Friday, August 31, 2012

Monthly Wait-List Update

Have I mentioned lately how much we LOVE our agency?

Yeah, I thought so.

Lifeline decided to surprise us all today by going ahead and sending out our monthly updates.  The long holiday weekend is upon us and somehow Lesley knew that we would all be itching...wishing the weekend away in hopes for our favorite (or sometimes not-so-favorite) email of the month which I expected would come next Tuesday at the earliest.

And so, without further adieu, we have arrived in the single digits, folks.  You are looking at family number........

Better than that....a total of TWELVE children (6 with special needs and 6 healthy infants) were matched with their forever families through our agency in the month of August.  Our family moved a total of 5 spots which is the most movement we've seen in any given month.  Hip Hip Hooray!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

While We Wait (and a family update)

Over here at the Williams household, things are back to school-year-normal.  Jordan is back at Union University for his Sophomore year.  We miss him around here but continue to be so thankful for the opportunity that he has to learn at UU.  This semester, he is taking Greek which is sure to be a challenge.  Braeden is back at the bottom of the proverbial totem pole as a Freshman at Ravenwood High School.  He seems to really be enjoying the new atmosphere and LIKES school.  This is new and different...and such a welcomed change.

We're once again approaching the beginning of a new month and, next week, should receive a new update as to where we stand on our agency's wait list.  The 1st falls on the upcoming long holiday (Labor Day) weekend, so our email will likely not come until next week.  I am anticipating that we will be #10 but single digits would be fun too, huh?

In the meantime, I'm so humbled and proud of my sister Ashley and brother-in-law John who have been attending PATH classes to become certified to foster children.  This decision has come after MUCH prayer and consideration.  They are doing lots of room moving and house prep to prepare themselves for placements and should actually be able, by the end of September, to begin taking in children.  Please be in prayer for their family (and the children who will potentially be placed there) and feel free to follow along as their story unfolds.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet Reminder

Yesterday, following our church's service, a sweet lady in our congregation sought me out to say that, during the service, she'd had an overwhelming feeling that we were going to get our referral call on that very day.

It's the day after and we did not get a call.  But that's okay.  It was such a sweet reminder to me that others are tuned into and praying for our family and that's a great feeling.

Thank you Jesus for friends and family who walk this walk alongside us in every way.

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Adoption of the Heart

"A little child enters your life and fills a special place in your heart.  A place you never even knew was empty." Author Unknown

This blog is normally reserved for thoughts and facts regarding our adoption but tonight, something else is on my mind.

God used my trip to Ethiopia to reveal so much to me and many blessings have come from that trip of a lifetime; not the least of which is a relationship that I now have with a young boy named Teraku.  I once shared Teraku's story on my "old" blog but I think it bears repeating.

In preparing for my trip, one of the people groups that I most longed to meet were the people of Korah.  Korah is adjacent to the trash dump in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia's capital city) and the people who live there are the poorest of the poor.  Many years ago, lepers were taken to live in Korah as they were believed to be cursed.  Generations later, the people of Korah still struggle; many spend their days digging through the trash heaps to find food to eat and items to sell to sustain themselves and their families.  

All throughout Ethiopia, the children excitedly approached our vans; mostly to see what we might have to give them (and sometimes just to get a glimpse of the white people).  We would hear a lot of "give me" or "cahndee" (candy, obviously) and were happy to oblige.  Korah was different.  The children there almost immediately began to ask, "sponsor?", "sponsor?".  

It is clear that they know what a difference sponsorship can/will make in their lives.  And, through Project 61, that is happening and many of the children who previously were destined for a life lived in Korah (with no education) are now attending school and flourishing.  

I met Teraku on our first day in Korah.  His sad face said more to me than words ever could and his friend was lovingly pulling him along, advocating for him to have a sponsor.  "He's a clever student", his friend told me and I couldn't help but to oblige.  

Teraku, on that day, became part of my family.  I had a Teraku-shaped hole in my heart....and I didn't even know it.

When I returned to Korah on that Friday, he was waiting for me.  He had written me a letter in green marker which said, among other things, that "I was his gift from God".  But what he didn't (and likely still doesn't) know is that HE is my gift from God.  That boy makes me want to be a better person and has taught me to love in new ways.

As Teraku and I were visiting on that day, I noticed that he had that same green marker on his arm that was in my letter.  I asked him if I could see what he had written there.  He agreed and I slid the sleeve of his ragged, dirty jacket up to find the sweetest expression of love I might have ever seen.  My name and his, encircled by a heart.   

I long to wrap my arms around him and tell him again how much he is loved.  I want so badly for the rest of my family to meet him and let him fill their Teraku-shaped hole as well.
I give thanks for him and for the fact that, today, most of the pictures that I am sent of him look more like this....

(This pic of Teraku was taken in July, as some friends were in Ethiopia and graciously allowed me to send him some goodies.....after all, every good Ethiopian boy needs a Tennessee t-shirt)

There are many credible child sponsorship programs out there and what I want you to know is that child sponsorship truly makes a difference.  And the child you sponsor might get a little something out of it too.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

While We Wait - Empowered Conference

An adopted child ALWAYS comes as the result of a loss.

Because of that, parenting the adopted child is different.  Their ability to trust has been threatened and, often, because they have had many caregivers, a parent is nothing special....just another somebody who will take care of me and then leave.  

Thankfully, there are great resources available for families who are adopting, fostering, etc.  We were required, through our agency, to read several of the most well respected books on the subject.  In addition, we did two online seminars as part of the preparation for our adoption.

We recently registered to attend an Empowered to Connect Conference which is being sponsored by Show Hope and is being held at a church (literally) down the street from us.  It is a great opportunity to build on what we've already been reading and learning and, for me (Kelley), it just gives me something to do while we wait.

We are looking forward to learning more and to spending time with some other adoptive families.

Friday, August 3, 2012

August....'s off to a great start.

Yesterday on FB, our referring agency posted this:  "WSA decided to start August off with REFERRALS!!!!  So we gave out 6!  BOOM!  Happy August Everyone!".

Since then we have learned that those referrals consisted of 3 healthy girls and 3 special needs/waiting children.  6 children who are orphans no more.....Praise God!

So, though we haven't officially received a new number, it looks like we've moved up 3 more spots.

Bring it on, August!  Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Monthly Wait-List Update seems I'm getting pretty good at this.

Note my exact quote from the last post:

"It's almost that time again....the beginning of the month and a new wait list number.  I'm predicting we move up three spots this month."


We are.

We moved up three spots in the month of July.  There were actually 4 children placed with families from our agency (one was a set of twins) in July....that's 4 children who are orphans no more.  Praise God!

We would love to know how many of the families (#1 - #13) are actually waiting for children in our same age/gender category.  Our agency has a Facebook page but not all families are a part of it so we can't even scope it out that way.  : )  Believe me, the families that are on the page, have tried their (our) best to narrow it down.  More work on that patience of mine.  

In some ways, it seems just yesterday that we were hoping to reach the teens and now it feels like single digits are just around the corner.  Keep praying, friends (and remind me of my positive attitude later in the month when I begin to whine).