Wanna Know a Secret?

Wanna know a secret?

I would love to adopt again. I don’t always given myself permission to admit that.

I may regret telling the cyber world and outing my heart. But the truth is the truth. I have a hope and longing to have a bigger family.

There have been specific children over the years that Mo and I have prayed over, considered, sought the Lord and wept over, and every time the Lord leads the same way…”Not this one” or “Not now” or just a simple gentle “No”.

And you know what???? I don’t like to be told “no”. I never have. I am working on it.

We help our children accept our “no” by giving them a joyful yes, as often as we possibly can. Building up their trust and showing them that our deepest desire is to listen to their hearts, honor their hopes, and bless them, but there are times when a “no” is needed and good. We work to create a space in our family where we can deal with disappointment without stuffing the emotion or plastering on a happy face to cover up their sadness.

I am learning how to live in the same space. To be honest with myself and my own heart. To be honest within my marriage. To be honest with friends. To be honest with the Lord.

So I wait with hope. Maybe some day there will be a few more folks living under my roof. My hands are open. My heart is honest.

But I have learned something over the years… when you say “yes” to something that is coupled with the need to say “no” to many other things. After all, we are bound by human limitations of time, money, and energy. We can not do it all….which is something else I don’t particularly like =).

So, during my season of hearing a “no” and waiting, I ask “What Lord do you have for me?” “What are you saying YES to in the season for me?” “What would you have for me during this time?”

As always, He gently answers, nudges, and leads me to HIS best (and yes sometimes I pitch a big fat fit along the way).

But here is the deal……

I have a heart for waiting kids. Waiting families. Families in the pre and post placement phase of adoption and foster care. A heart to build up the community of those who are walking the journey of growing their families and opening their hearts and homes.

I don’t have to add to MY family to be a part of THAT. I can love on others. Advocate for waiting kids. Support and train other families. Celebrate what God is doing in and through other people.

And guess what you don’t have to add to your family to be a part of that awesomeness either!!!

There are SOOOOOO many ways you can as James 1:27 puts it….visit orphans and widows in their affliction…. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (A side note – I believe that many of the widows of our western culture are the millions of single mommas).

You can “enter into their affliction” with compassion and action. You can do SOMETHING!!!!! So please find the “something” that you can say “yes” to. Pray and seek the Lord on what you are to “do”. Maybe it is foster or adopt. Maybe it is help a single struggling mom. Maybe it is become a CASA worker for the state. Maybe it is become a mentor for a child in foster care. Maybe it is becoming a respite family. Maybe you can offer tutoring or baby sitting to a family that needs support. Maybe you can bless a family with gift cards or a meal. Maybe you can bless with the $ to help with an adoption. Maybe you have $ to give for post placement therapy and training.

You get the point? You can do something. If you don’t have time then maybe you have money. If you don’t have money then maybe you have time. But I bet you have a little of one or the other. Ask what HE would have for you. I can promise one thing…you will be blessed. Whatever you have to offer. However you can enter in. You will not regret it.

Along those lines…..in case you are feeling the need to give a little something right this minute =).

I am going to put two families in front of you that both need the financial support to finish their adoptions.

The first meet the Hullenders:

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Art and Charlotte live here in Memphis and attend our church. I have know Charlotte since our fist days of moving to Memphis over 15 yrs ago. I have heard about her heart and desire to adopt for just as long. She and Art traveled a few weeks ago to meet their beautiful son in South Korea. He is a total doll. He is their long awaited, prayed for, fist child. They have waited on him for years. God has heard their heart’s desire to be “mom and dad” and knit their heart to him.

And just a side note….he is the pumpkin that I posted about for a few weeks over a year ago!! How amazing is that? I actually get to hug his sweet neck and walk life with his family. AMAZING!!!! They need to raise the last few thousands to cover their return trip to pick him up in just a FEW SHORT WEEKS!!!!!!!!!

To give a financial gift to them click HERE.

Second up are the Barretts:

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I connected with Kim Barrett right after I saw the Hullender’s son on a waiting child listing. I started a quest to figure out if there were other adoptive families who had kids with liver disease. And guess who I found??? The Barrett Family. They were in the final stages of bringing their second child, Sam, home and starting the process to bring home their third, a little girl named Selah. As with the Hullender’s son all the Barrett kids have a liver disease called Biliary Atresia (BA). If left untreated by a surgery within the first few months of life it is fatal. A number of children with BA go on to need liver transplants. So you can understand why these sweet ones are so close to my heart.  Kim and I started an online friendship that has only grown as we have messaged, advocated and cried for waiting kids, and supported each other across the miles. Our momma’s hearts are knit. We have both laid awake at night praying for precious ones who are waiting and adoption is their door to getting the medical care they need to survive. Breaks my heart on a million levels.

If you would like to help the Barrett family financially you can click HERE.

They are still in need of almost $10,000 and travel to China to get Selah in a few weeks.

The Lord is tell me “no” to adding an Ottinger but I am hearing a LOUD “yes” to stepping into the space of supporting others.

Will you do that with me?

Will you seek the Lord on how He would have you “enter in”?

Blessings,

Tona

A note to my parents, in laws, and family…. I promise to give you plenty of time to have a big ole heart attack if the Lord ever whispers “Yes. This time it is a YES”. =)

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