Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gideon and Grace

Here's the update on our progress:

We are finished with our first round of paperwork and getting it in the mail today! Phew.
One done, a million to go.
Now we get to start the fun dossier.
In real terms it's more legal paperwork which all goes over to China. China!
We've already got a good headstart on the dossier since we already had to send a lot of it to be approved by China to adopt Jiang.
We have raised/saved close to $2500!

I don't know if there is any scientific evidence to what I am about to say, but I am here to tell you that all of those crazy preggo hormones exist in the adoptive process. Why? I have no idea! I guess my body and mind know that I'm going to a mom again, but shoot keep the hormones! Hot flashes, restless leg syndrome and lactating are not my friends these days. My husband has that deer in the headlights look that he has for the nine months of pregnancy which means one thing. I am not imagining these hormones! The poor man. Add him to your prayer list...he's going to need it. However, the one comfort that it brings to me is that I know deep in my heart Jiang is MY son. My mind knows it, my heart knows it and my body is proving to me that it knows it too. Weird. Really weird, I know.

This week has been one of those weeks that I feel anxious. One of the weeks where I break down in the middle of my run sobbing because I wonder if we will reach Jiang in time to save him. The what if's have broken through and are shouting into my heart and it leaves my heart anxious. I am anxious to see God's mighty hand working in ways that leave me breathless. I am anxious to see and hold my son and know that he will know me. I am anxious to know that my son has heard the name of Jesus and has known His love. I am anxious. I'd like to tell you otherwise, but I promised myself to write a truthful blog on our adoption and anything else would be less than my honesty. I am anxious.

To calm my anxious heart I have started a journal that I call "Remembering God in the Impossible." Everyday I write down stories from Scripture where God did the completely impossible. Feel free to remind me of those that you think of, it has been immensely helpful.

I have been encouraged by one of our prayer partners to read Gideon's story again. I am so glad for that push to dig back into his story. I was reminded of how God took Gideon's already small army and made it even smaller so that God's people would see and know that He alone did this great work. It hit home and made me realize that God has me right where He wants me so that the world will know that He is doing this. I am so thankful that Gideon heard and answered the call of the Lord. I am selfishly thankful for all of his doubts and that God in His grace recorded them for me to read all these years later.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Precious in His Sight

There is an amazing fundraiser going on for this little one's 
upcoming surgery.
It's called the red envelope. 
If you have never heard of the red envelopes go read about it here.
You can donate as little as $1 or as much as $500. 
It gives everyone the chance to do something.

I keep hearing the part of Jesus loves the little children in my heart where it says, "They are precious in His sight."
She is precious in the eyes of my Jesus 
and she is precious to me.

Please, please spread the word for this little one. And go grab a red envelope!

Read more about Alea on her blog Hope for Alea.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Speaking Faith into Others

Perhaps it is the guilt of others, perhaps it is meant in the best of ways. But no matter how it begins it comes out as judgment, harsh, ugly, in your face judgment. Perhaps it's a by product of my passion for orphan care that others feel the need to go into offensive mode and attack. I don't know why it is. I just know it is.  And I know the harm it does to me, to others, to the orphan and most importantly to the call God gives us all.

Do you know what happens to an adoptive parent when a well meaning friend comes and speaks their concerns over them? Do you know the terror, the questions, the nightmares that plague them after those "well meaning" words? Do you know what happens if they jump ship and decide not to adopt because their friends were right? 143 million orphans happens.

You are right. Many of us come to the table with nothing, nothing but open eyes. We don't have much in the world's eyes. Most adoptive parents I have rubbed shoulders with started with very little in their pocket to fund this journey, but they had hearts that said "I will." You are right. We don't have $30,000. Heck I'd be happy with a third of that. You are right we could have said no. For three years Christians have said no to our Jiang. He along with millions have waited for Christians to take up the call and bring them home. If Christians took up the call to adopt there wouldn't be orphans waiting. But too many have heard the questions in their hearts. They have heard doubt spoken over them. They heard and believed the road was impossible to travel.

