My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Birth Order hahahahahaha

I've been mulling this over in my mind for a few weeks and thought it could be an amusing post.

First I must begin with a few caveats:
1.  I'm really not an insentitive lout.
2.  I realize what tragedy is and have walked it too many times
3.  Tragedy has torn my heart to it's core, but Jesus has healed so much.
4.  And thus I'm left with a warpped sense of life and humor.
5.  My mind is a strange strange thing and takes me down rabbit trails often.

We are about to travel in a few months to pick up our next 2 children ages 11 and 12 from China.  Let me say, even that part is questionable---not the adoption---the ages.  I look at paperwork and not all the numbers line up, but for the sake of this post, we are going to say these are the ages they are.

In 1990 we had a son Benjamin. Born at 30 weeks who died one hour after birth.
So First question.
Is he the "first born"?

Then in 1991, his brother Samuel was born.  He also died one hour after birth.
So Second question:
Is he the "second born?"

Then in 1995, their brother Isaac was born.  He is currently almost 20 years old. Alive and well.
So Third question.
Is he the "first born"? or is he the "third born"?

Let's assume he is First born since we never really knew Ben or Sam's personality.  Of course in OUR  hearts they will never be forgotten, but this is where it gets warped and weird.
Isaac often recalls how he wishes those older brothers were in his life.  So he has a place for them in his heart. And even on his arm.  His first official tattoo is 5 slash marks (one for each child in our family--he may need to ammend that now)

Then in 1998 their brother Jacob was born.  He lived 6 years.
So Fourth question:
Is he the second born? or the fourth born?
He died.
So is his place now different in our family?

Then in 2004, Lucas was born.  In China.  To a family.  He had a mom and dad.  What place was he in that family? Only? or a sibling?  Nobody knows.
He entered our family in 2011. Age 7. He took on the roll of "baby"; last born.

Since Isaac was the only living sibling at the time, he assumed the roll of "Second" born.
But, in all honesty.  He has grieved the loss of the brothers that came before him.  He definitely feels he is the "baby" of the family.  And "last born".

Now we are adopting 2 kids.
Their birth records show being born in February and September of 2003.  So technically they fall between Isaac and Lucas.

BUT, they are the last to enter our family.
Are they the "last born" or are they numbers 5,6 out of 7?


Live in our house.

Since Lucas has lived in our family for 4 years he has knowledge and experience as a child that would be "older" than these next two.  He will have things to share with them.  But, he will still be the "youngest".

If we all end up in therapy at some point, you will now know why.
Our family is a "mess".  (that's a southern term for something...not quite sure if it is a good thing or not since I'm a northerner living in the south)

So the order is
Ben, Sam, (both in heaven) Isaac, Jacob (in heaven), Lucas (wait is he last or #5?)...then Joshua, then Emma.  Or should it be by age: Isaac, Joshua, Emma, Lucas?  How should I sign their names on a Christmas Card?

These are the things that keep me up at night.
Where's my Lavendar Essential Oil.
Good Night!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Inviting others into the journey

This week we launched our t shirt fundraiser.
First let me say, I wasn't very comfortable starting fundraising. Just bein' real.

I felt if God wanted someone to help us with the financial piece, He would speak directly to that person and they would give if they felt led. That sounds very spiritual doesn't it?  And sometimes that IS how God works.
It wasn't that we didn't need the financial support. It's that I felt we stepped out in faith to adopt because God seemed to be showing us He was supplying what we needed to bring our kids home.
But, over the past 4 months or so we have realized how much we do need it. 

Much of our reserves were stripped away with several financial issues.
Perhaps that happened so we would step out and invite people into this process with us?
To us the financial piece has suddenly become overwhelming. 

But God is not overwhelmed.  
Nor is He surprised. 
I believe He is using this season to teach us once again about the body of Christ and their overwhelming generosity. And to show us what HE can do.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21

When we entered the tshirt fundraiser, I calculated some numbers so we could get an idea of what the fundraiser could produce.  Ha ha 

What I didn't consider was what God could produce.

What I didn't consider was people who I know are not financially "rich" buying a tshirt to show support.
I'm so humbled.

What I didn't consider was people who we haven't spoken to face to face in many years "showing up" in support via social media and buying a t shirt.
I'm so humbled.
What I didn't consider was the impact of our story for His Glory on people we have never met-buying a t shirt.
I'm so humbled.
What I didn't consider was people donating well OVER the price we set, to show support by buying a t shirt.
I'm so humbled.

I may be surprised.
But God is not.

He apparently wanted us to see we are not in this alone.  He wanted us to invite others "in".  Because after all, this story does not belong to us.  It's His Story --and lest we forget --for HIS Glory.

I am realizing God doesn't want us walking these journies alone. He wants others to be a part of it.
"Everything in heaven and earth is Yours oh Lord".   

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."  1 Peter 2:9-10

We needed to allow margin in this process for God to do Immeasurably more so That We May Glorify Him for what He has done.  I'm seeing more and more that our small act of stepping out in faith has far reaching implications--much farther than we'll ever know.  

Thank you to all who already purchased shirts.
Our t shirt fundraiser goes until March 1.

You can find info here if you'd like to continue to pass it along:

To God Be the Glory
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