- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
So, I read the title and thought, "Now that's a story that I can relate to." I bought it, brought it home, went out on my front porch, and started to read. I'm two chapters through already, and now I see why I felt like there was something waiting on that shelf for me. There's even a note in the back of the book saying, "It is not by coincidence that God has allowed you to find this book. He has known you by name since before I even dreamed of writing. With each word typed, I've prayed that He would minister to your needs."
The book is called Hannah's Hope--Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss., by Jennifer Saake. It's not been often that I've seen a book embrace all THREE issues together, especially including the adoption loss. I especially appreciate the way she defines that journey through an adoption loss as walking through "no-man's land" and how she counts those children in the specific number of children that she has lost and grieved. For anyone who has walked any, or all, of these roads (as we have), I highly recommend this book.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Julian took the initiative and began calling me Mom about a year and a half ago. A half a year later, he started calling Mike his Dad. Though he was already an adult by then and knew we could never officially adopt him, apparently that was an important thing to him. To have someone to call his Mom and Dad was filling a huge void in his life. To be considered a son to someone meant that he belonged. Around the same time, he started calling David his little brother. Soon the relationships grew and deepened, and I became Mami and Mike became Daddy--to a young man who had just become a legal adult! Every term of endearment he's used with us was completely from his own initiative.
Now that he's legally on his own and dependent on us for the time being rather than the government, he surprised me yet again by showing just how desperately he wants to be a forever part of our family. I found him online the other day and suddenly realized that he'd changed his name and unofficially taken on our family name. Yep. Kind of a humbling moment to be reminded of how great an orphan's need is to feel like they belong to someone, to know that someone will claim them.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
This week I came down pretty hard on Julian regarding money, and I actually ended up really hurting him. Then God hit me over the head and reminded me that He is the one providing the money for Julian to live right now, not us or our "budget". I had looked at the numbers at what it was costing him to live, and I panicked because it was not in my proposed budget of what we could do to help him. Then I opened up my study on Experiencing God and read, "I wonder whether God ever tests our faith as He did Philip's. Does He say, "Feed the multitudes (care for the orphan)and we respond, "Our budget can't do it." Ouch. That hurt. I immediately confessed my lack of faith that God would continue to provide, I apologized to Julian for having been so hard on him, and the very next day God blessed us with airline tickets for our return to Colombia this summer that had dropped nearly $200 in price for the first time in months. That saved almost $600! Once again I was reminded of how much we miss of God's activity when we try to operate on our own logic, reasoning, and numbers.
So, I'm just going to back off from trying to control this whole situation and once again allow God to work in His own way to show that when He gives a God-sized assignment, it will be something that only He can do. He knows we can't do it on our own strength and resources, and that's the whole point. We were never meant to.
We will be returning to Colombia on June 5th to work at a school called El Camino Academy. I will be teaching intensive English in their summer school program, and Mike will be working in and around the school on different physical projects. David will join both of us in various capacities depending on what's going on each day. This will also give us another 30 days to spend with Julian. God may have completely different plans for us once we get there, but we will just wait and see what He has planned for us. Our trip is going to cost about $3,000, which includes the airline tickets, a furnished apartment, and daily food and travel. If you would like to give toward our trip, just go to this link https://www.lakepointe.org/Give/Default.aspx, click on the location to give to a mission trip, and find our names towards the bottom of the list. Our Lifegroup has expressed a desire to help with Julian's daily expenses right now, and we found this to be a way to do so in a tax deductible way because any part of our trip that is covered frees us to be able to help him more right now.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
....until an ankle got caught between another player's legs. Ouch!
Nothing an ice pack, a cute dog, and a sweet little boy couldn't cure. :)
After a little loving from the little dog and comforting from the little boy, he jumped back into the game and scored a goal. :)
Friday, March 23, 2012
Every time we sing this song at church, I remember our experience on the mountaintop. Today when it came on the radio, I told David this song goes right with my book. However, I stand corrected, because he then said that he's getting frustrated hearing me say "my book". He said, "It's not YOUR book. It's OUR story that we have to offer. We ALL went through it." So, enjoy this beautiful song that expresses our journey, OUR story.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Ready to head off!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Precious. He never calls him Mike anymore in our conversations. It's always just Papa or Dad. This was the first he tried out Daddy. Just goes to show you how desperately that boy has wanted to be part of a family for all these years. How many more are out there that never are given that opportunity?
Sunday, March 4, 2012
From the Mountain…to the Valley…and Back!
What were my motivations to write this book and turn our deeply personal story into one that is available for anyone to read?
· To describe an adoption process, in detail, including all the emotional ups and downs that come with it
· To document what it’s like to grieve a failed adoption, giving other families in our situation a resource we only wished we had had
· To show that there is still hope when we cling to God through a tragedy, proving that He is a personal God and can bring beauty out of ashes
· To help me heal by getting it all out, to serve as a therapeutic experience
· To give a voice to the older orphan, showing how desperately these children want and need to be part of a family, NO MATTER HOW OLD THEY ARE
Continue to follow our story on my blog—From the heart of Rachelle D.