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Requesting Back-up

I’m emotionally spent.  Soul weary.

So, I’ve called upon a few of my favorite authors and musicians.

This post is a compilation of various pieces that have greatly encouraged me this week.  I hope they do the same for you.

“Lead Kindly Light”

hymn lyrics by John Henry Newman

Lead Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home-Lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene-one step enough for me.

 

Living by faith includes the call to something greater than cowardly self-preservation. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

“Slipping Away”

song lyrics by Switchfoot

Our hope is just a metaphor, of something better
For all of our dreams tonight
And fear is just a shadow of the things that matter the most
And I fear that I’m losing hope tonight

Oh oh
I feel like I’m dreaming
Oh oh
Staring up at the ceiling
Oh oh
It’s four in the morning
I can’t sleep and it feels like a warning
Oh oh
You wouldn’t believe me
If I could say it just the way that I’m feeling
Oh oh
The words that I wanted to say
I feel them slipping away

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.  ~J.R.R. Tolkien
“Oceans” (Where My Feet May Fail)
song lyrics by Hillsong United
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

 

And perhaps my most recent favorite, partly because my 6 year old requests it everyday:

“Lord, I Need You”

song lyrics by Matt Maher

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

That last line could not be more true at this time.

Oh God, how I need You.

Silence?

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“You throw like a girl!”

“What a retard!”

“Come on, take it like a man!”

“She must be a n*****-lover.” 

Offended yet?  So am I.

Two weeks ago, I was in a Michaels store with the intent to purchase a picture frame but like any craft addict, I was also roaming the aisles, dreaming of all things creative. I  slowly made my way to the check-out when two teenage boys nearly ran into me.  No big deal. I smiled but before I could respond to their apologies, Boy #1 saluted me in a very strange, seemingly rude way.  I ‘m sure I gave him a puzzled look as I tried to figure out what his intent might be.  At that point, Boy #2 looked right at me and yelled, “Don’t mind him! He’s just a frickin’ retard!”  Then they both ran away, howling with laughter.

I was too stunned to move.  My knees actually gave way and I had to grab a nearby shelf to steady myself.  My stomach churned.  I was horrified.  What if our little gift-to-be had heard that? What if our little gift-to-be does hear that?  How can I possibly respond in a way that won’t include jail time?

When did this horrible, degrading term in this context become socially acceptable, even funny?  How did it become okay to use the term “retard” in a way that assaults our fellow human beings?

And while we’re at it, when did our culture start the awful rumor that to be female is to be weak?  Growing up a tom boy, I often found myself fighting the gender insult, “You throw like a girl.” When did it become appropriate to use the female gender as a way to intentionally hurt someone?  Now, I’m no medical wiz but I’m pretty sure no man has ever given birth.  Or done the equivalent of pushing a watermelon through his nose.  Or pulled his lower lip up over his head.  Can one of you kind readers inform me of such an event?  If so, I’ll stop right here.  No?  Mmmkay.

And it’s not just childbirth that deems you a strong woman.  There are women all over this planet who are fighting in wars, fighting for the souls of their children, fighting for their jobs, fighting for love, fighting for their health, fighting for equality.  And some women are forced to surrender, which requires a different kind of strength and a whole new blog post.

What about our cultural assumption “real men don’t cry”?  Some of the most authentic, masculine men I know have cried.  Wept, in fact.  How strong and alive these men have proven to be in the midst of overwhelming circumstances.  They have shown a vulnerability in the face of death, fiercely loved their families, and fought for noble causes.  Shame on our culture for perpetuating the stigma that “real men” don’t shed tears.

And let’s not forget the racial slurs that plague our globe.  In the late 1990’s, I went out with a group of college friends, every color of the skin rainbow.  We waited for 10 minutes in an empty Denny’s restaurant before the hostess came to seat us.  But instead of showing us to a table, she said with her hands on her hips, “We’re full tonight.”  Her look and tone told us that we were unwelcome.  The Caucasian men seated on the bar stools glared.  My African-American friends threw their menus on the floor and we all walked out.  And this was in Philly.  I was sickened by this experience and for the first time, I felt the sting that my darker skinned friends had felt for years.  As a result of my friendship with this particular culture, I’d been deemed a “n*****-lover”.  Yes, that was actually said to me.  And this event happened on the cusp of Y2K, not during the 1960’s when comments and treatment of this nature were commonplace.  Have we really come so far?

