Wednesday, January 18, 2012


  Talking via phone with anyone affiliated with local or state government entities...makes me want to eat cake. I mean, eat the entire sheet cake in under five minutes, flat. I mean, just got-out-of-prison eat. Why? Here's a recap of today's conversations when trying to get information about having adoption documents county certified. Apparently, I would have had better luck had I called and asked the shoe size of the current President of the United States.
...ring, ring.... Kerry optimistically ready with pen and paper to take down details. HA!
Stranger #1: Hello, Jefferson County Courthouse.
Kerry: Yes, I was wondering if I could speak with the person in charge of county certifying documents for adoption purposes.
Stranger #1- Er...I don't know what that is.
Kerry: Well, it's where the county certifies the notary signature on documents for adoption.
Stranger #1- Um, call this number. (Click.)
Kerry dials phone number 2. Still perky.
Stranger # 2: Hello. Judge So and So's office.
Kerry: repeats directive from above.
Stranger #2- That's not this office. It's either circuit court or district court. Try both of these numbers.
Kerry dials phone number 3
Stranger #3- No, that's not us. Try the other number.
Kerry has put down pen and pencil and is now sensing elevation of blood pressure.
Stranger #4- No, we don't do that here. Try probate court. Here's the number.
Deep exhale. Kerry dials phone number 4 and thinks about how similar this is to calling Charter with a technical problem..
Stranger #5- Well, you're close. All adoption-related issues are done in Judge Whoever's office. Call blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
Kerry now has no assurance that anyone in that entire building has ever heard of county certifying documents.
Dials sixth number.
Stranger #6 (but who's counting?)- No, we only deal with US adoptions once the international adoption has taken place. Call Circuit Civil Court on the 4th floor. I don't know the number, though.
Kerry: Will the main operator have the number?
Stranger #6 (who is probably doing crossword puzzle while speaking to me)- No. She got laid off. Try the blue section of the yellow pages.
Kerry slams head downwards onto table.
Minutes later and after a renewed sense of determination--Kerry consults yellow pages and finds phone number to Circuit Civil Court.
Kerry notes that it's the same number she called on attempt number 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Head back down on table. Kerry punts to Brent to find out information. Kerry wants cake.

 Unfortunately, this scenario is not that uncommon when trying to accomplish something in the adoption process. It's crazy frustrating. It leaves you asking the question: Shouldn't this be easier? I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Why isn't adoption just plain easier? I think you really have to want it. You have to be so motivated by love for that child that you just perservere through the cost, the inconvenience, the government red-tape, the hours of training--all of it. And when the day comes that I can hold that boy's face in my hands, I'll be able to tell him that we fought for him...and it was worth it all.
 Our adoption by Christ wasn't easy, was it? Tim Keller writes in King's Cross: "Through Jesus Christ, an infinite cost to himself, God has clothed us in costly clean garments. It cost him his blood." Our adoption cost Jesus his life. There is no greater price. 
 With that thought in mind, we press on. We re-do documents, write large checks, battle on the phones for information because it's part of the cost of wanting that little boy like God wanted me. And when I think about the millions of orphans remaining, I remember that Christ would have died for just one. And so we fight for just one.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Doing Less in 2012

  Well, the resolutions are swirling around again. Seeing as its been more than four months since I last blogged, should I resolve to blog more consistently? I'm not even going there. Anyway, the resolutions sound the same year to year, don't they? Do more. Be better. Be stronger. Get control. Oh, I've done it too. I've made resolutions so lengthy and complicated that I can't help but fail. I fail because it's all about doing things in my own strength--my favorite way to live.
 So this year, I resolve to do less, be poorer, be weaker, lose control. Let God be God and resign my post as His assistant (an unnecessary position). I've been in training for this assignment. I did fly to the Czech Republic last summer and spend two weeks so far out of my element that I thought I might die. Weak. Out of control. And what an experience it was...because He was leading. That, however, was just barely dipping my toe in to the pool of doing less and being less so He could do more and Be more through me.  Then we were called to adopt.
  If you want to feel absolute weakness and loss of control---start the adoption process. It's clear that God has been putting me in situations where I'm stripped of my ability to manipulate and manage (read blog about my back problem). It just can't be done in adoption. It is all Him and it's scary at times. Because in the back of mind, though I know differently, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, He won't show up for me. I'm waiting for Him to cut and run, and when He doesn't, I just can't figure out why. Why does this Father keep coming back for his daughter?
  As our family pursues this adoption of our little boy, it solidifies the gospel for me. We rescue because we have been rescued. We pursue because we have been fervently pursued. We love because we have known real love. Oh how humbling is this picture.
 So this is the year that five become six. It's overwhelming to think of, really. Just last night I was overcome with fearful thoughts. What if I'm ruining our family? What if this damages our children? What if this ruins my marriage? What if I just completely and utterly fail him?
Do less. Be weaker. Be poorer. Lose control.
 As we wait for immigration approval, travel is looking to be less than six months away. It's becoming more real. Every night, in prayer, I give my fears over to God--only to take them back and have to re-surrender them the next night. It's a constant struggle, but I am fighting. I know the beauty that comes from letting Him lead.
 So, resist the resolution to be better, be stronger, be more this year and join me in doing less. God will be big for us this year as he has been every year and He'll stay. No matter what, He will stay.
Happy New Year from our family to yours and meet our little guy-- the gift that only a powerful, all-knowing God could possibly give.
To help our family adopt- visit to purchase a 2012 calendar featuring the beautiful faces of Birmingham's adopted children. Forty percent of all profits go to Lifeline's Children Services.