!
Mike

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prayer of Jabez, Revisited

Remember several years ago when the Prayer of Jabez was really popular? 

It's found in 1 Chronicles 4:10: "Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, 'Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.'"

There was a little book that reflected on each of the supplications of the prayer. 

I thought about this prayer today while at Mass. The line that always struck me was when Jabez asks God to "enlarge my territory." In the little book the author made a case that Jabez wasn't praying for more "things," or more stuff, but praying for a greater influence. Jabez was asking God to bring him in contact with more people, so that he could be a blessing to them, so that he could share God's love with them. (I don't have the book anymore so I can't remember exactly what the foundation for this argument was. While that may not be the explicit meaning, or correct interpretation, of the passage I'm grateful for the insight. It helped me see a new aspect of prayer.)

"Enlarge my territory" - That is such a profound prayer, and beautiful request: Asking God to bring more people into my life to share his love with, and help me come in contact with more souls to impact them positively for eternity. I want that to be my prayer every day.

Back to today at Mass. 

I realized that because of infertility the last four years, and now through pursuing adoption, God has indeed enlarged my territory...but in reverse!!! He has brought so many people into MY life to share God's love with ME, and bless ME! I have met other dear women (in-person and online), who are carrying the cross of infertility. Family and friends have been prayer warriors, offered encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on. I have connected with amazing women in the infertility support group I lead. Also at church we have met a number of families who have adopted, and I have heard beautiful adoption stories. These encounters are a tremendous blessing, and have given me hope. I wouldn't have experienced these blessings were it not for infertility or pursuing adoption. 

Thank you Lord for enlarging my territory, in reverse!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Home Study Here We Come

Hi all, this is Mike. As of last week, we have officially begun the home study process for adoption. We're working with Lutheran Child and Family Services. The home study is the process whereby a licensed social worker gives us the stamp of approval to adopt. We met with a wonderful woman named Cherie for our first (three and a half hour) meeting to go over details and next steps. So the next couple of months will involve: collecting, copying, and sending mounds of documents I haven't looked for in half a decade; individual interviews; couple interviews; a visit to our apartment; a stack of letters of recommendation; CPR class; child-proofing our home; cat vaccinations; on-line classes; several packets of dozens of articles to read; medical records and physicals. And we found out that the adoption process costs even more than we thought. It felt overwhelming when we got all the info at the meeting. Sometimes it still feels overwhelming. But as we've begun picking away at the list, even over just the last few days, it's not that bad. This process promises to be emotionally draining. But, I suppose that's what love is. I'm just going to keep reminding myself that we're doing all this as acts of love for the child who will be our son or daughter, who isn't even born yet! It's a bit demoralizing to think we're doing this all for the state, for the sake of bureaucracy and lawyers. But, if I'm dong it for my son or daughter, well, it isn't that bad.