adoption: the desires of our hearts

Okey and I pride ourselves on making things from scratch. Cookies, cakes, pies, breads, pizzas, pretzels, bagels, ice cream. Wine and beer. Computers. The list goes on. However, there is one thing that try as we may we cannot seem to make ourselves … a baby.

It’s due a combination of things, and I won’t really go into it here, but we are what the medical world calls “infertile.” At first, I dismissed the doctors claims. Partly because we didn’t go seeking this diagnosis; it was given to us on a simple checkup. Tests later confirmed the difficulties we would encounter in producing our own biological children.

It took another full year for Okey and me to realize the truth of our situation.

It’s strange realizing the loss of something we never had and especially something we might never have. We always thought that we would have a blond girl with Okey’s curls. Perhaps she would be named after him (as I was named after my own father). And perhaps she would have a brother also with golden hair.

But we realized that we can still have children. We can adopt.

We are excited about what the future holds, and the blessings that God will give us. Maybe our little girl will have black curls. (Or straight hair like me.) Maybe we will have a boy that will have beautiful brown eyes (another thing we two blue-eyed people could never make). Only God knows!

We are currently going through the mountain of paperwork, and it will likely be another two months before we are approved and put on the waiting list.

We eagerly welcome your prayers for us and for the birth mother and father, whoever and wherever they may be, and for the baby that we will someday be a part of our family.

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question #2

Question: What does it mean to be a Christian?

I find myself asking this question when I see a car with an ichthus symbol cut off another driver or when a neighbor who goes to church every week responds to an unfortunate inconvenience by saying “I don’t care if she’s dying.” They seem to go through the motions of being a Christian but show nothing of it.

I have been told by an acquaintance that he considered himself to be Christian although he didn’t believe that Jesus was or could be Divine. He felt that he respected the “do unto others” and “love thy neighbor” preachings of Jesus and tried to follow that code. Another friend serves selflessly and with a generous heart, but doesn’t consider herself to be Christian. Here they exacted works but showed no faith.

This is a question that I have been journalling about for quite some time, 8 or nine years. It’s been a way for me to study and understand my faith as I observe others and myself. Very recently, as part of an application, I have been asked to define my Christian parameters and I thought I would share these along with my answers here.

What do you believe about Jesus Christ and what is your relationship with Him?

I believe that Jesus Christ is God. He existed before creation, and He took the form of man. He walked the earth healing the sick, ministering to masses, and teaching men to follow Him. He was crucified on the cross for the sins of mankind; this includes my sins. He was resurrected after three days, appearing to His followers, then ascended into Heaven. Through the teachings of Jesus’ apostles found in the Holy Bible I am blessed to learn more of the Messiah. My relationship with Jesus Christ consists of prayer, petitioning and meditation.

How is the work of the Holy Spirit active in your life?

The Holy Spirit is what led me to Christ. Like a conscience, the Holy Spirit convicts me and shows me my sin. The Holy Spirit moves me and encourages me to reach out to other people. I believe I have been gifted with hospitality and listening when there are needs.

How is your personal growth in faith and obedience to God nurtured and encouraged in your life?

I grew up in a Christian home where the scripture was read every evening after dinner. I describe my parents at times as my “spiritual” parents as they were the ones that led me to Christ. They have been a great example to me as they minister to disabled children and have always opened their home to visitors. Now that I live six hours from them, I have my husband and church family, in addition to the Holy Bible, to rely on for spiritual guidance.

Would you describe your involvement with your church or parish?

My husband and I have been attending our church for two years and became members as of January this year. Despite being “new” members, we have been active in the church for some time. We are involved with our Sunday School class, and I volunteer in the food pantry once a month. We are blessed to be in a church where the Holy Spirit is active and where the members truly desire to know God.

What are your plans for your child’s Christian development?

I will raise my child to know that the ways of the Lord are righteous My husband and I will pray with and for this child daily. We will have our child attend Sunday School. I hope that this child will come to know the Saviour at an early age, but I would wait wanting the child to accept Jesus with genuine faith and would not pressure him or her.

I feel like I could expand my answers, but I don’t think they are looking for scholarly responses citing references.

