Friday, April 17, 2015

The Treasure of Timothy~The Beginning (Part Four)

To read the beginning of the story, please click on the following links.
Post One
Post Two
Post Three

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That Monday I emailed the out of state agency that helped us adopt Jael.  I told them the flat out truth.  I shared with them God's leading.  I asked them to start keeping an eye out for a little one that fit the description that God had given to us.

We were starting from scratch, depending on the agency to tell us what to do.  They (the amazing agency that they are) supported us and started keeping an eye out.  They shared with us that we could also seek listings from other agencies.  Agencies, in their desire to see children placed in families, sometimes chose to release files to others.

We weren't just seeking adoption, but the adoption of our son.  We had no clue where we'd find him.

(When God says go, we go.)

Within a few days the file of a little boy was sent to us.  His needs severe.  The severity of his needs held no fear for us, but we also didn't see our son.  We prayed and our heart broke.  How do you say no to a child?  We knew from past experience, that some boys (we were encouraged to adopt) God had meant for another family.

After prayer, we said "No".

It's hard to type that.  The weight is heavy of denying a child.

We knew it could be months until we found Timothy. Three, six, twelve months? Who knew.  Who knew how long it would take.

God did.  He didn't say, "Go for your son." for no reason.

As we scanned Rainbow Kids, we kept coming back to one little boy.  I couldn't get him out of my mind.  My husband started praying.

It wasn't an instant "Yes", but a soft presence...and a message...a message, "He is yours."  Our Heavenly Father spoke words to both Thomas and I.  What a precious time it was, difficult as we waited, but precious.  It took about a week as we prayed diligently.

(The beautiful honor of seeking Him....God speaks.)

We knew several things needed to happen.
1.) We needed to see if the agency that had his file would transfer it, which would allow us to "lock him in" (this links our family and Timothy in the country he resides).
2.) We needed to go to our local home study agency.  We hadn't as of yet.  Knowing it could have been many months until we even found Timothy, we hesitated.  Also, in honesty, there was fear.  Fear was the master of lies' tactic this time.  Fear that we weren't good enough (and lies such as that).  Funny, God says we are, but still....the humanity rears it's ugly head.

As you know by now, the agency transferred Timothy's file to our agency and our home study is now in progress.

There are times this still seems unreal.  Our days are full of early waking, home school, field trips, lots of Bible, baths, showers,  cooking, cleaning, wedding planning, playing, therapy, doctor's visits, new legs, laundry, and about a million other things.  Adding another child fills my stomach with joy butterflies, but the process...not so much (smile).

So this is our journey.  Timothy's story...


Thank you for joining us on this wild and wonderful ride called adoption.

We appreciate all prayers.  Though I can't figure out how to reply to the comments you leave, knowing some of you have been praying for our family for years....knowing hundreds still read and care....

I can't fathom this.  I can't wrap my mind around this.

Friends, thank you...with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart I thank you for being part of this blog family.  I wish I could give each of you a hug.

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Adoption Prayer....
1. Please pray we bring glory to God through this journey.
2. Please continue to pray for protection over Timothy, our family, and anyone involved in this process (physical, emotional, and spiritual).
3. Please continue to pray that there are no hiccups. That paperwork and approvals fly quicker than imagined.
4. Please continue to pray for provision. We still have quite a ways to financially go.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Treasure of Timothy~The Beginning (Part Three)

If you haven't read Part One and Two, you may want to start there.

Part One
Part Two

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I broke into sobs, calling those who needed to know NOW.  Our healthy daughter (the grounded in reality one) was in an unknown state in an ambulance.

"Was she breathing? Did she have another seizure?"
All these things were running through my mind that day.

I called my friend Amber. She didn't know what had happened and asked me if she could call back before I spoke.  I yelled, "NO!"  I'm not a huge yeller.  I don't yell at friends.  She immediately knew something was horribly wrong.

I put my emergency lights on and probably shouldn't have been driving at that point. I called Sarah's work to get them to pray.  Thankfully she has the most awesome coworkers EVER.

As I drove to the ONE hospital I was not familiar with, I drove RIGHT past it, about five minutes past it (NO JOKE).  I had thought that my husband had said the corner of a different freeway.

I called my friend Michelle (who was my sanity on the way to the hospital that day).  She (while living in another state) got me to the hospital in one piece.

