Wednesday, June 6, 2012

If Jesus were freezing, would you give your coat?

I have to say, I am feeling a little abandoned by some of the people I expected to be the most supportive during this adoption. Most of my adult life I have made decisions that people thought were a bad idea. Admittedly some of them were, but my life now, by the Grace of God, has turned out pretty well despite that fact. People were upset when I was pregnant with Jonah. Understandably so. It was so unexpected and such a "mistake", but look how fabulous he is.... He is going to do great things for God. What if he had never been born? While it doesn't justify my actions (I should not have had a child out of wedlock), it does not devalue his life.

I know that some people are worried about me and suspect many believe what I am doing is a bad idea. It's okay. I do not expect everyone to understand. I've been told I won't be able to go on vacation ever again (DS kids can't fly? Hmm. Wonder how I will even get her home...), that I'll be STUCK with her forever, that I can't possibly be prepared for life with an emotionally damaged, cognitively delayed, physically limited child. I disagree. I am more prepared that most birth parents who receive the news in the NICU that their baby has Down Syndrome. Why? Because I am choosing to do it. I prayed about it for a year before making the commitment.

I know I could get my feelings hurt in this process. I know that things might be hard. Sometimes we have to experience pain. Pain makes us more effective for the cause of Christ.

The "American dream" is just that... it's a dream made up by the minds of man-- just like the tower of Babel. Everyone tries to erect, in some way or another, a monument to themselves and their accomplishments. I have no interest in that anymore. God doesn't call us to see how much we can make of ourselves. He calls us to see how much we will make of Him. I am not expecting to bring home a skilled, capable, educated little girl just to play dress up with. I know she is abandoned, damaged, and uneducated even to a preschool level. It doesn't mean she is incapable of living, growing, feeling, learning or loving. Does she not deserve to have a chance? Is it that she deserves a chance as long as it is another person's friend or loved one who is going to get her?

I can only credit the Hand of God, for the fact that I have been made aware of this little girl and now that I know, I cannot leave her there.

"If you say, "See, we did not know this," Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work? (Proverbs 24:12 NASB)

Maybe, as a result of adopting this child, my life will be harder, or maybe life will just be more beautiful. Maybe through this adoption people will come to Christ... Maybe people very close to me. Isn't that in itself worth the risk of any possible disappointment?

There is a little boy in Eastern Europe with severe special needs; cleft palate and lip, spina bifida, club feet and a host of other things I don't even know about. He is believed to have a condition that only 1% of children who survive to age 10. His is a death sentence. I wish I could go get him but I know I do not have the means as a single mother to care for him. It breaks my heart to leave him there knowing he will die without ever having a mother. I wish I could bring him home just so he doesn't die alone. I understand the heartbreak involved in that. Still, I have considered the extent of my abilities. I know what I cannot handle without help. But, if someone doesn't do something, many who have no medical conditions, will die alone.

I cannot stand around and wait for someone else to step forward. So instead of taking the worst, most hopeless cases, I have assessed my situation and have made a decision based on what I can handle. I have chosen to accept  a child with no serious medical needs, but with a ton of potential and I want to help her reach it. I am aware of my limitations and also aware of my strengths.

I have found no rule that says I must retire and squander what I have earned on myself and send my children out into the world as they graduate. The healthy, capable, productive children will build lives for themselves, the ones that are not may stay with me. It could be any of them. One of my children could get sick or hurt and need care forever. I could marry and have a husband who requires care forever. Maybe a sibling who is not well enough to live independently may need me. Maybe one day a parent will need long-term care. I am open to those possibilities. That is what love does.

