Tuesday, April 26, 2011


When I was a kid and had to sell things (Girl Scout cookies, school fundraiser chotskies, etc.), in my house we would buy the bare minimum rather than having to ask people to buy my things.  I never went door-to-door selling gift wrap, coupon books, etc.  E is having a similar childhood already- except this time, I have Facebook.  ("We're selling coupon books for MMP... anyone want to buy one?" is likely my status at some point in September.)  She has not yet entered the realm of me sending her out hawking her wares.

I don't like asking people for money.

I remember when I was considering going on IV Staff- that was one of my biggest hangups: the fundraising.  I remember talking about it with my staff worker, Dan, and he enlightened me to the world of raising support.  He shared with me that while the one going/doing/serving does indeed need the money, it's often just as important for the one sending to do their part to give.

I don't like asking people for money, but I get this.

When I've been unable to go to Haiti to help people in times of crisis, I appreciate that I am sending someone on my behalf.  When I can't travel with my friends to India, I like to think I'm part of their team by helping them get there.  Even as the Williamses have gone through their road to adoption- God has clearly called our family to be part of their financial journey.  There have been moments of near bliss for us as we've aided their family's way... so I get this.

Until I have to ask for money.

As I've been recruited to be a "helper" on their trip to Africa, finances have clearly come in to play.  I have to pay for all the things that one would need to get there: a passport, shots, plane tickets, etc.  And I've not been part of a large fundraising effort- a 5 K, a yardsale, whatever... (although, sidenote: our neighborhood is having a yardsale on Saturday and I will be selling whatever is not nailed down in our house so that I can have some extra cash!).  (And, another sidenote: at the Williams' yardsale, their daughter made a lemonade stand that had a jar with a label that read "A's plane ticket money".  It was encouraged I put up a beer/wine stand and put a jar saying "Becky's plane ticket money"... but even for someone inappropriate, I do know my limits.)  Anyway, it feels strange to ask people to "support" my trip- even though God has clearly called me there to be part of it.

Know why?


It is a painful thing to say to people to people...  because what my head hears as this: "If we hadn't been so stupid when we first got married which you don't even know about likely and gotten into debt and then took years to get to where we were in a good place and heck even tithing regularly this wouldn't be an issue and even though we are much more financially sound now it still hurts when we don't have piles of cash lying around that we can take baths in not that we would but I'd like to see what that was like maybe and sometimes I wonder if I'll forever have this fear of money on my back like I did when we were first married and sometimes we still struggle in huge ways financially but not nearly as much as most of the world's population and yes I know I'm married to a doctor but he doesn't bring home the huge figures you may imagine and yes I know he only works 4 days a week and I get that he could work a lot more and make a lot more money but that's not really the point and honestly we pay our bills and we are even putting on a deck right now because God has been faithful to bring us to such a good place in regards to our finances but the moment I have to ask someone for financial help it reminds me of all that crap from years gone by and makes me realize we don't have millions of dollars in savings for a rainy day... or just a normal day in Africa".


That's a lot of pride right there, ladies and gentlemen.  The sad reality is this: until God heals my crap, I will always feel like I have to justify things financially.  I don't want to be that girl that responds with "it was on sale!" when you tell me you like my dress.  Or the one that says "we saved and saved for it and got a good deal" when you ask me about my new deck.  But the truth is I have a lot of past crap I still need to sort through.

I IM'ed Laurie yesterday and told her that I would email the 2 friends who'd in the past offered plane ticket help if I needed it.  Her response was so pure and straightforward: "Good!  Everyone has a role to play in caring for orphans.  Maybe this is theirs."

So simple.  So true.

It's amazing to me how much God is teaching all of us by their family's adoption process.  We're all learning about how God does miracles, comes to our aid, and cares for His children.  Now He's gently reminding me that I have some pride-wrapped-in-fear-wrapped-in-pain that I need to work on.  Because it's not about me "asking for money"... when it comes down to it, it's me allowing people that same joy of partnering with God's plan for those kids' adoption.  They aren't funding a fun roadtrip for me and my bestie (although, bonus!), they are aiding in the plan to get these kids home!  I have the privilege of being the hands and feet of so many that want to be part... why am I letting my pride get in the way of that blessing in their lives?

Now, all this said... THIS IS NOT A CRY FOR HELP or even a request for a donation.  If God is calling you to aid in orphan care, hooray! But I'm not begging all of you reading this for money.  I'm simply sharing my story to show you what God is teaching me.  I am thankful for those of you who agreed to help- and the rest of you... just pray.  K?

