Saturday, April 16, 2011

I love Adoption stories...

This article was linked today on a conglomerator blog I like to read. The author is part of a reformed theology conference we attended a few months ago, though he didn't speak at the Oregon event.

I like the perspective of this father, and I love adoption stories of any kind. His family includes several children added the "old fashioned way" before they adopted a baby from Russia.
But when the sentence changes from "We're going to have a baby" to "We're going to adopt," things change. All of a sudden the qualifications of good marriage, sufficient income and a home aren't enough. All of sudden, we need to look at the facts.

and this is beautiful:
We had faith in the God who loved us enough to adopt us, sins, scars, imperfections and all, into his holy family. We had faith that just as he knew each of our children before they were born, he knew that Mary was for us, even though she was conceived and born in a different country, by different birth parents.

In our specific situation, we're waiting for our minivan fund to come together and then we'll be moving forward. At this point we're thinking a domestic adoption will be the best choice and we've started gathering paperwork and are researching the options available. Every once in a while when reading statistics about African orphans our thoughts & hearts sway that way, but then we remember the expense and the travel involved, and the stories of kids waiting in foster care are also inspiring.

"We even asked each other, why are we considering this?... But we are not alone. God has given so many others a heart that is sensitive to the needs of the orphans. Some satisfy that sensitivity by providing the finances necessary to make adoptions happen, some build orphanages, some give clothing, some pray without ceasing."

He writes about being grateful. Grateful for a loving God, for the opportunity to have these two daughters in his family, for people who are willing to adopt other children.
"...And, if that is not you, pray about supporting those in your church who are doing this. If you can't do that, pray for them! Love the children they adopt. I can tell you that six years after adopting Mary, and three years after adopting Ana, none of us would trade our family for another. We praise the Lord for his grace and the blessing of adoption - first into God's eternal family and then for permitting us the privilege of picturing this in our earthly family. There is no greater joy. Adopt."

Friday, April 08, 2011

Loud and Proud

So about the homeschooling kick I'm on...

Here's my trajectory, laid out so I can remember because I already find myself forgetting how I came to think of it as remotely possible in the first place.

I read Anthony Esolen's Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, which I believe I found by bopping around the "Customers Also Bought" links on Amazon. That raised some good points about education and started me thinking about what I hope for my boys to learn.

Then I read a whole bunch of stuff on teh webz and from the lie-barry. Some useful, some fascinating in a wow that's differnt kind of way.
Somewhere in there, more toward the second category if I'm honest, I read the Duggar's book. Yes, those Duggars. While I don't agree with the quiverfull movement (i.e. having a jillion kids because you believe God commands it) as theology, there's something to the openness with which they live their lives that I find admirable.

There will be things I do in my life which won't find approval from the majority of people. They will think I'm small-minded, provincial, perhaps even a "neanderthal" as one of my colleagues has said about women who stay home. Well, we're adopting. We're Christians. We are looking at homeschooling. There are mistakes to be made, and I'm going to set out and make them without hiding what I think or just plain hiding. I hope I don't swing too far the other way and err toward squashing others in the process, but I'm done with worry silencing me.

Dave Ramsey reminded me of a quote today at a seminar full of great quotes:
"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. ~Aristotle"

... and of course “The fear of man lays a snare,” the Bible says, “but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

The fear of man is a somewhat Christianese phrase, but it is such a great concept, and encapsulates one of the primary differences between a Gospel-centered theology and one based falsely on ideas of prosperity, ease and blessing belonging to Christians in their worldly lives. Being driven by prosperity gospels and even bless-perity gospels lead Christians to be all sorts of jerks to their fellow humans. I like how Piper describes our longing to worship the blessings rather than the God giving them:

"We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him.

By Christian Hedonism, we do not mean that our happiness is the highest good. We mean that pursuing the highest good will always result in our greatest happiness in the end. We should pursue this happiness, and pursue it with all our might. The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed, and if you abandon the pursuit of your own joy you cannot love man or please God."

Totally unrelated to the post, I giggled when I saw that googling "fear of man" gives you an option of googling "fear of
mannequins". Let's face it: they are creepy, creepy indeed.

Tap tap tap...

Is this thing on?

I just read the stale old posts left here, and realized I'd like to get back to this whole blogging schtick.

Updates are: We left that church we were going to after 2 years there. We wish them well, but I am much happier at our new digs. We've been reading the Bible a lot more in the last 18 months or so, and went to the Desiring God conference, and a few other reformed theology conferences. I hope to write more about this stuff, but if you're looking for good podcasts I recommend Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church, Dr. John Piper, and a whole bunch more. Start with Marky D's doctrine series- it's very good. Perfect length for listening on the treadmill, too.

I'm thinking of homeschooling. In related news, we bought some hermit crabs, I'm making a fort out of a huge truck hubcap and curly willow, I like canning vegetables, and if I had a zillion dollars I would buy a small farm slash compound. You'd be invited, but only if you promise to shoot me on sight if you see me wearing floor-length denim skirts with white tennis shoes (my first ever homeschooling joke, you're welcome).

Isn't there a blog around here somewhere?

Isaac turned 3 and has developed a fascinating array of facial expressions. Many approximate real faces people make. All are more dramatic. Like William Shatner in face form.

At the end of the summer we plan to adopt. A human, not a habit or a theology or a pet. Though those sound (mostly) simpler.