God, help us.

I have heard each of these derogatory descriptions over the years and while I have inwardly cringed, I have rarely publicly defended those to whom the term was referring, myself included.  In my effort to avoid conflict and to please people, I would muster an awkward smile, clam up, then switch topics.

God, forgive me.

I’m done sitting idly by.  I want to fight this life-stealing rhetoric, not with aggression and rudeness but with a kindness and authority, rooted in the Truth that God created and deeply loves each person on this planet.  This Truth does not change, regardless of mental capacity, gender, or race.

This incident at Michaels got me wondering about the history of these particular phrases, the history of the many phrases used by our culture to describe various people groups.  I don’t know the specific origins of all of these ignorant idioms and I don’t really understand why most of our society continues to use them.  But really, is that the issue?

The question I’m asking myself these days is, “What is my role?”  Even if I don’t use the phrases myself, I’ve been guilty of silence, which is equally damning.  Shame on me.  And shame on all of us whether we’ve used these terrible terms or pleaded the fifth, not wanting to upset our friends or those in company.

THIS. MUST. STOP. NOW.

Can we agree to end this damaging rhetoric?

Can my children grow up in a world where these terrible terms are eradicated?

Can we make a solid effort to kindly but firmly challenge those who use these them?

And perhaps most of all, can we take the time to address the motives behind our words and decide whether those words are life-giving?

I dream of a world where these kinds of words are extinct.  I hope that my children never hear this poison from anyone, especially their mother.  And like the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom we remember and honor today, may I refuse to be silent when the right words are needed.

The Beauty of Now

I was out walking with a friend pre-snowmageddon, chatting about life as we often do. One of our topics of conversation revolved around the idea of being in two places at once.  I’m not talking about straddling borders or state lines or hangin’ out on the Equator.  I’m talking about how strange it is that our hearts can be rooted in one place and yet long for the next place.  How is that possible?                                                                  Two gifts I get to enjoy.

Since we’re in the process of adopting, my mind of course went to thoughts of a sweet, squishy baby, namely one with an extra chromosome. Some days I physically ache for our new little one, yet I am so unbelievably grateful for the two gifts I already have in Selah & Jude. How is that possible?  If I am really content with the children God has already given to me, then how could I possibly long for more?  I don’t have a good answer to that question.  But my good friend had a point when she said, “Katie, when you feel like you can’t wait another day for that little one, throw your arms around the two you already have and be grateful.”  She’s right.

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How many times have I longed for a place or a person without fully enjoying the place and the people I’ve already been given?  As a kid, I remember the anticipation of whatever was next in my developmental years:  learning to ride a bike, going to kindergarten, losing a tooth, getting my ears pierced, making friends, starting high school, and getting my driver’s license.  (I still remember that first night out driving on my own.  I got lost downtown and ended up going the wrong way on a one way street! Two words: SHEER TERROR.)  Then, there was my high school graduation, those eventful college years, my first date with Glendon, our wedding, our first home…I think you get the idea.  In retrospect, I’m not sure that I fully enjoyed the present when I was in it.  I was so eager for the future, the next thing, whatever that “thing” was, that maybe I didn’t fully appreciate what I had in the present.

Now I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be excited for the next step in our lives or that we shouldn’t anticipate whatever God has for us down the road.  Quite the contrary.  Scripture makes it clear that because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have a beautiful future ahead of us, regardless of our present circumstances.  One day, sin’s curse will be destroyed and all things will be made new.  We are encouraged to long for that day.  And I think we all have those days or seasons (or lifetimes) on this broken, fallen planet when we cling to that truth.  Sometimes, that truth is all that we have!