Side note:  Yes, I know I shouldn't have been on the phone, but this was one of those times where it was safer to have someone there, than not.

By the time I got to the hospital, Sarah's color was coming back. Now those that know our family may laugh.  We tend to be dayglow (turn off the lights and we glow in the dark).

Her laughter was back and so was her smile.  I felt like I took the first breath since I saw her seizing.  (This will be permanently etched in my mind.)



We spent hours in the ER with my husband, my mom, brother, and her boyfriend (now fiance) Ivan.

Unfortunately, the tests she needed were not run in this ER.  I was told this by several concerned doctors.  They ran blood, an EKG, and such.  No EEG or MRI were done.  A pat answer was given (and an IV with fluids) and once her blood pressure came up (it was extremely low), they sent her home and told her to see her doctor.

Her neurologist believes it was a seizure and is still (to this day) running tests.  He's not inordinately worried though.   He said many people have a seizure in their lives and never have one again.  The doctor is being VERY thorough in his testing.

Why do I write about Sarah's seizure in our journey to Timothy?  Because this was an epiphany moment for me.  Our son could have a seizure, rage with fever, have a nightmare....and no one would come.  He would learn NOT to cry, since he may get no response.  He may not be held, unless mandatory.  He was alone....and God told us he was our son.

The sense of immanence had come.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adoption Prayer....
1. Please pray we bring glory to God through this journey.
2. Please continue to pray for protection over Timothy, our family, and anyone involved in this process (physical, emotional, and spiritual).
3. Please continue to pray that there are no hiccups. That paperwork and approvals fly quicker than imagined.
4. Please continue to pray for provision. We still have quite a ways to financially go.


(To be continued...again...)



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Treasure of Timothy~The Beginning (Part Two)

If you haven't read Part One, this won't make a lot of sense.  You can read it here.
Part One

The following may not all seem like it has a lot to do with this new journey to our son Timothy, but in the big picture it absolutely does.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thomas looked at me... and said what we should all dream of in a man that follows God.

"Well, we know God spoke.  We follow Him, right?  I guess we need to figure out what to do next."

There are no other words that could have been as perfect at that moment.

Laying in his arms I realized how far God had brought us and I thanked Him for leading us yet again.

Then it happened.

The next morning brought a storm I wasn't prepared for.  It was a storm that scared me almost more than anything had in my entire life.  It involved our oldest daughter and I pray I never have to experience anything like that again.

It was a Saturday.  All of us were tired and none of us felt that fantastic.  Sarah looked a little pale and said her stomach was just a tiny bit upset.

She had to work that day, not wanting to call in for just feeling "off".  At about twenty 'til eleven I our son Max ran in and said Sarah was calling me and something sounded wrong.  Booking it to the back of the house (our master bathroom), I saw Sarah looking very pale.  She said, "Mom, I'm not feeling very good.  Could you call work?  I'm feeling a little dizzy."

She then dropped to her knees and laid her head on the sink.

At this point I'm thinking she may have some form of a virus.

I glance away for a second and out of the corner of my eye I saw her roll onto her back mumbling about dizziness.

She then went as white as the whitest sheet you have seen and started seizing.  Her eyes rolled back in her head and I yelled, "SARAH!!!!" repeatedly.  She was not there.  The seizure continued as I called for my husband. As my husband ran in, the seizing ended.  She started moving her head from side to side and almost moaning.

Thomas and I lifted her and carried her to the living room, as I yelled to our fourteen year old (Anna) to call 911.  Sarah remained white as a sheet.  She was slowly able to respond to us and with our help rolled to her knees as she started vomiting.

As the paramedics arrived, they began asking a series of questions.  Eventually Sarah seemed coherent enough to answer.

Side note: For those of you who know Sarah, they know she has a tender heart and is not easily annoyed.

As she started responding to basic questions, the look of total irritation on her face was laughable.  She wasn't "with it" yet, but was "with it" enough to wonder why they'd ask her things like what her name was and what year it was.  You could see (and I wouldn't usually say this and she DEFINITELY wouldn't) a look of, "Are they idiots?" written on her face.

As they loaded her into the ambulance, it was decided quickly that Thomas would accompany her.