Here's hoping I get to update really soon with a departure date.... and hoping I get to update a post later of how God is working on my pride, too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

In addition to laundry...

... I've been doing tons of other stuff lately.  I've been so "full", it's been hard to find time to blog.  One of the neatest things of late is seeing how God is moving in regards to our Fostering.  We told Elizabeth a few weeks back about our big plans (so, yes, it's now public knowledge) and she was super excited.  She, like her Momma, gets a bit emotional and cried when we talked about it.  Love that child.

Like any "big" thing that happens in life, I think when you enter a new realm, you suddenly are thrown together with others who are in the same boat, or at least others who know that boat well.  We found it true with infertility: the minute we told people our story, they connected us to others walking that same road.  Same with miscarriage.  Same with debt (when people were willing to talk about it!).  Same with what I'm seeing of my friends adopting.  And now, same with our foster situation.

I remember those well intentioned people who offered "advice" or "their story" when it did nothing but jack up my insecure heart.  However, God is doing a huge work in the area of security in my life (more on that later... like, a day when I don't post 4673084763 other things), and now when those people show up, it either makes me sad or frustrated for them... but not bitter or sad for me.  It's a good spot to be in.

I can't even begin to count the funny responses we've gotten about fostering.  "Do you know that the kids will be in bad shape?" (umm....)  "They could be abused!" (gasp!)  "Please don't tell me you're going through DSS."  (okay, I'll keep that to myself.)

Then, in the midst of those dark moments, God blesses my heart by sending someone that is a "perfect fit".  At a party a few weeks back I shared with a woman I'd just met about our call to foster.  She said, "Oh, do you know Meredith ___?  She and her husband are getting ready to foster, too" I said no, but within 2 hours of being home, I'd "found" Meredith on Facebook, messaged her, she'd sent me her blog post about how they got to the place of fostering, we'd messaged back and forth about getting together, and 36 hours later we had a blind date playdate.  Complete with both of our miracle daughters (and her 2 other kids... and another friend and her kids...) who are both 4 and both named Elizabeth.  God's funny like that.

We shared our seemingly identical stories with each other about our call to foster and laughed at all we had in common.  Since then, she came to the Williamseses' Biggest Baddest Yard Sale Ever with her BFF.... who had "randomly"' met my BFF at an adoption conference back in February.  God's funny like that, too.

All in all, it's fun to have a new friend.  And one that gets what we went through to get to where we are.  And one who is sharing this same season of life that we are.  And one who understands that even when people seem to want to discourage us from doing what we know God wants us to do... sometimes He'll send us a fellow journeyer to share the load.

me, our shared friend, and my new friend- Meredith

Full disclosure.

I suck at laundry.  Like, horribly.

I am super at actually "doing" it... the washing, the folding... it's the putting away that I'm horrible with.

So I put it in a laundry basket (folded and clean) and then life gets busy and....
a, part 1: then the laundry basket gets put away and then a few days go by and then we get panicky for clothes and pull them from the basket and then the neat piles become un-neat and then I get confused if the basket was the clean ones or the dirty ones and then they sit until I decide to re-wash them.


a, part 2: they sit until they get wrinkled and I plan an "ironing day" and then just wait for that to be convenient.


b. as I am putting them away I realize how many of them Elizabeth can't wear anymore so I pull those out and put them aside to "deal with" until later and then the ones she can't wear get mixed back with the ones she can and then I have to do this whole charade again.

All this to say, I suck at doing laundry.  (This is the point where I hate that my mom reads me blog... I'm guessing she's about to want to kick me out of her family right about now.   She is excellent at laundry.)  But tonight I decided I'm over it.  It's mentally exhausting to keep putting off the inevitable.  There's part of me that blames "space"... we don't have enough room in our dresser/closet for all our crap.  But how American is *that*?  That I have so much stuff I don't have space to put it up?  Crap.  So tonight I pulled all the laundry baskets (we have 4... just for our junk... E has one of her own... I've tried to figure out which basket(s) work best) out and brought them downstairs.  I've spent several hours sorting what's there and washing the laundry we had that was dirty.  Now, midway into the wee hours of the night/morning, everything we own in this house is clean... and about to be put up where it belongs.

I'm thankful for friends who brought me caffeine around 10:30... and I'm thankful for finally getting this done.

Now the question becomes: how will we deal with laundry in the future?  Clearly, our current way of handling it doesn't work.  I ask you- people of the interwebs- what do you do?  How do you make laundry work?  We're open to ideas....