Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

My Why: Tubal Ligation

Friday, April 24th, 2015

cc81ad4fc3baa3652a78ec234cd14bd1 Three year ago I made the choice to get a tubal ligation. At different times I wish that I had not, despite my busyness with the children that the Lord already gave me I do feel an emptiness, which I knew that I would.

I first started thinking about tubal ligation 7 years ago. My view on birth control is simple: I always knew I would not take a pill or put a foreign object in my body to weaken the natural lining of the cervix. To be 100% pro-life IUDs and all forms of “the pill” are out. To space my children I used Cycle Beads and I knew that when I emotionally and physically believed that I was done having children I would get a tubal ligation. One week after my 27th birthday it happened. My fourth child was born and after a wonderful, normal delivery I had a 1 inch long incision made right below my belly button through which my life altering surgery was performed.

Inside I cried a little and I’m fairly sure a few tears fell down my face as my body was numb from the ribs down, but I can’t quite tell as I was in a state of heavy lethargic peacefulness. I’d had a good run: Two children born on the west coast and two on the east coast all within less than a decade. I had a 22 month gap, a 17 month gap and a 26 month gap. It just seemed so right. My husband 17 years older than me and epilepsy in my body, it seemed like our story was full and ready to get moving beyond the baby stage. In all senses of reason, it was time to go beyond the baby outfits, bouncy swings and cribs. Soon we’d sell the stroller and become, well just continue to evolve with the children’s interests. Perhaps get a couple cats and some day a dog.

2012 is ancient history now. My baby is potty trained, and while she can’t put more than two words together yet, she’s sassy, spunky and believes herself absolutely equipped to take on the world. We have two bunk beds instead of toddler beds, pack n play and a crib. We no longer own clothes under size 4T and donated even my favorite baby carrier over a year ago to a family bringing a child home from Ukraine.

8324111e5cc0c52d06afb4031b3779d3One reason I wanted a tubal ligation was that I didn’t want to be hurt by loss again. This was not a selfish choice. God gave me a son, second child who was not born alive, a daughter who came full term, a second son who made full term and a fourth full term pregnancy, my youngest. That’s 4 healthy and one waiting for me on the other side. I absolutely went into the surgery knowing that God is bigger than any plan that ever I could have. My child that died had a name and a face to me, and I expect to know her when I’m on the other side of the physical world. I think of her daily and know God is using her to help me forward in my earthly journey to strive to be present for my kids here. Perhaps that only makes sense to someone who has lost a little one preterm.

Going into tubal ligation I also knew myself. I am someone who does not stick with decisions. That being so, I had to have an escape route to fix my eyes on should I ever change my mind. That answer was then, and is now Embryo Adoption.

My doctor did not want to sign on my Tubal Ligation because of my age. He said he’d be much more comfortable with it if I were over 30, but I was very adamant about my choice and had it written into my hospital plan way back in the second trimester. He did assure me that my interior workings were perfectly intact, with the exception of being “cut tied and burnt” which rendered my fallopian tubes unusable which is just what I wanted. I did not want tubes that would grow back together with heavy scaring likely resulting in a tubal pregnancy which would statistically be likely if I didn’t have all three measures taken in the ligation.

bba329bdc574d113d7f573069d25c117If you’ve already judged me as someone who plays God, get this. I remember when I first was talking about getting a tubal ligation I said, “God will probably give us a child with severe birth defects as a result of my wanting this.” What a thing to say! Three months after I had the surgery, 5 years after making that statement, I discovered Reece’s Rainbow, the organization that helps parents adopting internationally pair with children who have special needs. God put it on my heart to want to be involved, and from the day I saw that website I became an avid advocate of exactly what I once wanted to act against. I so craved having a child in my life who needed a home. I’ve not gotten that, and accepted that it does not look to be part of our family’s story. But how wonderful that God put on my heart something to balance out my heart.

When the subject of Tubal Ligation comes up on parenting groups, I say that it’s the option to take when moms decide that they are done having biological children. I believe it’s a healthy choice.

406023_10151933086335434_992388590_nI believed that my plate was full with four children, and I knew about Embryo Adoption and had the promise from my doctor that little known option was a healthy possibility. God had now given me the heart for International adoption which I dedicate every November thru December 31st to. I am content, blessed, loved and appreciate the gifts that I have from God. My choice is not a cornered in dead end. I haven’t played God, I am and always have been open to His will in my life. My testimony continues to grow and my faith develop daily as I ebb and flow through this present realities changes and challenges.

