Feb 29, 2012

Speaking in Public.

I don't scare very easily, but this last Saturday, I was definitely shaking in my sparkly pink TOMS. Westmoore Community Church held their annual women's conference and asked me to come speak about our adoption and sponsorship opportunities through Children's HopeChest and the work we do in Ethiopia through LoPa.
I'm used to public speaking, but speaking in front of a group of women is the scariest thing I've ever done and my own personal nightmare. Remember, I have girl issues.
We had done a run through on Friday night and I thought I would be holding a hand held microphone for my talk. Imagine my surprise when they hooked me up to a wireless mike ten minutes before I was to start.
I had been really good at controlling my breathing and not staring at the 200 individual female faces staring towards the stage. But about 10 minutes before I was to go on, I suddenly had the urge to tinkle. "You should go" i told myself, just in case, despite the fact I went 5 minutes prior.
I hurried into the little girls room and locked myself in a stall. I turned to unhook the battery pack from my belt loop and my sweaty hands slipped against the plastic of the case of the mike and...
I watched in slow motion as the battery pack hurled itself into the toilet. I felt myself scream but it was too late.
That was it. I'd never be asked to speak again.
Or I'd permanently have attached to my resume, the woman who sinks expensive audio equipment.
If I was nervous before, I was terrified now.
The urge to tinkle had vanished and I bolted from the stall as if I was being chased. The audio guy was already having a bad day since he was the only testosterone in a sea of estrogen, so my little accident was not good news. I was almost sobbing when he realized he not only had to fix my mike, but also calm me enough so the next speaker spot wasn't filled with a crying, hysteric woman who babbled about toilets and microphones. He graciously took my wet mess of equipment, repeatedly assured me he'd fix it, but I'd have to use a hand mike for my talk.
I nodded and then I was being introduced.
There was no more time to be nervous, only time to get going.
I clenched my Bible and my notes and griped the hand held microphone. I prayed that God would be glorified and that my voice would carry His message.
My 30minutes flew by and I only cried once (& it wasn't about the mike incident)!
It was an amazing time sharing how God used our family's story for lifting up His heart and LoPa got to display a booth to continue to raise awareness for what we do in Ethiopia. Thank you so much Westmoore Community Church for letting me share.

At the time of this posting, the microphone is fixed and continues to be in use. Whew!

Feb 21, 2012

Did We Hear Him Wrong?

After my last post, I'm sure that you would be wanting some thing upbeat, some assurance that the Andrews' clan was moving on and moving up. We are close. Better. Day by day.
The Angel cried most of the weekend. I let her work through most of the emotions without much interference. But by Monday afternoon, it was time. She and I had a talk about how adoption is unpredictable and some times things change, even unexpectedly. We talked about how this meant that God's choice for our family wasn't in Thailand and that we just needed to keep looking. This is how that conversation went:

The Angel: " So we are still going to adopt more kids?"

Mommy: "Of course. If God wants us to have more kids, then we are going to find them."

The Angel: "No matter where they are?"

Mommy: "No matter where they are."

Monday night as we said night time prayers, The Angel asked to pray. It went like this: "Dear God. I ask that "R" have fun with her new family and we bring all the kids you would have for us to our house soon. Thanks God."

After I tucked them into bed and headed down stairs, I wondered if we had heard God wrong in this adoption process. Had we been looking in the wrong direction? Did we miss the signs? Should we have  been looking some where else?

I wrestled with this for most of the night. But I cracked open my Bible and read again. I don't believe that James 1:27 is a suggestion. I believe that pure religion is to look after orphans and widows in their distress. I believe that God has a plan for my family; the children that are here with us now and those that are yet to come. I believe that Jesus conquers all and that He makes no accidents, mistakes, or unplanned pregnancies. I know there are more children meant for our family and they will be placed with us in HIS timing. I believe that we were never supposed to adopt "R", but that Jesus put her own our path maybe for nothing more to insure that "R" was covered in prayer, even for a short time.
I don't believe that we heard God wrong. But I am learning that I'd rather hear Him wrong than not at all.

Feb 17, 2012

Today It Sucks

"Hang in there."
"Adoption is not for the faint of heart."
"Adoption is not for sissies."

These are just of the few of the things the adoption community says to one another at varying time during the process to boost our morale and keep us going. But one lesser known statement rings in our house on occasion: Adoption Sucks. The entire premise behind adoption is loss, devastation, separation. Then add attachment, loss of culture/family, with a dose of sweat and a lot of tears and adoption doesn't sound so grand. Not to mention the paperwork, expenses and uncertainty. Months and years of waiting, praying and paper chasing. And some times there are set backs, delays and in the most difficult of situations, some times there are doors that are completely shut.

One of the songs I listened to often during our adoption with The Angel and The Dinosaur was "Closer To Love" by Mat Kearney. One of the lines says "We're all one phone call from our knees." Today, we received a call that brought us to such a posture.

Our angel in Thailand has received a family. But it isn't us. After seven years in an orphanage, our Thai beauty is being pursued through adoption by a Thai family. It is the most strange state of emotions for us right now. We knew the difficulties and time delays that were discussed with us as we pursued this adoption. Not only because of the country but because of the medical conditions of the child we were pursuing. Over the last few months, our time line grew from 12-24 months to 24-36 months. We are elated knowing that another child will be moved out of an orphanage and into a FAMILY almost immediately instead of waiting on us for another 2-3 years. Knowing that there will be no loss of culture is so great and we are thankful.
But there were definitely tears. And there are sure to be a few more in the next few weeks. The Angel is taking it especially hard. Her super soft heart is broken that name and face we've been praying over every night at bed time won't be sitting with us at the dinner table.

So here we are. Not in Thailand. We know that adoption is hard and for all the joy it has brought to our family, today it sucks.