Wednesday, February 12, 2014
We have made drastic changes around here since our daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I consider myself a 'real foodie'. Most who know me consider me a bit of hippy, what with my love of coconut oil, homemade alternatives to just about everything, essential oils, fermenting drinks on my counter, and a pantry of mason jars filled with baking staples. I'm actually not as real foodie as I could be. . .and I'm okay with that. Here is why.
1. Compromising here and there is not out of the question for me. We sometimes pick up items at the grocery store that save us time, but don't have WAPF-approved labels. We run errands. We get tired. We get lazy. We sometimes order in or we grab fast food. No, it's not ideal. Yes, I wish my kids had no clue what those golden arches even meant. But, life happens sometimes. The majority of what we eat is organic, nutrient dense, and as pesticide free as we can find it. My kids know that real food is good food. They know that we sometimes eat "junk", and that I'm not happy about it. But, I believe there is value in time and I believe that stressing one's family out is not a good way to maintain health. I am working on not being freaked out that I'm messing up my kids with every decision or every indecision. I've been there, and I don't like it. Perhaps one day, I will no longer stand for these indiscretions. . .but not today.
2. Crippling parents with guilt IS out of the question for me. We absolutely should be concerned about what is in our food, our cleaning products, our medications, etc. We should not take every single thing professionals or their overseeing entities say as Truth without doing our own research. However, there seems to be this attitude with some more vocal members of the Real Food community that if there is a medical problem with your child, it is automatically because of something you have done wrong or something you have neglected to do. Now, please don't get me wrong. As a whole, we are doing a tremendous disservice to our children and future generations with the garbage that is in our air, our water, our soil, our livestock, our food supply, etc. We do need change, and we do need to wake up. But, I do not believe the solution is to adopt this high and mighty attitude and come down on parents who are already dealing with so much grief and guilt. We can't possibly know everything. We all do the best we can with what we have. When we can do better, we will do better. Ignorance is not bliss, but it also isn't cause for condemnation.
3. Sickness, disease, and even death are symptoms of a bigger issue than chemicals. We would all be in perfect health if sin had not entered our world, but it did. There are people in very high positions making loads of money off of making and keeping people sick. It is horrible what some corporations allow to enter our food and our homes. There is evil behind that. But, there is evil behind every part of our own hearts, too. We need Jesus more than we need any remedy available. Even as Jesus healed those in physical need, he spoke of a greater need in the very essence of who they are. I believe that God is sovereign over all things. I believe there is a purpose behind every "imperfect" child being born, every disease or condition developing, and I believe it is much more complicated than just "you didn't do this, that, and the other thing right and now your baby has a medical condition". Yes, we need to take care of the bodies God gave us and the little ones he put under our care. Yet even the Psalmist said, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:26, ESV)
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Below is a letter my sweetheart of an introvert husband sat down and wrote to share with our church about our adoption. I may have cried a little bit when he first shared this with me. To be honest, I have spent so much time talking about adoption and, sadly, little time letting him think about his own take on it. It was really beautiful to see him share his heart a little bit. Oh, how I wish I had a transcript of what he added when our pastor brought us forward to pray for us.
Dear Church Family,
Do I feel called to adopt? Well, I know my wife is called to adopt. Ever since I met her, she's talked about adopting a child from Asia. In the back of my head I figured it was a fad -- linked to some cute Korean kids she was an ESL tutor for while she was in college -- and that after she had a couple of her own kids she would grow out of it. Well, four kids of her own and 10 years later she hasn't been able to shake the idea.
I love my wife and the more I spend time with her, her interests become my interests. For instance, I grew up overseas in a third world country without TV, especially American TV. Well, Becky frequently quotes movies in conversation and when we first started dating I had no clue what most of the quotes meant or where they came from. Today, I still don't know where some of the quotes come from, but I find myself recycling those same quotes in conversations with her and other people. I think those of you who are married can relate to that. So, even though I am a little nervous about a fifth child running around the house, I have warmed up to the idea over the years for a number of reasons.
First, my family is my primary area of ministry. It’s also probably the hardest. Having another child in the house adds to the responsibility, but it also opens up the possibility of being able to lead them to the feet of Christ. I have a long way to go to become proficient at this but, as a believer and a Dad, I have an obligation to find ways to keep the gospel in front of my kids. This should happen through the way I live my life, treat my wife, the words I speak, the things I place a lot of importance in. . .all in addition to feeding them God's word.
Second, we were adopted by God when we didn't deserve help. I see this as another opportunity to reciprocate God's unconditional love for us through Christ in a very practical way, to our adopted child as well as our other children and our friends.
It is also another way in which, with your help, I get to make one of my wife's dreams come true. I’m thinking major brownie points here. So, even though the idea to adopt started with my wife, God has used her and this body of believers (particularly Clint and Jennifer) to push me over the edge. Now, I’m just as anxious as my wife to learn who God has planned for our fifth child.
Monday, April 8, 2013
What a way to officially kick off our fundraising! We had an amazing 30 families contribute their gently used items to our adoption yard sale. We also had a couple of church friends volunteer to round up items from their neighbors. Everyone really contributed to this.
Family and friends came to help us prepare, run the sale, and break down. We could NOT have done it without them. It was a crazy day. I am definitely not a fan of aggressive early bird shoppers. People were literally pushing their way into my garage demanding prices for my husband's tools as we were trying to set stuff up. It got a little stressful for a bit there.
We stayed pretty busy for most of the day and it ended up being some chaotic fun. Many people shared kind words of support with us, gave us "a little something extra", or shared their own adoption stories with us. It was great meeting some neighbors and catching up with friends we don't see often enough.
We have since been trying to sell some leftovers by listing them individually. As it stands now, we may try to do another big yard sale in the fall. It was a lot of work, but really ended up being fun.
And we're a little bit closer to our daughter. :)
If you'd like to help us on our adoption journey, you can find out more by visiting our main adoption page.