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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Waters of discouragment

This morning, I interrupt my "why are we posts"  and just blog.  Today I have woken up feeling discouraged.  Let me emphasize the word feeling because as I try to analyze it, I realize its just a feeling.  I encourage myself by looking at the life I have and all I see are blessings.  I am blessed with a beautiful caring generous wife, 4 children who are "living" life whom I am so proud of.  I have so many friends seen and unseen (Facebook) who encourage me by there lives and like an unspoken testimony build faith in me.  I am blessed with a father and mother who by there simple love of me and my family inspire me.  They not only believe in me and support our adoption efforts but sent a generous gift to help us begin our efforts to raise the remaining financial needs.  Thanks Dad and Mom!  I have been blessed to live in Colorado, be apart of an amazing church, enjoy a comfortable home, have a job, have relatively reliable cars, enjoy laughter and warmth of good friends etc etc etc....the list could go on and on.  Today my pastor posted on Facebook 2Cor.8:9: And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  So encouraged, I,  like a dog wet from a bath or romp in the lake vigorously shake of the waters of discouragement and romp off to the next task at hand.  Today I fill out an overwhelming amount of paperwork for adoption grants etc.  Off to make a pot of coffee the first of many today....chris

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why Adopt? Part 1 of ? Some World Facts

In the next few posts it is my intention to answer the question of why we are adopting and why did we choice Ukraine..
The following are world statistics to give you basic facts and build a foundation to ongoing posts. What they do not do is put a face to each one of these cold statistics.  Look into the faces of children around you or even your own and realize these are faces that represent so many children around the world.  When you do, these stats change into real life reality and not just cold data...Chris 

It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.) The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children. The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers
According to data released in 2003 as many as eight million boys and girls around the world live in institutional care. Some studies have found that violence in residential institutions is six times higher than violence in foster care, and that children in group care are almost four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than children in family based care.
Each day 5,760 more children become orphans
Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
Each day 38,493 orphans age out
Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
Studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals
Another study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years…
An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year; (THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2005)
2 million children, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multibillion-dollar commercial sex industry. (THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2005)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I have been wondering how to start our blog.....

Today as I was tossing and turning in bed wondering how I was going to afford this next step in our adoption journey and wondering how do I stop the constant outflow of cash.  I decided to give up on sleeping in and get to work on my many tasks at hand.  I then realized maybe I should look in my box of adoption papers and see if I could find some documents on how to finance this mission we are on.  In the process I stumbled upon a letter I wrote with Monique in September of last year that even to this day rings true of how Monique and I feel.  So I thought what a great way to start our blog.....

I wanted to write you in more depth about our reasoning for adopting.  But quite frankly for us to reason or rationalize adoption, it will never add up.  If you consider us insane or this is ludicrous I would whole heartedly agree.  There is nothing about this that is monetarily responsible or considered wise, in fact I would call it a gamble or foolish from a worldly stand point. Our economy is in the tank and the future here in America is on the brink of who knows what. The real fears of more job loss, hyper inflation or worse deflation, or the fear of losing our jobs are very prevalent and concerning. 
                So then why?  Let me preface this by saying, we didn’t ask for this nor did we see this one coming.  I will say, there are moments in life when your eyes or mind are opened to things and you are just never the same.  An example, becoming a Christian.  To live the life of a Christian to this world is without a doubt foolish.  To live this life for others over our own desires and flesh just doesn’t make sense but once one has been changed and our eyes have tasted the beauty of God and all He desires for us, our life is changed forever.  Monique and I have had one of those experiences that has and will change our lives forever.  To really taste and see the atrocities and horrors that are going on in this world cannot and should not be ignored and we just can’t turn our backs on these things.  For us to turn our backs on them would be to live a life of utter disregard and selfishness.  Monique and I could not in good conciouse do this.  It is hard to explain what has happened to us, it is so overwhelmingly powerful that I would gladly give my life for a hope that it would bring change.   I know that this has been said before but I truly would without hesitant give up all my possessions and my life for one of these children and I am pretty confident that Monique feels the same.
                I came up with a good one about adoption and it goes like this:  Adoption will not give you stretch marks but it will stretch you.  I think that sums it up for us, I believe God is and will provide for this adoption if it is His plan.  The sum of $30000.00 is pretty astronomical (especially to a family that lives paycheck to paycheck) but we have come up with close to two thirds and we shall see about the rest.  For an American, it is not uncommon to drive a $30000.00 car nor is it ever considered unreasonable to put oneself into debt for 6 years for a car that will depreciate and become worth next to nothing in 15 years.  On the other hand maybe the average family has two cars that equal that amount or maybe two cars that are worth 50000.00 or whatever and then throw on the interest and it’s ridiculous, but say that you want to pay $30000.00 for two kids and it is considered crazy.   We know that it is a lifelong commitment and we know the cost goes way beyond the initial upfront cost but it is an investment that will not depreciate or lose its value.  Jesus said:
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
And this one that really touches home:
Jeremiah 5:28-29 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? (There are 40 scriptures to this affect in the bible)
          So what does the future hold for us, we don’t know but I know our futures have been changed because of what we have seen and learned.  Monique, last Sunday said something that just broke my heart and I could not hold back the tears.  She said to me, maybe we should not adopt but instead maybe we should do even more.  I can’t quote her exactly but they were to the affect of giving ourselves to the mission field.  I believe she had the heart of God when she said that, Jesus no longer walks on this earth in physical form but it is his church that walks in His place.
          I wrote this not to boast or cause conviction but only for you to understand where we are coming from....