This year’s raisers.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Angel Tree, baby! And I’ve signed up. Please do too. There are so many children left needing warriors to sponsor and organize events for them. Here is a list of parties that I am hoping to work through, one already set with a date. Jamberry is happening October 17th!

Delivery room triage nurses always have quite the comments, or maybe it’s just that my senses all that I am conscious of are at their peek. Either way, I have extremely vivid memories of those moments when I first come in telling delivery staff that I’m ready to pop a baby into the world.

8 years ago I was told, “You hurt like hell now, but you’re going to forget it honey, if that weren’t true you wouldn’t be here for round 2 but you will be! If that we’re true no one would be here for round two. She laughed like that was the damn funniest thing she’d ever said.
I love delivery and learned that to be true hours later when my baby was in my arms.
It makes me feel super human. The pain is my gain, each fierce serge of pain getting lower and more consuming by the minute is getting me that much closer to meeting my new best friend and having the honor of being a part of one of those most amazing miracles that God ever thought to include in his incredible world. Four of my five babies have arrived perfectly, humbling me and just you have to experience to even comprehend what can’t be put into words. That nurse is right though, the pain is forgotten. For some more than others. I don’t like the process of recovering, I feel gross and wish everyone but my baby could just hush and not need me anymore for a while.

I’m getting carried away reminiscing. Today I’m talking about Angel Tree 2014.
Boring? No one attending my parties? Complete humiliation that will take me all year to overcome? Tears, tears and more crying when I don’t make my financial goal for someone I’m not even getting to adopt. All possible. That’s why I’m remembering that delightful nurse. She sent me home when I was seven cms dilated with advice to take a couple Advil and relax. My water promptly broke at home. Thank God we lived only five minutes from the hospital! My doctor had just left the hospital. I checked at 9 cms and had everyone yelling, “Don’t push!” for excruciating minutes on end. The doctor arrived just in time to say, “OK, go!” and catch the baby.

I like but do not follow the motto that says, “Not ready to adopt? Was ever a child asked if he was ready to be an orphan?” OK. That’s not exactly it. I feel that way about raising money during the annual challenge to raise $1,000 for an orphan. There are 200+ children who are to meet that goal, and as a year round advocate who prays and talks constantly about the plight of orphans overseas especially with special needs lacking home placements this really is the time to kick into high gear and do some concentrated work to boost funds.

Jamberry! Nails. Never worn them, but I know they are popular and got an offer for a sale from a mother so I know it’s something that I am meant to take advantage of. It will be a live party held online. That means people who have replied “Yes” to the invite will log in to the same Event page for half an hour to participate and take advantage of sales. I am so nervous! Will I be the only one who shows up?

I have an offer for a Trades of Hope party but did one last year with no sales so I hesitate on that one.

Damsels in Defense. No sales last year, but I will be doing it again and would like to become a vendor if I ever get to attend a training!

Pampered Chef. Yes! I know there is a good chance that Darren will make a few purchase. We own a can opener and a few other small kitchen items from them but not a whole lot yet. The thing is, it’s a popular fundraiser in the adoption world, so I do not expect much from my sweet friends in that world. Truthfully, I do want them putting money to their own adoptions. These women are my heroines who I lived through vicariously absolutely on a daily basis.

A lovely mama of two from the Yell Free Year Challenge page (Yes, there is such a thing!) on Facebook said that she would do a sale with Origami Owl, her home based jewelry business. I’m not familiar with that line, but am gushy with thankfulness for any all offers and plan to purchase from each and every!

We’ll be going door to door selling candles and pastries shortly. Only 15% of that will go towards our Angel Tree 2014 project, but both the children and I are completely stoked.

I am NOT crafty. I dream of it though and in my earlier days tried a few different things. This year I want to make Christmas ornaments with the children. It’s a great plan, but there has to be a reason that no one else is doing it. So far I’ve bought the plastic ornaments, three of them and modge podge. I have a couple other things to purchase before I start the project, as soon as I get one that looks right I’ll buy more balls and get the children involved if that still seems like a good idea.

AuroraWho are we raising money for? A twelve year old girl from Latv!a. She sounds a lot like little me, and has been in orphanage since about the same time I got married. She’s one of the only children on Angel Tree 2014 that does not have Down Syndrome. Signing up you list two other choices, in order mine were “Silvia” and “Fernando” If Aurora goes to My Family Found Me before December 31, 2014 I will be assigned to the one of these that does not have an Angel Tree Warrior, which right now is the sweet boy called Fernando…he’s been waiting so long for a family, and will hopefully get a warrior who can sky rocket his fund for that future couple to bring him home with.

