Different Callings to Fulfill

Dear Stay At Home Moms,

You don’t have to defend your decision not to work outside of the home to me. I’m not judging you. Frankly, I don’t care if you sit at home eating bon bons and watch soap operas all day, homeschool your children, or are Martha Stewart house keepers and personal chefs for your husband and family. You can be Carol Brady and not work but have a house keeper if that’s your thing. I assume that, like me, you are making the choice you feel is best for your family. Cool?

I say this because if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “I could never work a full time job and raise four kids,” I’d have enough money to quit my job and hire Alice to be our maid. Working moms are not a minority any more, but some people look down on us.

These comments, which are meant to be complimentary I’m sure, are actually dismissive and hurtful. By questioning the family dedication of working moms, you aren’t acknowledging the sacrifices that we make on a daily basis. Working sucks sometimes. I love some parts and can’t stand others. Also, I’ve had to put my faith in my Christian daycare provider while I run off to teach a class of little ones who are not my own. I see what other women are doing with their children while I go to work each morning, and I have to guard my heart against bitterness and envy.

So why do I work outside of the home?

God has confirmed to me that I am in the right place as a public school teacher. He didn’t say it in an audible voice, but I know without a doubt this was the path He wanted me to travel. Through my commitment to other children, not just my own, I have been able to touch lives I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. To throw away the opportunity to love and impact non-Christian children is not just a career, it’s a mission.
If God asked you to do the same, wouldn’t you say yes?

I’m not better, or more patient, or more holy, or more anything. I didn’t dream of playing the constant balancing act of mom and teacher. I simply obeyed, and God is gracious enough to show me the fruits of my sacrifice.

Sincerely,
Cindy

A while back I posted this link: http://www.stuffandthingsblog.com/dear-non-homeschooling-moms/

My dear friend and colleague (in 2011 we completed our masters’ degrees together) responded to the above blog with this heartfelt letter.  I, too, have traveled down both roads: a public school teacher for 14 years and now a homeschooling, adoptive mom for the last three years. God calls us all to travel down different paths, and sometimes, He even switches the direction!  Regardless, we are all unique creations in Him with different callings to fulfill.

Being a Family

Recently, there have been many stories in the news regarding international adoption. Stories about corruption and trafficking, about unethical agencies and uncaring parents, about abuse and about neglect, about unprepared families and uninvolved agencies, but are those stories really the truth about what international adoption is? In the face of these stories, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services has asked that all adoptive families speak out about the truth of international adoption.

But what is the truth of international adoption?
  • The truth is international adoption is not for the ill-prepared or the uncommitted- but then, that is true of parenting- PERIOD.
  • The truth is your child comes to you with a history that you were not a part of, and you may never ever know. Some of that history may involve their first families or foster families, and you will realize that these people have become part of your lives, regardless of whether or not you have ever met them or even know what they look like.
  • The truth is smiles and hugs, tears and tantrums, joys and sorrow.
  • The truth is that you will always cringe when people ask you if you have children “of your own” because you understand how totally and completely your child is yours even while others can’t understand how that can be.
  • The truth is that your child is yours, but not yours alone.  They also belong to their first families, and that is okay.  Love is not finite.
  • The truth is that your child’s story becomes part OF you, yet it doesn’t belong TO you. It is neither yours to tell or to interpret.
  • The truth is that love is not enough.
  • The truth is that you occasionally feel that you have to explain or defend your family to others, and this includes the seemingly positive statement that you “saved” your child. No matter how bad a situation might have been for that child, what happens after an adoption is parenting, not saving.
  • The truth is you need to think about things you may never have considered before, and things that maybe you would rather not consider- things like racism, classism, privilege, power, and entitlement.
  •   The truth is the tiny handprints on the wall, little footprints on the floor, potty training, homework, band-aids, piles of laundry, sloppy kisses, bouquets of dandelions, and belly laughs.
  • The truth is that every news story about your child’s country of origin now matters to you, too.
  • The truth is that great sadness at what was lost can exist in the same space as great joy at what was gained.
  • The truth is that a child can be the bravest person you have ever met.
  • The truth is that international adoption is messy and complicated and hard and amazing and wonderful.
Before we began the adoption process, we took some adoption classes. On the last night, there was a panel of adoptive parents (all of whom had only adopted children).  One by one, they each told their stories; each said they could not have loved their child more if they had been born to them. And while I understood that academically, I wondered how they could be so sure. I now look at my daughters and know birth is not the only thing that makes a parent. I look at my girls and know they are mine- yet at the same time, I also know they are not mine alone. I look and wonder whose eyes do they have, where does their personality come from, and how much is nurture and how much is nature.
  • The truth of international adoption is that family is determined simply by the act of BEING a family.
Biography
Mom to four wild and wonderful kids, two boys (age 8 and 12, both born to her), a daughter (age 6, adopted from China) and a daughter (age 4, adopted from Ethiopia)  A special needs preschool teacher by day and a mom by day and night, Momma C spends all her time surrounded by amazing tiny humans, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.  If she had free time, you would find her on the beach somewhere.  However, if you would like to read more about this guest blogger, please go to www.pullthisblogover.blogspot.com. 

