Friday, March 28, 2008

Roaring Rapids

James and I went white water rafting in our youth, bk (before kids, not burger king) and I remember having that oh crap! feeling. What did we get ourselves into?
So, when James and I knew God was leading us to step out and adopt, one of the first thing's I said to him was "We are not going to ask anyone for help, money wise. God knows our money and if He wants us to do this, He'll give it to us some how." I should have known. We've all been hit up to help the girl scouts, the salvation army bell ringer people, even other families' who have chose to adopt and in that particular situation I always wondered why they were even choosing to adopt if they couldn't afford it. It's ok to say out loud. Why pursue something you can't afford? I have the same reaction, which is why I ABSOLUTELY said we would have to do it on our own.
I have a problem with feeling obligated to someone. If someone does something nice for me, I immediately have an urge to make it even. I'm not alone in this, no one wants to feel like they owe anyone. We are raised to be independent, no matter the cost. As I shared with a friend of mine today, today's letter to our address book concerning this very issue, split me wide open. I am vulnerable. I am placing our needs in the open to be scrutinized, to be talked about out loud, to our circle of influence. I am now in panic mode. I am questioning our decision, not because I am concerned as to the financial outcome, I truly don't want to be judged. I want this to be an opportunity for people to partner with us, especially in prayer. I really mean that. In my 33 years, I have never been as emotionally ripped apart as I have been just in moving to Utah, but as we have entered into this adoption process.
What I have come to realize is this, it's not just about my emotions or my process. There could be something in this journey for you or for you. The greater good is not just my own, it's for the good of all. We are united in that. So, with that, as I again open myself up to more scrutiny in this blog, I have to trust that in a spirit of partnership you will join us on this journey, not for us necessarily, but to see what treasures could be lying in wait for you. Thanks for coming along, it makes the paddling easier!


Ok-We've decided to fundraise! Here is the letter we are sending to everyone to let them know:

Hello Family and Friends!

As many of you may or may not know, James and I have decided to grow our family through the adoption of an infant boy.
Top 5 Things You Might be Thinking in this Moment:

5. What are they thinking?
4. Wow-Utah must have a lower cost of living than we expected!
3. Wow-Did they win the lottery?
2. They want another kid? I thought they already had kids?
1. Do they only contact us when they need or want something?

Our response goes a little something like this:

5. Ask the Big Man upstairs (not James, God!), we’re following His guide.
4. We wish-why do you think you’re getting this letter?
3. Same as above
2. We do have 2 beautiful girls; please refer to the Big Man answer.
1. Please pull out past Christmas card letters and pictures to remind you of our affectionsJ

With that said, anyone who has looked into adoption knows it is VERY costly and we want to do this, with your help, as debt-free as possible. The average adoption shockingly costs between $12,000 and $30,000.

Here comes the fun part- we want to ask you for 2 things.
The first is to partner with us in prayer. As it was once said, It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. You are a part of our village, like it or not, and your prayers will mean more to us than you may ever realize.
The second thing is when you need to buy items for your home, a gift for someone (Mother’s Day & Father’s Day maybe?) that you would consider either buying them online at and enter SNelson for the code before you check out. OR contact us directly to place a catalog order for one of these items. If you would be willing to pass a catalog around at your job, that would be awesome! Let us know and we’ll get you one! This organization is designed to partner specifically with adoptive parents and many of the items are Fair Trade with more of the proceeds going to developing countries.
We all shop and we hope that you will choose to do it with us! We will keep you posted on any developments at:
Just so you know, we debated as to whether or not to flat out ask for cold hard cash, but this is a great medium that offers an opportunity for you to partner with us on this adoption journey we’re on. We won’t say no to the cold hard cash option, we’re open! So if you know anyone who’s inherited a ton of money and is looking to spread the wealth, please forward them our infoJ

We’re excited to see what God does with this and thank you as always for being supportive of our family!
Big hugs,

James & Susan
Hm# 801-302-9200

Thursday, March 13, 2008

An Israelite

So, I'm not great at remembering scripture. Our bible study group has been challenged to meet God in the living room daily for the next two weeks. One day down, 13 more to go. That sounds bad. I actually enjoyed it this morning and I hope to turn it into a regular habit, especially during this time of waiting for us. So, all day, I've had worship music on, I've been nicer to my family, I felt filled up. I was doing good and reaping the rewards of being in the Word and in fellowship with my God. Or so I thought. I knew I should have walked past my computer. I knew I shouldn't have pulled up a web browser. I did it anyway. In two shakes of a lambs tail I had 6 African American infant boys pulled up on my screen that need homes-for $16,000 as soon as we committed. Anyone who knows us or has been reading this blog knows that we don't have it, thought we had half, IRS is taking it, and now what? So, what do I do? I go in and ask my husband how much credit is available on all our high interest (recently paid off, I might add) credit cards. I was no different than the Israelites asking Samuel for a new king and even when he told them to be patient and all the bad things a new king would do to them, they still begged for it and you know what? They got it, bad and all. Beth Moore says in her book David, "Samuel warned the Israelites about what they were getting into. Often when God does not give us what we want, it is because He knows what our desire would cost us. Faith sometimes means forgoing our desires because we trust Christ to have a better plan for our lives". So, as I spent the last hour browsing the web for any fundraiser, grant, or low interest adoption loan program-something in my mind said you're an Israelite. In this moment I'm not being patient, I want one of those 6 babies that are posted, I want, I want, I want. Be careful what you push for. Satan knew how to get to me today, I've been waiting all day, and even survived a surprisingly pleasant trip to Ikea. He got me, right between the eyes, and slyly at that, but now it's out and I'm more aware, and we wait. Please pray that I can continue to not push, but to be willing to walk the wait. His choosing is not mine, I want to walk in faith, I want to know and truly trust, with all my being, that He has the only plan. I'm crying now, it hurts. And we wait. ps-If I survive this, I want every single person to know that it was all Him! I am so weak and not capable-still crying and waiting....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Information Niblets