The one last thing is a T-shirt. I REALLY want to do that. It’s quite popular now, so I am not sure how sales would go. It has to be gorgeous or not at all. We’ll keep imagining and keep drawing. Fundraising officially starts November 1st, so it would have to be finalized by then.

$35 spent by

Birthday Launch!

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Plus Baby Bram. He’s a little guy living an Eastern European orphanage. There is no information available about which orphanage he lives in, but he is alive and needing a family. I’m praying today on my happy birthday and one week before my own daughter turns 2, that 2 is Bram’s last as an orphan.

Bram the Birthday Boy

Bram the Birthday Boy


It’s 2:16 and my gift to myself is a little time alone to sit and write while A.J naps.
My morning was relaxing with the kids before school, I tried to get through the afternoon housework to have these two hours which I’ll use to polish up my new blog and write this entry.
Over the past little while I’ve been voicing excitement over a new program called the Family Warrior Project where individuals can sign up to follow and help fundraise for families who are going through the adoption process to bring home a special needs child from overseas.

I have been anxiously awaiting Keegan‘s family reaching the New Commitments page so that I can participate in this new program with them. Their adoption will cost $25 to 30K, the length is usually around a year but in cases it is sped up quite a bit for medical reasons, or on the other hand, delayed for medical reasons.
Anything could happen, especially when we are dealing with special needs which is the situation with all of these kids.
It was a couple of mornings ago that I realized that I never really asked God if this was what I was meant to do, maybe He does want me to Family Warrior for Keegan’s family. I also see advocating for the other families, instead of isolating on one, which is the purpose of the program. I will talk further with Keegan’s adoptive mama.

At any rate, I am launching a new blog to follow the Family Warriors and needs of adopting families.

The new site is called Family Warrior Program: Everyone’s Story the blog URL is monkeytree.oraeley.com
Visit that and add it to your blogroll.

I have put in the simplest interface that I could find in an effort to focus as exclusively as I can in families stories. I will begin with highlighting children’s stories who are February birthdays as this is my daughter and my month also.

Today is my birthday actually. I’m 29. Whatever happened to 19?! I wish I knew where that picture of my twin and I was. It was a great evening, the last one together before everyone started leaving home.

Today I want to write on here about Bram from Eastern Europe. His fund went from zero to $22.50 in December when I mentioned him on the official Facebook page. There are plenty of kids of course who deserve recognition, more than ever the audience that I will reach. Let me give you as quickly as I can the reasons that I chose Bram especially to celebrate in February. Bram is the Birthday Boy! I don’t know the exact date of his birthday, but he is two this month. I don’t know if someone is getting him out of his crib with a special birthday hug on one special day this month. If I could, I’d give him a snuggle and hope for a smile. Some of these children do get visitors; perhaps he only looks so despondent because he was woken from a nap for his picture to be taken?

Please, if you know someone who could adopt a little boy like Bram do not hesitate to share him. Debbie(at)reecesrainbow(dot)org for more information on how to begin the process of bringing home this darling young man. Happy birthday, Bram baby. May this be your last alone. You’re 2!
Bram does not have a family committed to adopt him yet, his profile is found under Other Angels Boys, 0-5. Where he has a fund open for donations, ultimately 22K will fully fund an adoption for him.

As for the Launch!! It’s Monkeytree.oraeley.com our first two stories will be on young children coming home from Eastern Europe and will be written shortly.

The Cup Runneth Over

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

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Despite having spent a good amount of my time on and off yesterday writing a blog post about families who have gone for kids I don’t have that swelling feeling of delight and blessedness that I expected.

It’s my secret aching emptiness that reins at the moment. There are entries that I should have written but haven’t touched yet that deal with this emotion that only someone like me can understand, someone who has watched others go and get kids overseas and not gone themselves. I am thankful, I am.

Thankful for the fantastic people who are changing the world that have never brought home a child, those exist too as everyone has a place in the work of caring for children. Consider Maria Montessori who educated children in the slums of Rome that everyone believed were without hope since they lived in such horrid filthy poverty.
She rose above social stigma of the woman standing second to the man and became the first female physician in Italy. There was one son in her life, his father was a college but never a husband as, according to some reports on her life, Montessori didn’t believe in holding to social stigma and that carried into marriage being mandatory for having children.
Mario, her son, was sent off to a wet nurse to be brought up until he was old enough to join the children that his mother taught. Certainly not a Mother Theresa! I do regularly wrestle with where my place is in the orphan crisis.

