Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Irony or Something Spiritual?

As a members of our church, Bryan and I have been participating in the service by periodically ushering and reading the lessons. This past Sunday, it was my turn to read the lessons and Psalms. I was given about a week to become comfortable with what I was going to read during the service, and when I began to read through the verses, I was hit with a moment of irony. Let me fill you in with what I was given to read:

First Lesson: Genesis 15:1-6 God promises childless Abram that a child of his own will be his heir and that his descendants will number as many as the stars. Abram trusts God's promise and through this faith, he is considered righteous.

1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." 2 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Second Lesson: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 Abraham and Sarah exemplify the vision of faith that people of God need in every age. Their hope and trust in God's promise allowed them to face an unknown future.

1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. 8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing whither he went. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old - and Sarah herself was barren - because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, "as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore." 13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

I have been praying and praying about my questions of infertility and adoption and in the moment that I was reading these lessons aloud, what I once took as irony, became a conversation. I know sometimes God answers prayers in a whisper, but this was a direct statement. Have faith even with an unknown future, and God will provide.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

3rd and Final Home Study - - Check!

Our 3rd Home Study took place yesterday at 4:30 p.m. EST. Our social worker C came over and did a safety check on our house - but no worries, I didn't clean the house like a mad woman like I initially wanted to, and it was fine. After the safety check, we sat down and got to business. She began by asking what each of us does for fun. I actually had to think about this one for a minute or two. I personally had spent the last month grieving my infertility, and reading about many of the different emotional challenges we will be faced with in the future and I kind of had forgotten...what is fun for me? Actually....fun to me lately is being able to eat cereal for dinner and go to bed early - - but I couldn't tell her that! Since Monday, though, coincidentally I made a choice to refocus on what brings me enjoyment or makes me truly happy. But since I've just started my soul search, I only was able to come up with a few things: reading, scrapbooking, cooking dinner for Bryan, and going for walks. Bryan liked working on cars, traveling, sports, going for drives in his car, Sunday mornings with Sarah (reading the paper with coffee, church and breakfast), and movies.

C, or social worker, always has a great way of easing into our sessions with the fun stuff, because our next topics of discussion were much more serious: finances, what are thoughts were about discipline, and our plans for infant care. Thankfully, Bryan and I are on the same page about all of the above topics. The only question up in the air at this point is what we'll do about daycare, which I'm not worried about. Our final task: the openness questionnaire - the packet of questions that Bryan and I thought over and over about, was reviewed and completed. Huge sigh of relief!

What's next? C has to get our paperwork for adoption approved by her supervisor, and then she has 4 weeks to write up our formal Home Study paperwork. Our job in the next 4 weeks is to write a general letter to our potential birth parents. (that's gonna take some thought) We also have to put together some photos and stories about us, so that the birth parents can get an idea of what kind of people we are. If you have any input on what to include or pictures, please leave a comment or email us some ideas.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The last couple of weeks at the Barts Household have been a bit tough - those adoption books, as necessary as they are, deal with the worst case scenarios and the endless amounts of self-reflection associated make it somewhat difficult to get excited about the big picture. Regardless, we are nearing the end of this chapter as we prepare and get our last minute details ready for our final home study tomorrow. We just wanted to thank some of our friends and family (you know who you are) for taking the time to come to our house or call us on the phone and offer a listening ear, share funny stories to lift us up, provide a trip to the shore to reflect and relax, or provide helpful websites so we don't feel alone. Besides God, you get by with a little help from your friends and family and we want to let you know that we appreciate it.