Archive for April 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I Don't Know What I'm Doing


I just turned 34. We had a great family day together on my birthday. Josh surprised me by taking the day off, we went out for an awesome breakfast, and we drove into the city for a day at the zoo. The kids presented me with special homemade gifts they'd been working on for days, and I finally got to watch the season finale of "Parenthood." I thought about how incredibly kind God has been to give me this family of mine and I wondered how in the world I suddenly turned 34 when I still feel like a kid. That's the happy stuff of the day.

But you know what else went on during my birthday? I thought about how half the time, I don't know what I'm doing.  I don't. You know...as a wife, as a mom, as a friend.  (Can you have a midlife crisis at age 34? If so, I may have had a mini-one in my brain on my birthday.) Half the time I really just feel like I am falling flat on my face. I don't mean as in "woe is me, I am such a failure" but as in, "I want to do this well but I'm pretty sure I'm not" kind of thing.

34 years and I often wake up feeling a bit disoriented. Four little lives depend on me each day for food and hugs and education; I want to love them better than I am. What about my marriage? What would that zealous 20-something me say if she saw me as the wife I am now? I want to help and encourage and support my husband but I still get cranky and critical and difficult to live with some days. And what about my friendships? I want to love whole-heartedly and build relationships the way Jesus would want me to. But how do I do that while still faithfully pouring out my time and heart to be a devoted wife and mama? I don't know. A lot of the time I really just feel like I don't know what I'm doing. It can feel disorienting and frustrating because I want to walk around feeling like, "It's good. I've got this," while I'm really feeling like, "What in the world am I doing? How do I do this better?"

But maybe I feel like I don't know what I'm doing because I don't. And maybe no one does? There's a lot I don't know. I don't know how to be a perfect wife. I don't know how to be a perfect mom. I don't know how to be a perfect friend. I don't know what I'm doing half the time. But I do know the One who always knows exactly what He's doing. He is perfect and He is enough.

God knows exactly what He's doing with me. He knows exactly what He's doing through my feeble attempts to love my husband well. He knows exactly what He's doing through my messy day-to-day flawed mama-ing of four precious people I get to call my kids. He knows what He's doing in my less than stellar moments as a busy friend. He knows what He's doing through me. He's got it all together. He knows that I don't. And He loves me even in my sinful, messed-upness.

So I've decided that's what I'm going to fight to preach to myself this year-that He knows what He's doing even though I don't. I want to be at rest in His sufficiency.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Adoption Story: Grant and Natalie



Honestly, I think these pictures alone communicate loudly and clearly about the beauty that God has woven into Grant and Natalie's lives through adoption! But it's also too good of a story not to share some details, so here you go! (Photos courtesy of Lindsay Williams Photography):

Grant and Natalie were homestudy ready and had been praying for direction in their adoption journey back in November. As they prayed, they heard about CAC from other clients of mine and felt like CAC was God's answer to their prayers for guidance.

One of the aspects of adoption that we discussed right away was the area of openness. As they asked questions, I shared with them about how my own thinking had drastically changed in this area over the years. Though they had hesitations, they committed to pray about it and I prayed for them as well.

A couple weeks later during Thanksgiving weekend I sent them a potential adoption situation from an agency; a courageous woman was making an adoption plan for her son who was due in the spring. This expectant mama desired ongoing contact with whatever adoptive family she chose. Grant and Natalie prayed some more, opening their hearts to however God would lead them. They felt drawn to the situation and knew God was directing them to present. The only problem was that my entire family had the stomach flu and their profile wasn't quite ready since they had just signed on with CAC. But God had a plan that could not be stopped by the flu or anything else! I worked late at night amidst nasty germs and quickly rushed their profile just in time for them to present. A couple days later Natalie called me with the incredible news; they had been chosen to be this baby's adoptive parents!

For the next four months I watched in awe as Grant and Natalie poured out their hearts to love this expectant mama. They knew that there are no guarantees before a baby is born and papers are officially signed, but they chose to hold nothing back. At one point the expectant mama texted Natalie asking, "Are you still going to pray for me this much after the baby is born?" Natalie assured her that they were absolutely committed to praying for her and loving her for the rest of their lives; they considered her a part of their family.

And then the day finally arrived! The child that they had spent years waiting for, hoping for, and praying for was suddenly in their arms. His life is a story of love and I know that Grant and Natalie will continue telling him for the rest of his days about the God who wrote each beautiful page.

You can read more about Natalie on her blog, Raising Arrows. I am looking forward to watching God use Natalie's beautiful heart for adoption as she works with me! Natalie recently began working for Christian Adoption Consultants as an Adoption Advocate. She will be spreading the word about adoption and about the benefits of working with an adoption consultant.

Contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com for an info packet today! I would be honored to help you during your adoption journey.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Adoptive Parents Talk About Finances (Part 2)


Yesterday I shared some thoughts from adoptive parents, answering the question, "What would you say to someone considering adoption but is concerned about the financial aspect?" Here are some more answers they shared:

"We were in the same position and gave God our 'yes' anyway. He provided every penny. We were blown away when we added up how many pennies it really was! He is bigger than our limitations and has resources beyond our own. It is a faith journey of the most amazing and rewarding kind." ~ Sylvia

"Yes, we didn't have the money either...but it was our heart's desire and we felt like God was saying, 'trust me!' We learned so much and He provided in huge ways!" ~ Shauna

"I'd say go for it. It's just money. While we incurred a lot of debt with our most recent adoption, since, I've landed freelance work that covers 1/4 (and maybe more) of the cost. God always provides. He's faithful." ~ Chris

