Monday, May 23, 2011


okay so i'm falling a bit behind on blogging, right??  i'll try to keep up a little better.  i hope you enjoyed the background story to our adoption decision.  i thought maybe it might help someone who was possibly considering it for themselves one day to see how we got to this point. 

now. . . where are we in the process??  that's the question i hear most often lately.  so we are in the process of our home study.  that's when a social worker comes out several times and has an extensive interview with you and your family.  we are about to have our second one this week.  i was kinda nervous before the first meeting, but our social worker is so funny and very friendly, so she put me at ease pretty much right away.  a good sense of humor goes a LONG way with me, as my good friends all know.  if you can make me laugh, i pretty much like you.  ha!!

last weekend we had THE BIGGEST GARAGE SALE known to MANKIND!!!!!  seriously, i've never seen that much stuff in my entire life.  it was life sam's wholesale or maybe the salvation army superstore.  our friends, neighbors, church members, and even strangers donated the nicest items for us to sell.  i was simply blown away by the sheer generosity and kindness of others.  for two weeks, i gathered and picked up items and sorted them in preparation of the big day.  there was sooooo much stuff that it completely filled the garage and then started piling up in my living room and dining room and even spare bedroom.  it got so overwhelming and  i could hardly make my way thru the house.  i'm forever indebted to my AWESOME, SELFLESS friends that came over to help me prepare and organize and even man the BIG event!!  lemme tell you. . . my friend Jamie has said about our adoption to just be obedient and LET GOD SHOW OUT!  well. . . HE the tune of $3000!!!!!  yep, you read it right!  that's how much we made in our two day sale.  i'm telling you it was amazing.  people were like. . .just keep the change and even making donations!!  one lady just pulled up and handed me a twenty and said both her children were adopted.  then she left.  i've never experienced anything like it.  God is so good.  and He keeps telling me not to worry. . . . He's got this.

btw.....i've added a link to the right to wild olive tees.  we are participating in their adoption fundraising program.  check out their tees that say "adoption fundraising" and enter code RAPER0518 at checkout!  thanks!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

OUR ADOPTION DECISION: more background info. . .

so i was stalking these adoption blogs. . .especially ones that focused on adoption of Asian children.  i poured over all the details. . . wondering if this was really something we were called to do?  After much discussion, Kevin and I agreed to pray about it.  and we did for quite a while. . . without discussing it anymore.  that was a hard time for me b/c i was wondering what he thought about it and what was going on in his mind.  i personally wavered back and forth between yes and no.  i wondered how adoption would affect our two boys.  i considered the cost financially. . OVERWHELMING!  i (selfishly) realized i would be giving up some "free" time and also probably some work as well.  i worried about the "special needs" part. . . what would that entail, exactly?  i'm telling you. . . . this was no hasty and unthought~out decision.

at the same time, i researched orphan websites and educated myself on the plight of these children.  there are between 143~147 MILLION orphans in our world today.  did you have any idea or does that number surprise you as it did us?  as you probably know, China has practiced the "one~child" law since the 1970's, and this results in the abandonment of many children.. . .especially girls.  i felt my heart drawn there.  . . for those sweet babies that don't have any hope or a chance in life.  could we do something completely RADICAL and bring a sweet baby girl from China into our home????  was this on our LIST of things God had for us to do in our lifetimes'?

Finally, we both had an answer.  Kevin came to me very late on Palm Sunday (what a great day!!) and said he felt like we needed to go ahead with adoption plans!!!!!!  it was a sweet time. . . he just out of the blue said "i don't know how i'll handle two sweet girls in the house."  i was like. . . WHAT DID YOU SAY?? and he just laughed. . . .

so we kept it a secret for most of that week as we researched agencies and waited to go tell our parents in person.  on Good Friday, kevin was off so we were able to make the hour and a half trip to tell all three sets and got back late that night.  it was an emotionally exhausting day.  they were all very surprised b/c we had kept this all to ourselves while deciding.  we didn't want to be influenced by outside opinions. i know they'll be completely in love with Lane when they see her.

so. . . that's where we are for now.  thanks for following in this journey and we appreciate your prayers.  also. . .i really do love comments :"}

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

OUR ADOPTION DECISION: the background story. . .

many of you have asked what led to our decision to adopt, so i thought i'd share it here for you.  We are EXTREMELY blessed by our two boys, ages 5 and 8. i can't imagine life without them, and i'm so glad God chose them to be ours.  Looking back, i was never the girl who "just wanted to get married and have kids".  i don't know why, but i just guess i didn't have that as my main focus.  i was excited about other things first, like going to college and maybe having a super exciting career.  i did expect to get married one day and just assumed i'd have children, but i had other plans as well.  that being said, whenever i did think about my "future" as a mother, i always had this mental picture of just having two children.  that seemed like a good number to me.  fast forward to my happy marriage to kevin. . . . we weren't in any hurry to have kids, and i'm glad.  it was really good for us, personally, to have some time with just the two of us.  finally, we were blessed by the arrival of Kaden, and 30 months later, russ.  let's just say things got a little busy around our house.  it was wonderful. . . and tiring. . . to be a mom to a toddler and infant.  after talking and praying (somewhat), i felt our family was complete, and asked kevin to consider "the" surgery.  after a while, he decided he would.  russ was 6 months old.

fast forward through a happy two years of loving on and chasing after two little wild men, and i began to have that "i wanna baby" feeling again.  WHAT?!?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  i tried to ignore it, thinking it would go away, but guess what?  it didn't.  i slowly realized that perhaps we (me mainly since i kinda had to talk kevin into it) had made the BIGGEST mistake of our lives. 

i can't even begin to take you through the anguish i put myself thru the next 3 years as i questioned, begged, pleaded with, and raged at myself and sometimes God over the fact that we'd have no more children.  i convinced myself that we would've had more if not for that stupid surgery.  we even looked into IVF and seriously considered it.  i tried time and time again to let go. . . .and sometimes i would. . . for a bit. 

i don't remember the exact time i started seriously considering adoption.  there was no big "lightbulb" moment.  more like a slow and steady calling. i worked up the nerve to discuss it with kevin, and we would only talk about it occassionally, and not indepth.  meanwhile, friends of friends began bringing home children from other countries. . . and i became fascinated.  our church had "orphan sunday" and we learned more about the plight of orphaned children around the world.  we decided to sponsor a child monthly (thru compassion international. . .scroll down for a direct link to their site) and began teaching our boys more about how not every child lives the life that they do.  I felt God tugging more and more at my heart, and i began to follow adoption blogs in earnest. . . especially those of people adopting from china. 
to be continued. . . . . . .