Love for Lydia

There are 147 million orphans in this world. And we are working with all of our might to reduce this enormous statistic by one child.

“Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – David Platt, Radical

Adoption has always been a part of plan A for B and me.

B’s family protected, raised, and welcomed approximately 20 foster siblings into their home during his childhood and teen years. I volunteered in an orphanage in Thailand when I was 14 years old.

We knew as children that we would adopt. The Lord is sovereign that way. He puts these desires in our hearts many, many, many years before we ever meet the man we will marry and before our doctor ever tells us to his amazement that BOTH of us are infertile. Not only infertile, but a 0% chance of having a child naturally.

We know that our God is passionate about the orphan and He wants us to join in His work of caring for and defending them. We believe that God is calling us to reflect something very close to His heart–welcoming orphans into His family and into ours. In Arkansas, a family of two is working very hard to adopt a little girl from Ch*na–a little girl we will name Lydia “Lyddie” Grace.

Throughout the past few months, we have felt the love and support of hundreds of people. Each time someone stops us at the grocery store to tell us they are praying or a student goes out of her way to say, “I cannot wait to meet your daughter” it reminds me that this story involves more than just three people. Thank you for being a part of Lydia’s story. Thank you for caring. Thank you for praying. Thank you for being a community. We feel so loved and supported.

Today, I was talking to my friend Eva about the adoption bills and how I was overwhelmed. Last week, we paid nearly $2,000 to our adoption agency and next week we need to pay $6,000 to our home study agency for our home study and post-adoption reports. Eva reminded me that God supports matters close to His heart and said, “M, people have communicated the desire to support this. Ask. People want to be a part of it.”

So B and I are humbly asking people to help bring Lydia home.

Each night when I pray for Lydia, I ask God to protect her, and to allow her to feel the prayers of all of us who are praying for her and loving her even though we’ve never met her.

So we are doing a fundraiser, “Love for Lydia.” For each family who donates $10 or more, we will write your name on a heart. We will then frame all of the hearts and hang it in Lydia’s nursery.

We know that not all people feel called to adopt. However, B and I would be so honored if you would join us in bringing Lyddie home.

Please pray for Lydia.

(Note: Donations are not tax deductible because we are not a 501c3. Your contributions will go into a separate account that we have set up just for Lydia.)

A Chinese Proverb

“An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.” – Ancient Chinese Proverb

This Chinese Proverb, initially intended for soul mates, is now referenced frequently in adoption. Today, we went to Chinatown and bought Chinese red thread bracelets to remind us of this.

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California Dreaming

We are so grateful for the opportunity to take this trip: cheap airline tickets, amazing Hotwire deals, and time off for Thanksgiving made it possible.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to take this trip knowing we have several large payments due soon for our adoption (soon as in next week). However, a friend of mine who counsels infertile couples recommended that we get away just the two of us. She was right. We needed time away. Fortunately, we were able to find absurdly amazing travel deals. Thank God for that.

The time away has been wonderful. Sitting by the ocean, talking about big life stuff, joking about little life stuff, laughing, and laughing more. We talked about all we’ve been through this year and how grateful we are for the community around us.

Below are some photos of our trip.

 

Happy Tears at the Airport and The Next Steps

On Sunday, I was traveling home from a research conference in Las Vegas.  As I was stepping off the plane at my home airport, I realized that this is the place my immediate family will meet our little one(s) for the first time.  In some ways, it will be our equivalent to the hospital nursery for our family!  As this thought entered my mind, I started to cry happy tears.

As some of you may know, this week was a big week for us in our adoption journey.  If you want to know more, I’d be happy to talk to you about it in person, I just don’t want it out in the blogosphere.  Last night, B and I were traveling to LA for a special time away together.  Since receiving the official confirmation that we are both infertile, our work schedules have been slammed.  A friend recommended that we go on a trip together to get away.  We chose sunny LA. On the first flight, I told B, “I am so glad we are going to LA this week.  We won’t hear any news from our agency until next week, so it will keep us preoccupied.  I feel at peace about the situation, but, I want to know.”  While waiting in line to board our second flight, I saw an email from our social worker at the agency.  Hmmmm…wonder what that could be?  We aren’t supposed to hear anything for one week.

Then, right there in the airport, we received the news we had been waiting for.  I started screaming and jumping up and down.  And then I started crying.  B, startled by my sudden reaction to looking at my iPhone, yelled, “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!”

