My generation of young evangelicals sometimes make me want to bash their heads together and stamp my foot in childlike anger.
A complete lack of involvement in, or attention to politics is a mindset embraced by many young evangelicals. Instead of rolling up their sleeves, registering to vote, and holding a sign at a rally, they shrug their holy shoulders and sigh...
"You know, this world is not our home. God will advance His Kingdom. I'm choosing to focus on more eternal things at this time..."
That. Is. Complete. CRAP.
(No, really, Courtney, tell us how you really feel.)
I understand the gospel is of paramount importance. I understand His will "will be done on earth as it is in heaven." I don't think I would argue with anyone who, at the end of the day, says, "God is sovereign. Won't heaven be nice?"
But that's not the point. The point is that we have been given the gift of marvelous freedom. Freedom in which we can share that gospel, preach that gospel, live that gospel. When that freedom is gone, what will you do? Of course, you can argue that you'll still share, still preach, and still live, but let me ask you: will the same number of people still be able to hear it?
Freedom is a conduit to the gospel. It is not the gospel, but it enables the free spreading of this gospel.
Attacks on freedom begin to attack the laws and commands of God: abortion, homosexuality, evangelizing, child-rearing.
When my country begins to make my obedience to God difficult, then I have lost a precious gift.
So, no, I don't sit around watching the news every day. I don't bemoan eco-friendly bills or liberal pundits getting into office. What I do decry is a lack of willingness to address our culture, to be engaged, to protect liberty--not for liberty's sake, not as something that I'm owed--but rather because protecting this liberty will enable the free spread of the gospel for both me and my children.
So stop sounding so holy.
Call your senator.
Some things you might want to know:
Obama issued yet another executive order. Titled “Assignment of
National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions,”
it would appear that the implementation of emergency communications by
Obama, using all forms of wired and wireless communication systems, is
redirected through the executive branch and could expand such takeover
abilities beyond the limits of an actual act of war.
"The Rights of the Child" is currently trying to take decisions for special needs children out of the hands of their parents and making it a government responsibility. More info: http://www.unicef.org/crc/
After twenty-two months of pregnancy, mommy elephants give birth to a 250 pound baby.
I feel like a mommy elephant.
I don't know how long the wait will be (maybe as much as 22 months!), and I feel like I've been carrying around at least 250 pounds of paperwork. Adoption saves babies while it simultaneously kills trees.
In the interest of keeping all of our loved ones in the loop, I'll try to use this post to give you a little more information about the process. Careful! I just saw your head nod... About to doze off, are you? Well, so be it. Other women blog about their morning sickness. I'm going to blog about my paper cuts.
Here's our process (decry it, modify it, bemoan it, praise it... whatevs. God is big enough to use us inspite of us.)
1. We found an agency we liked.
This was actually a massive hurdle to overcome. We made it one of our family goals for 2012 that we would research and begin to pursue adoption. There are a crap load of adoption agencies. Seriously. Tons. We were supposed to have an agency chosen by the end of March (per our 2012 strategic plan).
The end of March rolled around. No agency.
The end of April rolled around. Still no agency.
We had contacted multiple agencies. We had even gone to meet with one (unnamed) Christian organization in Indy. The conversation still makes me chuckle...
We were escorted into a dim office, complete with pictures of children from multiple nationalities and large comfy chairs. The woman who turned to greet us was in her early 60's. In a perfectly modulated voice she welcomed us, and began to go through the process of the adoption with their agency.
All the fluff-Christian catchphrases rolled right out of her mouth. I'm pretty gosh-darn sure that she is probably the person who created said phrases... "We're all God's children." "Love is all that matters." "You must never discipline your adopted child. They may develop abandonment issues."
Watching Scott's skin crawl was positively delightful. I, meanwhile, pretended to eat it all up, and I even asked her to repeat some horrible child-psych book that recommends hugging your child instead of disciplining. But the part where we knew this was not our adoption "home" was when she started talking about their guidelines for adoption.
Their application required a "faith summary" to let them know about our stance on religion. Scott asked a seemingly benign question:
"So, all the people who adopt through you are some branch of Christianity?"
The woman looked surprised, "Oh, no... We are helping a Muslim family adopt from Pakistan right now."
We nodded smilingly.
"After all," she continued, "They pray to Allah for this adoption and we pray to God, so we're all really just praying to the same person, you know. Isn't that lovely?"
I almost choked. Scott's face looked like cast-iron. While I have absolutely no problem with adoption occurring to people with other beliefs, the blatant pandering and fluffy nonsense this woman was spinning made me want to hurl.
So end of April. Still no agency.
Then, one Sunday morning, as I was waiting for Scott to finish cleaning up, I stumbled across the Adoption Support Center (ASC) in Indianapolis. The very first thing that gripped me was their emphasis on caring for the birth mothers of these babies. They very firmly believe that they are a service first to these women, and that we, as adoptive families, are also to serve these brave girls who make such large sacrifices for their babies. More opportunities to share the gospel!
Our introductory seminar to ASC was four hours of information, and while there was fluff, (they played "The Circle of Life" during a baby-slide show) we agreed that their way of approaching adoption seemed healthy.
Agency found: middle of May.
2. Paperwork. Paperwork. Paperwork.
All said and done, we probably completed close to 100 pages of paperwork. Multiple background checks. Medical exams. Biographical information. 150 pictures. Financial data. Pay stubs. Extensive mapping of family trees (this was a separate 90 minute interview... I now know all my uncles' birthdays...).
And we completed it all QUICKLY. The agency has more birth mothers looking than they had families available. They expedited everything we did.
3. Group Counseling.
They called it a homestudy class. It wasn't. It was group counseling with the subtle theme being, "Please don't be a selfish idiot with this poor birth mother."
8 full hours.
Judging by the blonde, perfectly manicured woman to my left's questions about how the baby would look... I don't think it sunk in with everyone...