Two gifts I get to enjoy.

What I am saying is that like the apostle Paul reminds us in the book of Philippians, we can learn to be content with where God has led us while we look forward to whatever He has in mind for our future.  Right now, I want to savor this time without our baby.  That’s right: WITHOUT our baby.  I want to be fully present right here, right now, savoring the uniqueness of this time.  I don’t want to be so focused on the horizon (that potential little one) that I fail to see the beauty of now.  So, today I’m throwing my arms around the two gifts I already have and I’m giving thanks to the Giver of their lives.071

Do you feel like you’re living in two places at once right now?  I would love to hear your story!

Resolutions?

At the end of every year, I take stock of the previous twelve months and then wonder whether I should compile a list of resolutions (I prefer “goals” but whatever…). Resolutions usually seem like a great idea, what with all the steps toward self-improvement and such. I mean, who doesn’t want to look better or be better? But to be honest, I’m weary of that kind of pressure, internal or otherwise. Of course I want to look better and be better but then I think of what that will require of me and I burn calories just thinking about it. My heart starts to pound, my anxiety increases, and I wonder how I can add another item to my already growing to-do list.

So, this year I made a small, manageable list of specifics, affectionately dubbed “The List”, that I’d like to accomplish in 2014. Will I be challenged by The List? Sure. Am I overwhelmed by The List? Nope. I’m actually looking forward to most items. Seriously, some of them are really fun.  For instance, #11:  “Spend a day in NYC with the kiddos”.  Have you met my kids?  They. Are. Hilarious.  And a day in NYC will most definitely be one hysterical adventure. I can’t wait!  Will I be a better person/wife/mother if I complete The List? Perhaps. Will I be more healthy by checking things off The List? Maybe. Believe me, I’d like to see fewer dimples on the ol’ saddlebags but that’s another matter.

The List aside, do you know what I really want in 2014?

I want to know more deeply the immeasurable love of God.

I want to consistently rest in His promises.

I want to trust wholeheartedly in His faithfulness.

I want to keep hoping that God will give our family the desire of our hearts: to adopt a baby with Down syndrome.

But how do I “do” these: knowing, resting, trusting, and hoping? How can I more deeply know the immeasurable love of God? What does that look like in my daily routine?

These 2014 desires are hard to put into a to-do list. And that’s not what I want anyway. I don’t want more tasks. But I’m also a practical person and I prefer some sort of method by which I can measure my growth.

So, I’ve decided to turn these 4 simple desires into questions to ask myself weekly or monthly.  It’s not a perfect system but I’m done with trying to be perfect.  And I’m done with systems.  I’m ready to engage more intimately with my Savior and to spend time resting in His character.  I hope these questions will help me to “do” that better.

How about you?  Do you make a list of resolutions or goals?  I’d like to hear your thoughts.

All the Known that We Need

A couple of weeks ago, I ran the Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon with my dear friend, Jess.  On the eve of the race, Jess asked me with genuine concern in her Philly accent, “So, how are ya doin’ with the adoption process?”   With a sigh, I shared how difficult the wait has been for me, for Glendon, for our kids.  I appreciated that Jess took the time to listen and offer insight, especially with her experience as an adoption social worker.  Jess & I chatted and laughed for a while before going to bed, hoping to rest well for the miles ahead.008

                                                                                              Pre-race pic with Jess (on R)

Getting to the start line and connecting with other runners made for a fun, eventful morning.  The gun went off, the bands played, and Jess & I laughed, enjoying each mile together.  And then we hit mile 9.  And I began to feel like…well, like garbage.  I had no pain or cramping but I felt exhausted, physically spent, and wondering how I was going to finish this thing.  After two previous marathons and countless other races over the years, I did not expect to feel this awful.

So, I went into my “zone”, a place not unfamiliar to me.  This is where I go mentally when I need to stay focused, keep running, pray harder, and hang on to every motivational thought.  And nothing is funny in the zone.  NOTHING.  Just ask Jess.

