Friday, January 29, 2010

How Do You Know?

So, the question I have been pondering for some time is perhaps one common among many families at our stage of life:  Are we done adding to our family? 

Looking from the outside in, I realize that this is an insane question for our family, 2 parents working full-time (one being a pastor who's job never seems to end), one who just finished grad school, the other who is working towards her PhD, 3 kids who are busy with sports and other activities and are just on the verge of that social butterfly thing and wanting to hang out at others' houses and have others over to ours...and this, and that - well, you get the picture.  But, I have just always had that nagging feeling that there are more out there that will one day call me mom.  It is just some sort of gut instinct thing, which for me, is God talking to me. 

I have chalked this gut instinct up to a possible child that we will adopt into our family who is in a bad situation, a friend of the kids perhaps, I am not sure.  OR, it could be the space in my heart that still exists, will forever, for our Laurel Chompa and Lily Bopha, 2 girls in Cambodia that we all consider to be part of our family, but for a thousand reasons they are not able to come to the US and officially be our daughters.  Unfortunately, their tale has taken a sad turn and their future is definitely in jeopardy due to bad influences; all I can do for them is pray.

For us, the decision to have another child goes far beyond a wonderful evening...;)  Our journey to parenthood involves reams of paperwork, invasive scrutiny of our personal and financial lives, and tens of thousands of dollars.  Not that I am complaining (OK, maybe a little bit), because I am honestly beyond grateful for our 3 cherubs, they are truly beyond words blessings, but, suffice it to say, our journey to parenthood is arduous. 

There are lots of factors to consider, including but not limited to:
  • How will Shenzy handle another child in the family, this is one child with a distinct personality and I don't see her taking well to being an older sister, although I know she would adjust;
  • Financially, we are seeing a wonderful gleaming light at the end of the debt reduction tunnel, do we really want to run back into the fog (even though it would be temporary due to tax credits and work reimbursements);
  • Do we have the mental stamina to endure the world of adoption again? (we have been in knock down drag outs through our Cambodian adoptions and it took a lot out of us);
  • Do we rock our nice little family boat that seems to have all the holes plugged and life jackets securely fastened?;
  • What about paying for their colleges (not a HUGE concern for us, but one to consider; neither one of us had a dime to go to college and we both have Master's degrees and will both eventually have our PhDs, where there is a will, there is a way);
  • Will our family size limit where we can travel to and live as a Navy family?
  • From where would we adopt?
These are but a mere fraction of all the considerations that bounce around in my head like a pinball.  But, there are a few things I do know with absolute certainty.
  • We have many blessings and much love to share with at least one more child.
  • We are blessed to have the resources to care for more children.
  • We know that God calls upon us to care and look after the orphans of the world, and I especially feel such a strong tug to do this beyond the charities we support on a monthly basis.
So, how do you know?  I have been praying about this and felt somewhat settled that I was to sit tight and ride it out for a while in uncertainty.  The images from Haiti tugged right at my easily plucked heartstrings though and smacked me in the face that while I am being complacent, there are kids all over the world waiting for a family.  There were tons of kids in Haiti waiting before the earthquake and quite honestly, I had been following several blogs of people working with NGOs in Haiti (adoption and medical), but still did not feel compelled to take a step toward adoption.  Don't mistake, Haitian adoptions were ridiculously challenging before the earthquake, now they will be even worse.  But somewhere in the world, is there a kid who belongs in our home? 

How do you know?

Deep ponderings, I know.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Technology Run Amok!

Today has been a day of extreme technological advances in the CC household. 


1.  I purchased a new laptop – very much needed.  My other laptop still works and will become the kids’ laptop, but it literally takes about 15 minutes to boot up sometimes…much too long for this impatient chick.


2.  I am setting up said laptop, adventure enough.  With that setup comes my signing up for Skype!  Woo Hoo, major advances.


3.  I am using the new Windows 7 Windows Live Writer to type this and it is so quick and easy, watch out Nik – I just might start updating more than once a century;)


4.  I UNofficially started my dissertation today!  I put my name, previous degrees, and anticipated graduation date on the cover of the dissertation template.  It is a small step, but a big one and I am happy!


All for now, thoughts around here are frequently of Haiti and those suffering unimaginable horrors, work stresses of uncertainty still, school stresses (desperately sick of it), and overall appreciation for our lot in life.  We are blessed beyond belief and recognize it.


Until later,