Monthly Archives: May 2012

Learning to Trust and Praise

As we walk this path of adoption, I am quickly realizing that this journey is going to be one of trusting His timing and not mine. Most of the timing of this adoption is completely out of my control. If you know me, you know that I’m a typical first born, type A personality. Control tends to be on the top of these lovely traits that I love to cling to. I realize that as I grow and learn I am constantly laying my will down for His. This adoption process is already proving to be a very real lesson in learning to trust His timing.

We submitted our end of paperwork to our agency for our Home Study at the end of April. Our SS class has been faithfully praying that we would hear from our social worker so that we might begin our home study. The state implemented new regulations beginning May 1st. These new regs required more training on the part of the agency and SW. A bit frustrating as we wait. Last night we received the call from the social worker assigned to our case that we will have our first visit on Saturday! This will be the first of three visits. Praying He would teach me to trust His timing, relinquish the control, and praise Him for answered prayer.

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While We Waited

While we waited to hear if we were accepted to our adoption agency we hit the first bump of uncertainty, of what may be many, in the adoption road. Husband came home from work with the news that his company was about to do some major “restructuring”, ie. layoffs, at the beginning of 2012. At this point there were no sure numbers of how many or what positions were going to be eliminated. We had just submitted an application stating our “sure” finances and now we weren’t so sure.

Honestly, it was a good reminder that his employment was a gift and in the hands of the Father. We rested in knowing Him and His promises. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Husband will always have a job. That our health will always be good. Or even that our circumstances will be easy. No. We rest in knowing Him.

On a practical level, though, this left us with many questions. Do we notify agency of potential layoff? Do we proceed? Do we wait and see what happens? Apply for other jobs and potentially move? What if we start the process and then have to relocate due to job change? You get the picture. I felt like it’s was a fine line between trust and responsible planning.

On December 14, 2011, only a few days after the news of impending layoffs were announced, I received the phone call from AWAA. We were officially accepted into the Ethiopia program! I was so excited! And yet, I was unsure what to do next. I explained our recent news to our agency and was told we did not have to begin our “paper chase” immediately but could wait several months if necessary before our application to our agency would expire. That gave us some time to determine Husband’s job situation.

We had many folks praying for us during this time. haha, we had dear friends and family praying we would be able to stay where we are and others praying we would relocate to them. Thankfully we serve a sovereign God!

I was grateful that this all occurred right around the Christmas and New Year. We had a lovely Christmas with Husband’s MI family visiting, celebrated our 5th anniversary, rang in the New Year with dear friends, and celebrated Lil Dude’s birthday all within several weeks. The steady pace was a simple grace and distraction. Finally by the last week of January we knew Husband had a job. Praise the Lord!

There remained other factors that left some uncertainty so we decided to give it some more time of waiting and prayer. On March 6, 2012 we submitted our initial program fee and agreements. And on March 13th, 3 months after our initial acceptance we received word that our paperwork had been received and we were to be assigned to a Family Coordinator and begin social work requirements. Yay! The paper pregnancy was officially starting!

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Starting on the Adoption Road

Husband and I had talked about our desire to one day adopt off and on throughout our marriage since premarital counseling. During our first year of marriage we had attended an informational session with America World Adoption Agency. The pastor at the church we were attending was completing an adoption with this agency for a little girl from China. They spoke highly of the agency and seemed to have a positive experience. The informational session had a warm and professional atmosphere. At the time we weren’t ready to begin adopting, we had been married less than a year, the grief of the unexpected loss of my mom was still very fresh, and we knew financially it was not the time.

In late October 2011, during one of our pillow talks before drifting off to sleep, the timing, seriousness, and urgency to adopt presented itself as it had never before. We had talked and dreamed together over the past four years on occasion but this October night the nearness and reality seemed as crisp as the autumn air.

We began to research agencies online, consider the various international countries open to adoptions, and we prayed. We knew from the start we wanted to adopt internationally. Even though I had been adopted domestically we both had a desire to adopt an orphan from another country. The number of orphans worldwide is sobering. The reason that most of these children are orphans is not because they have lost both parents but often due to abject poverty. Their parents simply cannot feed one more mouth. They cannot tend to their basic necessities.