A very dear person in my life has a statement to me that resounds true as I limit my time looking at the needy faces on Reece’s Rainbow; “Don’t orphan your own children while you care for the orphans.” Is that what Montessori did? She changed the world, and her son went on to be her protégé. When you go into a classroom and see children sorting objects then recording their finding or using any sort of like manipulative, that is the influence of Maria Montessori at work. Extraordinary work, helping the helpless, giving hope to the hopeless.

What drove her was the hard fact that these children are our soldiers into the future. The trouble though for my belief system is that she took that to a humanist perspective where I must bring it to
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Montessori drove that hard and heavy! Unfortunately this image does not enlarge, I hope that you can make the words out. Just search “Montessori quotes” on any search engine and you’ll get reams of good stuff.

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Montessori’s 3rd world school was second to none and not to be rescued from.

I battle for perspective and know that this blog entry belongs in a dusty journal or a classified segment somewhere for people who doubt their lot.

The same person who has reminded me to pay due attention to my responsibilities has talked to me about taking a break from these faces, and I know it might help me. But praying for them and rejoicing in their stories is so intertwined with seeing them that I have yet to leave. I realized just yesterday afternoon that I am not alone in this in a lovely happen chance moment. I was scrolling through entries here and flashed past my Angel Tree Recap.

My 4 year old son was in the room and said, “Look, Mom! There’s my kid!” About sweet Daniel who has been waiting YEARS for a family. Where is his adoptive family? They’re busy. Pray that their hearts would feel empty for him.

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Here are some faces that are now home, others still waiting. Some have Now and Then images put out by the create young woman who put the collection together.

I do want to share another adoption story and lucky for me this one is local!! It’s the yet in route story of Priscilla who was born and until her preschool year raised in a Eastern European orphanage. I believe that she has been moved once or twice, and is in quite good care comparatively to other children who are without legal parents. This precious child of God is soon to join a homeschool family in the pacific northwest!

They have compiled a video of their journey to her and have some wonderful photos on their family page and on Facebook. It is my extreme pleasure to say that this family is fully funded. Just search fully funded on Reeces Rainbow and be amazed at this wonderful gift that families are getting from one way or the other. There’s commitment, passion and at the bottom desire to change the world. It matters to this one.

There are children who are extra special to my heart and this family’s daughter is one of them. Her mama, post reading this blog entry adds:

“We may or may not show up as fully funded – with the change of the second trip to 12 days in country, we were no longer fully funded, but Daryl’s parents and his brother have said they will help us if we need it, but I had already had our status changed, and if someone wants to help us out, then it will be less of a hit to them (we are projecting around a $1400 – $2000 shortfall depending on airfare). She has only been moved once, from the original orphanage to the group home. She is getting wonderful care there indeed. She was abandoned at birth and has never had any relatives visit her, ever. She spent those first 3 years hardly ever out of a crib and was fed via bottle only, laying on her back. But now they are feeding her solids and take care to not lay her down after eating so she will not aspirate and she is doing so much better!”

One of my favorite blog posts from Christy’s mama is titled: A little more about day three I realize it’s part of a series of amazing posts about their visit with their daughter in Eastern Europe. But these photos especially bring a smile for me. Precious girl, thankful parents and friends and family, brothers and sisters who look forward to this girl coming home.

Please see Connecting with Christy to learn more about this sweet daughter of the King and her redemption from an orphanage in Eastern Europe. Praising Jesus that she’s been well cared for. Living in a group home as she is now is a stride into the transition to living in a large family. Did I mention that her family is local-ish to me? She has a sister-to-be who also has Down Syndrome, that being the case, I feel absolutely certain that she will get the lovely life that she needs.
I’m specifically linking to this families adoption site as they have a record nicely placed of where their costs have gone. The money can be dizzying, it’s great when families take the extra time to record for families looking to adopt so that they can use those notes as a resource.

Feeling satisfaction, again. In sharing this story as I was privileged to share others stories yesterday and editing my site to make reading clearer so that I might reach more families.

Filling that emptiness?

Not by half, baby.

Don’t forget the Child of the Month on Reece’s Rainbow. I wrote about Izahic here.

I Knew I Loved You

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

My journey is reconciling myself to You Don’t Have to Adopt to Make a Difference category of people who love children overseas. I jump for joy and get goose bumps hearing the stories of families who get to adopt but know that I am not one of them. I am fascinated by families meeting the ransom of international adoption and welcoming home a precious little one, or more.

