Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snow Days and Thinking of Getting More Extreme...

Having a hard time getting to sleep tonite so am spending a little quiet time at the computer. Blog time and thoughts are fewer and farther between these days, but every now and then I have a few things to say.

My kids have had Snow Days off of school for the past two days. We enjoyed playing games and making a special treat on Valentines Day, and today I employed my 10 year old daughter to get a bunch of cleaning and organizing projects done for me that I have not gotten around to. Things like organizing closets and cupboards. She is really good at it, and the whole thing was a bargain and feels so good to have done.

The funniest part of her cleaning was when she cleaned out the bathroom closet and found two unopened 5 gallon buckets from our Y2K stash. We will now have plenty of whole wheat couscous and brown rice. :)

The other day I was watching the final DVD of the Oprah Winfrey 20th Anniversary collection. Since I haven't watched TV at home for probably 10 years, I'm way out of the loop on so many things. Of course I have known about Oprah and watched her show probably for the first 10 years she was on. I do see her magazine, know about the book club, and every now and then hear about some good deed she has done. However, this disc just grabbed ahold of me.

It showed her Christmas project that she did, delivering gifts to children in South Africa. What a powerful, beautiful thing to see the thought and care that went into that effort, and the emotion those children displayed over shoes, jeans, a doll, or a new soccer ball. My husband and I sat there almost spellbound, again hit with the enormity of need in the world, and again looking at each other and asking, "What can WE do?"

I think that people find it easy to ignore what they cannot see. We can be prejudice against people when we don't have personal relationships with anyone in that group. We can ignore suffering, sickness, hunger, and other needs when we are not face-to-face with it.

If that doesn't keep our conscious clear we tell ourselves that the needs of the world are too big to help, so us making any effort at all isn't going to make a difference.

But, you know what? That's a lie.

I believe that if everybody that *could* do something *did* do something, there would be a huge shift for the better in this world.

Yes, we may not be able to do much. No, you can't save everybody on your own. But you can do something.

Just recently my husband and I were talking about feeling an itch to do something radical. We discussed how some people feel led to go to foreign countries as missionaries. Others are equipped with the business know-how to raise lots of money and give it to worthy organizations. Some are charismatic and can effectively communicate needs and motivate people to act. Although we may have some small amount of ability in some of these areas, none are the thing that gets us riled up and ready to act.

When I watched that South Africa Christmas special I was reminded about the one big thing that we always come back to, always cry over, and always want to do something about. Kids in need. Orphans. Children that have been let down by those that should have cherished them. Kids who need to know that they matter to somebody, and that they belong to a family.

I don't know how this will play out, but I have known this for almost as long as I've been married: We want to be a part of the solution.

Our baby will turn four in a couple of weeks, so home life is gradually getting less chaotic and we are more able to reach out to others than we have been for the past.....8 or 9 years. Is now the time to see how we can actively help children in need of a home? How do we reconcile the needs of the children we already have with the potential needs of additional children that have been badly damaged in their lives already? Are we good enough parents? Will we regret getting involved? Can we handle it? Do we have what it takes? Will our children be harmed?

Again, I don't know. I don't know if we're ready. I don't know if we have what it takes. I don't know if this is the right time. I just know that the desire to do this has never subsided, and my husband feels the same way. I feel pretty sure that sometime in the future we will be adding more children to our family through adoption.

In an effort to see how our kids would feel about this prospect we asked their opinion on the idea of adopting some children into our family. Even 6 months ago my oldest child would have (and did) said that there is no way he can imagine us dealing with any more kids. But this time...every single one of them said yes and was enthusiastic about the idea, even after I explained some of the not-fun issues that we might be dealing with because of the rough start these kids have had in life. Of course, some of my kids are too young to really absorb all of the information, but the older ones seemed eager to embrace the idea and seemed to understand the ministry aspect of this. Since we talked to them about it they have asked several times what we are thinking about the adoption idea, and if we are moving forward about it in any way.

I get fired up about this issue every so often, and so far every time we have gotten fired up, once we looked at some of the details we decided that we weren't ready. There is a good chance, considering our track record, that this will happen again for this time. I have to believe, though, that all of the years of discussions and consideration will be a benefit to us, and that when it is time to act we will know it. If you care to join us in praying about whether or not now is the time and this is the project for us, please do. We don't want to make any decisions without God's direction.

No comments: