Sunday, May 30, 2010
I have begun to pray that God will begin to soften your heart toward Him and us. I know that you may come with a lot of baggage. Some of these things will not be easy. We know that Philippians is correct when it says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Our prayer is that each day God puts another piece of our puzzle in its place.
Friday, May 28, 2010
All of this can be overwhelming, if you let it. So much money is due at the beginning of the process. Not sure how all of it is going to come together. I do know that if God is in it, it will come together. Mom and I will trust and work in God's timing, not ours. It the money is not there and we lose out with this agency, then He wanted us to work with another. If God provides for us, we will move forward.
Some of our Filipino friends are going to the Philippines for a two week visit. They are so excited about you, they are telling all of their friends, many in Tagalog. Which I can't understand. :) When you arrive in the US you will become and American, but you will be surrounded with a Filipino family that loves mom and dad and will love you too. I watched a Filipino baby playing tonight at a graduation, I just kept wondering what you might look like, how old will you be, will you be a boy or a girl? God knows. Before He formed you in the womb of your biological mother He knew you. He created you for us. To be a part of our forever family.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
This morning God gave me this verse. Whenever we are in the Lord's will and plan for our lives, we can expect to be attacked by our enemy. I have been there since saying yes to the Lord last Friday. Saturday morning I woke up sick and have been sick off and on since. As I was praying this morning I began to question God, I felt clearly that this is an attack because the devil does not want us to save your life. He does not want us to raise you in a Christian home.
Spiritual warfare is a part of the Christian life. The unfortunate thing is, most of us do not know how to properly battle the enemy. I was very anxious last night and that feeling remained this morning. As I walked into the sanctuary to pray and seek the Lord, I felt Him say lay down in my presence. I did and began to find peace in His presence. Fifteen minutes later I woke up :) I had fallen asleep anxious and woke up in peace. I had fallen asleep with questions and woke up knowing God is the answer....I knew that before, but sometimes we have to be reminded.
Jan Beazley, founder of All God's Children Adoptions and author of "The Strength of Mercy", has a whole chapter devoted to their spiritual battle experiences. In this she reminds of God's protection by highlighting two verses.
Ephesians 6:11-12 "Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Luke 10:19 "Behold, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy....nothing will injure you."
Our God is faithful and just, wise and powerful, loving and merciful. He loves you more than your mom and I will ever be able to. You are worth fighting for; God's words and dads. When you are placed in our arms 2 or 3 or even 4 years from now, all the battles will be worth it. Mom fought the physical battle for our first two children, perhaps God is allowing me to fight this one for you.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks."
There are as many as 143 million orphans in the world. We are not called to reach all of them just the one, you, who God has for us. Our prayer is that whatever your issues, as there may be many, God will place you the one who He wants into our family. In turn God will also give us the strength and wisdom to raise you to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength.
Mother Theresa was asked how she coped with the overwhelming need. She said I focus on the one in front of me.
God help us to trust you as you put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Help us know that you are in control of the process and will place the child in our family that you have intended from the foundation of the world.
I am beginning your story May 25, 2010. About two years ago your mom and I began to feel God calling us to adopt. We prayed a lot and thought about it a lot, but did not feel like the time was right. Over the past year it seems that everything in our lives has been pointing us toward you. I was taking a summer class for my Masters Degree May of 2009. There were only two students in the class myself and another guy named Darren (spelled the same way). Darren and I became good friends. I soon found out that Darren and his wife had adopted a little girl, I don’t remember where she was from. At the time of the class they were in the process of adopting another little girl, this one was from Ethiopia. One day I told Darren what your mom and I had felt the year before, he encouraged me to continue to pray and wait on God’s timing.
In the fall of 2009 Chrystal and Sue came to me with a desire of starting an orphan/adoption ministry in our church. This became Mission 127. As I prayed about this ministry God brought back to my heart that we were to adopt. We continued to pray and felt that we should start the process. Then on February 1, 2010 Grandma (Lewis) found out that she had cancer. This put our plans on hold as we waited to see how all of this would play out. During the time that Grandma was sick, Pawpaw stepped away from the church to care for her. I became the Senior Pastor while he was out. With this new found responsibility I found myself drawn more and more to fasting and prayer. My prayers began to center on adoption.
In April we went to District Council where the speakers were Beth and David Grant, directors of Project Rescue in India. This is a ministry to hurting girls. Our hearts were broken and we began to pray even more. I read Beth’s book, “Behind the Soiled Curtain”. The stories broke my heart. Mom and I decided to give to this ministry and continue to wait and see what God would do. During this time we felt that God was drawing us to the Philippines. We have a lot of Filipino friends and are very familiar with the culture.
A few weeks latter I shared the book with Chrystal and she gave me a copy of the book written by the founders of All God’s Children Adoption Agency. I started reading it during my devotion time Friday May 14, 2010 around 8:30. As I read and prayed I found I could not put it down. I stayed in the sanctuary almost the entire day reading and praying. My heart again was breaking for kids that had no mommy or daddy. When I put down the book I simply asked God what He wanted me to do. I felt that I was to begin praying for the Philippines.
When I left church that day I drove to Borders book store and purchased a book about the Filipino people and culture. I went home that night and talked to mom. She was feeling the same thing. Overt that weekend we searched for adoption agencies that work with the Philippines. I finished the book a few days later knowing that the Philippines was the right match.
Thursday May 20 I filled out my application to obtain a copy of my birth certificate from the state of MO. We knew this could be time consuming and wanted to start that process. During this time I was continuing to pray for the Philippines and God’s timing and 5 specific prayer needs.
1. Money to pay for the adoption.
2. A larger car.
3. A larger home or money to expand where we were.
4. That our family would be on board with us.
5. That mom would be able to stay home with you once you were in the US.
I sent this list to Chrystal and Sue May 21 at 11:00am. At 11:05 am Pawpaw called and said he would be coming to church for a while because Grandma was doing ok. We went to lunch then returned to church. While at the church the subject presented itself. I told Pawpaw of our plans. He said he was fine with it and that he would talk to Grandma about it.
Pawpaw left for home around 2 and called me a half hour latter. He had spoken with Grandma; she too was fine with it. Over that weekend mom and I continued to contact and pray about the next steps including selecting an agency. Saturday night I filled out a pre-application with Bethany. By Monday morning, May 24, we had narrowed it to two. I spoke with both agencies. After speaking to Lisa at Bethany I felt that this was the right direction. On Tuesday our pre-application was approved and they put us in contact with another family that had adopted through them from the Philippines.
May 25, 2010
I emailed back and forth throughout the day with the family. They brought up many details that mom and I had not considered. Tonight I have been praying for God’s direction in all of this. We want to do God’s will but have to know He is in it before we move any further. We realized that many of the older kids have been abused, some of these cases are not known to the orphanage staff. Mom and I both felt like it was again time to turn to God and seek what He would have us do. Our prayer is this; that He would continue to open doors for us if this is truly His will. We also need $550 for the formal application. We are not sure if we should pay it or wait to see if God provides as a confirmation and are praying for God to continue directing our path toward you. Daddy knows that God is in it, this is not the question, we just need God to show us the right path to take at the right time and provide for us as we move forward.