At about mile 10, thoughts of adoption meandered into my zone, uninvited.  I was reminded of how hard this waiting continues to be.  With the salt dripping from my foul-smelling frame, the sun beating down, and my sizeable thighs creating their own applause, I had an epiphany:

 Adoption is like being asked to run a really difficult, painful race in the dark.  With no end in sight. 

Unlike our Philly race, this adoption journey has no posted finish line.  No cheering crowd when you’re nearing the end because none of the spectators have a clue about the finish line.  We could be running for another month before we can bring our baby home.  Or another two months.  Or until Christmas.  Or Easter.  Or until next summer.  Or another year from now.  Or…more.  How do we prepare for all the unknowns?

What helped to motivate me through those last few miles was the knowledge that mile 13.1 was in the distance.  Jess & I knew that the finish line was coming.  If we could keep running…just a little bit longer.  Rest for our weary, salt-crusted bodies was on the horizon.  The knee pounding would end.  Cold water was waiting.  Carbs beckoned.  Knowing that the end was in sight helped to keep us moving, to finish strong.

Not so with adoption. 

I have no idea how long we’ll be running this difficult race in the dark.  We are plagued by the unknowns.  And we certainly can’t see the finish line.  By God’s grace, I’m trying to run well despite feeling pretty discouraged, lately.  I am so thankful for friends like Jess and for all of our family and friends who are running with us, infusing our hearts with Life and Truth, especially when I’m not sure how much longer we can do this.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the Lord, who was present on my fairly predictable 13.1 mile run.  And who is ever-present on our weary run toward a sweet baby we do not yet know, on a road we cannot predict, with no knowledge of a finish line.

We’re choosing to trust that He is all the known that we need.

Waiting

Some of you have been asking me about why I haven’t posted in awhile.  Thanks for caring enough to ask.  I appreciate that.  I must tell you that it’s been a whirlwind summer and I simply haven’t had enough time to mentally and emotionally process life.  And I need to do that in order to write coherently.  So, here’s hoping that this post isn’t just a bunch of rambling.

7 months ago, we began praying specifically about adoption.

5 months ago, we chose an agency.

3 months ago, we had our home visit.

2 months ago, we finished our grant applications.

There is nothing more for us to do besides…wait.

So, we are…waiting.  Waiting for God to bring us our baby.  Waiting on His perfect timing.  His timing is perfect, right?  RIGHT?!  Sometimes I wonder.

A few nights ago, the four of us (my husband, me, and our two kiddos)  were on our way home from a refreshing evening spent with friends.  As we turned on to our camp road, the mile-long stretch of gravel and potholes that leads us home, we cranked up the song, “I Will Wait”, by Mumford & Sons.  With windows down, volume amped, neck veins bulging, and the night air in our lungs, we belted out as loud as possible, “I WILL WAIT, I WILL WAIT FOR YOU!  I WILL WAIT, I WILL WAIT FOR YOU!”

Somewhere in all our yelling, er singing, and eventual laughter, my voice caught in my throat.  I had to stifle a cry because here we were, my three favorite people in the whole wide world, shouting out in unison: WE WILL WAIT.  We will wait for our baby.  We will wait for our sibling.  We will wait for God to bring this little soul to our home.  Even when our arms ache to hold our sweet bundle.  Even when we imagine the cooing and giggling and smiling.  Even when we want to set up the pack-n-play and begin this journey as a family of five.  Yes, Lord, even in those vivid moments of yearning, we will wait for You.

Now, in this particular case, we really have no choice but to wait.  We do however, have a choice in how we wait.  This makes me cranky sometimes.  If you could hear my thoughts in those moments, you may notice that they carry a hint of whine:  “I’m tired of waiting!  Can’t You just give us a baby already?  What is taking so long?!  Come on, we’re trying to provide a home for a child in need of one.  How difficult is that, people?”