 

Springs and Steeples: Missing Directives within the Church Concerning the Care of Orphans

Jinan, in the province of Shandong, China, is known as the City of Springs.  Lovely fountains rise up in aquatic splendor waiting to be seen.  Travelers are informed regarding the springs; and opportunities to visit are made available.  These beautiful waters, though, cry out; but only a few are heard.  Towers of strength against a Heavenly canvas, church steeples point to God.  As skylines of hope, these beacons are looked upon as places of comfort.  In the midst of the fountains, however, are the fatherless; and in the strength of the steeples remain the orphans-children without permanent homes.

These orphans reside near numerous waters, but their thirst is not quenched.  They look toward the steeples but are left without comfort.  Comfortless, a significant word in the New Testament, refers to the word, Orphans.  According to John 14:18 KJV, Jesus tells the disciples that He will not leave them comfortless.  In the amplified version of the same text, this analogy is expounded upon: Orphans are described as comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, and helpless.  Orphans, then, are not comforted in a parental sense so are also identified as fatherless.  This means there is no earthly father(s) available for them to derive comfort from.

How does the Heavenly Father address these troubled seas?  He starts with Himself as He is a Father to the Fatherless (Psalms 68:5); He asks the children to come to Him (Matthew 19:14); He pleads their cause (Proverbs 23: 10-11); He defends (Psalms 82:3); and He sets them into families (Psalms 68:6).  As comforted children, Christians are known as the family of God.  They have not been left as orphans since Christ came to them (John 14:18).  In sacrificial love for the world, God sent His only Son on a journey that was not easy.  Knowing the cost was high, He gave His life, and the adoption price was paid (Galatians 4:4-5).  Consider this in Ephesians 1: 5 KJV, “. . . the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

God’s will-stated in His Word; authentic Christianity is defined.  The fatherless are to be visited in their affliction (James 1:27).  To visit is to meet basic needs.  One’s Faith (Salvation) is examined and/or proved through actions as Christ explains in this difficult but powerful passage (Matthew 25: 35-45).  In as much as you have done this unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done this unto Me.  Simply stated, when a child is loved, sheltered, clothed, and fed, this is like our Lord being loved, sheltered, clothed, and fed.

The components of pure religion are made perfect through the Fountain of Life (Revelation 21:6).  Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Living Waters; and children can put their trust in Him (Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13, and Psalms 36: 7-9).  Indeed, the River of Salvation flows sweetly when an adopted child is exposed to the Gospel and introduced to their Savior-for the very first time.

Throughout our world, opportunities spring up as fountains to give the fatherless permanent, loving families.  They are to be comforted, dear friends.  Will a precious boy or girl find the way to your church steeple?

Biography

Susan is a licensed minister and a graduate of Liberty University.  She is a proud grandmother of four grandchildren, two of which were adopted from China in 2008 and 2011.

Show Me “Your” Heart

Show me your heart or wear it on your sleeve–I don’t care . . .

I simply need bloggers, just like you, with real-life stories.

 Do you have a heartfelt experience to share about adoption?

An inspirational story about homeschooling?

A personal story that would impact others?

Interested?  I hope so!

Please email me with the following:

                                                 A biography (50 words max)

                                                          A picture (optional)

                                  A blog post (suggested word count 500-1200)

                                                           A blog link