The JOY of Adoption

Here’s another family favorite:

Picking up Nate: The Movie

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“I have four children. Two are adopted. I forget which two.”
-Bob Constantine

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An Unlikely Inspiration – Dee Dee’s Story

I’m sharing this beautiful story of adoption from Heroic Media’s blog.

I love this story because I know DeeDee and the love she has for her children. I also know how God continues to call and to use DeeDee and her family for His glory.

I also see hope in this story because it happened over 20 years ago. I think we often believe that international adoption is a new thing and that can lead to despair as we see the challenges that are often present during a journey toward international adoption. But DeeDee’s story reminds us that God has brought many families together through tough and uncertain circumstances, and he will continue to be faithful today, tomorrow and forever.

During the month of November, Heroic Media is celebrating National Adoption Month! Our blog will feature personal stories of adoption from parents, siblings and more. To learn more about Heroic Media’s “Adoption Option” TV commercial campaign and its successes, visit our website.

Our first story is from DeeDee, who was inspired to adopt her second child from an unlikely place – an episode of the news program 20/20.

It was 1990. Paul and I had been married barely two years. The weekend was finally here, and we felt drained.  But we’d preformed a miracle:  we got our 7-month-old baby to sleep, and we were happy to flop on the couch and relax. We turned on the TV, not knowing that the show we were about to watch was going to change our lives forever.

20/20 was airing a special concerning the plight of the Romanian orphans. Image after image of those poor children in those under-staffed, dilapidated orphanages flashed across the screen. These kids had little to no medical care and insufficient food. Their innocent faces were so sad, so scared, so hopeless.

For weeks after viewing that program, I tried to go about my everyday life, but that proved impossible. Out of the blue, someone would ask me, “Hey, did you catch the 20/20 show last week?” or I would see a young child who reminded me of one of the orphans. I literally started having headaches when I would think about the show. God was getting my attention. I never thought myself worthy of being called by Him, but I am sure that is what happened. And I’m also sure that He knows me well enough to know a gentle nudge wouldn’t do the trick. Sadly, I am sometimes like Saul, and I need to be knocked off my horse.

I knew I had to do SOMETHING. But what?  I’ll never forget discussing that question with Paul. We were standing in the kitchen of our humble home. Paul had recently started a new career, and I had quit teaching when our baby, Jennie was born. Financially, we didn’t have a lot. But Paul, without hesitation blurted out, “Well, let’s just go get us one.” He made it sound so simple. For the first time in my life, I was speechless.

Well, that’s what we decided to do, “ just go get us one,” but it was NOT simple. (Due to the collapse of Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime, Romania was suffering. Ceaușescu, Romania’s former tyrannical ruler, and his wife, had recently been assassinated. His rule had resulted in extreme shortages of food, medicines and other basic necessities. The country was left with an abundance of orphans due to this tyranny. And Romanians didn’t want us going there.)

With much prayer and reflection, we mapped out our plan. We attended information-gathering meetings and endured home studies, fingerprinting and background checks; finally we were ready. From the second we decided that this was what we were going to do, I felt like my child was waiting for me in a Romanian orphanage, desperately wanting for me to come and rescue him.

Paul and I were in Romania for almost two weeks with no luck. Nothing was easy there; we’d even slept a few nights on a rat farm.  We couldn’t fathom why God had sent us on this mission if we were not going to succeed. We became frustrated and disillusioned. We questioned God. We prayed that night. Hard.

The next day, we found Victorosh. But there was much to do if he would be coming home to Texas.

Paul needed to get back to Texas, so he flew home while I finished the adoption process, or at least, I tried.  You see, there really wasn’t a “process.”

The Romanians did not honor appointments, time commitments, nor schedules of any kind. Often I would show up to a meeting, and no one would be there. Three hours later, the person with whom I was to meet would appear just to tell me to come back tomorrow. In addition, the Romanians tried to discourage adoptions from happening. I was questioned time and time again, “Why do you want to take away a future Romanian soldier?” “Do you wish to experiment on our Romanian children?” “Your already have a child.  Why do you really want another?”

There were hurdles to jump through that changed on a daily basis. To be admitted into any orphanage, I needed to provide the orphanage workers with cigarettes, chocolates and medical supplies. To get Victorosh, out of the orphanage, the doctor with authority to release him requested twenty pounds of meat as “payment.” To adopt Victorosh, his biological mother needed to give her permission; we knew she had turned down another couple just weeks earlier. There were documents to be translated from Romanian to English and from English to Romanian, and the list of needed documents changed daily. Finding the necessary people to perform these always-changing tasks was daunting. I cried a lot.

Moreover, adoption rules were not set in stone (no pun intended). At times, I felt overwhelmed and wanted nothing more than to drop this adoption plan and fly home to be with my husband and my baby girl, both of whom I was missing with all my heart. But I felt that Victorosh was now my child, too.

However, in all the chaos, God was there. We could never have found our son without Him. We’re thankful every day that we made that journey and trusted that God would help us. I see now that he removed obstacle after obstacle.  We can’t imagine our lives without Victorosh, whom we named Brandon. We’d choose him all over again!

