Monday, September 14, 2009

Big News- Pull Up A Chair!

We are very excited to say that we are beginning the
adoption journey!

In order to give you an idea of why and what we are doing, I'm going to post the letter that we recently gave to our family and close friends:

Dear Loved Ones,
After several years of contemplating the idea of adopting a child, we have decided to move forward in that process. Our hope is that we will have the support and prayers of our loved ones as we begin this journey. In order to help you understand this decision we have listed some of our thoughts and reasons as answers to 3 obvious questions.

Why adoption:
To show gratitude to God for adopting us: Eph. 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he made us accepted in the beloved.
To obey his command to care for orphans: James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
To build our family: Psalm 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
To build Christ’s kingdom: Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
To spread the gospel: Romans 8:22-24 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pains together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
& 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Why now?
As we think of bringing a child that needs a family into our family, we realize what an incredible blessing it will be for all of our children to grow and mature together. Having them relate to one another as siblings separated by only a few years or months will facilitate a bond that would otherwise be very difficult to nurture.
We have a lot to offer with 5 children that love one another, and would certainly love another child. While the idea of having 6 or 7 children under 10 years old is somewhat intimidating, we also know that the LORD equips those whom he calls and we have found this to be our calling.
This time is also fleeting along with our ability to keep up with many children. We know that there will be physical, mental and spiritual challenges to come in this endeavor. The thought of encountering these challenges while we are “younger” is certainly a reason we have for undertaking the adoption process now, rather than later.
We know that many families have not considered adoption or if they have, they have dismissed it as too expensive or difficult. While it is an expensive and difficult process, we want to show others how rewarding it is, and that it is not just for families who have suffered from infertility or repeated miscarriages. Adoption is for all of us, if the LORD wills it.

Why Ethiopia?
Ethiopia is a beautiful yet impoverished nation. The likelihood of an orphan living their entire life in poverty is great. While the statistics vary, it is clear that the majority of the Ethiopian population is in danger of dying from starvation or at least living a life of malnutrition, and overall poverty. We heard a quote recently that hit the nail on the head for us. It is as follows: “To adopt a child domestically is to better a life, but to adopt a child from Ethiopia is to save one.”
As far as international adoption goes, the economics of adopting from Ethiopia do come into play. The fact that the costs are less than many other international adoptions, certainly makes the whole process a little more affordable. The logistics of adopting from Ethiopia, also works well with our family situation. As it is now, the travel requirements are a week or less away from home. Many other international adoptions require much more travel, some up to several weeks. Obviously, we want to be away from our children as little as possible, so this works well with our family life.
We are pretty comfortable in our lives. We are surrounded by people who think the same as us and in most cases look very similar as well. While there is much to be said for this, there is a great big world out there that our children will only get to know through picture books and magazines. Though we are in no position to travel around the globe to open the minds of our children to the fact that God created much more than Lowell, Indiana or the United States of America, we can introduce them to a sibling that is of a completely different heritage, nationality and color. What a great tangible way for us to clearly illustrate God’s love for His people in all nations.

For many of you, our family and friends, we know that this is just the beginning of the process of understanding our decision. There may be a lot of questions you have for us, and we welcome that. This was not a short or easy decision process for us, neither can we expect that it will be for you. We do love each of you and hope that the mutual love and understanding we have of God’s sovereignty will bridge many of the gaps that will exist between understanding and agreeing with our decision. We covet your prayers, and encouragement. We will be leaning on many of you for help as we go through this process. We simply hope that if the LORD wills for us to have an Ethiopian son or daughter, or both, that you will love them as a family member and a member of Christ’s family. Thank you for your time in reading this letter and for your love and support.


Pete and Rachel


The Edgren Family said...

What an exciting journey the Lord has for you. Will be praying for the process and your new little one/s! Congrats!

Mike Fennema said...

How exciting! I can't wait to hear how God uses this process to reveal more of himself and the gospel to you! Please keep us updated, and we'll keep you in our prayers!

Racine said...

Whew! I am soo happy I can finally tell people :-) Which I already did last night, hehe...Dan and I talk about it all the time, we are so excited.

Anita said...

This is exciting news!! May God grant you strength as you embark on this new journey.

Mike Fennema said...

That is so awesome!!!!! To be honest that is also a desire of my own heart and I hope that one day God allows us to do the same thing. We will be praying for you guys and look forward to hearing about the process.

Steph said...

sorry the above comment is suppose to be from me Stephanie, not Mike - oops

Dan Vannette said...

Dan Vannette here (Charity's brother).

Congradulations on the decision to follow God's will in this wonderfull adding to your family!

I know that the Lord has strengthed Patti's and my walk with Him through the adoption process...I trust the same will be true for you!

Charity said...

So glad that you are able to share your news now! Bill and I are excited for you and will continue to pray that God's will is made evident to you as you move through this process! May God be glorified through this!

Janet said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! That is WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL news!!!! I am so excited and so happy for you!!!!!!! May God bless you on your journey! AAAAHHH!!!! You've made me want to cry! I am just so.....happy! :-)

GoodTimes said...

That's so wonderful! It's a thought I've often had myself, but put off for various reasons. But God bless you both for doing this! Your letter is convincing for any who have entertained the idea :) We will pray that all may go smoothly for you.

mary said...

This is so inspiring, Rachel!! I really admire you and your husband in your obvious love for the Lord, love for your family, and desire to serve God. Thanks for being such an inspirational witness!!! My sister-in-law is in the process of (Lord willing) adopting siblings from Burkina Faso, and we are excited about our new cousins from Africa!

jodes said...

Even though we've never met, i couldn't be more excited for you and your family!!! I look forward to following along on your journey. I think you should go to the Ethiopian Diamond to celebrate! :-)

dkt said...

Yipee!! I'm very excited for you!! May God bless you with himself as you work through the process! :-)


Kristin said...

Love, love, love your letter! We have been contemplating how to share the "why's" of our decision to adopt with our extendd family. What a great idea and what a beautifully worded letter.

~love said...

i clicked here from somewhere and was so happy to see this post. =) we are in our own adoption journey and i just returned from uganda. many of our "reasons" and thoughts about adoption are the same. blessings to you on this amazing journey!! =)

Anonymous said...

SO SO SO excited for you!!!!!!!!!

shannon, mom, wife, blogger said...

i can't believe that i am JUST getting around to commenting on this - shameful of me!!
i am so PROUD of you and of this thoughtful and prayerful decision! it's amazing!! for matt and me, this is obviously something that we believe in so much and your letter so beautifully illustrated why adoption is so important!
let me know if i can do anything - we will be praying for you throughout this process!