Our family jam session reminded me that if I can’t authentically live those three important words, then maybe I shouldn’t be singing them.  You see, I really don’t want to wait.  I’m weary of waiting.  And in adoption time, we’ve waited for like 2 minutes, maybe.  We might even have another year or more of waiting (GOD.HELP.ME.)  But as I seek the Truth, I find that God is more concerned with my heart while I wait.  So, I am asking for His supernatural strength and patience and peace to wait well.  To wait with gratitude.  To wait with great hope in Him.  And to wait, believing that my loving Savior cares enough about my heart to bring us the perfect-for-us little bundle in His perfect time, not mine.

If you’d like to share what you’re waiting for in this season of life, I’d like to hear it!

By the way, if you want to catch Mumford & Sons’ Saturday Night Live performance of “I Will Wait”, you can check it out here:   http://youtu.be/S5t7B-ia8Y0.  Please know that I do not necessarily approve of all YouTube advertisements.

Mafia

I used to work with the Mob.  Ok, well, not THE Mob but it sure felt like it. This place had all the components typical of the Mob: manipulation, corruption, deception, financial fudging, favoritism for the selected few, even a Godfather.  There was no Italian restaurant as the cover but there may as well have been.

At the time, I was furious and frustrated.  I wanted the perpetrators to pay.  I wanted the winds of justice to sweep through that place and wipe out The Corrupted Family.  I wanted Noah’s Ark present day.  And I wanted to be Noah.  And truth be told, on my worst days, I still want that done at that place.

And then some time passed and I got a little older.  And thank God, a little bit wiser. And really, the Lord began to show me that my ideas of justice are not always what He has in mind.  And my demands for social accountability do not often coincide with His perfect way of working in the hearts and lives of others.  And I could drive myself mad if I continued to expect that He right all the wrongs in the way that I thought He should do it.  And to whom I thought it needed done.  Those demands of my Redeemer took too much of my time.  Too much of my soul.

And so I’ve learned to let go…a little bit.  I’ve learned that I can’t change hearts.  I can’t make people do good to others.  I can’t expose all their wrongdoing.  (In some cases, I believe this should happen but in my case, this was impossible.)   I can’t force the Mafia to make choices that reveal a deep love for our Creator, their Creator.

And you know what else?  I can’t even change myself.  My own little wicked heart eats enough of my time without my having to fix the hearts of the Mob.  So, instead of pushing to right all the wrong done, I’m stepping back and asking God to keep changing my heart.  I’m asking Him for supernatural strength to love my enemies, for hope in the midst of all the unfairness, and to keep trusting that one day all will be made right.  And I’m guessing, it will have little to do with me.

Look Here

For most of us, eye contact is a common courtesy used when speaking to another.  We remind our children to “look at her when she’s talking to you”.   For some of us, eye contact is uncomfortable.  If we believe that our eyes are the “window to the soul”, we may find it difficult to allow another to look into our hearts.  Some of us battle shame or shyness or judgment, so we struggle to bring our chin up and allow our eyes to meet the face of another.

And some of us are so full of arrogance that we actually choose to avoid the wounded eyes of those we’d rather judge.  By refusing to look at those who’ve sinned (against us or those we know), we make our point:  YOU ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE LOOKED AT.

I’m addressing a nasty church issue that I can no longer ignore.  And I may be criticized for it but I don’t care.  (For the record, I have not experienced this issue in my current church.)  But this issue is rampant at a church where I know some “uber holy folks” who refuse to make eye contact with a certain woman.  This woman chose deception over truth, made a choice to sin, repented of that sin, sought forgiveness, accepted church discipline, and is trying to move forward.  One problem however: the uber holy folks are proving that forgiveness and redemption are not possible.  For some reason, they think their job is to set higher standards than Jesus Himself set.

If I remember correctly from Scripture, Jesus refused to judge the woman caught in adultery.  He looked at her, forgave her, and then kindly told her to “go and sin no more.”  He did not look above her or past her.  He looked right at her, proving her worth as His created being.  And Jesus has looked right at this broken woman of the 21st century and has forgiven her.

