Saturday, May 24, 2008

Adoption Label on my New Blog

This link,
will take you to all the posts I do on my new blog that are about our adoption process. My new blog is about my everyday life and covers a lot of topics, but I label the adoption posts, so the above link will take you directly to all adoption updates.


Friday, May 23, 2008


I just posted a new update on where we are at with adoption here:

I am humbled and grateful for the interest and prayers of those of you who are still checking in with us and caring about our family.

Thank you!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

I'm Beginning a New Blog

There is a rumor going around that the Liberian government is planning on shutting down adoptions for at least 4-6 months. It is just a rumor that hasn't been confirmed by our adoption agency yet, but I've heard it from enough sources that I'm thinking it is probably coming. The rumors say that the Liberian government officials want to evaluate the current adoption practices. These other sources are advising families to not accept any new referrals at this time. It pains me to say it, but it appears that our adoption will need to be put on hold until God prompts us to begin again.

In the mean time, I've started a new blog that I hope you'll visit. It is called Everyday Becky and the new address is:

This will be the blog that I will be using until we are able to continue our adoption journey. Click here to go to the new blog or here to read why I've decided I needed to begin a new blog. Please bookmark my new blog. I'd miss you all if you leave me now. : )

Thursday, February 28, 2008

No Direction Yet

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make Your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6

We got more news today about what happened with JJ's family. I guess his birth father was still in favor of the adoption, but the father's older sister was not. She had been in Ghana for medical care and had just returned. When she heard about the adoption, she wanted JJ withdrawn and will be raising him herself. The father didn't feel like he could disobey his older sister. Respecting elders is a cultural norm in Liberia.

I have had a lot of people ask what we plan to do next. The answer to that question is honestly I don't know.

Pat asked me this morning if I had received any insight yet. I told him that when I close my eyes I have a vision of a dead end with a huge wall in front of me. It's like the end of a very narrow hallway and there are no doors on either side. I'm just standing there looking up the big wall, completely void of any spiritual discernment or direction of what God's will is for us. Maybe it is just too soon to make a decision.

We have been given a lot of advice that I respect and appreciate. There seems to be four different opinions that others have asked us to consider.

1. Sometimes, we try to force something to happen when God has shut a door and said, "No." Maybe we are trying to do something that God isn't really asking us to do or blessing the effort.

2. Please keep pushing on. Stay with the process. Sometimes God asks us to do things and in the process we face many obstacles that we just need to press through in order to be obedient.

3. Take a break from it all. Concentrate on your new baby coming and after he/she is born you can revisit the idea of adoption.

4. Consider another program/country/domestic adoption plan that is less risky and more consistent.

We have listened to the heart of our friends and family and appreciate all of the food for thought. I truly am considering all of the above thoughts and seeking God in prayer. Now we just wait for the answer.

I wish that I could remove the emotion of impatience from the decision making process. I'm afraid that I am going to want to make a rash/hasty decision just because I am so desperate to get to the end of this journey. I'm tired of trying to grow our family, and I just want to be a family.

I also don't want to be like Sarah in the Old Testament. God had promised to bless her with a child and she took matters into her own hands and messed everything up. Our world is still dearly paying for her impatience. I want to wait and be patient for the child God has chosen to join our family. Help me, Lord, to slow down and follow instead of trying to run ahead.

On Monday mornings, I lead a Women's Bible Study at church. We have been studying the book of Colossians lately and Monday's study was on where to go for wisdom. I didn't know on Monday how much the study was going to apply to my life this week. : )

One of the questions that the study we are using asked was, "Why would God allow us to come to the end of our understanding?" The answer that I wrote on my study was that running out of our own understanding sends us to Him, and He is our greatest need! Running out of our own understanding removes the delusion of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is a dangerous and a deceptive place to be.

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
- Colossians 2:2-3

Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out.
- Romans 11:33

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. - James 1:5

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Not The News We Wanted to Get Today

We did get our phone call from Acres of Hope today, but it wasn't to tell us our case was finalized in the Liberian courts. Instead, it was to tell us that we aren't going to be able to adopt JJ at all.

JJ's father returned to the orphanage and removed him from the program. He was under a lot of pressure from his family, especially his sister, to not go through with the adoption. One of the staff members from AOH visited with the family and explained that this case was at the final stages in the courts, and that our family has been preparing for JJ to be a part of our family, but their minds were made up.

In the beginning, we were told that JJ's father was injured during the war and lost his leg. Being disabled, he had been unable to provide for his son, so he and JJ's mother came together to relinquish him to the orphanage for adoption. I thought that since both parents were together and in agreement to the adoption, that we were safe from this happening again. I've been worried that the anti-adoption propaganda floating around Liberia might cause problems. I'm not sure if that was the case here, but I think it might be. I pray that they will be able to take care of him. Hopefully, the extended family that was so against the adoption will be able to help care for him.

Karissa, my wise beyond her years little girl, listened to me tell her that JJ would not be able to be a part of our family. She gave me a back rub and said, "Mommy, all of the things that have gone wrong for our adoptions aren't bad things."

I asked her what she meant, and she said, "They are good things because now they don't have to leave their families."

