Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Making History?

Below is a post from an adopted dad's blog regarding our president elect and what the day stood for! Even though we admittedly did not vote for Obama; this is eloquently written, no matter who you voted for. It gives us hope and peace knowing we will be bringing our daughter into a country where she literally can be ANYTHING she wants to be.
Blessings to all!

I am a white-skinned father with a black-skinned son.

A little over a year ago, my wife, Amy, and I adopted our son, Silas, from Ethiopia.

Silas turns two in December.

Today our conversations tend to revolve around our favorite snacks - yogurt and lemon pound cake at Starbucks - and favorite TV characters and movies - Elmo and Ratatouille. We also squabble very little these days. Sometimes Silas will take a swing at me when I take away the Wii joystick. And other times he'll treat the cheese sandwich I made him for dinner like a Frisbee.

One day, though, Silas will want to talk about other things.Like the color of his skin. And my skin. And his mother's skin. And pictures and events and people and dates he finds in his history textbook.

There are some historical dates I don't want to explain to Silas then. August 12th, 1955, for example. That's the day Emmett Till, a 14 year old boy, was brutally lynched in Mississippi by white, southern, "Christian" men.

Then there is September 15th, 1963. That's the day when four little girls were killed by a white supremacist bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church.

And then there is April 4th, 1968. That's the day Martin Luther King Jr. had his hope-filled voice silenced by a sniper's gun.

These are days in America's history that I don't look forward to explaining to my son.

But then there are days I can't wait to explain to Silas.

Days like December 1st, 1955. The day when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. That small, defiant "no" reverberated out into a large, defiant "no more."

There are other days, too. Like August 28th, 1963. The day Martin Luther King delivered his famous message, "I Have a Dream." It was a day unlike any other day. It was a day of dreaming of another kind of America.

And now there is November 4th, 2008.

This is a day I look forward to telling Silas about - not as a student of history, but as a participator in making history.

And I will tell Silas this: I voted for Obama. For you. For me. For us.

And I will also tell him something like this (I hope): "Silas, my son, this was a day that heralded a new day. A day of change. A day of hope. A day brimming with the promise of a new kind of political dialogue, a new kind of political leader, a new kind of American citizen, a new kind of America, and, for African Americans who share your same skin color, Silas, a new kind of dream, a new kind of role, and, most importantly, a new kind of responsibility.

Now know this also, Silas. Not everyone will share the enthusiasm your parents did on that day. There will be some people that your mom and I love dearly who disagreed with us. Don't worry: We still love them. And they still love us. Because what we understand is that Jesus' love conquers all things. And, Silas, if we can't practice this amongst each other as Christians, then I'm not sure who can.

But make no doubt about it, Silas: Not everyone on the day after November 4th, 2008 will look back with misty-eyed nostalgia. Many, especially in Oklahoma (which we may or may not be living in when you read this), will look back with red-eyed nausea. And some of those people will have a knee-jerk reaction.

They'll spew apocalyptic rhetoric. They'll entertain thoughts of doom and gloom and Armageddon. They'll re-read The Left Behind books and re-nurture the hope of an imminent rapture. And sadly, some will choose not to roll up their sleeves and get to work for the common good when President Obama takes office. Instead, they'll dig in their heels and look menacingly for someone to blame, scapegoat, and demonize for the world not fitting into their little egocentric matrix.

Others, son, will unfortunately have retreated back into their tribal matrix - whether their political party or religious ghetto- and will have completely ignored Jesus's call to us to embrace his worldcentric matrix of multi-tribal community, enemy love, forgiveness, generosity, and grace.

Others will reduce "God's politics" to single, hot-button issues like abortion and homosexuality, completely glossing over and blatantly disregarding the other issues near to God's heart, like extreme poverty, the dehumanization and violence of war, corporate greed, and religious indifference toward the needy.

Even others will try to guilt you. And me. And your mother. They'll insidiously project a tribal deity they have largely created out of a dark patchwork of isolated scripture, hidden fear and anxiety, and thinly veiled religious pride, racial prejudice, nationalistic xenophobia.

And finally, some will tell you they are "praying for America", when really they are secretly petitioning for God's judgment and wrath to come on everyone who doesn't think, believe, and act like them - the way the disciples did toward the Samaritans (Lk. 9:54-56), which Jesus rebuked them for.

So hear me, son: Change always comes with a great price. It can be a tremendous blessing. It can also carry a weighty burden. And in the end, it will take the Spirit who gives us the capacity and ability to forgive those who wound us, to understand those we disagree with, to show courage in the face of hostility, and to hold onto our faith, hope, and love, while we seek to mediate into the world, God's compassion, justice, and shalom.

And finally, my boy, I want you to understand this: November 4th was a day that many around the world celebrated. But it is not the day, it is not the party, it is not the celebration that in our heart of hearts we long for. At best, it was a fleeting glimpse, a tiny foretaste. For a day is coming in history, Silas, when Jesus, the true Lord, the true President, will herald the beginning of something that will never end. A new kind of humanity. A new kind of community. And a new kind of creation. And that day will be for all peoples of the earth - Democrats and Republicans and African-Americans and Latinos and Hispanics and Kenyans and Ethiopians (yeah) and Iranians and Iraqis and every tribe, tongue, and nation! Now that will be some party, Silas, my son! That will be some party!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November is National Adoption Month

Psalm 10:14, 17-18
...You are the defender of orphans...Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them.

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can't watch adoption stories on TLC without crying.
4. The fact that if 7% of the world's Christians adopted 1 child, there would be no more orphans in the world, is convincing to you.
5. You spend your free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people as you about your adopted child's "real" parents.
7. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt, but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you, He will provide.
8. You have never taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.
9. You believe God's heart is for adoption.
10. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.
11. You know what the word "Dossier" means and you can pronounce it!
12. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
13. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted her, knowing full well that you are the blessed ones to have her in your life
-Author Unknown

Yes, still waiting...It has been about 12 weeks thus far!
Love to all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

God continues to amaze us!

It has been awhile and already we have started November. I must say that I did not think we would still be waiting for our referral. But, we are!!!! The other day I was driving home and as I was saying my prayers asking God for His guidance and His patience, here is what I saw "My grace is sufficient for you.-Jesus" Ok, is that not an eye opener? We must wait, we must wait patiently! God knows who are daughter is and the right time for her to come and be with us.
Halloween flew by, we didn't even carve pumpkins until that evening. This was the warmest Halloween we have had here since I can remember. Ty did great, he was a little blue monster and was loving every bit of it until....we left the neighbors (about 6 houses up) and he fell into these ugly little cactus'!!!! Luckily Mat caught him before he had his face mangled, but let me tell you...the prickly things were embedded into his little hands. If you know Ty, he is NOT a crier, but CRY he did, SCREAM is more like it. Now we have been asking these neighbors to get rid of this cactus for the past 4 years because we have more little kids on the street now and several of the kids have been riding bikes and fell into them, etc. OK, maybe 35 years ago cactus were cool to plant but come on.....Needless to say Ty recovered, but that ended our night for trick or treating!
Ok, enough rambling, please pray for our nation and the vote tomorrow. And PLEASE make sure you vote. Please pray for the families traveling, having court dates, and waiting on referrals. The wait is agonizing, but relying on God and one another we can do this and when we bring home our beautiful children this will all be a distant memory!!!!!
Love and Blessings to all!