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Close to home

I’m sharing my personal favorite adoption story today, the story of my nephew. He’s had a special place in my heart since I first “met” him through this video of his placement with his mom and dad (my brother and sister in law). Here’s the video, and a few recent pictures for good measure :)

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What are your plans?

It’s National Adoption Month 2013 – what do you have planned?

I’ll be sharing some of my favorite adoption sites, blogs, quotes, videos, and more throughout November in celebration of #NAM – to start off, here’s a great calendar from The Gladney Center for Adoption with ideas of how to celebrate each day this month.

http://adoptionsbygladney.com/resource/pdf/NAM_Calendar_2013.pdf

Happy celebrating!

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Shocked, befuddled, flabbergasted.

This one will blow your mind. I thought it must be embellished, hyperbole, something…I hoped it was completely untrue… but I perused Planned Parenthood’s teen site and several of the other resources referenced to see for myself:

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I Dare You.

I often watch something like this and assume (or hope) it must be an exaggeration or hyperbole.

Watch the video – I dare you. Test the facts – do your research -  I double dare you.

Do a quick web search -”Google it up” as my dad likes to say – or conduct an independent study all your own. Check out the Planned Parenthood Annual Report (I won’t link to it, I’ll let you find it yourself so you know it’s straight from the horse’s mouth) – crunch the numbers, check the facts, and test the logic.

What if it’s true that Planned Parenthood has abortion quotas? What if it’s true that Planned Parenthood refers for 1 adoption per every 145 abortions they perform? Does that mean anything? Is that good?

Decide for yourself.

Don’t trust me because you think I’m pro-life enough, or distrust me because you think I’m too “anti-choice”. Just see for yourself.

from: http://studentsforlife.org/plannedparenthood

 

Similar “I wish this were hyperbole” posts:

 

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She went to prison, I went on vacation – We were both 28 weeks pregnant

I’m sharing some thoughts from earlier this Summer – this post was previously published at Crossmap.com

It was the week before my first Mother’s Day – I was 28 weeks pregnant and headed to California to celebrate a “Babymoon” with my husband. We spent several days relaxing together, dreaming about what life would be like when we would welcome our baby girl later this summer.

That same week, Cherlie LaFleur went into custody at Lancaster County Prison on $1 million bail, accused of attempting to flush her 28-week old baby down the toilet after giving birth in her Pennsylvania high school bathroom, only to end up leaving the baby in the trash can.

She went to prison. I went on vacation with my husband. We were both 28 weeks pregnant.

Having walked the same path for 28 weeks, we may have shared morning sickness or other symptoms, but our experiences were starkly different.

Cherlie LaFleur is a 19-year-old Haitian woman who came to the US following the 2010 earthquake. She speaks little English and had little to no prenatal care, and is in high school.

I’m 30 years old, newly married, and surrounded by people who can’t stop celebrating the new life growing inside of me.

               

Right now, my biggest anxieties center on how I will possibly send thank you notes for the overwhelming number of gifts we’ve received and continue to receive, and at what point my baby will begin to sleep through the night in her beautiful new nursery.

What was Cherlie afraid of? I can’t know, but based on my experience in reaching out to women experiencing unplanned pregnancy, I’ll offer some guesses: how to provide for a child? Her parents’ reaction? How to build a future while continuing her education and supporting a child?

Whatever her fears were, we know the message that our culture was sending her. News reports indicate that Cherlie’s alleged actions occurred just days after the pro-life group Live Action (www.LiveAction.org) released an undercover video from a New York late-term abortion clinic, in which a counselor advised an undercover investigator to “flush” her baby down the toilet if it is born alive during an abortion. 

“Some patients will just sit in the bathroom and try and push. Um, don’t do that,” the counselor told the Live Action investigator.

The investigator then asked what to do if the baby comes out while she is at home.  

“If it comes out, then it comes out. Flush it…if anything, you know, put it in a bag or something or somewhere and bring it to us,” the counselor said.

My job at Heroic Media (www.heroicmedia.org) is to connect women facing unexpected pregnancies with assistance and practical, compassionate care. I have devoted myself to serving women like Cherlie, using media to inform them about the help available to them at local Pregnancy Resource Centers across the country. I can’t always physically help these women, but the message we share has saved and changed thousands of lives. I wonder what might have been if we’d reached Cherlie with a message of hope instead of the message to “Flush it…”

Would she have realized that she could still fulfill her dreams?  Could she have found the encouragement and support necessary to face her immediate life challenges in light of a brighter more hopeful future?  Unfortunately, we will never know.

This was obviously a horrendous experience for the newborn, a viable 28 week old child Cherlie left in the trash can, but consider also how demeaning and alienating a message it was to Cherlie herself, that your only hope is to sit alone in a public restroom, deliver a baby, and dispose of it however you can.  This is the same message that thousands of women hear every day in abortion clinics across America.  It isn’t a message of hope, encouragement, or opportunity.

Let’s change the message now.

Get involved in sharing hope with women facing unexpected pregnancies – visit http://www.HeroicMedia.com to support life-affirming media!

This article was first published at Crossmap.com: http://crossmap.christianpost.com/blogs/marissa-cope-she-went-to-prison-i-went-on-vacation-we-were-both-28-weeks-pregnant-3159

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