Adoption is no less a calling from God than mission work is. It is just as clear in scripture. Adoption is not a wish or a dream fulfillment. It is a covenant with God, an answer to the burden He places in the hearts of His people. It is a picture of the Gospel message for the whole world to see and know that He is God. He sets the fatherless in families. And if Satan wants to attack anything it is the Gospel. There is nothing more powerful than the Gospel. And he hates it. He despises adoption. He hates those who choose to answer the call to adopt.

I encourage you to choose your words carefully. Be oh so very careful. Those of us on this road hold onto our faith with what sometimes feels like the last strength in our bones. We know on a daily basis that we can't do this and we are on our knees hourly begging God to help us finish this race.

I encourage you to speak faith into those you know going through adoption. Remind them of God's faithfulness. Encourage them to call back to memory the miracles of God. Speak over them the faith in your heart, because you never know what kinds of terror Satan is planting in their soul today. Help them in this fight. Surround them with the community of Christ and lift them up in prayer. Cast away the doubt and speak your faith out loud.

Calling All Bakers!

Calling all my incredibly gifted baking friends! We are putting together an online bake sale. I know, I know it's an odd thing to host online, but we have so many friends and family all over the place that I think this way works best. 

Here is how it will work:
If you want to participate send me an email with your idea for the recipe to
Whoever bakes it ships it. So once the sale has ended I will send you your orders. You bake them up and ship them out. I just ask that you bake and ship them within a week of getting the orders in to you.
Make sure you let me know how many you are willing to make so I can put a limit on that item!
If you are local and have an item that cannot be shipped but you would like to donate for the sale then I will mark it "for locals only."
A third of the cost of the items will be sent to you, the baker, through paypal to help with the cost of shipping.
Two thirds of every sale will go directly to our adoption fund for Jiang!

I will have a separate page for this event on our blog so that it will be easy to link and find. 
Pictures will be a huge plus! 
Make sure to get the word out with your friends!  Word of mouth is the only way this works. Tweet it, email it, blog it and facebook it. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What in the world is Thalassemia?

The little boy we are adopting has a blood disorder called thalassemia. It is a relatively rare disease here in the states and many people have asked me about it. Thalassemia is the name for a group of blood disorders that are genetically passed from parent to child. It is not contagious in any way. Essentially those who inherit the disorder will have a mutation in their genes and it will cause damage to their red blood cells. The outcome is severe anemia.

There are many different types of thalassemia ranging from mild to severe. The most severe form is alpha thalassemia and most often results in stillbirth. The second most severe form is beta thalassemia major. This is the form that our son has. It is also referred to as Cooley's Anemia. It results in consistent damage to the red blood cells and requires frequent blood transfusions and iron removal medicine to remain healthy.

There is still the idea even within the medical field that these children do not live long, but recent improvements in medicine are allowing them to live much longer. If they follow their treatment plan many live long, healthy lives. They play sports with their friends. They run around in the summertime giggling and jumping in sprinklers. They live a very normal life other than having "transfusion days" and taking daily medication. There is always the risk of complications such as rejection of new blood and damage to organs, but those risks are becoming fewer and fewer thanks to medical advancement.

Here in the states we are blessed to have the medical technology that these children need to survive. In China and many other countries they do not. Currently China has a blood shortage and there is not enough blood for all their transfusions. Sadly, many of these kids are dying because of this shortage. China also does not have the medicine to remove the iron build up in their blood from all the transfusions. The iron build up leads to organ damage and eventual early death. The iron removal therapy is called chelation. Once brought to the states the iron buildup can be slowly removed.

If you are considering adoption then consider these kids. They need to be adopted by those with western medicine and they have a disorder that is very treatable. We often fear the unknown, but don't pass them up because of a strange sounding blood disorder that is so very treatable.

Hope that helps with any questions!  Feel free to ask any other questions I didn't answer.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Contest to help us win $250 in products

There is facebook contest going on through and the first to get 75 people to like their fan page and comment on who referred them will win $250 in free products (some can be sold for fundraising!).

