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Sunday, May 9, 2010

.My Secret.

We spilled the beans to our church family today, and I {finally} got permission from Jim to spill the beans here! And I am so excited!

Soon our family will no longer look like this!


Because we are expecting a baby

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from Ethiopia!!

God has been orchestrating this journey in a very real and exciting way. I never imagined this journey for our family. I thought adoption was a plan B for families who could not have children. Boy was I wrong, and boy has God changed my heart. One of the ways was using this verse:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

Pretty hard words to argue with. And while I understand that God has not called us ALL to adopt, although He most certainly has called US to this ministry, He does require ALL of us to have a part. Shamefully, I never have. Caring for orphans will not stop with this adoption for us either. Our eyes have been opened, and we will do what we can for other families seeking to adopt in the future. Because God commands us to.

We are so excited about this journey, and we have been so excited sharing this with family and friends. We have gotten some incredible reactions that have encouraged us and carried us through times of discouragement. We have also gotten some reactions from both family and friends that have hurt us. But my mom gave me some wise wisdom the other day. She told me that God was calling us to this ministry, and it might take awhile for others to catch up. She is right, and I am praying for all that we love to truly see God's hand in this. I am learning that adoption - our adoption - is so much bigger than us. God is going to weave so many people into our journey to Ethiopia to rescue our child.

So how did this start?

It all started with a blog that I follow of the sister of a friend of ours from PA. The title to her post in early January was "We are expecting!". I got so excited when I saw the title, and quickly clicked into her blog to read. I soon learned that this family was expecting their fourth baby by way of adoption in Ethiopia, as I read her post I felt a stirring in my heart, and my heart actually raced. Some of her words still are embedded in my heart like these:


Christians, of all people, ought not let a recession keep us from taking risks for God. We need to show the world that our paths are not dictated by money. She was quoting a sermon by John Piper.


We discussed the many thousands of dollars it costs to adopt and then we joked, 'Or, we could forget it all and just get a Mustang.' That has become almost a code word for us now. The distinct contrast between pursuing the 'American dream' or risking it all for the glory of God.


I remembering reading and rereading those words. Risking it all for the glory of God. At the time we were in the middle of what I felt like was a HUGE risk. Jim had resigned at camp, and we had no promise of a ministry ahead. Our hearts were very soft during this time, as we waited for His leading. I felt we had risked all we could risk, and actually felt almost proud of us, ashamedly. But something kept nagging me. Jim was home as I read this post, so I called him into the kitchen, and I read the post out loud to him.

Half way down we happened on this video that Joanna was sharing.




We both watched it. Silently. We both were shaking with sobs. I knew that God was convicting me. I remember asking Jim "Have you ever considered adoption?" He said "no". I had not either. The thought never crossed my mind before. Why would it? We had two beautiful children, and if we wanted more, we could easily have more of our own - without spending thousands of dollars. We talked about how possibly God had this in His plans for our future - very distant future I remember thinking. After all, here we were with no job, no ministry, no promise of income, trying to live off of Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover", trying to pay down debt, committed to never accruing debt again. Adoption didn't fit into this. It didn't fit at all.


We didn't talk of it again that day. A few days later, I came across another blog talking about adoption, and then two more. I remember briefly bringing it up to Jim again. And then I just tried to shove it out of my mind. Soon after we started talking about adding to our family. We had planned on trying to conceive this past fall, and then this past winter, but we kept pushing it off. I finally admitted to Jim that I just did not have a peace about getting pregnant. He admitted to the same. I talked of my desire to have another baby, though. But we concluded it was more of a selfish desire, and it wasn't a child I wanted but rather one more experience with a newborn. We also came to the conclusion that perhaps God just wanted us to pour our everything into the two children we had been given.


