Commitment~Part 2 of Our Adoption Story

July 17, 2014 by Pappa with thoughts from Nama

adoption-blessing-faith-africa-liberia.jpg//namafish.com

Today we celebrate the gift of those gorgeous chocolate eyes.  9 years ago today we received our referral for N.Doumoundo B. Lamien.  We will share the very first images that arrived in our inbox of our 5th child and the miracle of Love that filled our hearts and home that day. Continue reading

Blessed~To Need Him

i woke this morning electrically excited for a DEAR friend, her husband and their “already” children.  One week from today, 7 days from today our friends will trust a world of others with the houseful of babies they already nurture and board a plane for a land far away to collect two tiny special needs children (both 5 years old) who have been waiting all these long years for their mamma and daddy.  The miracle, the energy, the magic of the journey into adoption is so incredibly amazing.

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Within seconds of the adrenaline rush of realizing the calendar had moved and the “days to travel” counter was now in the one week range, 7!!, my heart took a sharp turn and i began to feel the grief my friend will process this week.  Much ALL will change for this mamma, daddy and their houseful of littles the moment they board that plane.  Why would you say yes to something that guarantees so much upheaval, adjustment and sacrifice?  There will be big sacrifice and selflessness required for every member of their family.

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Yesterday i shot Tim a desperate text, “call me if you have a moment and the energy for a rant”.  Tim called on his lunch hour, i tried to be grown up and logical but the moment i heard his voice i spiraled into a crying baby + a tantruming two year old.  Sparing you the unnecessary muck, our morning had begun WAY to early with an unexplainable amount of energy and creativity.  Things were escalating by the moment, disappointment entered, “poor me” crossed my mind and i agreed with “that lie” one moment too long.

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In the midst, my Blondie came home with a treat from Starbucks for me. She was caught in the crossfire, there was no energy or time to sit and chat wedding or hear about her morning at work.  i was done, or wanted to be done, or go back to the woods or rant to My Man.  i sent my SOS; pretty much the answer is always the same from Tim, life is only hard if you let it be, God is enough, be nice and do the right thing, be dependent on His Grace.  As it always goes, Tim listens to the many offenses i “need” to vent but he hears my sin and directs me back to what i have to do to smooth the waters.  Tim’s only specific guidance was, “make sure you do not say anything out of your hurt and sadness that will hurt Blessing’s heart.”  i am sad to tell you, honestly, some things had already been said that i had to apologize to our sweet girl for.

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A bit later Blessing was at Library Club; i claimed a quiet corner and used my time to read some truth.

…in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors . . .” (2 Corinthians 6:5)— in all these things, display in your life a drawing on the grace of God, which will show evidence to yourself and to others that you are a miracle of His. Draw on His grace now, not later. The primary word in the spiritual vocabulary is now. Let circumstances take you where they will, but keep drawing on the grace of God in whatever condition you may find yourself.  The entire study is found here: http://utmost.org/drawing-on-the-grace-of-god—-now/.  It is worth your time.

Well look at that…just about the same stuff My Man pointed me back to.  i wonder if i could possibly learn to run to His Grace with my rants and spare Tim the headache.

Here is the deal; Blessing and i had a full afternoon ahead of us when our train veered off the tracks.  When Tim helped me redirect, i still felt incredible frustration.  i did what i knew was right but did not feel any of it.  i spoke gently (sheer will), i apologized (fighting a grudge), i let go of a bunch of junk (heart still aching), i made a deal with my girl, “if mamma chooses patience and gentleness for the rest of the day will you choose obedience and kindness?” She said yes, i had my doubts…she is an impulsive 10 year old,  at this point i would be a bit surprised if  i kept  my end of the deal.  Six hours later we were pulling back into the neighborhood, Blessing was silly singing, we were gut giggling together and i spontaneously said “ahhh, Blessing what a fun day we have had together.”  As i heard the words come from my heart, i was taken aback; actually we had started with a really rough day, some ugly sin and lots of material for resentment and angst.  Where had “Fun Day” snuck in, when had giggles and silly songs shown up?  His Grace is enough for my most common everyday challenges. i know he redeems the big and bad stuff, but maybe more amazing is when we see Him redeem the everyday selfishness, disappointed expectations, harsh tones and lashing words.

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As i feel the reality of all the challenges my dear adopting friend is facing i know the cost and pain very personally, yet it is so easy to switch back to ecstatic excitement because i know without a doubt that feeling my weakness more often, doubting my ability constantly, hearing my selfishness scream louder is the only path to knowing HIS Grace more clearly.  When i am weak, HE is strong.  When i am alone, HE is my all.

My sweet sweet obedient friend, charge ahead with full confidence and joy, you are stepping into a whole new beautiful “knowing” of your Lord’s Grace,of his provision, his comfort and strength.  i promise you the challenges will be there, this is so good because we only need HIM and call on HIM when we can no longer manage on our own. That is hard, that is beautiful!