"We've been there and we didn't have the money either but I was and am amazed at how God made things became available. It seems like so much money and it is. However, if you think about it, (not that I'm comparing but giving perspective) the process is the approximate price of a vehicle. This is God's child for your family. There is no price on the joy that will bring to your family and to God!" ~Amber

"I totally believe that God provides. There are many practical ways that God helps us through fund raising, matching funds and the like!" ~ Jami


"Satan likes us to be discouraged. He does not want these children in homes that will proclaim the name of Jesus. He wants to discourage people from the get go. It will take work, it is not easy.... But God has given us feet to climb these mountains. Plus -- because we are adopting so many have been blessed by being given the opportunity to give through our adventure .... many want to give, they want to help and they love being able to be a part of adoption by helping a family willing to adopt." ~ Kristi 


Contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information about domestic adoption! I would be honored to help you during your adoption journey.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Adoptive Parents Talk About Finances (Part 1)


The single most common hesitation I hear from people about pursuing adoption is the cost. (Because let's be real here-adoption is expensive!) I've written in the past about my own conviction that this issue has a lot more to do with our view of God and ourselves than it does with what's in our bank account. But I wanted you to hear from other adoptive parents as well. As good old LaVar used to say on Reading Rainbow, "But, you don't have to take MY word for it!"

I asked some CAC families, "What would you say to someone considering adoption who feels concerned about the financial aspect?" Here are some of their answers:

"You can't but God can. And when you answer the call to adopt He'll provide the way." ~ Stacey

"We only had the money to pay CAC and begin our home study (like 1/25th of the total cost), and I wasn't working and my husband was a young pastor (not making much money). We moved forward on those two things because we had faith that God was calling us to adopt. We had to really step out in faith and trust that He would provide and meet us at each necessary point...and we truly could not see or imagine what that could possibly look like. Within a month of our daughter's birth every cost had been paid for!! It still blows me away when I think about it." ~ Christy 

"He will make a way if it is His will." ~ Amber 

"What we have found is people are ready and waiting and wanting to help. They thank us for allowing them to help, which is so humbling. When it comes to the financial part of adoption, we have learned that when you step out in faith, 'He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think ....' (Ephesians 3:20-21)." ~ Libby

"I remember saying the same thing when we were thinking about adopting...and even laying in bed at night worried about the money after we had started the process. But we knew God had called us to adopt. So we jumped in with both feet...and not a dime in savings. And then a few weeks later I lost my job. But we continued. In the end God used our circumstances and our tiny bit of faith to show us His faithfulness and provided every dollar we needed. I have seen hundreds of couples adopt and am blown away by how The Lord always provides." ~ Angela

"I heard a quote once from an adoptive dad, 'God funds what He favors.' If you're truly meant to do this, every dime will be there. Looking back, I honestly don't how the money got there- but God. If you look at from human eyes, there's no way we could have had the exact amount to the penny that we needed when we got the call about our child. I wasn't exactly sure where the rest of it would come from but had this peace that God would provide and He did. It's kind of like if you wait to "afford" to have a biological child, you'll never be ready. This is the biggest leap of faith but you have to trust that God will provide." ~ Ashley

"It isn't about you, it is about God. Walk forward and He provides." ~ Kym


"Pray. Ask for direction. For some, it is a matter of ditching certain extravagances and trimming certain areas of the budget. It could also mean putting some projects on hold for a couple of years, and following God's leading. However, others already live frugally with little extra to spare; to them I would encourage fundraising and grants. In either case, if you are following God's guidance, He will help you make it happen!" ~ Andrea

Go to the next post to read the rest of the wonderful comments from CAC families about finances:
http://trustinggodathome.blogspot.com/2015/04/adoptive-parents-talk-about-finances_13.html

Contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information about how a consultant can help you in your adoption process. I would be honored to be your adoption consultant and help you along your adoption journey!













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Friday, April 10, 2015

Adoption Story: Floyd and Dorcas

This sweet baby girl has had a huge community of friends and family praying for her for years!

Years ago, God planted a dream in Floyd and Dorcas' hearts-the dream of becoming parents. They prayed and waited and prayed some more, believing that God had a good plan for them but the waiting continued far longer than they'd imagined. They held on to one another and they held on to hope, deciding to begin the adoption process.

In April of 2014 they got started with CAC. I began working on their profile while they began working on their homestudy. On June 19th they were homestudy approved and began applying to multiple agencies. Floyd and Dorcas went into the adoption process with their hands held wide open to whatever the Lord had for them. With each situation they said, "yes" to, I imagined the Lord smiling broadly, pleased with their desire to love and surrender their adoption process to Him. Again and again they put their hearts on the line. Again and again they were met with disappointment and more waiting.

There were many ups and downs along the way. Several times they came incredibly close to becoming parents, only to have their hearts deeply bruised with the reality of more waiting. At one point after an agonizing heartbreak, Dorcas emailed me saying, "Sometimes the God details can be seen most clearly after a certain chapter is over.  I guess we're still in the middle of this one. 'I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'  I'm claiming that as my word for today..."

Those beautiful plans became crystal clear on January 26, eight months from when they had applied to agencies. I called Floyd and Dorcas and excitedly shared the miracle: a beautiful little girl was in the hospital waiting for a mommy and daddy. Their "yes" from God had finally come! All they needed to do was go drive and go meet their baby! Years of waiting were worth it all as they looked into the eyes of the child they had been praying about for so long.


Contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com for an info packet today! I would be honored to be your adoption consultant and help you along your adoption journey.

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