Some people have expressed frustration about not being able to leave comments. If you submit a comment, it comes to my e-mail inbox first, instead of going straight on the blog. After I read it, I click a little button and then it gets published on the blog. It's meant to weed out meanies. (snort)
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I was talking with someone and I said, "You know, I'm just not very adventurous."
And then we laughed.
'Cause earlier in the day I had biked on a (mostly downhill) bike trail with my front brakes taped together.
And why on Earth was I doing that?
The long story involve me being good at two things: being a therapist and being Adam's wife. The short story is basically because the good folks at the Wounded Warrior Project asked me to.
The plan had been to go recumbent biking down this trail. I had never ridden a recumbent bike, but they are relatively more stable than a bicycle (with three wheels and being all close to the ground). So I tested it out and got all excited, but then the person in charge of the bikes decided that I was "too short" to ride any of the recumbent bikes.
(As an aside, I am 5'7" and have never been told that I am "too short" for anything. For some reason this guy was convinced that I was the shortest person in our group, even though two of the ladies were barely over 5'0". But whatever...)
So I offered to ride a bicycle. Which I haven't done since the seventh grade. And really wasn't sure if I still knew how, but I was willing to believe that saying about "it's just like riding a bike.."
And then my front brakes didn't work. So the guy taped them. And we prayed that they would hold. And I buckled my bike helmet (PS I had never worn one of those either...eek!) and took off.
And, at times, it was the most terrifying thing I have ever done. There were more than a few places where I strategically planned my crashing so that I wouldn't mess up my face or my stunning teeth (that we had JUST PAID OFF!). I was willing to risk pretty much the rest of my body and hope that some of that magical health insurance would take care of it!
But I did it.
(There are no pictures of that taking place 'cause I was so freakin' scared. I was really just focused on staying on the bike and keeping my face intact.)
And there was the time they asked me to go skiing. This is me at the end of Part 1, Day 1, where I am wet, scraped, and bleeding from my skiing adventures. No one else looked like this. (I love how PROUD I am in this picture!)
In my defense, Indiana is relatively flat, and I had never been skiing before. And I was terrified.
But here I am at the end of Day 2. Less wet. Less bloody. Still terrified. And very high up.
But I did it. I
mostly skiied down the hill. (Yes, there was some falling/sliding involved, but nothing like it was the day before!)
Oh yeah, and white water rafting? No biggie.
(I'm in the back left (bottom right on the pictures). Thank goodness the helmet hides the look of terror in my eyes.
So, not only was I very very scared, I was cold. After years of tailgating the IU/Purdue game in November, I thought I had officially experienced the coldest I have ever been. And that's just not true. It's a whole different thing to be cold and soaking wet and scared.
Water in Maine in May is COLD.
But I did it.
And then there was the time that I came home and told my husband that I thought we should fly about 7,700 miles around the world to adopt our children. And that we would need to buy a house and save about $20,000 before we could do that. And that I thought it was possible to do all that in about a year.
And we are doing it.
Maybe I'm more adventurous than I think...
Sunday, July 15, 2012
I'm never quite sure how much to share about the financial aspect of adoption. I want to be as transparent as possible, especially in this arena, because it is the number one reason why most people don't choose adoption--they don't think they can afford it.
And I'm here to tell you...we can't afford it.
I know that there are some people who will say that we shouldn't adopt if we can't afford it. And I don't know what to tell those people. I think if you wait until you can have kids, you'll never have 'em. And I think life is too short to let a lil' thing like money keep us from our babies. (So, I guess that's what I'd tell 'em, huh?)
Before we really started on our journey toward adoption, I read all these blogs about adoption. And I heard (read?) all these people talking about how God provided them with the money for adoption. And I kept thinking, "I want that. I want God to pay for our adoption!"
Now, I am a firm believer of "Go with God, but row away from the rocks." I did not expect for God to just deposit $20,000 in our bank account and give us a free house (though anything is possible, and we are certainly open to the idea!). But I did know that we were going to need some serious favor from God if we were going to do this.
'Cause we can't afford adoption. But God can.
I've talked before about going to see Joyce Meyer in April, where she talked about faith and fear. I always think it's funny how sometimes God doesn't just blast you in the face with things, but instead He just unravels them for you slowly. She talked about the concept of giving and shared the story of Elijah and the widow from the Bible.
I'm certainly not a Bible scholar so bear with me, but the gist is that Elijah walked in the desert for 100 miles, because God told him to go somewhere. And when he got to where God wanted him to go, he found out that the person who is entrusted to take care of him is actually at the brink of starvation and has just enough food to cook her funeral meal. If I were Elijah, I might have been pretty disappointed. And if I were the widow, I would be downright annoyed that I am expected to share my last meal with some stranger who is probably more than a little dusty.
So as Joyce is going on in her very southern, matter-of-fact way or maybe it was when she was showing a video of their work in Africa (with children who very easily could be OUR child), God and I had a heart-to-heart. And I chose to make a monthly donation to Joyce Meyer ministries. I committed to $15 a month. Because, honestly, it didn't make sense that I should be giving away our good, hard-earned money when we so desperately need it. And I'm a little hesitant about trusting people with my money and believing that it will go where it needs to go. But, really, it's God's money anyway. He'll do what He wants with it.
But by letting go of what amounts to a very small amount of our income and trusting God with it, we have seen His provision in a BIG WAY. We have also made a serious committment to not spending money on crap we don't need or eating out. Whenever I drive past a place that sells ice cream or overpriced coffee, I have to ask myself, "Do you want coffee or do you want your kids to come home?" It's pretty sobering.
In the last six months, we have:
1. Paid off my car...that I got the same day Adam and went on our first date! (It was quite a day!)
2. Paid off two credit cards
3. Seen God eliminate one of Adam's student loans
4. Watched in awe as God provided retroactive health insurance for Adam's kidney stone
5. Paid off a credit card related to my dental surgeries to get rid of my little teeth
6. Paid off a credit card I got in college and used stupidly
7. More magical insurance coverage that covered the cost of pain killers for another possible kidney stone
The details aren't important, but that was about $17,000 worth of debt taken care of right there! Bazinga!
Add into that that I got a job teaching a senior level social work course at Indiana University in the fall, which will provide extra income. I also work for a company doing adoption recruitment for families in Indiana. Plus, things are really booming at my practice, and I'm getting so many referrals for military clients. I'm also set up to do another Odyssey with the Wounded Warrior Project in August.
And we managed to purchase a laptop and fix my car (something about the mechanic feeling unsafe to test-drive it because the wheel was almost going to come off). And, seriously, I put off getting my car fixed for about 3 YEARS because I didn't have the money.
So thanks to God for his provision, thanks to my husband for saying yes (about a lot of things), and for our friends, family, and readers who are praying and sending good thoughts our way. We are seriously doing this!