There will be plenty of days when you have to “just deal” with whatever it is that day…

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Just be certain you are not “dealing” in your own strength and ability, you can not do this on your own.

Keep your eyes on your Lord,

Run into His Grace,

and know that Needing Him is the very best place you could be.

Please pray for our friends as they enter the Great Adventure our Lord has written for their family.

Travis and Melissa’s Adoption Update

june 14, 2014 by Melissa reblogged by Nama

This is a post our Melissa put up on their Blog yesterday.  i am reposting it for a few reasons. 1. Namafish is primarily a testament of our Lord’s faithfulness for our children and their children.  The kid’s adoption journey is a big part of what our Lord is doing in the Fish Pond.  2. Having lived the joy of adoption through bringing home our Blessing this Nama could not be more excited for the addition of this little Fish to Travis and Melissa’s home and to our Fisch Family.  Adoption Rocks!  Adoption is a beautiful snapshot of our Lord’s redemption, if i am passionate, i HAVE to share, there is no option.  3.  Our kids have committed to something big here, as most of you have seen in my Nama posts Travis and Melissa have two gorgeous, healthy biological kids.  They could take the more known path and build their family through biological birth.  They are choosing adoption, the financial and emotional cost is high.  Travis and Melissa are choosing this path not because they “need” a child but because there is a mamma and a baby who need His Hope, who need His Love, who need the security and promise and forever of a family.  Travis and Melissa are postponing much earthly comfort and security to invest in a little life that doesn’t have a “backup” plan or an insurance policy to cover all the expenses.  If just one person reads their journey over here and commits to pray for HIS perfect direction and provision in bringing Travis and Melissa’s 3rd baby home, then that is exactly why i am posting their journey over here.  You can get to know Travis and Melissa much deeper by clicking on the “Second and final home visit!” link below.  If your heart is tugged, please commit to pray for Travis, Melissa, Kingston, Raena and their third little Fish as we watch the Lord write HIS story of making them a family of 5.  Please read Melissa’s exciting update.

SECOND AND FINAL HOME VISIT!

June 13, 2014

This week we completed another huge step in our adoption process! We had our second and final home visit with our social worker for our home study. This means we are {pretty much} home study approved! I say pretty much because our social worker still has to finish writing our report, and then she has to pass it along to her supervisor. However, we have done everything we need to do, and she told us at the end of our visit Saturday that we are approved! The rest is just crossing the t’s and dotting the few remaining i’s.

I can’t begin to tell you what a relief it was when our social worker spoke those three words to us, “you are approved.” I think I must’ve been feeling more stress about it than I thought because it felt like this HUGE weight had been lifted off of me. It feels so good.

The second home visit was a bit different than the first. We spent the first portion of the visit receiving some adoption training from our social worker. This included information on grief/coping with failed adoptions, a bunch of books, websites and other adoption resources, lists of community activities adoptive families can take part in, information about how adoptive children process adoption and at what ages they will experience various stages of processing, medical information for children exposed to drugs or alcohol, the legal documents that will be filed throughout the process, what the process will look like from here on out and much more. It was very insightful to talk through these things with our social worker. She has experienced so many different situations in her career, and she was able to give us real and practical information.

After we completed our training, we did the walk through of our home to make sure all of the safety requirements were met. If you were wondering, yes, we locked up our knives and medicines and changed our child locks. We bought fire extinguishers and that earthquake kit we’ve been meaning to purchase for four years. If nothing else, Travis is grateful this home study forced him to finally prioritize buying that kit.

After the inspection {which we passed with flying colors}, we moved on to individual interviews. This was the most in depth portion of our interview process. Prior to our first visit, we had filled out a series of questionnaires. These questionnaires covered a multitude of things from family history to how our parents raised us to what our relationships with our family members are like to Travis and my relationship with each other to how we parent our children. At our first visit, we turned these questionnaires in to our social worker. Since then, she reviewed them, and during our individual interviews we addressed any questions she had about our answers as well as filled in any gaps that were unclear.

This was the portion of our home study that I felt our social worker gathered the most information about us. We knew that the homestudy would take an in depth look into family history, but we were surprised to find out how extensive it was. She were very thorough finding out information about our family members and extended family members. This information spanned from medical history to lifestyle choices to illegal activity. I think the point of it all is they want to know who our child will have contact with when he/she is a part of our family. Nonetheless, we were caught off guard how far outside of our nuclear family she gathered information and how much time we spent talking through all of that.

After we finished our interviews, we turned in our last few remaining items of paperwork. We talked through what the next steps in the process would be. Then our social worker uttered those sweet, sweet words, “you are approved!” {Praise the Maker!}

SO, what happens now? Well, the home study was probably about ⅓ of the entire adoption process. Now that we have that done, we will start submitting applications for grants and loans in order to finance the rest of this process. Then we will start applying to agencies and presenting our family profile book to birth moms which will {hopefully} lead to a match sooner rather than later!