People may think that my children will be short-changed when I do this. I am not sure why. I didn't feel short changed having five sisters and two brothers in my house. I am not going to spend time with this adopted child and not with Jonah. He will still get to play t-ball and soccer and football. He will still go to the Christian school. He will still have many opportunities for fun, education, love and attention. If anything, sharing his life with another human being who is not exactly like him may just open his eyes to the humanity that is overlooked by the masses. I will still be able to spend time with him. He is a loving child who cares about the Word of God and the gospel, even at age five. He is a child that wants to reach others. Should he only reach certain others? What would I be teaching him if I chose to only do the things that are easy?

If, as believers, we do not step forward and care for those who cannot care for themselves physically, or even just spiritually, what does that say about our commitment to the One who made us? The Bible says that it is all for His glory and not our own.

So, if not to glorify Him, what is it that I am living for? What should my goals be for life? Happiness alone? Is that biblical?

Jesus didn't promise happiness. He promised that the meek would inherit the earth, that the poor in spirit would see God, that those who were last in this life would be first.

I believe that means that He wants us to let go of ourselves, to diminish our own glories, and to become empty vessels, empty of our own self-righteous, self-serving, self-asserting ideals and exchange them for humility, service and compassion.

"I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me. Then they also will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He will answer them, saying, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me." (Matthew 25:43-45 NKJV)


  1. Jody, this is my first visit to your blog. I just wanted to leave you a comment congratulating you on your commitment to Oksana! Try not to get down over the lack of support. Those who are wordly minded will never understand the thoughts of God. I know it can be hard. Oksana is a beautiful girl, she will such a blessing and she will be so blessed to have a mom like you.

    1. Sabrina, Thanks for visiting. I should have added that I feel blessed by the overwhelming support of so many people who understand what I am doing and why. Maybe that will be for tomorrow's post! ;)

      I guess I expected support from certain people and was surprised by that. I know that some of those may end up being reached for Christ through her. I feel no real need to defend myself, only sadness for the ones who are missing out on being a part of something great.

      I'm glad to have your support. I'm glad to be bringing Oksana home. I have loved her for a long time. ;) I can't wait to show her what love is. Feel free to visit anytime.

      To God be the glory!


  2. hello Jody, I just wanted to say that I think you're doing an awesome thing, you're actually stepping out and obeying this concern in your heart for Oksana, which is the Father's heart for the orphans :)

    What we do here on earth is temporary, and the things we do out of obedience to Him is eternal.

    I was reading Adeye's blog for the past year or so, and having Hailee was so hard but with her came joy, seeing from His eyes, the things that matter to Him, which is so invaluable. The journey can be hard, but if it is out of obedience to Him, then the rewards are so much worth it. I pray that having Oksana will bring you and Jonah so much joy that you can't imagine not having her in your lives. :) Praying for His protection, His leading, His peace.

    About the chip-in, it's great that you got that installed :) I think it'll probably be better on the top-right corner where it'll be fixed for everyone to see, instead in a post where it'll disappear out of view along with other posts?

    I didn't know you're a single mother. I think you're doing fabulously and your heart is definitely in the right place! Along with the Father's heart for the orphans :)

    1. Susan, do you know how to put the chip in somewhere else on the blog? I'll try to move it if I can get to a computer to access that. I've been away for a few weeks and the flash player doesn't work on my phone and I can't access my blog from work. (probably a good thing!)

      Yep- single mom. :) we are all very excited. Jonah can't wait to have a sister his age, is pleased to share his family with another child and will be happy to be a big brother to a little girl. Reagan, always defending the smallest cause, is already concerned about how she will be treated and is excited to step in to care for and defend her.

      Ultimately, obedience to God is my intent. I will pursue Oksana until she is home or until she somehow becomes unavailable. We are to reach others to Christ. We are to care for orphans and for those who are helpless. If I do not do what He has commanded, it would be like telling Him I do not love Him.

      So glad to be sharing this journey with you! Thanks for being there and praying. :)

  3. Beautifully stated in truth and giving all glory, strength, and honor to the one who deserves it. You are right on with this blog and I loved reading it. Such an encouragement!! Prayers for you as you continue on your journey to bring Oksana home!