The kids huddled in the Play Area with Tom (20) and Anna (14) wrapping their older sibling arms around little bodies (seeking comfort themselves as well).  I made sure everyone had everything together and gave them all hugs.  I was so proud of our kids that day.

I held it together until I was alone in the car.

(To be continued....)

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Adoption Prayer....
1. Please pray we bring glory to God through this journey.
2. Please continue to pray for protection over Timothy, our family, and anyone involved in this process (physical, emotional, and spiritual).
3. Please continue to pray that there are no hiccups. That paperwork and approvals fly quicker than imagined.
4. Please continue to pray for provision. We still have quite a ways to financially go

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Treasure of Timothy~The Beginning (Part One)

(Late last year)

In the wee hours of the morning, when my time with God is most treasured, I sat in prayer.

I saw a little boy in our arms and knew his name was Timothy. He was our son.  We stood on the top of a couple of long white cement steps, the nearest building was far away. I had absolute knowledge of who and where he was.  I knew he had lower leg deformity and he was young.

Was it a vision? I don't know.  I just know with total clarity what I saw and who this was...our son.

There was no immanence.  We thought it could be years.  We, very truthfully, thought it would be years.

It was not unusual that we were on the go with one event or another.  Our daughter was in a relationship we felt would move forward quickly.   The lack of immanence was strong at that point. So we focused on the words God had given me for this year, "Do what's in front of you."

Little did I realize just how hard that would be at times, but how VERY VERY important.

On February sixth, again at the break of day, I sat in conversation with God.  My heart was hearing Him so clearly that morning.   I admit, He was holding me accountable for an area I needed to see improvement in.  Then I heard it, almost audibly, "Go for your son."

I could've looked around, it was so clear.  It was like an explosion in my heart to hear our Heavenly Father with His Presence so real.

Yet I sat in shock.  It wasn't the joy I expected, but complete and total shock.  I texted my husband (who had already left for work).  I told him God had been speaking and we needed to have a conversation.

This was our surprise pregnancy.  I could not get my mind wrapped around it.  What happened to the years?!  "I had years" my mind said,   "I had years?"

When Thomas got home I didn't bring up things immediately.  I knew this news had to be given alone.

It was a long night. As I wearily climbed into bed the tears started.  It wasn't that there was no happiness, but my head couldn't grasp this.

My husband wrapped his arms around me....and I told him.  I just told him everything (like I always do).

What was his response?

Beauty...pure beauty...

(To Be Continued...)

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Adoption Prayer....
1. Please pray we bring glory to God through this journey.
2. Please continue to pray for protection over Timothy, our family, and anyone involved in this process (physical, emotional, and spiritual).
3. Please continue to pray that there are no hiccups. That paperwork and approvals fly quicker than imagined.
4. Please continue to pray for provision. We still have quite a ways to financially go.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The News (Part 2) ~ Our Eyes are on the Sparrow

Several of you have been waiting awhile.  You’ve known we had more news. You’ve been patient.

Now I admit the urge to mess with you.  I can’t help it.  It’s in my nature.

This is BIG though.  My guess is that many of you have done just that...guess.

And we need prayers...OH YES, WE NEED PRAYERS....no joke...no messing....

Yet instead of just sharing, below is a post written by our oldest daughter Sarah.

Read on and I promise, you can join our family in a beautiful journey.

No harm, no foul...and no messing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jonathan.

When we come to subjects that are painfully close to my heart, this is perhaps one of the closest.

When I learned of his death, I was in shock. My eyes were overflowing with tears, but my heart did not feel and my mind did not register what had just happened-not until an hour or two later.

There are still times where I picture him sitting across the table from me, when I imagine meeting him in Heaven, when I hear his name spoken by a stranger and feel it in my heart. I wonder what he will look like when I see him, or what he will say.

What a precious treasure the world lost when he left. What a great boy Heaven gained.

I can't tell you he was super smart, or athletic, or anything that the world would see that would set him apart as different or "special". I can't say that the world, the nation, or even the village recognized its loss when he died. I can't say that the look in his eyes will be missed by anyone except my family, who only saw it in pictures.

He survived nine years on this earth, invisible, and then was taken away. There are an estimated 143,000,000 orphans in this world, and out of those it is estimated that 15,000 die a day from hunger, as we assume my brother did. 15,000 lives snuffed out in 24 hours.