“B, we are adopting from CH!NA!”  Upon hearing that we got the news we were expecting to get next week, we both started screaming and jumping up and down.  We wanted to call everyone, but were literally boarding a three hour flight.  I called my mom, gave her the good news, and said bye.

But once again, there in the airport, I started to cry really happy tears.  And so did B.

We are giddy excited.

When we were finally seated for the flight, I told B, “I feel as if I just found out that I am pregnant!”

B said, “It’s as if God is saying, ‘M and B, stand back.  I’ve got this! Watch and observe what I am going to do.'”

To some, it might seem strange that our faith is such a vocal part of our story.  It might even make some people uncomfortable.  But the fact of the matter is, I’ve never felt more at peace, and I believe that God is orchestrating all of this–not so that we have a fairytale (because life is never a fairytale), but to bring Him glory.

So what is next?

Once you start the adoption process, you begin to learn a new language: the language of adoption.

Currently, we are completing several hours of training and reading many adoption/parenting books required by our agency.  We have a lot of paperwork to begin completing.  In addition, we are in the process of finding a Hague accredited agency in our state to conduct our home study.

The home study takes three to four months to complete and involves meeting with a social worker several times.  They will inspect our home, talk to us at length about our family history, infertility and marriage, etc.

After the home study, we will begin working on some forms for the US government and then the dossier.  From what I understand from others, the dossier is a lot of paperwork.  Months of paperwork.  But, we are so excited.  We know this is all part of the process, and we respect that.

Lord willing, we will be parents in 12-15 months.  No adoption is predictable and nothing is really in our control, so this timeframe could be shorter or longer.

B and I will begin paying adoption fees next week.  Adoption–both domestic (yes, domestic) and international–are expensive.  When we did our research, we were surprised to learn how expensive domestic private adoption is as well.  Our adoption fees could range from $30,000 to $45,000 depending if we adopt one or two at the same time.  We’ve already started to cut way back on our personal expenses each month to begin saving.  We are going to hold a garage sale, sell jewelry and t-shirts, etc. online to help offset some of this expense.  We see this as another opportunity for the Lord to move.

B and I are adopting a child with special needs, so we are attempting to raise funds to offset the adoption fees, in the likely event that our child will need surgery or occupational therapy.

We are so grateful for the community around us.  Your love is felt, and your encouragement is appreciated.  More than anything, though, we covet your prayers.

Thanks for the love,

M

I’m Thankful

For my adult years, I worked hard to do things responsibly so that I was in the “perfect” condition to be a mom (paid off our enormous amount of student loans, got in shape, got a doctorate, had some adventures, etc.).  During the lonely nights in my office when I wanted to quit my doctorate, I would tell myself, “M, someday when you hold your babies, you can tell them how hard you worked to get to the day you could hold them. You can tell them how badly you wanted to be a mother, and waited to be one.”

And if you know how loving my husband is — a natural nurturer — you know I dreamed of the day I’d see him embracing a child of ours.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how appropriate my self-talk was given my upcoming infertility diagnosis, “M, someday when you hold your babies, you can tell them how hard you worked to get to the day you could hold them. You can tell them how badly you wanted to be a mother, and waited to be one.”

I am so grateful that the Lord gave me an infertility diagnosis.  I am so grateful that each week as I look through the waiting child list, God is breaking my heart for so many kids that need a family.  I am incredibly humbled that the Lord would choose us for an infertility diagnoses and lay the calling of adoption on our hearts at 13. He cares so much for orphans, and He is entrusting some to Our care.  Thank you, Lord for that calling.  I am thankful that so many of you are burdened to pray for our child and for us.  I am grateful for the difficulty of this journey, because the Lord is shaping me into a woman of substance.

Dear child of mine, 

I pray that you are safe.  I pray that you feel hundreds if not thousands of people praying for you.  I pray that you feel the love of your Creator.  I pray that your caretakers are loving, patient, tender, gentle, kind, trustworthy, compassionate, and give you hundreds of hugs every day. I pray that the Lord would shape B and me into the people God wants to raise you.  I pray for our journey to you, and long for the day we bring you home.  I pray that God would expedite that. I pray that God would comfort your heart.  I pray that you will attach to us, and that you would always know that we will never abandon you. I know that you are precious to our Father, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to care for you.  I cannot wait for you to meet your dad–he was made for this.

The Moores have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  We are thankful for this season of waiting.  The Lord is faithful in the seasons of plenty and those of want.

For those of you who are prayer warriors, please pray for us and our adoption this week.  It is a big week.