I thought that was it. That was our decision. I prayed about it, but I could not get a peace. Something was missing from our family - somebody was missing. I never intended to stop at two children, but I knew almost certainly God was not leading us to another pregnancy. I begged God to show us His desire for our family. I really thought it was His desire to add to our family, but still I had no peace about becoming pregnant again. Then God brought to mind adoption and Ethiopia, and I was consumed with thoughts and prayers. I didn't know how it would fit in. I couldn't share my desires with anyone for fear of appearing crazy. How does adopting fit into Dave Ramsey's plan? Then it hit me. It doesn't. It fits into God's plan. God had just taken us through a huge trial financially. He showed us how He would and could provide for our financial needs during a very trying month in February when Jim received no paychecks. That was fresh in my mind. It was definitely not too much for God to provide the thousands of dollars for us to adopt. Yes, it was a risk. It was a risk that I was certain would and will look absolutely foolish to other people. But I knew and still know in my heart that it would be more of a risk NOT to take that risk. To disobey what God is asking us would be a risk I was not willing to take. I wasn't sure how Jim felt about all of this, though. In the past I have been manipulative with certain things that I have wanted for our life, and I knew that could not be the case this time. So I prayed, begging God to convict Jim, as I truly felt this was God's desire for us.


Jim brought home the movie The Blindside for us to watch. If you are not familiar with it, it is a movie about a white family adopting a black boy. I could hardly watch the movie, because I was so convicted. At the end of the movie I felt prompted to mention adoption to Jim again. He was quiet about it, but that night as he prayed before falling asleep he mentioned adoption. And from that moment on one step led to another, and Jim quickly came to the exact same conclusion - God is calling us to do this, to do this now. God is calling us to adopt from Ethiopia. Why? It is the country with the greatest need. I have questioned why we couldn't wait a few years and try to save up money in the mean time. But I think that it has to be now because our hearts are so freshly sensitive to His provision having just walked through it. In a few years, we may forget, we may not trust Him like we are willing to right now. Plus maybe God just wants to use our story for His glory. Actually I am certain of that.


We know this is what God wants. God has confirmed over and over that we are to step out in faith and that He will provide. We understand that people have concerns. We understand that this looks crazy. Sometimes living for God does look crazy, doesn't it?? However, we know that when we are called by God to do something we cannot ignore it. To do so would be wrong, and a far greater risk than taking this risk of adopting. We ask that, although you may have questions, you may not completely agree -- that you respect our decision. This will be a long process. A process in which we will need your love and support and encouragement. By adopting this child, we are furthering the kingdom of God (Lord willing!). How amazing is that? God has not called us to be missionaries in Ethiopia, but he has called us to bring Ethiopia into our home. He has already put a passion, a burden and a love in our hearts for the people of Ethiopia. The verse at the end of the video that you watched is the verse God used to really convict us of His desires for our family.

..once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.......... Prov. 24:12

We are excited to see what the future holds. We are praising God as He is busy knitting a baby, not in my womb this time, but just as carefully into my heart.


How can you help?

Pray! We have several financial hurdles to cross right away. I am going to be very honest here, because I want to share how and when God is going to supply our needs - because He is going to! Our first payment is due as soon as we can get it in - almost $1500. We are a few hundred dollars short, but we are resting in the knowledge that God will provide. And as soon as He does I will share - so please pray!


We will have some fund raising opportunities available here on my blog shortly - involving coffee (from Ethiopia!) and t-shirts. As soon as they are up and running, I will let you know. We will also have a way for people to donate money if they feel led. This has been hard for me to think about. I do not like to ask for help, but God keeps showing me that His ways are higher, and like I said earlier this adoption is way bigger than just our family. God may want to use others to bless and care for our child, and we cannot stand in the way. Also - if it were Cadi or Scotty in Ethiopia, I would move heaven and earth to get them home. So why would this be different? It's not! Thank you dear friends for your prayers.


I am sure there are a lot of questions, and I would love to answer them in another post. Feel free to ask.

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29 comments:

Kaira said...

What a fabulous blessing. Happiest of Mothers Days to you!

Joy ~ Doodlebug ~ said...