Through the day I will be compiling a group of responses to my question:

Lets revisit How You Knew You Were Ready.
I love bringing this thread up new here and there. Windy day, thinking of orphans abroad.

Post your blog links about the child you knew you were to adopt if you have those written. If not, please just briefly tell your story.

Story time!

You’re all awesome, thanks for going for your kids…whatever point of the process you are.

IMG_2916-1800My first response come two minutes after I posted, from Randi Lanz saying that this is one of her stories. A number of our families in the Reece’s Rainbow community go back for more than one child, praise the LORD! What’s in a Name? from her blog entitled Adoption Adventure with Two Little Princesses … AND a Prince!
I look forward to exploring their story and adding them to the list of families that we pray for. Thanks, Randi. The China New year celebration photos are so much fun, I hope you don’t mind that I grabbed one to share.

Today I also want to highlight twins Nadia and Nancy who I blogged about on October 26th, 2013 who now have an updated picture online. They do live in an institution as is common for children their age who are legally orphans. There are so many families who pray for these girls and wish that a couple would come forward to adopt them but that has not yet happened. NN2-248x300
NN-239x300Their coloring is so much like my kids and being near in age to my dear son Diederick it is easy to remember this set in regular prayer.

The second I Knew I Loved You story is the favorite that I have amongst the many that I know. Each though is a gift from God, each is so special. Bianca’s An Introduction blog post on her site, “We Believe You Belong” where she catalogs their journey to bringing home their son, Jackson who is a pure joy to his family and everyone who gets to enjoy pictures of him on a regular basis. Thanks, Oliver family for being one to stand up and follow the call to bring this sweet heart home.

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A new addition to the family of adopting parents is Stephani Obenauf who is bringing home a little girl named Zola who lives in a country that Reece’s Rainbow is just beginning to work with. Their mother-daughter love at first sight story is what adoption magic is made of, and I so encourage you to root for this pair. Not only did Stephani see Zola‘s picture and say, “That’s my daughter!” she’s trusting God so much that she is even doing it as a single person. She has an incredible, supportive mom and these three will do wonderfully together. Snow and Hot Cocoa.blogspot.com: Faith, Hope, Love is where you can learn more about what they are doing to raise money for this adoption.

Walking the Narrow Path Now is an incredible story in the works of an older boy and a family who didn’t expect to say, “Yes!” Appropriately, the story title is Our God Story where mom Brooke Kirk explains how Jesus told them that Ian was their son. This family has quite the fun events that go on. Check out their latest which needs more participants.

As the responses continue to roll in I fully recognize that each of these families deserve a full post acnologing their awesome testimony and wonderful trek to filling that spot at the dinner table that belongs to a child who is either overseas now or has come from afar and is now home where God has planned from all of eternity for that individual to be from that point until whenever only He knows that they should leave. Those moments are precious, and even when the child is taken in what feels like such an untimely occurrence families still stand and say that God’s love prevails and believe that they will yet be together in eternity such as the Winslow Family who lost their daughter Zoey before they had her home and were able to add a second daughter to their Eastern Europe adoption. Visit them here.

The next family that I have to share writes their story at Me Ke Aloha. Lisa Lim, mom to three biological children and a gorgeous 9 year old daughter who was born in Eastern Europe only to journey home to be a part of this special family who cherish her with their whole hearts. She has her medical needs tended to and the love and nurturing that she needs to become physically and emotionally strong. Watching this young lady blossom is a joy.

Amber Anderson is a friend who I feel a personal connection with despite not knowing her in real life as is often the way people are described who have not met in physical life. Amber and her husband along with their children are going double speed to rescue children who are living on borrowed time with their health. Asking for a link to her adoption testimony, this is what Amber gave me: A Long Overdue Update on her blog which is called I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go.
The Andersons are looking for someone to become involved in the Family Warrior Program saying that she’d love someone with experience working with the China adoption system, but primarily craves someone who has a passion for prayer and a love for the Lord Jesus. They haven’t written a post about how God led them to adding a second aging out child, but I promise, it’s mind blowing. Go, God!

Also responding to my post is a young lady like me who feels that tug to join the world of redeeming a child from bondage. The big deal for her and I is not just that we would like to bring a child that was not born to us home, it is that the child would be one who has a life situation that would most likely make them dependent for life.

These are the people of Exodus 4:11

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Jesus didn’t look the other way, and neither should we.

This blog post has a part 2. Please stay tuned for that, it’ll include at least two more families who are changing lives as they do their portion to make the world a better place.