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He Is Good

Are you ever struck by the extreme goodness of God?  I mean, stopped in your tracks, your thinking, whatever you are doing and wonder at His goodness?  I’ve been having those moments more frequently lately which is grace in my life because with three small children (homeschooling two and an infant) I often can feel like I’m just treading water.

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C has been officially home with us for 6 months.  She’s an extremely happy and healthy little baby.  She’s our loudest, happiest, most smiley, best sleeper, child thus far.  She fairly well defines the term “good baby”.  When having children, biological or adopting, you never know what your child will be like.  The Lord’s blessings and grace in this child He has given us has been remarkable.  Mind you our first two are quite a load of fantastic themselves.  The Lord specifically answered prayers that many covered Camilla with before she was even born.  When we left the hospital with her she was healthy, when we came home with her she was healthy and sleeping like a champ.  She’s attached to us without any problem at this time and is delighted to wake in the morning and go to bed at night.  She’s been delighting in her big sister and brother.  She’s a mommy’s girl first but obviously adores her daddy.  She jumps with the best in her doorway jumper.  She has also vocally begun adding to the Sunday morning worship services

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We (mainly I, Liz) are still adjusting to being a family of 5.  Yet in so many ways, because C is such a good baby, we are rolling along at life’s normal fast pace.  We’ve been delighted to have her meet two of Matt’s college buddies and their families and also family friends from VA.  She’s had the fun of Christmas with family and even tore open a few gifts with gusto.

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While these things are blessings and not taken lightly, I digress to my original point.  God is good.  C could have easily been in competition with her brother for most difficult first year.  She could have had many unknown health challenges.  Even so, God is good.

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We’ve been having some road blocks on the way to finalizing that honestly haven’t made sense.  Until today.  Once again I am struck by His goodness.  He’s got this.  He set apart C for our family.   He’s taken care of her and our family.  There is no power on earth that is greater than our God.  In the midst of frustrations that our completely out of our control, He reigns.  I *know* these truths and it is good to be reminded of them.  Many of you have continued praying for our family, thank you.  Your prayers have not gone unnoticed, thank you!

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Praise and update!

The Lord is good!  What an amazing privilege to watch Him provide for this adoption.  We asked on May 20th if you would begin praying that the Lord would provide $2000 before we travel on July 9th.  We are delighted to report that to date we have $600 towards this goal.  Only $1400 left to go in a little over four weeks!  Thank you for sharing our story with others and joining with us in this adoption journey!

June 6 Thank You! from Liz Hodgson on Vimeo.

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A motherhood relfection

Me and Mom May 2006

This weekend has been one filled with memories for me.  You see my birthday and Mother’s Day have shared the weekend, next year they’ll share the day.  Being a mother now myself I realize that there were many times my dear mother sacrificed her day, yet again, to celebrate my birthday.  Growing up birthdays meant celebration of the child.  Celebration of the life.  Celebration of family, really.  My mom was not able to have children biologically and when they adopted me it was her dream of motherhood come true.  I have the spaghetti recipe (it’s a favorite!) she was making for my dad the day she found out I was born.  I have my dad’s story of coming to the hospital to bring me home and then my mom’s concern as they waited for the official word that I was indeed theirs. Continue reading

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Ethiopia Adoption

So we’ve talked quite a bit lately about the domestic adoption that we’re pursuing and how we’ve recently been matched with a birth-mom.

We are still pursuing the international adoption -in Ethiopia- and are basically waiting. Our dossier has been submitted to the country. There is nothing more for us to do except wait. Well, the USCIS [US Customs & Immigration Services] makes us get new fingerprints every once and a while, but that’s about it. It will likely be another couple of years before we receive a referral for a child from Ethiopia as the wait times -especially for an infant- continue to increase.

Our understanding is that the Ethiopian government re-visits the issue of allowing internationals to adopt on a semi-regular basis. Earlier this year they had such a hearing in their government and thankfully remain open to international adoptions. On the whole, their reasons for re-visiting this seem good as they’re concerned for the welfare of the children and the current practices of placing children for adoption. For example, the processes and checks in place to ensure that a child is truly an orphan is an issue that continues to be scrutinized…which is a good thing.

So, we wait and learn in yet another facet of life that God makes all things beautiful in His time. It’s ultimately not in the hands of any government or regulatory body.

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Answering some questions

What joy it is to share with those we love our news that we’ve been matched and are expecting to adopt in just a few short months!  As we have begun to share with family and friends there have been quite a few questions.   haha, Husband and my dear father will attest to the fact I love questions!  So I thought it might be helpful to answer some questions here on the blog for those following along.

What does being matched with a birthmother mean exactly?

To be “matched” simply means we’ve been chosen by a mother who is expecting and is making an adoption plan for her child.  While this is “simple” it’s significant as it means that this mother has specifically chosen us, our family, to be her child’s adoptive parents, to raise this child as she hopes and dreams she could.

How were you matched so quickly?

It’s true that our process has been fairly quick compared to what you “hear” of domestic adoptions in the US.  Folks, there is a HUGE need for people willing to adopt domestically!  Especially those willing to adopt minority children, children with special needs, and children who may have been exposed to drugs during pregnancy.  While some of these are scary, they are so worth it!