Next steps

We sent our paperwork to our adoption agency on Tuesday.  By Wednesday or Thursday, we heard from the agency that “everything looked good.”  They told us they’d be sending us important information in the next few days.

I prayeeeeeeeeed that we’d get it by Friday so that I’d have time to read it on Saturday.

We got the documents on Friday.  YEAH!

Last night, I read the 102-page Ch*na Adoption Manual.  B and I weren’t surprised by much of what the manual contained.  It gave an overview of our next step–the home study.  Adoption is a long process, and there is a lot to get done.

But, it is more than just paper work.  It is praying for all of these kids–kids that need a home.

Lately, we’ve been so burdened to pray for all of the orphans on the waiting child list.  Each day, as we look at their faces, we pray for God to match them with a family that will love them forever.

Today, my devotional from Jesus Calling was particularly powerful–

Do not let any set of circumstances intimidate you. The more challenging your day, the more of My Power I place at your disposal. You seem to think that I empower you equally each day, but this is not so. Your tendency upon awakening is to assess the difficulties ahead of you, measuring them against your average strength. This is an exercise in unreality.

I know what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly. The degree to which I strengthen you on a given day is based mainly on two variables: the difficulty of your circumstances, and your willingness to depend on Me for help. Try to view challenging days as opportunities to receive more of My Power than usual. Look to Me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do. As your day, so shall your strength be.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.
—Ephesians 1:18–20

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
—Psalm 105:4

Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; As your days, so shall your strength be.
—Deuteronomy 33:25 nkjv

Round One

Today was a big day.

We worked all weekend on adoption paperwork. The amount of paperwork required to adopt might rival a dissertation. People are often stunned to learn from us the things that adoptive couples are required to share, answer, and provide in order to adopt. Although I am glad that there are strict guidelines in place, it is a lot.

The best question on the application asked “Prospective father’s hair color.” I asked B, “How do I answer that? N/A?”

But today, we got our forms notarized, proofread our essays, and mailed off our application. And we were excited.

Doesn’t he look happy? (B at Post Office with application)

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While we were in line, I noticed that the Post Office was selling a Chinese New Year — Year of the Dragon postage set. I mean, what?! So we had to buy it. What are the chances of that? I love it and it felt like a confirmation.

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Me, future mom, with the paperwork.  Can you tell we both feel like we are taking steps in the right direction?20121106-190457.jpg

Today was a good day for us and for our future kiddos.

Please continue to pray for us and for them. Thanks for being part of our story.  We feel like we made a step closer to meeting our children.

Thank you all so much for your love.

Thank you

This morning, I woke up, and the first thought that popped into my mind is that I am so thankful that God chose us to experience all of this heartache and growth.

For the past 11 days, or since my “trauma” post, I have had dreams almost every night.  Most women I know indicate that the first sign they have when they are pregnant consists of dreams, lots of vivid dreams.  Well lately, I have been dreaming vivid dreams of our children.  Perhaps, I am expecting?  No, no, there is a 0% chance that we will ever achieve an actual pregnancy ourselves, but, I sense that the child(ren) meant for our care is/are out there or perhaps in the womb.

And, I’ve even found myself nesting.  I know, you probably think I am crazy.  But, if you know me, you know my urge to clean and organize my house must be Divine intervention.

Well, throughout the past two weeks, we gave ourselves a break from all of the research, paperwork, and adoption talk.  We intended to continue this break until the end of November, but, on Halloween, both of us looked at each other and said, “It’s time.”

During the past two weeks, it seems our grief has turned into a different place–Acceptance.  While journeying to Indiana and back on a recent business trip, it seemed that every person I sat next to was pregnant and gushing about it.  And it did not hurt.  I wasn’t sad for us.  And when one person sitting next to me asked, “Do you have kids?” and then, “Well, why not?”  It did not hurt like before.  The burden on our hearts has morphed into a burden for orphans and a deep appreciation for those who are called to provide care for them–whether as caregivers, foster parents, adoption agencies, social workers, and adoptive parents.

B and I both feel as though our children are in Ch!na.  Lately, I cannot stop dreaming of Ch!na.

So today, we will interview one more agency.  And then we will begin the 6-9 month process of paperwork to see if Ch!na will accept our application to adopt.  If everything goes according to recent time estimates, we could have a child/children in our arms in 12-15 months (but in international adoption, very few things move quickly…so this is just an estimate).

Please continue to pray for us and our kids.

Lord, thank you for this journey–this hard journey.