Monday, January 31, 2011

The Flood Gates have opened...

When talking about "the Flood Gates" I am referring to my emotions. If you know me you know I'm not very emotional. I've been referred to as even-killed, melancholy, and even been compared to the Winnie the Pooh character Eeyore. That could be taken as boring which may be true but I like to think I'm just not easily angered or excited, and when I am I usually have a hard time showing either of those emotions. However, there are a few things that really tug at my heart and can always bring a tear or multiple tears to my eyes. Thankfully this adoption is one of those things. It brings me hope in knowing my heart is in it. For a while I was trying to suppress any and all emotion I had toward the process. Waiting is hard because you know who your children are going to be, you want to start preparing for them, you want to be with them, know them, and love them, but at the same time you don't know when you will have the opportunity to do so. Because of that I've been trying to "guard my heart" from fear of not knowing. I've tried not to think about the adoption very often, I didn't look at their pictures every day, I haven't done a lot to prepare and I simply cannot watch their videos anymore without crying my eyes out. But doing all of these things scared me. It scared me that I was hardening my heart towards the adoption and the children and scared me that I would have the same hard heart when they got here.

A couple weeks ago at church I started attending a Women's Bible Study. It was the first night of the study so we always go around with introductions and talk a little about ourselves. Well It was a large group of ladies and I was the second to last to go. As I was listening to everyone talk about what they do and what their families are like I knew it was soon going to be my turn and I was soon going to talk about the adoption process. Well from the second person on I felt the tears welling up inside of me. I thought, Oh No, here it comes. I'm not a big cryer in general and I for sure do not enjoy crying in front of others. The whole time people were going around talking about themselves I was trying not to think about the adoption and praying to God that I wouldn't start crying. After all this was the first Bible study and I didn't want people to think I'm a crazy emotional person and we were only doing introductions, we weren't even talking about anything. Well it got around to me and I started off pretty well. I talked about being married to Tony and what we do on Campus and then just simply said we are currently in the process of adopting two little boys from Ethiopia, then I decided to add the statement, "and it's currently very hard," and there it was. The tears just started to flow. I didn't know what else to say, then I tried to make a joke or something to make it a little less awkward that I was crying so hard around several people of whom I'd never met and was only introducing myself.

Thankfully there were several other adoptive mothers in the room who knew exactly what I was going through and were able to have some sympathy tears and able to help me think through the process better after the study was over. One conversation in particular has had a big impact on how I can think for the children right now and helped me not be so scared that I'm not going to love them when they get here.

One lady in particular whom I respect and look up to very much asked me afterward how I was doing and what was going on in the process. This became an wonderful opportunity for me to unleash all of my thoughts and questions and feelings. There were a couple things she really helped me think about.

1. It may be hard now but that will make it easier when they come. She told me about the difference between her and her husband during the waiting time. She said it was very hard and emotional for him during the waiting process. He wanted to be with them, know how they were and it almost made him sick thinking about it. She on the other hand didn't have a lot of time to think about it because she was busy taking care of the kids they already had and didn't really think about it very often. The hope came when she said, when they got here it was an easier transition for her husband than it was for her. He had been waiting so long and longing for them so much that it made the difficulties of transitioning them into the family not a big deal and he just loved having them. On the other hand it was a shock to her because she hadn't had sufficient time to prepare. This gives me hope in knowing the waiting and emotions and difficulties now are going to be outweighed when they are actually here.

2. The second thing she helped me see was that God loves the boys more than I do and He can take care of them much better than I ever will. One thing that is so hard for me is wanting to be the one to feed them and hold them and take care of them when they are sick or when they cry. We received some pictures of the boys and Abram (the oldest) was crying and looked like he was pulling on his ear. He had a fever during that time and it gave me a longing to be the one to love him and take him to the doctor and give him his medicine. She helped me think about everything God has already done for them and how he is helping them now. They are no longer in the poverty where they came from. They now have food to eat, a place to lay their head, and people who are loving them, spending time with them, and giving them the medical attention that they need.

That night at church helped me realize that I should've live in fear but in faith. I don't need to guard my heart from those boys because I know that whatever God has planned is going to be the best for us and for them. I look forward to the day when I will be able to hold them, play with them, and feed them. But until then I know and pray that God will provide for them, comfort them when they are sad, and love them with the same unconditional love he very mercifully gives me everyday.

"Though our outer nature is wasting away our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is creating for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. For we look to the things not seen, for the things which are seen are temporary but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why Ethiopia?

We often get asked why we chose to adopt from Ethiopia. It's usually just a question of curiosity and sometimes I think people expect us to have a life changing answer but the truth is it wasn't a very hard or thought out decision for us to make. The decision that took the longest for us was to adopt in the first place and then in about one weeks time we decided Ethiopia. The first decision we made was to rescue some orphans, the second decision was international vs. domestic, and the third was what country.

There are two things that really motivate much of mine and Tony's lives. Those two things are the gospel (good news of Christ) and people hearing the gospel. Our lives have been changed from hearing and are motivated by this as well. This is one reason why we have a heart for the world. I've often talked to Tony about moving overseas and even tried to talk him into moving to Peru for a little while. But I know God has us where we are for a reason and I'm content with that. However, if we can't move to another country then maybe we can bring a little part of another country into our home! This was one of the main reasons why we chose international adoption. I know there is a need in the U.S. and hopefully one day we will be able to adopt locally as well. But there is also an overwhelming need in Ethiopia and Africa in general. Check out The Facts page.

Some other things that affected our decision were the price, timeline, and requirements needed to adopt. These are all things to consider when choosing international adoption. Ethiopia was "cheaper", much faster, and we met all of the age and married requirements. We also know several families that have adopted from Ethiopia who can help us through the process and be friends with our kids one day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We got Boys!!!

The time has come to announce the future Mr. Wells' we hope to have joining our family soon. After about a 6 week waiting period we got a referral for two brothers. An approx. 2 month old and 3 year old. Our social worker had traveled to Ethiopia and when she got there sent us an email about the boys. I told Tony I didn't want to see any pictures until it was a done deal so we asked for more information without pictures. Well, we didn't hear back from her for a while because her computer broke during her two weeks in Ethiopia.

It was hard not to be anxious but was actually a good two weeks to take time to pray, and talk, and not feel rushed during this process. When the two weeks were over she emailed us again with more information about the boys and Tony asked me, "What do you want to do." By this time I was excited and ready to say, Yes! Let's take them if we can. Then to my surprise Tony said well here you go, turned the computer around and I saw the two beautiful boys we'd been praying for. Tony isn't usually good at keeping secrets from me but he had been looking at these two boys the whole time we were praying for them.

After saying yes we had to wait another couple of weeks to wait on their medical records. After receiving those we are able to put our paperwork with theirs and get a court date. As of now we are waiting on a court date and praying for the health of the boys. Both of them were very malnourished and have a few minor health issues that need to be taken care of. I trust and pray that they will be healthy but have to say I wish I could be with them during this process. We are hoping to get a court date at the latest in February and hoping to bring them home in April. Please keep the boys in your prayers. If you'd like to pray for them by name we're thinking that Abram and Ellis sound pretty good! We cannot post pictures until they are home with us in Georgetown but I thought it'd be ok to add a little teaser to this post!