To answer why so quickly, from the recommendation of a friend we used an adoption consultant (more on this later).  Using a consultant gives the advantage of being in the “pool” many times rather than at just one agency.  This can significantly decrease wait time. Continue reading

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Two words

Two words have been occupying my thoughts these past few days.  First word, humbled.  We are feeling incredibly humbled right now.  We have been chosen by a birthmother as the adoptive parents of her child.  This is nothing short of a work of God to put our profile in the right place at the right time for the right birthmom.  We have also received so much love and support already.  We’ve sent out the word to family and close friends that we’re expecting.  To say that they’re happy for us is an understatement.  So many have been praying for us, for this child, for our match for quite some time.  To know that others have brought us before the throne and sought the Father with us is humbling.  We’ve received very generous financial support already as well.  Again, nothing we expected and yet we are being loved and this child is being fought for even at this moment.  This adoption journey is not only about Matt and Liz bringing home a baby.  It’s about a greater redemptive story and it’s been such a joy to see others walk this journey with us! Continue reading

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Gifts of Grace

Labor Day week we were blessed to spend it as a family at the beach.  To make a long story short, we were given our vacation to Hilton Head this year.  Yep, you read that right.  It was a gift and we cannot express what a sweet gift of grace that was for our family.  The kids and Matt had not seen “Poppa”/my dad since March and it was a reunion full of laughter, jokes, Band of Brothers, and generally enjoying each others company.  We were able to go to a wonderful church service on Sunday and then enjoyed the beach, bikes, and a little shopping for the rest of the week.  Matt and I were given a date night and we ate ourselves silly at Bonefish followed by sweet treats from Fresh Market.  For our hearts missing Dad and had been so busy since moving into our “new/fixer upper” house, this vacation could not have come at a better time.  I’m amazed at the lavishness of His grace, both in the simple and the big! Continue reading

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Same blog, new place

In an effort to be good stewards we have decided to move over to WordPress.com with free hosting. While I do like the idea of having our own .com, $12/month can be saved and used towards adoption expenses. Thank you for the sweet and encouraging comments on the other location!  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to figure out how to move those comments over but I thank you for them!   Hope you will follow along with our journey at this spot from now on.

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Adoption and the Christian Life

As a follow up to the first post I [husband] wrote…

Again, following Packer’s Knowing God:

The entire Christian life has to be understood in terms of adoption. Sonship* for the believer is the “normative category” at every point. The Christian name for God –the New Covenant name- is Father. Jesus is uniquely the Son of God. Even so, he counts his followers as members of the same divine family.

John Owen called believers’ adoption “our fountain privilege.”

Jesus says whoever does God’s will is His brother and sister and mother (Mk. 3:35). After the resurrection Jesus calls the disciples his brothers (Mt. 28:9-10). Jesus is not ashamed to regard all those for whom he died as brothers (Heb. 2:12-13).

In the Sermon adoption is –implicitly- the basis for Christian conduct. As Packer notes, the Sermon is “precisely the kind of moral instruction that parents are constantly trying to give their children…” Christ’s discples are to a) imitate the Father (Mt. 5:44-45, 48) b) glorify the Father (Mt.5:16) and c) have a single-minded desire to please the Father (Mt. 6:1-18).

And of course, Jesus taught us to pray to our Father in heaven (Mt. 6:9). In prayer then “we need not hesitate to imitate the sublime ‘cheek’ of the child who is not afraid to ask his parents for anything, because he knows he can count completely on their love.” We may not get what we want, but then again if the desire of our heart is firstly and fore-mostly for Christ we always get what we want (Ps. 37:4).

Christ’s followers are told to worry for nothing because it is their heavenly Father who watches over them (Mt. 6:31-32). Instead we are to seek first our Father’s kingdom knowing it is His good pleasure to give it (Mt. 6:33, Lk. 12:32). Yes. Amen

 

*The Bible’s language of “sonship” is not is not indicating a divine preference for males, but rather communicating a canonical reality. Men and women alike are saved by faith alone and thus are both heirs of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:7 cf. Gal. 3:26-28). In the Old Testament [OT] –for various reasons- the first-born son had rights and privileges that no other children had. To an egalitarian society [i.e. one that tends to tie dignity/equality of personhood to extrinsic realities, ergo if little Tommy does shoddy work he still gets an A in order to prop up his –or his parents’- delicate internal balance ergo if DNA testing shows that little Tommy will have such a propensity then it might be better for his life to aborted for both his and his parents’ sake] that sounds horribly backwards I am sure. In any case, Scripture’s “sonship” language stands in continuity with this OT reality. The point is not that sons are to be preferred to daughters in God’s eyes, or any others. The point is that all of God’s children have the privileges, even rights, of a first-born son.

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Adoption and the fight for Life

We have likely killed 55 million babies here in the US since 1973. That’s basically an entire generation. There’s a word for wiping out that many people, genocide.

One way to value Life is via adoption. Just one way out of a hundred. Another way is to write letters to those involved in abortions. They need not be nasty and ought to be compassionate, nobody escapes guilty knowledge on some level. I write such a letter every year near the end of January. I’ve posted below the letter I wrote this year and I don’t post it as a model, so much as just some encouragement. I’ve found letters a very good way to reach out to people and gain a foothold in their lives, especially with issues that tend to strikes nerves rather quickly.

Continue reading

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