I know that this news will be frustrating to our friends and family members who care so much about us. I don't have a lot of answers to the questions I'm sure you have. When Rachel called today, she was in tears right along with me, and was just as frustrated that this could happen to us again.

I'm not sure I understand exactly how things work, but I think the children in the orphanage are wards of the state. The orphanage provides shelter and helps to facilitate the adoption, but they are like foster parents, and are accountable to the Ministry of Health. I don't know if they have the authority to not return a child when the birth family comes back, even if they have gone through the relinquishment process. I think they see themselves as a humanitarian organization and can't keep a child that parents want back regardless of where we are at in the process.
At least, I think this is how it is.

I do know that the staff meets with the adults bringing the children to the orphanage three times before they allow them to leave them at the orphanage. They explain what adoption means and make sure they understand and have time to think about it before they will take the children in. Then they do all the relinquishment paperwork ahead of time, and then they give the referral and start the process. These precautions don't keep lost referrals from happening, though. I don't know how to fix the problem. I guess it is just the risk you have to be willing to take. I don't want to adopt a child that a family wants to raise themselves. I just want a child who needs us to be his family.

Pat and I aren't sure what we want to do next. If we accept a new referral, it will take approximately 6 months for this new adoption process to be complete and that puts us right at my due date for the baby. If we continue, we will have to update our immigration fingerprints and documentation and our homestudy, because these will expire soon. Please pray for us to have discernment about where to go from here.

Works for Me Wednesday

For Works for Me Wednesday today I wanted to share these great banks we found for teaching our 5 and 6 year-old-daughters how to manage money. They earn five quarters on Saturday after completing their assigned jobs for the week. These banks are sturdy, cute, and perfect for teaching them the financial values that we have as a family.
Here's a picture of the banks and a link to where to find them: (You can find them other places, but this was the best value that we could find)

The banks are transparent and have three separate compartments. This is nice for seeing how much is in each category at a glance. The money slots are in each of the three roof lines of the bank, store, and church. The money is removed from the bottom of each compartment.

I've been thankful for different resources to teach our kids how to deal with money. I recently watched an Oprah episode that broke my heart. She interviewed the director and a homeless man that were part of a documentary where the homeless man was given $100,000 cash as a social experiment. The cameras followed him and documented what he did with the money. The man blew all the $100,000 because he didn't know how to manage it. He also was taken advantage of by people, betrayed by friends, and married a woman who left him as soon as the money was gone. He had thought that it was a never ending amount of money and that it would solve all of his problems. He ended up right back where he started, but now he was also disheartened, and ashamed. It was awful. The show left me with a desire to make sure that my children grow up knowing how to be good stewards and managers of the finances God blesses them with. It also left me heartbroken for a man who realized the emptiness of wealth. He needed Jesus to heal his heart, not $100,000 cash. It was a heart wrenching show to watch, and I want a different reality for my kids.
Stop by Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday Tips.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Sweet Birthday

Thank you so much for all of the happy birthday wishes. With all of the other things going on, my birthday snuck up on me. I didn't really have any expectations for it, but the whole weekend ended up being a celebration and a sweet reminder of all of my blessings.

Friday night, I went to a women's event at my friend Marisa's church. The speaker spoke on godly girlfriend relationships and how important they are. I left the event that evening so grateful for my friends. I plan on dedicating a future blog post to how much I enjoyed that evening.

Saturday began with family breakfast, and then Pat took the girls out so I could have the afternoon to myself. My friends, Jennifer and Marisa, and I went out to coffee and the dollar theater to watch Enchanted. I know you are asking yourself, "Isn't that a Disney kids' movie?" No, is a family movie (at least that is how we justified it). We are all just romantic at heart and thoroughly enjoyed the fairy tale. We have the greatest dollar theater here. Tickets are $3.50 and that price includes your admission to the show and two food items of your choice. I always get their caramel corn and something to drink. It is a great deal and a fun theater.

We went to the Saturday night service at church, and then over to Daiquiri's house to "hang out" after church. Hanging out ended up being a surprise birthday party for me. I was so blessed. The whole night made me feel so special.

Monday, my actual birthday was great, too. I guess the judge in Liberia didn't get the memo that he was supposed to finalize our adoption for my birthday present. Despite the judge not coming through for me, there were little things that made it such a special day. Monday morning, my sleepy little four-year-old woke up remembering that it was Mommy's birthday. My mom and dad called and serenaded me, and my nephews left me the sweetest message on the answering machine. My friends and family sent cards. We went out to dinner at Olive Garden, and I got to spend Monday evening at the mall ALL BY MYSELF!!! It was great day. For a short time, I forgot that I'm getting old! : )

A few of you have asked how my doctor visit went today. I actually canceled that appointment for today. My doctor was just going to listen to the baby's heartbeat on the Doppler, and now that we have our own, I decided to just wait until the ultrasound on March 11th before I go in again. Thanks for remembering and checking in on me! Cutie Pie or Monster Truck is doing very well, and I'm grateful. My final birthday gift was to hear a 164 beats per minute right before I drifted off to sleep Monday night.