Saturday, January 25, 2014

Proceeding...

Well my friends,

We are packing and preparing.
My sister and I should be leaving for Eastern Europe in a few weeks.
To get a little boy.

20092013320-update

This little boy has been listed for adoption since he was an infant.
He is almost four now.

When we found out about Auggie, I was just so confused.
We really considered stopping the process and doing it again later.
When it made more sense.
When it was more convenient.
What a joke.

I have been reminded again and again there is no perfect time.
Except for boys and girls waiting on a family.
The perfect time for them was last week, last year...or for this little boy, almost 4 years ago...

How many children are lost because of the grown-ups waiting on a better time? A bigger house? A better retirement account? A different job? A larger vehicle?
I can't be the person to turn away...
Not with so many still needing families.

So we are still in the process...waiting on travel dates.
Packing. Planning.
Waiting.

Political Climate.
One wild card is the political upheaval that is going on in Eastern Europe.
I can't do anything about it.
I can only proceed as planned and stop if we are forced to do so because of civil unrest.

So pray for us, friends.
For safety. For a speedy process.
For the sweet ones with a family coming for them
and especially for the ones without.














Thursday, January 9, 2014

Auggie and Yesterday.

Yesterday, while waiting in line for Thunder Railroad...
We found out that Auggie is no longer available for adoption.
His biological family is planning to take him out of the orphanage.

And I began to grieve and rejoice.
Auggie's family wants him. And that IS amazing.
But I still miss him.

We were and are aware that children can become unavailable at any time in Auggie's country. We knew the risks. But there are very few, if any, risks we are unwilling to take on when a child is involved.

My sweet friend Sarah was texting me yesterday. We were talking about our adoption and about Auggie and his family. She forwarded a message she got earlier in the day from her brother, Heath.
Here is what Heath said:

Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. Isaiah 59:1

I am not sure if this is you or anyone you know today or not, but if it is may this promise sink deep into your spirit and may it bring you or whomever you know that needs it hope and strength. And if you are believing something for someone else may you "stand fast in the Lord" and receive courage that the everlasting almighty God never, ever has been too weak to save, too deaf to hear, nor will He ever be. 
Strength and courage, Heath.

And that, my dear friends, is when a grown woman started crying in the Jungle Cruise line.
I cried partly out of shock and loss. I cried for what won't be. I cried out of sadness for us, and hope for Auggie. I cried because I am afraid. And I hate to be afraid.

I cried because a family is being restored. And that is a precious gift. 

I cried because I spent those few minutes between Thunder Railroad and the Jungle Cruise wondering if God is still sovereign. And I was reminded that Yes, He is...in a text message.

So what happens now? 
Our options are:
1. Choose another child and continue on with our adoption plans.
2. Stop all adoption plans and possibly re-do later.
3. Do a "blind referral." Meaning we fly to Auggie's country (where we are approved for adoption) and request children that fit our home study and then choose one of them.

Honestly, we just aren't entirely sure what we will do next.
We know we will adopt.
We know we will adopt from Auggie's country.
We just aren't sure what that looks like quite yet.





Friday, January 3, 2014

Grandpa without Grandma.


I found out how fragile life is this week.
Everyone says it, but you just don't feel it until death finds someone you love.
My grandmother passed away last Friday.
She slipped from this life quietly into the next.
She was an old lady.

The most heart wrenching part of the week was being around my grandfather. He would not be described as sweet but rather stubborn and crotchety. More ornery and cranky than cuddly.

My grandfather will steal your car if you leave your keys lying around. He will tell you exactly what he thinks of your clothing, your children, your car, your life choices...He is a no-holds-barred kind of guy. And always has been.

He was a railroad man.
A gambler.
A smoker.
He is and was a little rough around the edges.

My grandfather is a little confusing. Because even though he might holler and gripe and complain about anything and everything, he was good to my grandma.
And I love him for it.

I spent this week watching my grandpa grieve the loss of a woman he was married to for almost 69 years. I watched him weep when he had peach cobbler for dessert because it was my grandma's favorite. I listened to his stories of how he met his sweet Joann Benedict. He talked about Grandma being a good girl. And he liked that. He talked about their four daughters, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren.