The Bible is the Christian’s basic informational resource before leaving earth, yet it’s not a manual with clearly defined rules and procedures. (And even then the things that are spelled out clearly are mostly ignored.) Can you be a heretic and a Christian? There are so many churches and beliefs, surely someone somewhere is going to call you a heretic. I just read in the news today that pastor and author Rob Bell has been declared a heretic by Justin Taylor and John Piper for his beliefs in universalism. (Universalism, simply put, is the belief that everyone will end up in heaven for there is no hell.)

Leaving that bag of worms open, and returning to my original question, I will end with John 14:6:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

timing

Over breakfast, Okey and I plotted our day. He so gallantly offered to clean up the house (and even vacuum the stairs!) while I would be busy in the kitchen. I had written the main meals on a post-it note earlier this week: Italian wedding soup and pizza. I had been playing with the following sides: fruit salad, veggie tray, spinach dip, cookies, butterscotch pie, lemon cake and frosting, rolls. He encouraged me to drop a few items. I chose to drop the pizza. He asked me to drop the cookies and a dessert. I refused. He asked me how long I thought it would take to prepare this meal for six guests. I said three hours.

My coworker J put in his two-weeks notice a couple of weeks ago. While it’s sad to see a good coworker and friend leave the company, at least it’s for better pastures closer to his home. I offered to throw him a farewell party, and it was a good opportunity for him to meet a fellow geek (Okey) and for some other coworkers to come down for a night off.

Well, it was a good thing that I started the prep work at noon. I knew I had to start the butterscotch pie as soon as possible allowing it ample time to cool. Likewise, I started the ice tea. Then I baked the cake, a simple box mix to which I added poppy seeds and made homemade lemon frosting. Then I thought I should prep the veggie tray, but then I found ingredients for the italian wedding soup and remembered that should be allowed time to cook in a crockpot. It was my first venture into soy sausage. Although none of my guests are vegetarian, it was easier to prepare meals this way than to get in and out of the local halal market. I mixed an egg with the “sausage” and then pan fried them as meatballs seasoning some onions and celery in there. I stopped paying attention to the recipe at that point, but having added dentali pasta, basil and spinach plus carrots, I feel that my soup was still spot on.

Then I started my spinach dip which consists of one block of frozen spinach (slightly thawed), one block of pepper jack, one block of cream cheese, approximately two tablespoons of butter, a good dose of worcestire (wooster!) sauce, a few drops of hot sauce, heavy cream and fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Mmm.

Um, so then I assembled the veggie tray. Then I made the fruit salad. Adding some canned pineapple to it is my new favourite thing. Then I started to heat up the rolls that I purchased at Wegman’s. (Purchasing the rolls was another Okey suggestion.)

So I finished at four thirty, well over the time I had planned for. It was all worth it. It was wonderful to spend the time with J and his girlfriend. It was nice to meet my other coworkers’ wives. We had a good time eating food and playing Cranium Pop Culture. I am thankful for a supportive husband who helps me plan things and see them through to fruition.

Our new “endeavor” is going to take time. Six months to two years. It could even take longer than I think it will. It will depend on our ability to complete paperwork in a timely manner. And then will come the waiting. It will be out of our hands. It will be exciting.

question #1

Question: Does being alone have to mean you are lonely?

Of course I find myself asking this rhetorical question sitting at home alone, looking ahead into the coming weeks and realizing how alone I will be. Yes, I find myself to be lonely.

I stumbled across a poem a few weeks ago by Tanya Davis. In “How to be Alone,” she gives good points on how to be alone. She was an encouragement to me on a recent trip when Okey had to go into the office and I was left in an unfamiliar place. I could have sat in the hotel room without purpose. I could have walked around for hours without purpose. Instead I found the courage to avoid my being alone principle and went to the beach and enjoyed myself there.

I’m at home now, in familiar surroundings, and I am struggling with the quietness again. My life is so full that I am overwhelmed when the silence rushes in at me. I should learn to embrace this time in my life though. I ought to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5v16). I need to remind myself that being lonely doesn’t have to be a bad thing.