No news is good news is not a cliche for the process of adoption. I sometimes wonder if we're on a desert island and any information is like gold, like finding a Wilson soccer ball to dress up like a person and talk to. So much so that I've gotten 2 emails from the social worker and practically danced an Irish jig from seeing her name come up in my inbox. The diametric differences between pregnancy and this is the unknowns. When you're pregnant, you know you've been officially approved (whether you like it or not) to have this baby. Adoption takes 15 third party opinions to get a halfway ok that you might be, possibly, may be a candidate for a birth mom. That in itself is exhausting. We aren't even to the point where we're in front of birth mom's yet. Well, that's not entirely true. Our home study is complete except for the background checks and our social worker wants to know if we want to be presented to any mom's working with their agency. If we had the $20k today, we'd have a baby by the end of this month. We don't and that's no mistake. So, my answer to her was no, that we are waiting to apply to the program in Michigan. I thought that answer was going to be harder to give than it was. I can feel myself growing, listening, committing. I thought that I would want to go to every bank in the Salt Lake Valley to rack up as many loans as possible to get the immediate gratification I thought I wanted. I didn't do that and I slept better because of it. Not to say if a case comes along her way with a payment plan and a birthmom that asks for a short chubby redhead for a mom to her baby boy and I'm the only that can meet those requirements, so they'll give me a 50% discount and oh, the husband has to be at least six feet tall, an ex-mormon, and computer savy, genius like in his computer abilities. I know that we're a shoe in. That's also not happening. So, we wait and we hold on to these niblets of information and we do the work, like finishing the books titled I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla and Black Baby White Hands a view from the crib and try to find the balance between excitement and not getting our hopes up. May the background check processing company have an explosion of growth in their employee division so much so that they process checks in half the time! That would be great!!! Reality check, back to earth and we wait.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Brother from another Mother

I know what the title implies. I get the connotations behind the stereotyping on both sides of the line, but yet I don't get it. I would like to open up a discussion on views of transracial adoptions. The book I am currently reading interviews transracial adoptees and asks them their experience and I gotta be honest, some of them are not great and makes me want to buy a fro and wear it around the house after this little boy joins us. The thing is, I see him as a little boy. Yeah, he's gonna be brown. Yeah, he's gonna have awesome hair. But bigger than that, I've already begun to love him and I don't know how that is possible or why, but I do hate to think that our choosing him could be his biggest downfall. This could be a seed of doubt being planted or it could be an eye opener and has lead to an honest conversation between James and I as to where our entire family would best flourish and I do think it may be important to look at a more multicultural area down the road, but especially in the pre-teen years (which is when most of the cases interviewed experienced most of their doubts about their own self-identity). I can say this though, I know for a fact that not one person in our immediate family will love this child less because he has a different color of skin. So, our brother from another mother, as we have politely been calling him, is being prepared for in our hearts and minds and we wait....

The Wait

Ok-So, it's been seventeen and a half days since they came to do the home study and I gotta say I've been busy enough to avoid the reality of the wait, but when I'm having a night alone like tonight, it's a little consuming. The cool thing is they cashed our check, so I know it's moving forward. I can't move forward with the agency in Michigan until the home study's done, but when I asked them if they could think of ANYTHING I could do to help prepare they told me of a required reading that we had to sign off on completing. So, God Bless Amazon, I ordered their required and 2 more on the issue of transracial adoption. I'm a little overwhelmed, shocked, and bored by the material, but glad to feel like I'm doing something. We have decided to pursue the Michigan infant adoption program as of now, I'll let you know if that changes. Since we've decided that, everything I see and hear revolves around the mitten state and I can't be in any kind of conversation that doesn't have some kind of connection to it. It's like when you buy a new car and you notice how many other people have the same kind of car as you and you then have the realization you probably aren't as original as you thought. It's weird like that, but in reading the books, it's obvious we are pursuing something that is very much original and very much our own God breathed path. We do have a prayer request that we just found out concerning our finances. Apparently, the IRS would like to adopt a child as well, so they'll be taking our savings that we thought we had available. I wish they'd adopt someone that would revise the tax structure, but I have to be honest, after I was done having a miniature pity party, I felt a calm. God already knew the money was for that and yet I still felt we needed to step out in faith to start the process and if all I needed to do was walk the line of stepping out to learn whatever lessons were there for me, then that's what I did and that's enough. So, we're waiting and we're still moving forward and we so appreciate those of you who have partnered with us in prayer and conversation. As an end note, I made an odd comment in Bible Study this week that's been haunting me ever since. I said, "Who knows, our baby's momma could be having sex right now, in this very moment". That's an odd way to look at this process, but in effect it's the truth and I am so hoping that God is preparing her heart for this journey as I feel like He is preparing mine. So, with that, good night, and March is such a long month, but I am hoping we know more by the end:)

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