Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting and Moving

In a few weeks, we'll be at the anniversary of the launch of the ONEfamily ministry.  

It's the adoption/foster/orphan care ministry at our church that I've had the privilege of coordinating. Over the course of this year, it's evolved into something I'd never imagined.  

But to back up a bit......I honestly didn't want to start it/coordinate it/lead it... any and all of the above.  

That's was someone else's job.  Someone who was more qualified.  Someone who had already adopted or fostered, for goodness sake. 

How in the world could I promote and help lead a ministry about orphan care/adoption/foster care when I hadn't done any of that? 

Sure, I wanted the thousands of folks who attend our church to be educated about the millions of orphans around the world. I wanted our church to start doing something about it. 

And yes, we were in the process of international adoption at that point, hoping for a referral at any time, but I wanted to WAIT until we brought our child home. 

I thought it was best to hold off really getting involved until I had gotten my feet wet and had "proof" adoption worked. 

I had decided it would be better for me to get involved in a bigger capacity when people could see that adoption had a face, and that if we could do it, so could they. 

For always thinking how right I am about's amazing how wrong I often end up being. 

What if I had waited?  

A year later, we are seemingly no closer to our child in the DRC.  Still waiting and praying for a referral. 

If I had waited, I would not have heard a young, married woman in our church share with over 120 people who came to the ONEfamily orientation about her life growing up in the foster care system.   My heart would not have had the chance to connect with her honest plea for our church to step up and provide loving, caring homes for foster children.  

If I had waited, there wouldn't have been a meeting with our DHR social workers that would establish a training class to be held at our church in the fall.  

If I had waited, Brian and I wouldn't have taken that Foster Care Class. 

If I had waited, we wouldn't have the joy and the privilege of fostering this beautiful, precious one who has been in our home for the last five months. The little one who has dramatically and amazingly changed our lives in such a short time. 

If I had waited, we may have not had the opportunity to be fostering alongside seven other new, foster families who took in a combined total of 17 children this year so far.

Too many times, I've waited to jump because everything wasn't aligned or shaping up exactly how I had planned.  

I refused to move because it wasn't comfortable, I felt like I wasn't fit for the task, or I felt like someone else could do it better. 

There's a time and a season for waiting.  It's not always wise to run head-long into every opportunity. 

But there's a time and a season for moving as well.  And all too often, we wait to move because everything isn't lined up right and all the pieces aren't in place. 

I wonder how much we miss out on.

I pray that by our second anniversary of ONEfamily, we WILL have our little one home from the DRC.  But while we're waiting, we've got to keep moving too.   

The growth of this ministry has nothing to do with my vision - because, quite honestly, I imagined we'd have a ministry focused on adoption.  We'd see many families step out in faith and start the process.  A year later- that's not the case. 

Instead, we've become a ministry that is focusing on caring for the Least of These in our own city.  Involving families in a process, foster care, that is usually viewed as scary and wayyyyyy too uncomfortable by the general population. 

Despite the reputation that fostering has, I've watched family after family step out and decide to foster this year.  I've seen how their decision to move has brought them a new perspective on love and grace as they care for these little ones.  And it's changing the lives of those around them too.  

All because families decided to move.  Everything wasn't tied up in a neat package- their biological kids weren't the perfect age, they hadn't updated everything in their house that they wanted to, they weren't sure how adding other children would mix with the family dynamic...  but they moved.  And they found out that having all the pieces together didn't matter anyway. 

So, what about you? Are you waiting when you should be moving? Clinging to the comfortable because letting go has too many unknowns?  Holding out until everything has lined up perfectly? 

It's time to move.   

Would love to hear what that looks like in your life!  

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Laundry Can Wait.

Today was one of those days where not one thing I had planned on doing got accomplished.  Our little guy has a cold and had no plans of taking his daily long afternoon nap.  At least not in his crib.  Instead, I spent four hours holding him, which was not how I intended to spend my afternoon.  I had laundry to do, dishes to finish,  a house to clean and a bazillion emails to send.  