AGH!! Things are getting real! And it’s SO exciting!!! {and a little bit crazy}. Please keep praying for us as we continue to move forward. It feels like things are moving fast, but we are trusting the Lord’s timing and that He will sovereignly work out all of the details. Also, please be praying for our baby and birth mom. We don’t know who they are yet, but there is a good chance that by now our child has been conceived. Pray for their hearts, health and safety. We treasure them so deeply and pray the Lord’s protections over them everyday. We can’t wait to know them.

 

grandkids-sew-dress-funny-bad.jpg //Namafish.com

 We just can not wait to see Who our Lord has added to this mayhem by the end of  2014!

COMMENTS (1)

Nama loves every word of this! We pray for His supernatural provision for the finances to bring your third baby home. We know your family could have chosen to move forward with a third biological child, meaning insurance would have provided the funding for the majority of those expenses. Yet you have chosen to trust our Lord to provide a home and family for a tiny life that does not have other options. You have said yes to giving a birth mamma the hope and promise of love and security for her little life. The call on your hearts is not in vain, He will bring to your home the child he has planned as your third little Fish and He will provide all that is required to complete that process.

Blessed~Taste of Liberia

june 6, 2014 by nama 

i often grieve all that we do not know about Blessing’s beginning months.

Blessing came home when she was 15 months old.  As we treasure our Grandbabies, three of whom have passed their 15 month birthdays, i am constantly reminded of all we missed, all Blessing missed in those crucial first months of her development.  One very precious gift we have is a set of  images shared with us by a young lady who served as a short term missionary in Blessing’s orphanage months before we traveled to Liberia to bring Blessing home.

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That little tiny bundle being held with the thick tuft of hair on her bald little head is our Blessing.

When i traveled to the orphanage in 2005, i was told that Blessing was referred to as Frisky~O by the nannies.

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  We did not see the “Frisky~O” in our Blessing until months after she had come home, apparently the transition was so traumatic she was “shut down” for a long period of time before we saw the Blessing we now know and adore.  I am guessing that big boy got her bite of mango.

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As it turns out, our big girl Blessing is obsessed with mango.

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She loves to peel them and eat the entire thing skewered on this long grill fork.  I don’t even bother asking.

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Apparently the counter is too high to work on and that trash can right behind the chair doesn’t work either. It is so much easier to treasure the “blessing” in all of this when i reflect on our little tiny Blessing in Liberia fighting for another bite of mango, how thankful i am that she is making mango mess in our kitchen.

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I am so thankful for all the tiny peices to Blessing’s story we are allowed to know.  His plan is perfect, knowing our girl knew the sweetness of mango as a little tiny is one perfect gift he has granted.

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Is this as creepy to you as it to me?

 1 plastic baggie, 1 eaten clean mango pit, fill with warm water and leave on kitchen counter till it “Grows more yummy fruit mamma!”.

Cuz i know you have been wondering how to do that.

Blessed~Our Clan

may30, 2014 by nama

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One of the big challenges that came with adopting when our first four children were older has been the change it brought to our family structure.  When Blessing came home at 15 months old our first four were 10, 13, 17 and 18.  That was easy, an adorable new baby fits anywhere and causes little adjustment to relationships.  As Blessing grew and became more active, boisterous and creative the adjustments it has required  have been more measurable and at times “costly” than we had foreseen.  Our adult children rarely get “adult” time with mom and dad.  There is not a lot of sitting in the quiet living room, sipping something and talking deep theology here, or when the conversion does go deep,  Blessing is not easily included, there is no pack of playmates to run with while the adults are all serious.  Our adult children have to parent with a busy, filled with ideas 10 year old in the mix every time they bring their babies to Nama and Pappa’s.  We are their babies’  Grandparents, at the very same time we are also Blessing’s parents.  When they spat, or don’t want to share or Blessing walks off with their newborn as if he is a dress up dolly our adult children have to process their reaction and how they handle those things through many blurry filters.

One of the biggest blessings we get from the gift of adding a tiny to our home so late in life is watching the generations work it out and do life together.  Everyone has to be less self focused.  Everyone has to consider additional layers of needs and desires.  Everyone gets to give a little more.  Everyone gets to learn and grow and know the blessing of  HIS refinement in a deeper way.

Blessed to be a nest with so many layers of Love built into it.

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This series of pictures makes me smile.  Watch the moving relationship.

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 This is our third son Parker with his newborn Timothy building girl Legos with Blessing.

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Timothy !

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Blessing… “Hmmmmm  ‘.

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      “I don’t quite get it.”

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 “Ohhhhhh, I see.”

I love Lego Friends (girl Legos), where were these when our first princess was little?

Photo Tip: Because as you have noticed, i am such a pro ; ),  take a series of 10-20 pictures of the exact same frame.  The capture of still shot relationships can be so much more fun than a video.

We send our California three back to their daddy and husband tomorrow, there will be lots of grandbaby+ Aunty fun here today, Pappa took the day off.