How Many?

When we started the process, we really didn’t have any idea whether we wanted one or two kids and what age we’d like. A couple of things shaped our thinking on it and they are things that we’ve seen proven true over the last decade…….

If there’s a big age difference between your “current” kids and your new ones, you’re probably going to want more than one. In other words, having kids that are 14, 12, 9 and 2 would probably make you want more than one adopted kid – so maybe they are 14, 12, 9, 3 and 2.

If the kids you have in your family and the kids that you are going to adopt aren’t going to look like each other (and trust me, mine don’t), many people find that it’s good for the adopted child to not be the “only” one that doesn’t look like the others.

So we decided, thinking that we were rather experienced parents (so we thought) that we’d go ahead and adopt both of our kids at the same time. While I’m glad that we did, let’s just say the first 1 1/2 to 2 years were a blur.   Similar to jumping on a fast moving treadmill and rather than floor behind it if you can’t keep up, a fast moving river is behind you so if you don’t keep up, you get washed away……

It’s a decision that everyone needs to make on their own, given their own beliefs, their own experiences and their own family make up. For us, I believe that adopting two at once was what God was calling us to do. Our children were there and He wanted us to go get them then.

 


The Future–What Are Your Plans?

As my time at GLA winds down, I was having a conversation with someone I’ve known for a while (but not someone who I’d consider a friend – just more of an acquaintance).   We were getting reconnected regarding family, jobs, banking, my time at GLA and I told him that my time at GLA is very close to being done.

“What are your plans?   What do you see as your career moving forward?”

My response?   There were two parts:

To Find Out What God Wants – I know that God’s got a plan.   I could talk or write for hours (if not longer) about how God has been at work orchestrating our adoption of our two kids, our longer term involvement in Haiti, my move from banking to the non-profit world.   It has been obvious that God has been at work in all of this.   God is drawing one chapter to a close.    He hasn’t allowed me to turn the next page yet – glimpses of it, but not the full chapter.    My goal is to find out what God wants.

And do it.   Once I find out what God wants, I want to do it.   Because I know that if I do what He wants, I’ll be able to do it with His blessing, with His leadership and with the internal joy (not happiness – those are two different things) that comes from following God’s call.

So, I don’t know what’s next, but I know who does.   And that’s all I need to know right now.

Tom

P.S. Stay tuned, I promise I’ll share this journey with you……

Expect the Unexpected…….

As part of the process of putting together a dossier, at least for Haiti 10 years ago, you had to have a lot of documents notarized and then “legitimized” by the state government (in other words, verify that the Notary who notarized the papers was indeed a notary. Then they had to be “accepted” by the Haitian embassy before they could be sent to Haiti.

We didn’t like the idea of sending the documents to the Haitian embassy and waiting for them, so decided that we’d take a day off and drive them down there. We set up an appointment for 11:30 at the Haitian Embassy in Chicago (about a 3 hour drive for us).

At about 8:00 PM the night before, I was reviewing the paperwork one more time to make sure we had everything and realized, to my dismay, that we missed getting one of the documents stamped by the State of Michigan (about an hour away from us in the opposite direction).

Uh oh.

We found out that the State of Michigan office opened at 8:00. So we got the grandparents over, left at 6:30 in the morning and were waiting outside the office when they opened at 8:00. In and out in 15 minutes.

And then the mad dash from Lansing Michigan to Chicago. We were careful to not violate speed limits too much (a traffic stop would definitely make us late) and let’s say there was no time for “pit stops” for food or anything like that.

It looked like we were going to make it. And suddenly the red lights started coming on. Brake lights and more brake lights……

The traffic came to a screeching halt. But it’s right over there! We were on the expressway and could literally see the building that the Haitian embassy was in. But we couldn’t get to it.

At 11:25, we called the Embassy and told them what was happening and that we could see the Embassy but were stuck in traffic due to an accident. They assured us that it was “no problem.”

At 11:45, we got to the Embassy, walked in the door, only to be told that the person we needed had “just left for lunch.” We said, “No problem, we’ll get some lunch and be back around 1?” We were told to give it until 1:30.

So, we got some lunch and then came back at 1:30. And we waited and we waited.

And we waited some more.

Finally, the lunch meeting was over – at 4:00! Apparently this was our first introduction to what is know as “Haitian time.”

In 15 minutes we were done and on our way out of town on the way home.

We learned a valuable lesson that day. Actually two of them.

We are not in control, God is.

Expect the Unexpected.

Lessons from Noah

Genesis 6:22 – “Noah did everything God commanded him to do.”   (The Message)

It’s simple.   Do what God tells you.

It’s hard.   Because God isn’t always standing right next to you actually talking to you like he was with Noah.

It’s simple.   It says in the Bible what God wants us to do.

It’s hard.  Because some of the commands in the Bible don’t translate clearly from Bible times to today’s times.

It’s simple.   “‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’  Mark 12:29-31 (MSG)

It’s hard – the busyness, materialism and constant noise of our world make it hard to hear God let alone obey His commands.

But it’s worth it.   Noah followed God’s commands and had the opportunity to play a huge part in the future of God’s people.

If you and I follow God’s commands, what role is He having us play in the lives of His people?

And they are ALL his people, whether in the 1st world, the 3rd world, all of them.

Tom