He talked about being a newlywed. 
He kept rolling his gold wedding band around his finger.
He told me, in his raspy, Texas twang, choking with emotion:
"This here ring means something, and I don't mean maybe." 



I sat with him before we walked in for the funeral and he told me about the cowboy hat he chose to wear. (We are Texans, people) He got his hat the day before he retired. He wore it for his last day of work on the Santa Fe Railroad...it is his favorite, and he said it was Grandma's favorite too.




Grandma and Grandpa. 
Grandma was a fun woman. She could beat the pants off of me in Scrabble. Every time. She was precious, sweet, giving. She was a caretaker. A friend. A fierce BINGO player. A lover of people. Of God. Of Grandpa.

In their older years his hearing got bad, so did hers. They got tired. But, they would still expect you to have some coffee and sit and visit for awhile. With a hot cup of coffee they would start to tell their tales. Of neighbors. Of friends. Of people that have long since gone. Of family. 

I have spent the last 34 years of my life with a grandma and a grandpa. I spent summers in the hot Texas sun picking green beans with Grandpa because he absolutely refused (I mean REFUSED!)  to eat store-bought green beans until grandma quit canning. Then he really didn't have a choice, it was store-bought or none at all.

I got to eat wonderful home-cooked food and listen to Grandpa crow that he lucked out and married the best cook in the entire world. I got to sit with Grandma and pit cherries, play cards, and watch old Doris Day movies. I was treated to lectures from Grandpa about the state of TV these days...nothing on but sex shows! And instructions from Grandma about how to be neighborly...just be friendly. 

I got to watch Grandma keep Grandpa in check...he is predisposed to be a wild-man. No joke.
Grandma seemed to be a calming force in his life. And they always came as a pair. For me, it has always been Grandma and Grandpa. One with the other. A matched set. 

Now, it's just Grandpa.
Grandpa says he thinks he will miss Grandma forever.
I know he will.






Sunday, December 15, 2013

be excited with me!

When we committed to adopting Auggie we were introduced to a whole world of other children needing families. One teeny boy, in particular, stuck in my mind.

This is Royce:

30412204426 Royce


He is in the same country as Auggie. He has Cerebral Palsy like Auggie, too.

I started asking friends if they had space for one more.
I started posting about Royce on facebook via Joanna's blog.
There just had to be someone.

His stiff little arms and legs, his thinness, his vacant expression...they all just haunted me.
I just so. very. badly. wanted a family to go get sweet Royce.




When I saw Royce on Reece's Rainbow I knew he was in quite a predicament. He is three years old.

In his region it standard practice to transfer children with special needs to an institution at four

Further, in Royce and Auggie's country, it is commonplace for children with Cerebral Palsy to spend their abbreviated lives in a crib. 
Day in. Day out. 
Staring at the ceiling.
A little head banging on the crib bars for entertainment.
A little whimpering in hopes that someone might come.

Then along came the Regier family.
Be excited.
I am.
Because they are going to get Royce.

Displaying IMG_2653 - Version 2.JPG

Soon, little Royce will have a family! 
He will have a mom. A dad.
Two sisters and  a brother.
He will also have an Eastern European friend right down the road. (AKA Auggie!)
Everyone give me a virtual high five. And maybe cry for a second or two. 

The Regier family is not that different from a lot of other American families.
With one glaring exception. 
They said yes.

Yes to copious amounts of paperwork.
Yes to lots and lots of money (Donate to Royce's adoption expenses here.)
Yes to flying across the world.
Yes to one less orphan.
Yes to precious Royce. 





Friday, December 13, 2013

I am a Christmas Sinner.

Every year facebook blows up with the annual Christmas debates.
Kind, wonderful, sweet people who I know to be Christians heap on the annual holiday guilt.
I find I have committed all kinds of Christmas sin.

Time for a couple of confessions. Sigh.

1. I have been known to say "Happy Holidays!"

Not with any ill will, or Jesus-defiling heart. But out of actually meaning for the person to enjoy the holiday season...like Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's. Maybe it is sheer laziness, but "Happy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's!" just doesn't sound as nice as "Happy Holidays!" Perhaps it is because "Happy Holidays" is an alliteration, and I love alliterations. Perhaps it is because I prefer communication to be succinct. Whatever the case may be...I confess to you, I have used this phrase.


