Friday, April 30, 2010

****BIG News****

Wow...the difference a few days can make! We went to our African fellowship group on Sunday and were asked repeatedly what our time frame was and where we were in the process.

I am excited to announce that we have officially accepted our referral for a girl/boy set of siblings!!!

We have done things a little different in that we accepted the referral before we had finished the paperwork. I have worked in a manic state to finish everything (which is why there have been no more blog updates). If anyone ever needs to know how to do a dossier in 24 hours I can help ! We have truly seen God's hand on us the last couple of days and it has been truly amazing. I am sorry if I haven't called you or sent out emails to you with our announcement. There are so many people I haven't even told yet. I have been "focused" on getting paperwork done and have not had time to do anything extra, including sleeping :-)

The most exciting news of all is that we may make it in before the May 9th deadline for when the new 2 trip law goes into effect. This means that we would be submitted to court before May 9th and a court date would be set most likely for the latter part of June. We would not have to travel for the court date. If we pass court then we would travel in August to pick up our kids. My mind is spinning even writing it!

I wanted to announce to everyone. Thank you so much for all your prayers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What does it mean when God tells you to be "Radical"?

Last fall the Lord really began to speak the word "radical" to both Brent and I. We weren't sure what He was asking us to do, but one thing was for sure...We knew how blessed we were and we knew that we were not doing enough to share these blessings with others. Therefore, we began questioning why we had been so blessed, why others around the world had not, and what we could do to share God's love with them. I remember thinking, "are we supposed to sell everything and live like we had nothing so that we could give it all to the poor?" Scary thoughts huh...Well we knew that was a little too extreme, but then again the word was "radical."

After many weeks of contemplating and praying about this, one day I was sharing all that God had convicted us about to a friend and she boldly asked, "Well, Becky, what are you going to do to be radically different?" The truth was, at that point Brent nor I had any idea how to answer this so we just continued to pray about it.

Putting the Pieces Together
As I shared in my first post, adoption had been on our hearts for many years. Around Christmas I really began to sense the time was drawing closer. The problem was, I didn't connect the feeling that we were getting close to adopting with the word "radical" that God was calling us to. During all this time, my daughter Hayley, continued to ask and pray that we would adopt (more on this in a future post).

In January, as we are all aware, the earth shook as an earthquake hit the tiny island called Haiti. During that time we were watching the news coverage about all the orphans and we saw the huge need for those willing to adopt a child. This hit us closer to home than some because our neighbors, who are also our friends, had 3 children already adopted from Haiti and were in the process of adopting one more. I called to see if they had any word on Sammy and found out that he was indeed ok and that he was needing to come home very soon. Over the next few weeks they went from thinking it would be another year before bringing Sammy home, to finding out he would be home in a matter of days. Our neighbors found out on a Tuesday that they were getting Sammy on Thursday. With just one day to make arrangements we agreed to take 2 of their children and keep them as long as necessary. We ended up taking care of the two kids from Wednesday to Sunday. There was great excitement at our house as we watched the news coverage of Sammy's plane arriving in Miami and as we talked to him on the phone. We made posters and got things ready for him to arrive. After the two extra kids went home, I suddenly felt as if we were missing part of our family. God really used that week to tell me that I could indeed love more children and that I had what it would take to take care of more.

Our neighbors...Tristan (adopted domestically, Lainey, Sammy (in front of Lainey), Miklene (adopted from Haiti) and Elijah (adopted domestically). The oldest 2 from Haiti did not want to come out for the pic :-)

Although I was feeling pulled to start the adoption process, Brent was a little unsure. It wasn't that he didn't want to, he was just scared of the timing. After all, things were going really good with our family so why "upset the applecart"? Our youngest was out of diapers and finally able to "do" things. However, isn't it just like God to shake things up when we get a little too comfortable? Brent agreed that I could do some initial investigation and research. It didn't take long for Brent to come around. God used some divine appointments and even more importantly our oldest daughter to soften Brent's heart.

Accepting the Call

Once we were on the same page and said yes to our "RADICAL" calling, we felt a huge sense of relief coupled with great anxiety. I equated it to the feeling that you have when you find out you are pregnant. Three different times we had experienced having children biologically, however, this time it was a totally different situation. This time we found ourselves longing for and loving a child, not in my belly, but somewhere on the other side of the world...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Rutlands Have a Blog!

Our blog has been created now for a few weeks (isn't it so cute?...I can say that because someone else designed it for me) and I have been anxious to write our first post, but didn't know quite where to start as I have so much I wanted to share. In addition to not knowing where to start we have had an exceptionally busy last month and it doesn't look like it will get better until summer :-) I was sharing with a friend at church yesterday about how much I had on my plate and she said, "How do you eat an elephant?" The answer? "One bite at at time." Of course! I am going to share our stories and my thoughts the same way, one post at a time :-) The first several posts will most likely be all about our journey to where we are now...adopting from Africa.

If you haven't heard about the Rutlands' newest adventure, we are adopting from Ethiopia. Adoption is something that we have talked about for many years now. It was always something we thought we might do someday. That "someday" has arrived and the journey to it has been an awesome ride. God has revealed himself to us in ways we could have never imagined. We truly serve an awesome God!

Stay tuned for more stories of how God has spoken to us, worked in our lives over the last few months and other fun things going on with us. Please join us in prayer for our new children on the other side of the world and for us as we face the many new challenges on the journey of international adoption.