When it's just a statistic that is written out, you can just shake your head and then move on with your life heedlessly, because when read, that is all orphans are- numbers. 15,000 kids. Just numbers.

If you have kids, look at them. Count them. Maybe 1, 2, 3, or more. Imagine each of them being limited to a number. How horrible and unfeeling would it be if someone you knew only referred to your children as 1 or 2- and these are children that have parents or relatives or friends to defend them, to make it clear that they do HAVE A NAME to whoever would speak as if it were otherwise.

Then there are the kids that are daily spoken of in this way, who have no one to defend them. And summed up not even in their own numbers- orphan 13,456 or orphan 4,579. Instead a child that died motherless and fatherless is only 1 in 15,000. Why? Because without someone to speak up for said child, it's so easy to look at them, as such.

But when I think of Jonathan, I do not think 1/15,000. I think little brother. Precious treasure. Something beautiful with so much that the world will never see. I see value, and loss on my part that I will never see him on earth in person. We should be ashamed that kids are summed up like this, and in such a way that we can sigh sadly then move on with their lives.

Because when I look at my siblings, I don't see numbers. Sure, other people do, in fact most do. TEN kids right? TEN. Sadly it doesn't feel like many, but people view it as such. Actually during some of the latest adoptions, it was obvious that people did not think that we were capable. They thought "what about the kids you already have? Won't that take away from them and their future?" And now I understand why they said that. Because they did not see Bekah and her gorgeous smile and bubbly giggles, or Gabe and his mischievous grin and twinkling eyes, or Jael our ray of sunlight, or Ben with Downs Syndrome whose smiles are both heart-warming and heart-breaking. No. They saw child 5, child 7, child 8, and child 10. One out of 143,000,000 transferred to one out of 10.
 
They didn't see treasures. They saw statistics.

And see- now I get it. I used to just not understand how a person could look at you and think you are crazy for leaving the 99 to gather the 1. I mean hey, YOU HAVE NINETY-NINE. Why in the world would you bother with ANOTHER one?

They did not see value in that one. They saw numbers, when the shepherd saw individual treasures. And that is how God has opened my family's eyes, and my own eyes- these kids are no longer numbers, they have names. Thoughts. Fears. The only difference being they were forced to grow old far too young.

So what 15,000 children died today without mothers to kiss their boo-boos and fathers to tickle them until their sides ache with giggles? So what if a child died after living a life of nightmares without parents to run to, or siblings to cuddle with? So what if they didn't have covers to hide under when they felt they saw monsters in the closet, or a shoulder to cry on when they were hurt?

So what if that was my little brother?

So what. It's just one child in 15,000 that won't wake up tomorrow morning.

I'm not saying this to guilt you, but to explain why in the world we have continued adopting. It is so easy for me, in spite of all the siblings I have, to also look at these kids as numbers. It's so easy when you are not looking in their eyes, when you are not thinking of the nights they are alone, when you refuse to admit that children's teeth rot in their own mouths because the orphanage cannot or will not brush their teeth.

It's so easy for me when I'm not looking at a scar on Ben's arm, wondering if he inflicted it on himself or if someone else inflicted it on him. When I'm not looking at what looks like a 4 year old and trying to process that he has been on earth 11 years. It's too easy. Too easy to forget that my brother was a statistic to someone else.

When I think about it, that is when it threatens to overwhelm me.

That is why in spite of the lack of support, the confusion, the flat out anger, the exasperation that others have shown us when it comes to our adoptions in the past, we have continued our journeys. Because we do not see numbers. We see children.

OUR children.
  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not a number, but our beautiful sparrow.

Introducing...
Timothy Bryan, our newest son
(We will add his cultural name when we are free to reveal it.)





Side note: We have had nothing but joy and support from those few that know, but my daughter's heart and words say a lot of what reality is often for many adoptive families (including ours at certain times).

(More of his story coming soon.)

CELEBRATE!!!!!!!




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Adoption Prayer....
1. Please pray we bring glory to God through this journey.2. Please continue to pray for protection over Timothy, our family, and anyone involved in this process (physical, emotional, and spiritual).
3. Please continue to pray that there are no hiccups. That paperwork and approvals fly quicker than imagined.
4. Please continue to pray for provision. We still have quite a ways to financially go.
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