Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Difference

    Often times when watching videos or reading books about the desparate state of so many precious children I find myself feeling discouraged that we can't make more of a difference.  I fear that one of the hardest parts of going to see our child in Russia will be the number of children we will meet that will not be coming home with us.  I can remember in the past feeling that it was almost easier to numb myself to the burden of helping these children.  I just wouldn't allow myself to dwell on it and would "change the channel" in my mind so I wouldn't have to feel.  It was just too overwhelming and even if I did make some small effort it would never be enough.  I remember someone remarking about how unbelieveable it is that an adoption could be so costly (which of course we were surprised as well!).....it was suggested more than once that perhaps there was some way we could help that wouldn't cost so much.  I think this is a natural response and we did of course consider it.  But I kept hearing a voice say, "then who?"  If we all find ways that are less costly, less invasive, less life-changing.....then who will help? 
   I know this won't be the last time I am burdened by the overwhelming need and our small way of helping, but the following story has shown up in two books that I have read throughout this process.  It is one that I have heard many times before and often dismissed, and one that many of you have probably heard as well.  It has helped me to put things into perspective tremendously and when I read it the second time I knew that I should share this.....

  "In some parts of the world, when the tide comes in from the ocean, it brings with it thousands of starfish.  Then the tide recedes and leaves thousands of them behind on the shore.  Many of these starfish cannot make it back to the safety of the water before the sun comes up and dries them out.
   A man was walking along the shore one day and witnessed this sight.  He stared at all the starfish, saddened that so many would die.
   Then he saw a young boy walking in the other direction.  The lad would stop and pick up a starfish and throw it into the ocean.  He continued to do this, picking up one after the other and throwing them back into the water.
  "Why are you doing that?" the man asked the boy.  "Don't you realize there are miles and miles of shore?  You're wasting your time.  You'll never make a difference."
    The boy simply picked up another starfish and hurled it back into the ocean.  As it landed, he said, "I made a difference for that one."
   Like the young boy, we cannot save them all.  But you and I CAN make a difference.  Let's not let what we can't do stop us from doing what we can do."

What now?


   I recently finished reading the book " No Longer Slumdog" by K.P. Yohannan (which I would definitely recommend).  The book refers to this song and the fact that "the Lord basically steps in and says, 'I am that girl'.....what now?"  For most of us when we see videos like this we can't help but be moved and overwhelmed with a burden for these children.  But we feel that we can't possibly help, either because there's such an overwhelming need (see my next blog, "A Difference") or because we lack the resources or ability to help.  I would really encourage you to pray about how you can help because it is possible!  For those of you who are able, sponsoring a child each month can make such a difference in their lives!  I would really encourage you to read "No Longer Slumdog" or look into Bridge of Hope and all that Gospel for Asia is doing to change lives.  God doesn't call everyone to go overseas and serve as a missionary, nor does he call everyone to adopt a child into their home....but there is something we ALL can do to help the helpless.....ask yourself....and ask God...what now?



Matthew 25:34-40
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Monday, March 12, 2012

Krasnodar Krai - Russia

    In this journey of adoption every little detail we learn seems monumental to me.  Today we learned that we will likely be adopting from an orphanage/baby house in the region of Krasnodar Krai, Russia. (I had previously written about traveling to the city of Sochi within Krasnodar, but the city we are going to is actually unknown to us at this point, we simply know it's in Krasnodar.)

    In my research I found that sometime in 2011, Krasnodar Region was the first to install what are called "baby boxes," where parents can leave their unwanted children - 3 of which were installed in Sochi in particular.  It went on to say that more than 100 babies are abandoned in Sochi each year.  About 70% are adopted while the others are taken to orphanages.  I can't help but wonder if our child was left in such a box......it breaks my heart to imagine these precious babies in such a helpless state. 



  Please pray with us for our child, that they are safe and well cared for until we can get to him/her.  That they are receiving some extra love and that as young as they are, they don't give up hope!

 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Blessings!

    These past few days have been an amazing confirmation and encouragement of all that we are doing.  It blows me away how God continues to affirm us at the most needed moments.  I know we are in this 100% and I am completely certain this is where God wants us, but I would be lying to say that I never have my moments of doubt or anxiety.  God, however, doesn't just ask us to do something and then bow out as soon we agree.....He is there every step of the way, cheering us on and providing opportunities for us to see His work in everything.
    We have been selling items on Craigslist since the beginning and for a while it seemed as if we weren't very successful.  I figured it couldn't hurt to keep posting items since it was free and they were just sitting around anyway.  Within the past couple of weeks we have had such a huge response and have made a reasonable profit.  We also found a perfect, extremely affordable double stroller on craigslist and were able to purchase that with just a portion of the money we had made!  It's the little things like this that are encouraging.
    To top it off, one of the people that came to buy a few items was a woman about our age, who shared with me that she was considering adoption as well.  She too was adopted, from Panama at age four, and wanted to help.  She gave me a catalog for Stella & Dot, a jewelry company, similar to a Pampered Chef or Tupperware type deal.  I received an e-mail from her today explaining that she would "love to help out a christian sister" by donating the 25% profit she would receive towards our adoption.  She said she hopes that someday people will be willing to help her family to adopt and this is her opportunity to contribute.  It just amazes me that someone coming to buy items I listed online would not only be adopted internationally, but would want to help us!  God is so good and I am so grateful to be considered worthy to be a part of this journey.  It is definitely a lot of work and can be stressful, but it is beyond worth it in every way!