It's that easy! So, log on to facebook (tell your pastor it's for a good cause) search for and like them and then leave a comment that says HURST.

Three easy steps that's it.  Now, go spread the word folks!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

American Ideals in Adoption

God has really been challenging me in my own views of adoption. I always considered myself to be very open in terms of adopting. But then I realize how proud and arrogant that makes me. I considered myself. Me. I was thinking of me, always me. Sure I couched it in spiritual terms, but the heart was still about me. Why do I consider myself so often? Why don't I instead focus all my energy on Christ and consider Him? Isn't that the very definition of humility? Considering myself less and considering Him more?

When I stop to consider what God wants of us in adoption and orphan care my ideals are shattered. My heart is broken with the realization that I refuse Him. I refuse the least of these that He calls us to watch over. Why is there a five year waiting list for healthy young babies in China while the broken ones, the sick ones are left to live and die as orphans? Where is Christ in that?

We as American Christians have this consumer ideal in our adoptions. I include myself in that statement, because I see it staring me in my face. I expect something in return. I feel entitled.

I'm going to be painfully open with you. The truth is I look at the orphans and the children with significant disease and a part of me turns my face away because dog-gone-it if I am going to spend my little savings and sacrifice to bring an orphan home I sure as heck don't want him dying on me! My heart breaks at the selfishness of that statement. How have I lived so long advocating for the orphan and not see that blackness in my own heart? How have I nodded my head along with others in conversations about those "sad" cases that will never have a home? How have I not rushed to their aid and defense and told myself and others that they are still worthy of our love however short their time may be? Father God, forgive me!

It has hit so close to home this week as I heard of a family adopting a girl with the same condition as our little guy and their daughter died before they were able to complete the adoption. It hit close to home as I questioned our own adoption. What if he doesn't make it? What if we spend every dime we have and he dies before I can hold him in my arms and tell him he was loved? Is he still worth the cost, the emotional cost, the financial cost? I know how awful that sounds. I've listened to those questions run through my mind and been voiced by others this week to us and I have felt my Father's heart breaking as I considered the cost to me.

The truth is I am so unworthy. I am unworthy to be adopted by God. I am unworthy to be used by Him. I am unworthy to call Him my Father. But instead of seeing how unworthy I am He sees how worthy Christ has made me. He saves His children on their death bed when they sometimes have just minutes left. He calls them by name and hold them in His arms while they breathe their final breath even if they have been His child for only a few minutes.

So, I consider Him. I consider His call to the orphans. I consider how worthy He is and He has called us to care for these children. He has told us to hold them for however long that might be. The ugly truth is that I may never hold my son in my arms. I may never kiss his little head or whisper to him how very much I love him. But I know that He is whispering of His love to my son and that my God's love is more than enough.

What I know is that God has told me to try and so I will try. I will give everything I have for the possibility of saving one, but more importantly I will give everything I have to follow my Father. All praise to Him. All praise to the one Who is so worthy. All praise to Him Who holds the unworthy and calls them His own. All praise to Him.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Rocking Chair

It's funny the things that make us cry. We sold our rocking chair to help raise money for our new little guy and somehow the thought still makes me cry. I was so glad when I told my other mom friends that they understood the meaning of a rocking chair. Their sad, "oh no's" were healing to hear.

It's where I held my babies when they couldn't sleep, or when they hurt themselves or when I just needed to relax. Many snuggles have been cherished there, many wounds have been healed on that chair. I'm not sure if there are many things as nostalgic to a mother as her rocking chair. It represents all things motherhood. You can sit in it and almost feel the tiny babies they once were and remember all their little coo's and feel their itsy bitsy fingers wrap around yours. 

I sent it away with a hopeful heart that letting go of part of my past will give wings to part of my future and bring our little boy one step closer. I'm praying that God will see our sacrifices and bless them.  I'm praying that I will have a sweet little boy in my arms sooner than I think and that God will take what little we have and multiply it.