Oh, Tiffany, I'm so overwhelmingly happy for you and for the very special little one that God has ordained to be part of your family! Everything you wrote sounds just like us....we had all the reasons to say no, and like you, I didn't want to be manipulative with my husband and so I prayed, and look what God has done! And you know we're not far away from travel, and we still don't have all the money there, but I know God is going to provide because that's what He does! Congratulations! You already know it, but your life will never be the same now! Congratulations on making this decision and God bless you for it!

And oh all the Gotcha videos just touch my heart so!

Hugs and Blessings,
Tammy

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Tiffany,

That was me... Tammy..Country Girl at Home, that left the above message! I was on Joy's computer and I guess she was signed on and I didn't notice it!

I'm still smiling thinking of your sweet family adopting! :)

Hugs,
Tammy

Jen said...

so excited for your family! We have many friends in our church who adopted, and it's a wonderful blessing! I'll be praying for you!

Jen

Candace said...

SO excited for you guys!! That is VERY exciting news! Can't wait to see all that God does in your hearts and in your family!

Melissa said...

Congratulations! Psalms 139... God knows your baby, even before they were conceived and before you even thought of them... even the babies that aren't conceived in your own body! I can't wait to follow your story Tiffany! I'll be praying for you and you bring home your next child!

Mandolin said...

so...very...cool. :)

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

I am so glad I stopped by your blog today! This video was AMAZING and made me cry! I pulled the kids over to watch...I'm not ready to share our details yet on my blog - but we are on the same journey.

Thank you for sharing your story! May God bless your journey!
Much Love,
Courtney
http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com

Bethany said...

I am overjoyed with this post!!! You know that everytime I think about it I get a huge grin on my face! I can't wait to meet your baby! I can't wait for this coffee and t-shirt opportunity either! Sign me up! :-) I am going to help you guys in anyway possible! I will be praying for you guys as you continue this journey!! I can't wait to see you!

I am blessed! said...

Congrats to you and your family! We adopted our 4th child then had a fifth and now I'm expecting our 6th. We plan on adopting again in the next few years. It's an incredible blessing and really strengthened our faith as we walked through the journey. I've blogged quite a bit about adoption, especially relating to how the Christian should view adoption. I would love to adopt from Ethiopia and look forward to following you.

Kylee said...

Tiffany,
When I read those first words my jaw dropped. I am so excited for you! As you probably know, I have two little adopted brothers, they are 8 and 9 and such a blessing to me. I am so excited for you to walk through this adoption journey-I can promise God will teach you incredible things. Also, it will be so sweet for your kids as they get to see you obeying God's call. I have gained so much respect for my parents these past few years and I have seen them be so selfless as they have lived out James 1:27.

It always saddens me that so many Christians do nothing to look after the Orphans and Widows. God calls it Pure religion! I am so excited for you and Jim and so grateful that a precious little Ethiopian baby will have a loving, christian home with an older brother and sisters that will think the world of him/her.

Also, I haven't announced it on my blog yet, but our family is growing by two more. Four adopted kids, and people really don't understand. But my parents are showing me that's the price to pay when you are crazy about Him. I plan to announce our big news on our blog within the next week and ask you to rejoice with us!

These kids are eternal, and the American dream is not. God put us on earth to glorify Him and he calls many people to do that through adoption. Congratulations. This is the most exciting news I've heard all day and I'm smiling so big right now! You're in for an incredible journey and I am so excited to rejoice with you and lather you in prayer!

~Kylee

Meg said...

Thanks so much for your post! My husband and I both feel the call to adopt, but are not yet sure of God's timing. Please continue to share your struggles and joys as you continue on this journey so that we might learn from you. I'd love to know what organization you are going through and what the process is like!

Barbie said...

How exciting! I will be praying for you!

The Gosfam said...

What a blessing for you and your family, and for the little one you will eventually adopt. Good Luck with everything, and I will be praying for you.

kathy said...

Oh Tiff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for this journey you are on. I will help in whatever way I can. Love you all, ~AK~

Candace said...

