Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some "Mitey" Inspiration

No, I didn't misspell Mitey.  It's just a play on words from the story of the widow with two mites in Luke 21:1-4.  This woman was a widow who gave everything she had, two copper coins that were called mites, and Jesus was very pleased with her for doing so.  I've read some stories recently that remind me of this generous widow.

I've read a book recently titled Mercy Rising by Amber Robinson, which I highly recommend.  It is a book on how you can bring justice and compassion to those in need right from your own home.  One of the stories she shared is titled "Mother Teresa's Story About Spiritual Provision".
Some time ago a man came to our door saying, "Mother, there is a family with eight children who have not eaten for a long time. You've got to do something."  So I took the rice and went.  When I arrived, I could see the hunger shining from their eyes.  I gave the rice to the mother, she took it, divided it in two, and went out.  When she returned , I asked her, "Where did you go?"
She said, pointing to her neighbor's home, "They are hungry also."
What an amazing heart that mother had that she would share food given to her family with others who were also starving.  I was very humbled by this story.  How often do I hoard what I have when I could be giving more to those in need.

I mentioned in a previous post that I read a book titled The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun.  I recently completed another book he wrote titled Living Water.  This book is filled with Brother Yun's teachings.  One story he shared really impacted me.  He discussed in Chapter 18 about how he really misses the services where they commission missionaries going to remote villages.  He describes how the Christians attending these services pass the offering bag around and place everything they own in that bag.  Then when the bag gets to those who have nothing to give, they literally get into the bag themselves as a signal to God that they are giving Him themselves.  What wholehearted giving these people have.  I want to be wholehearted in my giving to the Lord as well.

Not too long ago, a family from our adoption agency traveled to Ethiopia to visit their child and go to court.  While on that trip they met a taxi driver and they described some very special attributes about he and his family.  They do not have much and live in a very small 2 room pieced-together-house.  Let's just say it would never meet code here in America, but they have a roof over their heads.  They often go without food so their children can go to school.  You see they actually have to choose between school and food, unlike here in most parts of America.  As you can imagine, they do not have a lot of money, in fact they have very little.  The taxi driver's dream is for his children to have shoes.  That just shows you how material things are very hard to come by for this family.  One of the other adoptive families bought S and his family a pizza.  They had never had a pizza before.  And you know what S and his family did.  They shared that pizza with their neighbors.  They didn't share it with just one neighbor, but many neighbors.  This man who has little to nothing can give something he and his family have never had before to those around them who also probably never had it before either.  That just shows you what a giving, generous heart he and his family have.

What I have learned from these stories as well as some others I've seen show me that if people can give in their desperation and poverty, how much more so can I, who has plenty, give sacrificially.
"Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.?" 2 Corinthians 8:2

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why siblings?

There's a story behind why we decided to be placed on the siblings waiting list.  When we were struggling to get pregnant, before we started the adoption process, we had been asking for prayer from our small group.  We asked them to pray for us to get pregnant.  At some point one of the members of our small group informed me that she had been praying for us to have twins.  I thought that was interesting since I did not ask for prayer for twins.  Because of that I hesitantly marked siblings on our adoption application thinking maybe there was something behind those prayers.
After our application was sent in, I freaked out and I called the agency and said, I really did not mean to mark siblings, so we are really only applying for a boy or girl.  Shortly after that, one of Mike's coworkers told him that he had a dream we had twins.  We both were asking each other, "What does that mean?".  So, not too long after that, maybe a week or two, I felt this strong urge to call the agency back and say, nevermind, we do want to be approved for siblings.  At that point, we were already approved for siblings because the person I spoke to before did not uncheck the siblings box on the application.
The same day I made sure we had been approved for siblings, and just so you know, I did not discuss this with Mike before doing so, I shared with him what I had done when he got home from work.  He said, "that's very interesting because during my quiet time today, I told God, I will be OK if we adopt two children".
And, another little tidbit, we felt God lead us to two girls names.  Now, I don't know if that means we'll end up with twin girls or we'll even end up with twins period, but we certainly felt led to be open to siblings.
I am looking forward to the day we get our referral and we will be thrilled with one boy, with one girl or with two of either gender.  We are following God and this is His thing.  Whatever He has for us is wonderful.

By the way, our waitlist numbers for January are 86 for a girl, 65 for a boy and 33 for siblings.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Take Me All The Way

Christmas this year was amazing.  First off, I woke up to seeing many family members wearing this Tshirt that said "Take Me All The Way" w/ Africa on it, and Ethiopia was highlighted.  I knew something was up because I'd never seen that Tshirt before, and when you read lots of adoption blogs, you have seen all the t-shirts.  Of course, after that I kept hearing those words "Take me all the way" playing in my head since they are part of the lyrics to Matthew West's song, "Motions".  I'll give you a blog post about that song soon.  Then, after all the kids opened their gifts, it was time for the adults to open theirs.  Mike's younger brother and his wife each had us in the name drawing.  We got a letter that they had written and it was from the whole Kelley clan.  This is what I had Mike read since I knew I would not be able to get through the letter without blubbering my way through it.

Dear Mike, Heather, Noah and already loved niece/nephew(s),
  We made these shirts as a pledge; We WILL support you throughout this adoption process and beyond.  Just as God has placed this on your heart, He has placed you on ours.  We look forward to sharing in the joy and tears as your story unfolds this coming year.  We have no doubt that 2011 holds a bright hope for your future family, and we are pleased to play a small part in making it happen.  
We are so proud that you have chosen to care for the poor and needy in such a tangible way.  The verse in Psalm 72:12 comes to mind that says, "for he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help." God has chosen you to be his hands in taking care of an orphan, Praise the Lord!
Stay strong!  Joshua 1:9 "have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  

The letter was signed by everyone.  We felt so blessed and touched and let's just say it was incredible.  We also got  those cool T-shirts.  It was amazing.  It was a good thing Mike read the letter because I was balling my eyes out.  It feels so good to have your family supporting you when you are going through an adoption.  We haven't even gotten to the hard part of it yet, and knowing that our family has our back is huge.

Thank you so much A and J for putting this together and to all of the Kelleys for your support.  We love you all so much!