But as I was sitting on the couch, with that little cutie snuggled in my arms, suddenly my to-do's went away....  

And I was left looking at a pair of big brown eyes staring back at me, a perfect nose, and a toothless mouth full of coos and squeals.  

What a reminder to cherish each second with this precious gift.  

For our family, it's a bittersweet reality that we are NOT promised tomorrow with him.  Though we are given timeframes and estimations, he could be moved at any point and it will be over. 

Instead of worrying about what I needed to get accomplished on my never-ending list and instead of focusing on his future--- what he should be doing developmentally in three more months, or how he compares to other babies his age, or when he'll start walking..... I'm enjoying him today.  

*How he's extremely ticklish and his great belly laughs prove it. 

*His little head turning at the sound of our voices. 

*The way he grabs his feet with his hands and is just about to roll over. 

*How he sleeps sprawled in his crib with his hands above his head. 

He is a precious, perfect gift.  Though he is not technically "ours," he has our hearts.  He's teaching me to be thankful for the time that I am given each day and to cherish every minute I have with him.  

One day, Brian and I will have children permanently in our home, through adoption, biologically, or even our little one we have now-  and I pray I will continue to view them as a daily gift and not a burden.  

And as a mom who currently has one child she loves that is not promised to her, I challenge you to be present and cognizant of each day you are given with the children in your life who have been entrusted and promised for a lifetime to you.  

Even if that baby hasn't slept through the night, or your seven year old won't quit whining, or your fourteen year old refuses to clean up their room-  cherish each day with the gifts in your home.  

Cherish who they are today.  Not who they should be or what you want them or hope for them to be in the coming years and months.  Quit comparing them to your neighbors kids or their classmates.  Love them right where they are and celebrate the little things that today brings.  

The laundry can wait.

Monday, April 2, 2012

5 Things on Facebook I Could do Without.

1.  The "Pose." 
Dear Sweet, Beautiful, Well-Toned College Girls, 
That pose you do in all your pictures? You know, where you stand with back arched, chin tilted up, hair cascading down your back, and hand on your hip?  No more, please.  It's time for a new pose and YOU can be the one to start the trend! 
Plus, you're in the best shape of your life.  What you think is a flabby arm now will be viewed as perfection once you hit your mid-thirties.  Promise. 

2. Your Dinner. 
Dear foodies, 
I am in awe that you attempted to make a spinach/red pepper/arugula frittata...but I don't need to see a picture of it. It's also okay for you to keep the photos of what you ordered for Sunday brunch at the newest restaurant in town to yourself.  
I'm all for sharing....your actual dinner. Not a picture of it. 

3. How many miles you ran. 
Dear Marathoners and Crossfit Crazies, 
I haven't kept up my streak of not going to the gym for a good six months to fail now.  All of your double-digit "daily" runs and "tough-mudder" races are making me feel a little lazy.  So quit being so active.  You're making me, I mean, the rest of us look bad. 

4.  Your beach pictures. 
Dear Spring Breakers, 
I've had enough.  Enough of the pictures of the gorgeous white sand.  The clear blue ocean. The sundresses. The tans. 
My jealousy for all things beach is at it's peak.  So no more pictures of you building sand castles and frolicking pool side.  Stop rubbing it in. 

5.  Pictures of me from twenty years ago. 
Dear Old Friends,
Quit trying to wreck my life.  Every picture you put up only worsens the ridicule and abuse I get from my husband and those that got to know me post middle and high school.  

Yes, I had really big eyebrows.  (Why did no one tell me????).  Yes, I may have worn a Nightgown with Garfield on it.  Yes, I may have liked turtlenecks and worn them daily.  

But.....what's past is past.  Let's leave those old photos tucked away in our memory boxes under our beds. You know it's a lot of trouble to scan those suckers onto your computer anyway.