That should be enough for the uber holy folks, right?  Well, it isn’t.  Two plus years after the sin surfaced and they demand more.  They seem to demand something that none of us, not even they, can attain.  They seem to demand perfection of this woman.  In the meantime however, they have started a Sunday school class on LOVE.  Can you believe it?  More Bible studies on MERCY.  They have taken to the streets to feed the hungry, give to the poor, even adopting orphans.  Good for them.  What I want to know is this: where is the love within the walls of the church toward those who have publicly sinned?  Where is the eye contact toward the wounded lambs within their fold?  Is eye contact reserved only for the spiritually elite?  And where is the church discipline for these uber holy folks?  How are they allowed to lead when they cannot even look on the broken souls in their midst?  I have actually heard people from this church say, “If I were not a Christian, I would not become one based on how the people here treat the broken.”  Harsh words from some of their own.

Here’s what I know: Jesus looks at us.  Jesus looks at ALL of us, including the holy folks (whom I struggle to love).  No matter what we have done, He chooses to fix His eyes on ours.

In Luke 22:60, we read of Peter’s denial of Jesus in His hour of greatest need.  After the rooster crowed, Scripture tells us, “the Lord turned and looked at Peter.”  Why is His look significant?  Because by looking right at Peter, Jesus “discerns clearly” the heart of his friend.  Jesus reveals the depth of His love to His most eager follower.  Even when Peter denied Him, Jesus was still willing to engage with one of His created.  He valued the soul of the one who sinned against Him.  Jesus still found Peter worthy of His time.  And how does Peter respond?  Luke tells us in verse 62 that “he went out and wept bitterly.”  He left, knowing that Jesus loved him fiercely, right through the layers of his sin and pain.

I believe this 21st century woman has been devastated by her actions.  She understands the depth of her sin.  She has made right all that can be made right this side of eternity.  What else must she do?  And Jesus has looked on her with compassion.  His eyes, full of love, have gazed into hers.

I’m just wondering why the uber holy folks can’t do the same?

Keep Going

Summer was over and I was entering the seventh grade, determined to try out for our school’s volleyball team. At 3:10 pm, the last bell rang and I nervously made my way to the gym.  Out of nowhere, my hilarious friend, Janie, came running toward me, pleading between gasps of air, “You’ve GOT to run cross-country! Come on! It’ll be so much fun!” I was torn. Here, I had been mentally preparing to try out for volleyball, a sport more familiar to me. I liked to run but had never considered cross-country. The cautious, level-headed part of me screamed “No! Don’t do it! You don’t know what you’re getting into!” But the spontaneous part of me thought that running with fun Janie would be worth all of the unknowns. So, I walked away from the gym, toward the cross-country meeting room.  And never looked back.An adventure it was indeed. For the next six years, I ran cross-country. (Ironically, Janie only ran cross-country that year; she played volleyball for the remainder of our sports careers.) So, Janie, if you’re reading this: THANK YOU. Your invitation worked. And without those years of cross-country, I’m not sure I would have learned a lesson in the way I needed to learn it. And that lesson is: keep going. 

 

 

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been struggling lately. There’s a lot going on in my heart and life.  Overwhelmed by the adoption process. Elated for the addition who will join our home (hopefully) soon. Guilt for knowing how this wonderful new baby will change our  lives. Tired from too many late nights and too many early mornings. Discouraged by the state of our country, our world. Hurting for family and friends. And let’s be honest, hurting personally for various reasons that I’m just not ready to blog about right now. And all of these emotions have brought me to tears. I’ve just wanted to just sit down and cry and not get up until these storms pass. But that’s just not realistic. The dark clouds will always come. They’re part of life.

Don’t get me wrong. Crying is a normal human response. Crying is necessary, cathartic. But I don’t want to stay there. I want to keep going. I need to keep going. And that’s what running has taught me. My cross-country coach used to preach to all of us, in his Kermit-the-Frog voice, “I don’t care how slow you go. But never, ever, ever stop.” Good advice.

