First I want to say that we have a new fund raiser. To the left of my blog you will see a Just Love Coffee button. If you buy coffee from this link, a portion of the proceeds will go towards our adoption fund! Who doesn't LOVE coffee?
This week I started reading "Orphanology" by Tony Merida & Rick Morton. If you follow me on Twitter or read my status on Facebook, you’ve been bombarded with quotes from the book. Sorry about that… Well, kinda. Reading this book has rekindled my passion for adoption and has opened my eyes to the priority God places on us taking care of orphans. I encourage everyone to read it if you get a chance.
Along with this rekindled passion I’ve been on a mission that exceeds adopting Julani, along with any future children we will welcome into our family. The book stresses the Biblical command for Christians to take care of orphans.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” - James1:27
The Greek word for visit, “episkeptesthai,” means more than dropping by. It means that we should be personally involved with others and care for them, exercising oversight on their behalf by helping them in their need. It means we should take the role of shepherd in the cause of caring for the helpless (Paraphrased from Orphanology). Needless to say, I’ve been looking into how our church, Sojourn, can "visit" the orphans. I’ll talk more about that later.
I’ve also looked into our own adoption to see if there is more we could be doing or if there is anything the Lord is showing us through all of this. After reading adoption stories in the book, my eyes have been opened to options we knew were out there, but seemed too overwhelming or complicated for us at the time we began our adoption process. Examples being: sibling groups, older children, waiting children, special needs children, etc.
Recently, Joseph and I revisited all of these options and the only one that seems suitable for our family, or that we qualified for at least, is to open our age range to 0-5 years.
Adopting older children stereotypically comes with greater complications. For instance, they are more likely to remember past abuse or abandonment, they struggle with language differences, they are more emotionally distraught, and have slower learning development. But that always depends on the individual child, infants may have the same issues as well.
I thought to myself, “why do I have to have an infant when there are all sorts of children who need parents?” I realized that wanting a baby was selfish on my part. When I mentioned this option to Joseph, he said having an infant was never a "must have" for him. Baby things tend to freak him out anyway.
We asked another adoptive mommy who has adopted older children and she encouraged us to go for it! She said that she wants me to watch and discuss the Karyn Purvis seminars on child development and connecting with adopted children. She also said to be prepared but not scared, basically!
We have told our Family Coordinator that we would like to expand our age range and we’ve started taking the necessary steps to do so. We will need to be approved by our social worker, but I'm praying that we won’t have any problems with that. So, the outcome is not official yet but that’s the current plan.
Please be praying for this change with us. Now we need to be prepared to bring home an infant or a child that is almost in elementary school, which is a major difference.
God's plan not ours!