Ok...I do have a question. :) Are you guys trying to do this debt free? I have mixed feelings about this. My husband is an accountant, very financially minded...we are working hard to become debt free. I have mentioned adoption a few times...and DH's biggest "thing" is that we are not debt free yet, and he would not want to take out loans to do this. I understand this...we try to pay for cars in cash, etc. However, on the other hand - what is more important -- saving a child's life or us taking out a loan? I just feel like you really can't compare the two...I feel like we should be doing whatever it takes to provide homes for orphans. Whatever it takes...including an extra bill that we have to pay on for the next few years?? What are yours and Jim's feelings on this?? (by the way, watched the video and cried, too!! AWESOME!!)

Candace said...

ok, me again...I just wanted to clarify that I know you would never advise me to go against my husband...and I will always follow his lead. But, we are just having "discussions" right now...that is why I ask for your thoughts...we aren't anywhere near a decision and I just love to hear the opinions of others who are seeking God on this same path...of course always praying for God to bring us together in unity and guide us personally.

Heather said...

Tiffany,
I am so excited for you, your husband and children. This is just wonderful that you are doing this and trusting in God.
I will keep you all in my prayers and that the Lord will keep your little one safe in Ethiopia until he or she is safe in your arms. I'll also be praying for the financial aspect and I will be looking forward to those fundraisers (especially the coffee one ;) ).
Praying for you,
Heather

liz said...

Congratulations! That's so amazing! You guys are simply fabulous for doing this!

Shari said...

I was so happy to see your news here. Suzanne had mentioned to me that you were considering adoption. I have to say I am so sorry to hear you have had some negative comments toward your decision. I know how you feel and know how much it breaks your heart to hear that after you have made the decision to follow God in this way. When I brought up the idea of adopting Jeffrey I had quite a few negative comments from the last people I expected to give them! We'll be praying for you guys in this journey.

Annie said...

That's such exciting news! I'll be praying for you!

Inspired Blueprints said...

That is WONDERFUL news! Do you follow mycrazyadoption.org? She has tshirts available for fundraisers that you can get. I have the Africa one - it is so cute! :)

mymeanderings said...

You know I am already rejoicing with you!

Lots of love,

JO

Carrie said...

Oh, Tiffany, congratulations!!! I am so proud of you guys for taking this step, even when it's financially scary! That's so neat that you've been praying about adoption, and obviously, God provides for the ministries He wants you to have, so I know you'll have the money when you need it! SO excited for you! Hubby and I have discussed having one more baby, and then adopting through the foster system, because I have a real burden for foster care. So I loved reading about your journey to adoption! Thanks for sharing - can't wait to follow you on your journey!!! :)

mosey said...

I am VERY excited for you and excited to watch your journey to bring your little one home... I am going to post a link on my blog so that those I know who are also passionate about adoption can hold your family up in prayer as you raise funds, wait and trust the Lord.

There are so many awesome ways that the Lord is going to show Himself to you through your newest baby and your journey to meet him/her.

Congratulations!!!

Andy and Kiara said...

Praise God! I love running across other families who are following God, even when it doesn't make sense by wordly standards. I will pray. And, Lord-willing, we will also be able to donate. We just posted about this issue -- supporting other adoptive families -- on our blog. God opens doors and gives such direction, doesn't He?! :)

K_I_T_ said...

Hi, I came across your blog thru Mckmama. We are too adopting from Ethiopia and are just waiting for our call to go pick up our daughter Nevaeh Chaltu!!! I have a blog as well, not near as detailed as yours!, but check it out if you want!
So happy for you guys.

A Loved Wife said...

I just came across your blog from the Raising Homemakers site and I got completely excited when I noticed that you were adopting from Ethiopia!

You see, I am going to Ethiopia in just 16 days on a 21 day long missions trip. For the past few months I have looked at pictures from those have gone to Ethiopia before me and I have completely fallen in love with the people! I'm so excited for you that you are going on this journey to adopt an Ethiopian baby! I will be praying for you and your family as you go on this journey!

God bless!
Becky

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