Like many runners, I tend to think of meaningful mantras to help me time my breathing with my pace. For all of the races I’ve run, the one mantra that is drilled into my head is, you guessed it: KEEP GOING. I would time those two words with my breathing and my steps until there was this beautiful, synchronized sound of my feet pounding pavement, my lungs pumping air, and my mind chanting truth.

These days, I haven’t been running as much. Mostly because this spring season has been unusually cold and I hate, nay LOATHE, running in the cold. I do work out indoors but it’s just not the same. I miss the rhythm of my feet pounding, my lungs pumping, my mind chanting. I miss the constant physical reminder to keep going.  And Lord knows, this is one piece of advice that I need to hang on to right now.

Traveling a New Road

This official announcement has been a long time comin’ but we wanted a few more details confirmed before we shared our news with the FB world. So…we are in the process of adopting. To further explain the road to this decision, I’ve copied an email that we sent to family and a few close friends back in January of this year:

Dear Family & Friends,

Just wanted to update you on what God has been doing in our hearts & lives…

You all know that I had, at one time, pursued nursing school. God clearly led us in that direction and then He closed that door, allowing me only to peek every once in awhile at the possibility of returning. This past fall, we wondered again whether He was taking me down that road but He has made it clear that at this stage in life, becoming a nurse is simply not His best for us. Accepting this reality has been painful (and some of you know the depths of it!) but I am choosing to believe that God is FOR me and that surrendering this dream is the better option. We really are at peace with this closed door.

As if we didn’t have enough to sort through, Glendon & I have also been praying about adoption, more recently now than ever before. We have kept this increasing desire to ourselves (with the exception of a few), thinking that the possibility is so far down the road that we wonder whether it will ever become a reality. Our desire to provide a home for a child in need of one continues to grow and we want to be ready.

While we have been praying, Selah has been dreaming. Mind you, we have not said anything to the kiddos about this possibility but she had a vivid dream one night, in which we went to a “brown house and picked out four babies, 3 boys and 1 girl”. I tried to hide my surprise, fighting tears as she shared the details of “you and daddy picking out the babies”. She even had each child named! Now, I don’t read too much into her dreams because she also has dreams of foxes & coyotes in her room but this one was obviously more significant, especially in the timing of it. Perhaps God is preparing her. Perhaps God is using this as confirmation that we are being obedient to what He is calling us to do.

We recently chose an adoption agency and are now ready to take the next step of a homestudy & to complete all of the preliminary paperwork. God has refined the desire to adopt, more specifically, a newborn/infant with Down syndrome within the States. Most of you know of my desire to work with those with developmental disabilities (my favorite ministry at Camp Hebron and the main reason for my pursuit of nursing school) and most of you are familiar with Glendon’s unbelievably patient, gentle demeanor, both crucial characteristics in working with this beautiful population. We are looking forward to raising a child with these specific needs and yes, we’ve also considered the future implications for us, for Selah & Jude. We are aware (as much as we can be) of the affect this will have on our lives-and we are thrilled! We recognize that we will, in a different way from Selah & Jude, be “forever parents”. We are willing to take this step, regardless.

My heart breaks when I read stories of babies who are disposed of at birth because they have Down syndrome (and for other reasons!). We want to help provide these families with another option. We simply cannot turn our backs on these precious souls. God is calling us to this, to provide a loving home for at least one. The number of orphans available because of this specific syndrome is enough to send me into heaving sobs. And it has.

We don’t know what lies ahead for 2013 but we are confident in His faithful leading, timing, and direction. We covet your prayers as we travel this unexpected, new road! Thank you for the role you have played and continue to play in our lives.

Grateful,

Glendon & Katie
The latest news is that we have our home visit next Monday, April 22nd. In the meantime, we have registered with the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network, a matching agency based in Ohio. We are in the process of setting up our family profile, which will be accessible to birth parents, allowing them to “see” us and gain a better glimpse of our lives. Our prayers now revolve around the birth family, our new baby, the timing of this beautiful addition, and the finances needed to bring our little one home.

We appreciate your prayers and support along the way.

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