Thoughts from an Ordinary Guy

This journey through life is never boring......

Month: April 2014 (page 1 of 7)

The Paperwork, Oh The Paperwork!

We made the decision. Our child(ren) were in Haiti. What now?

I’ve had people ask me, “How in the world did you handle the paperwork for adopting? Isn’t it ridiculous?”

Let me share a couple of thoughts on that front……

Yes, the amount of paperwork can be intimidating. There’s a LOT of it. I would equate it to doing three years of tax returns in a couple of months. While keeping the rest of life going as well.

Lists, lists, lists and more lists. About every three or four days, I’d sit down and get everything out and go over the lists and update them on what we need, what we’re waiting for, what we need to do and what we need to pay for yet.

Then I’d get one of the lists and my wife would get another one. We’d each have our part that we had to do.

(Repeat process every three or four days)

Why is there so much paperwork required? Two reasons, as I see it……

Government – not just one but two governments are involved. Any time you get government involved, you’re going to end up with more paperwork. When you get two governments involved, you’re going to get even more paperwork.

The importance of doing it right. I’ll say more about this later, but when you are dealing with the lives of two families and more importantly children, it is very important that things get done right. It’s important that the families the kids get placed in are reliable and trustworthy and that everything was done appropriately in the home country to verify that the children are adoptable and everything was done legally.

So, yes, there’s a lot of paperwork. But it’s worth it.

50,296 Acts of Love

So, this morning, after I dropped my daughter off at school, the local Christian radio station played Jason Gray’s song, “Acts of Love.”   You know the line?

“With every act of love, we bring the kingdom come.”

“God put a million, million doors in the world
For his love to walk through
One of those doors is you”

This afternoon, my daughter and I spent some time finishing up the inventory of the diapers that we’re going to be sending on the container down to Haiti next week.   IMG_1253[2]

And guess what – we saw and counted 50,296 acts of love.

That’s right, 50,296 diapers so far – with another 40 boxes to come yet.    That’s 50,296 times where someone said,  “I want to help the kids in Haiti.”

IMG_1257[1]

With every act of love, we bring the kingdom come.

IMG_1261[1]

With 50,296 acts of love, the kingdom is closer to the children in Haiti than it was.

It’s not just about diapers.   It’s not just about clean bottoms.   It’s about listening to the heart of God and caring for the little ones who don’t have a family who can care for them.

Thank you, 50,296 times – with more to come!

Tom

Why Haiti? The Short Story–is Not a Short Story

The short story is, “God told us to.” But this isn’t a short story.

We started by going to adoption agency informational meetings. We went to one that specializes in infant domestic adoptions. Does the phrase, “Been There Done That” mean anything to you? We had done the infant thing and felt that God was calling us to let other couples who hadn’t experienced that live through the diapers and the sleepless nights have that experience.

We went to another one that was based predominantly on adopting from the foster care system. I don’t know a nice way to say it, so I’m just going to say it. The foster care system scared us. At this point in our lives, we didn’t know enough about trauma, attachment, abuse and its effects to feel comfortable venturing down that path.

So then we went to an informational meeting about adopting internationally. We “kind of” felt that God was calling us in that direction, but didn’t feel a firm push in that direction. Colombia? Too long of a time in country. China? Too long of a wait. Eastern Europe? Too many concerns of RAD and FAS (Reactive Attachment Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).

And then it started happening – first it was a whisper.

A couple we met on a cruise and stayed in touch with, when told we were thinking of adopting told us, “My boss just adopted a little boy from Haiti.”

My brother (runs a youth camp) said, “Hey one of my counselors last year was a missionary kid in Haiti.”

My wife is a big Karen Kingsbury fan. Karen has adopted a number of her children. All from Haiti.

Then one day, our oldest came home from school and said, “Guess what I found out! Chelsea and Chloe’s parents are adopting! From Haiti!”

So we called them and asked if we could meet them for coffee and just talk about it all. They invited us over and we spent a very enjoyable night with them talking about adopting, about Haiti about who, where, how they got there and a multitude of other things.

The upshot of the conversation? A direct quote from the husband, “You need to work with Dixie Bickel and adopt from Haiti.”

And that’s the longer answer to the question of “Why Haiti?”

Through a couple from Montana, an employee of my brother, Karen Kingsbury and fellow classmates of my daughter, God told us that our kid(s) were waiting for us in Haiti.

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On Limiting God

Five Times.

Five times in the last 48 hours.

Five times in the last 48 hours, the topic of limiting God has come up.

Five different locations, five different situations.

The same theme – God is way bigger than we expect He is.

Don’t feel like your plans are too big – if they are aligned with God’s goals, they are probably too small.

Don’t feel like your problems are too big – God is bigger than any problems.

Don’t feel like the challenges with your kids are too big – God can grant healing and restoration even when we don’t see it.

Don’t feel  like a job loss is the end of all things good – that would limit God – instead look at it as an opportunity to determine what God’s plan is.

Will God always give us what we want?   Hah, not a chance.   Will it always be easy?   Not a chance.

But God’s plans are way bigger than ours.

Open your eyes, open your arms.   You’re limiting God.

I’m limiting God.

And He Has No Limits to what He can do.

Tom

Christmas Letters – The Reaction

Once we had opened up all of the Christmas presents, my wife and I told them to sit down on the couch and I got three envelopes, handed one to each of our girls and told them to open it, read it and not respond until all three were done reading (they all read at different speeds).

It was the Gideon’s fleece moment. If they ran screaming to their rooms in sheer terror, then we’d have to reevaluate whether God was really calling us to do this.

We waited.

They finished reading. Their responses?

“I won’t have to be the baby of the family any more!”

“Cool except I don’t want a younger brother!”

“Can I have a younger brother?”

God opened a door and so we began to venture down that road. The path was fog filled and hard to see but we went one step at a time.

So we had decided we were going to do “something.” The girls were told and they were on board. How did we end up with Haiti?

Stay tuned……

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