After phone calls, research, and prayer we submitted our application to adopt through America World Adoption Agency (AWAA) on November 28, 2011. We’ve been asked why apply to an agency? The agency serves essentially as a guide. They have the “in” with the country and know the requirements (both US and adoption country) inside and out. By approving us to adopt with their agency they are saying we are likely to meet the requirements and standards of the country we wish to adopt from and they are willing to help walk us through the process. Much of the adoption process is waiting. After submitting our application to AWAA, we waited.

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Got Stuff?

We’re going to be holding a yard sale fundraiser to help raise some funds towards the adoption costs in June. If you have “stuff” sitting around that you’re waiting to donate somewhere, we’d be delighted to take it!

Or if you love going to yard sales, please mark June 23rd on your calendars! We’d love to have you stop by, say hey, and see if you can find any treasurers!

 

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Why Does Husband Want to Adopt?

So, why have I [Matt] been eager to adopt? In thinking about what it means that Christians have been given “the Spirit of adoption” (Ro. 8:15) I’ve had the following milling around in the brain for about the past decade; all from J.I. Packer’s chapter “Sons of God” in his Knowing God [it would be more than worth your while to get a copy].

The three sentences below sum it up for me. If you like longer explanations check out the larger block below them.

1) “What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.”

2) If asked to focus the New Testament message in three words Packer proposes the following: adoption through propitiation [by the blood of Jesus]. I say amen.

3) Adoption is the highest privilege of the gospel; higher even than justification. Justification is the primary and fundamental blessing of the gospel because it addresses our most basic need and therefore everything else in salvation rests on it. Adoption is the highest privilege for the Christian because of the sweet intimacy in which we are brought near to God as Father. Not everyone can call God Father. Only sinners who know that Jesus is the only Savior of sinners know God as Father.

More on this later, but if you’re still reading this then you may be interested in the following…I don’t think it’s exaggerated in the least:

“You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator. In the same way, you sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God.”

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Why does Husband want to Adopt?

So, why have I [Matt] been eager to adopt? In thinking about what it means that Christians have been given “the Spirit of adoption” (Ro. 8:15) I’ve had the following milling around in the brain for about the past decade; all from J.I. Packer’s chapter “Sons of God” in his Knowing God [it would be more than worth your while to get a copy].

The three sentences below sum it up for me. If you like longer explanations check out the larger block below them.

1) “What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.”

2) If asked to focus the New Testament message in three words Packer proposes the following: adoption through propitiation [by the blood of Jesus]. I say amen.

3) Adoption is the highest privilege of the gospel; higher even than justification. Justification is the primary and fundamental blessing of the gospel because it addresses our most basic need and therefore everything else in salvation rests on it. Adoption is the highest privilege for the Christian because of the sweet intimacy in which we are brought near to God as Father. Not everyone can call God Father. Only sinners who know that Jesus is the only Savior of sinners know God as Father.

More on this later, but if you’re still reading this then you may be interested in the following…I don’t think it’s exaggerated in the least:

“You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator. In the same way, you sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God.”

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The Hodgsons are Adopting

We’re adopting! It’s taken me a while longer than anticipated to get the blog up and going for our official announcement but we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve begun the process to adopt from Ethiopia. The process actually began back in the fall (more on that later) and we are currently in the “paper pregnancy” stage of the process.

This blog is for all those who already have and those who are going to come along side us in this amazing and wonderful process. We want to be able to share with you the way the Lord’s grace is working in us, and most importantly give him the glory for this amazing and beautiful of adoption. The blog name of “Love Had A Plan” is really inspired by the song “I’m Adopted” on Randall Goodgame’s Slugs and Bugs Under Where? album. You can read about the adoption story of his son and listen to the song here (and you totally should!). The song is catchy. Even more so, the words are poignant.

The song says “Love had a plan for me, and a great big family!” As an adopted child, the truth that “love had a plan for me” rings so sweet to me. I was first shown the love of the Father when my parents adopted me and then again when I became a child of God! Twice adopted! 1 John 3 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” What a privilege! What a joy! To be able to give a child, an orphan, a family and thereby give him/her a glimpse of the Father’s great love is our hope and our prayer.

 

 

 

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