I have ACTUALLY received a rather terse dress-down for saying "Happy Holidays!"
However, it IS, in fact, the holidays! It is called the holidays.
It is referred to as The Holidays.
Maybe it is just me, but I am confused.

2. I have used Xmas. Seriously.  No joke.

Here is a brief explanation of Xmas:
The abbreviation of 'Xmas' for 'Christmas' is neither modern nor disrespectful. The notion that it is a new and vulgar representation of the word 'Christmas' seems to stem from the erroneous belief that the letter 'X' is used to stand for the word 'Christ' because of its resemblance to a cross, or that the abbreviation was deliberately concocted "to take the 'Christ' out of Christmas." Actually, this usage is nearly as old as Christianity itself, and its origins lie in the fact that the first letter in the Greek word for 'Christ' is 'chi,' and the Greek letter 'chi' is represented by a symbol similar to the letter 'X' in the modern Roman alphabet. Hence 'Xmas' is indeed perfectly legitimate abbreviation for the word 'Christmas' (just as 'Xian' is also sometimes used as an abbreviation of the word 'Christian'). http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=586

And even if you don't buy into the historical explanation, consider the possibility that people aren't writing Xmas purely to invoke your ire. Maybe they are in a hurry, maybe they know the origins of it. Maybe they just like writing the letter X. The probability that it is actually some kind of diabolical conspiracy against Christmas is minuscule.

Friends,
Quibbling year after year over things that really have no eternal consequences...I just don't get it. I was being rather silly before, however, it really does grieve me. That we, as the body of Christ, would bicker over something that is so asinine.

With that in mind, I have decided to spend this holiday season not just decking the halls, but also, making sure I am only getting irritated about things that truly matter.
And let's be clear, Happy Holidays and Xmas are not it.

Ponder these realities: 
110,000 children in the American foster care system will have no family for Christmas. 
If they are over 8 years of age, the likelihood of them ever getting a family is slim-to-none. 
And they know this.
Consider changing this statistic by going here: http://www.adoptuskids.org/ or  http://www.heartgalleryofamerica.org/

Children with Special Needs are easily handed over to the governments in certain Eastern European countries (which need to remain nameless until AFTER our adoption of Auggie). These children are labeled "incapacitated." Destined to live a life in a mental institution because they look different or don't learn in quite the same way as other children. Statistics are grim. Once ageing out of a baby house and into an institution, 50%-80% of children with Down Syndrome will die within one year. 
Consider changing this statistic by going here: http://www.reecesrainbow.com/

3.4 million people die each year from a water-related illness. 780 million people on the globe lack access to what pours cleanly out of my faucet with easy, wild, abandon. It is estimated that it would cost about $9 billion to fix the water crisis. The $9 billion needed is significantly less than the $12 billion that was spent last year by the U.S. and European nations on perfume.
Consider changing this statistic here: http://water.org

More than 72 million primary school aged children are not being educated. There is a direct correlation between  poor education and poverty, malnutrition, and infant mortality. 
Consider changing this statistic here: http://www.humanium.org/en/world/right-to-education/
or sponsor a child here: http://www.compassion.com/

It is estimated that 925 million people go undernourished daily. A person dies from hunger about every 3.6 seconds. That's more than 20,000 people per day. 
Consider changing this statistic here: http://www.worldvision.org/our-impact/food-agriculture?campaign=11935155

This holiday season, I challenge you, me, everyone to get some perspective.
As we run around trying to get presents to satiate our family's appetite for stuff...
Maybe smile a little more at the clerk who tells you "Happy Holidays!"
Maybe buy a little less and give a little more.
Maybe decide to not make excuses, but to make a difference.
We all hold that power.

The journey to making a difference goes much more smoothly when we can put aside inconsequential arguments and act. Act on behalf of hungry, starving people. Act for family-less children. Act for the uneducated, the poverty-stricken, the hurting, the broken. I guarantee these people groups do not care if you wish them a Merry Xmas or Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. And they shouldn't.
Neither should we.

Merry Christmas, friends.


I would LOVE to know about some other world-changing organizations. 
Please post links in the comments! 
Thanks! -Christy 

All comments are welcome. 
Please keep in mind that you are welcome to disagree, but do so respectfully! 







Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why not?

We get comments...
"You are SO brave to bring your day care to the store!"
"You have your hands full!"
"You brought the zoo!"

And the questions...
"Which ones are yours?" I kind of hate that question...the answer is: All of them
"Can't you have kids?" As far as I know, we can. Although, it is an odd question. 
Hey lady, is your uterus performing correctly? Are your ovaries releasing eggs? How's that cervix holding up? Seriously, it's weird. 

My favorite: "Why adoption?"  
It is kind of a loaded question.
I can answer with religiosity. "God told us to." Which would be true.
I could answer with excitement. "It is fun!" Which would be true, too. Mostly. 
I could lie..."It is just so easy!" Which is just never a good idea...even though it makes me sound like supermom. lie. lie. lie.

And while this particular why-adoption-question sometimes stumps me. And catches me off guard, I still love it. Because it opens the door to have another adoption discussion. The discussion where I shamelessly, furiously, urgently, try to explain domestic and foreign adoption. Where I try and convince someone else to foster and/or adopt...or support someone who is adopting or fostering...or do respite or become a social worker, counselor, baby sitter, Safe Family, lawyer, mentor, volunteer...you get the idea. 

So, WHY adoption? 


Because of sweet girls...


and funny boys



To get a piggy-back ride from a  big brother....


and then threaten said big brother with explosive flatulence.


 And then follow through...


All the while I am calling out "Don't put him down! I want to get a picture!" 




Because life is precious. 


Because we all should have someone to swing with...




To have someone to look up to. 




For friendship.





For family.


Answer this...
Why NOT adoption?


I love to hear from you!! Please leave a comment below or email thesometimes8irons@gmail.com


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Auggie Update.

We are aaalllll done except for one hunk of paper that we are waiting and waiting for. It is the 171-h. I am not really sure what purpose it serves, except that I have to have it. And it has something to do with immigration. When it is delivered there is a possibility I will kiss the UPS delivery person. Or cry. Or possibly faint. Maybe all three.

Once the 171-h gets to Auggie's country and our entire dossier is submitted, my understanding is, we will be traveling within 5 to 12 weeks.

I will be gone for several weeks to get Auggie home. That doesn't include the hospital stay we are anticipating once we arrive back in the states. I have gotten lots of questions/emails about how we are going to handle all of this.
The short answer is: Some things just aren't going to get done. Some things the kids can take over. Some things Nigel can take over. And some things we have friends or family that will take over.

Food: I will be freezing a TON of meals in the next month. I am currently working on meal plans/shopping lists for Nigel. And the kids know how to cook a few things, so they will help out quite a bit. Other than that, one of our dear friends has offered to feed the family periodically. And Nigel can handle the rest. He is an excellent breakfast-maker, so my guess is they will have eggs, toast, and fruit a lot. Also, sandwiches, quesadillas, spaghetti...the kids will be in kid-food heaven.

School: Right now we are working on getting ahead in our lessons. This will allow more school flexibility while I am away. So they will have to get some school done, but it won't be as intense as what we are doing now. We have homeschooling friends and Nigel to supervise school activities.

Laundry: Our two older kids do their own laundry and therefore are familiar with our washer and dryer. So, I have drafted Celee into being the laundry-responsible lady. She is very neat and organized by nature, so she fills this role rather easily.

Activities: Nigel will be the activity driver. We have dance 2-days-a-week. Gymnastics 1-day-a-week. Basketball 4-or-5-days-a-week. Homeschool classes every-other-week. Youth band, youth group and church. Currently, we are not taking on any more activities. Not one. Don't ask.
Nigel can handle most of this because activities take place in the evening (for the most part). So he will be done at the farm, unless something is broken. And if something does break, then the kids might just not make it that day...and that is okay.
The biggest issue that I am predicting with activities is overlapping schedules. So in the event that two things are happening at once, help will be drafted, or someone might just have to get picked up a little early or dropped off a little late.

I am so fortunate to have an exceedingly helpful husband. His catch-phrase right now is, "I can handle it!" I have not heard him utter one complaint. Love that man.

So, that is the update for now.
Thanks so much for all of your sweet comments and emails.
We have been truly blessed to hear from you all!