How to be a Lifesaver.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.

 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

Proverbs 31:8-9

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Already emotional, I sat in the doctor’s office getting blood pressure, weight, and heartbeat checked.  She ran through the traditional questions, and came upon the ones concerning the (upcoming in 6 long weeks) 20 week appointment.  “Now, do you want the optional screening for birth defects then?”

I told her “No thank you, we’ve never gotten that one done for any of our pregnancies. ”

“Oh, right.” She said.  “Because you wouldn’t abort the baby anyways.”

It was so matter of fact. Like I was an exception to the rule. And it stung.

At my first appointment, my doctor (who I actually really like) and I had a talk about how many children we have and why we have so many  and how we value life,  and we take literally what the Bible says about them being a blessing.  But she also practices “medicine” in a culture where abortions are SO run of the mill, SO easily performed, and SO naturally resorted to, especially if there is something “wrong” with the baby. These decisions about life and death are made for baby who has the miraculous imprint of the image of God upon him or her, but is not yet developed enough to cry out in their own defense.

I cried the whole way home.

And as I suffer through this tremendously hard pregnancy,  I long to not only give this child a chance, but to give others a chance as well.

So, might I suggest, that you, that I, might do something to stand for justice? To be a life saver?

I know, I have been silent long enough.

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Rescue those being led away to death;

hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”

does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?

Does not he who guards your life know it?

Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

 Proverbs 24:11-12

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You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.

Deuteronomy 12:31

A good friend of ours helped with the filming of this video recently, and passed it along to us.

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Just some ways to move towards speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves:

1. Watch AND SHARE the above video

2. Pray regularly for the end of this child slaughter, and for the mothers who are fearfully considering what pregnancy means for them.

3. Check out this website.

4. Find out the inner workings of the abortion industry.

5. Give financially to help those trying to affect legislation concerning abortion.

6. Consider becoming an adoptive family.  Giving another option to at least one mother in need.

Expecting: When you don’t get what you expect, but still expect to get

We didn’t get what we expected.

But now we wait in expectation for what we will get

We will get

Strength when we have none.
Faith to ride the storms.
God moving, moving in our children, when I’m rendered too weary for the job.
Order when I can’t be the one to enforce it
Joyful trust when we don’t understand the plan

I really should have known this would happened. Many  life experiences show, that as soon as we have a plan, a course of action we are following, Jesus moves us down a different path to remind us that he told us , “Come follow ME” not “come follow the plans you think I led you into”.

So, the very week we finish our adoption homestudy paperwork, we find out where our newest family member is.

He or she is growing…

in my womb.

And shock sets in, and grief over the seemingly shut door to adoption*, questions concerning all that had transpired this fall that seemed to make it so clear this was our season to adopt, but then also excitement over the newest little Iverson growing and the wonder of who this little person will be and become, and then the sudden realization and reminder that pregnancy.is.not.fun.

At least its not fun when you have five other little kids to keep up with and care for and naps are no longer an option in your life except at the extreme cost of finding plastic toys in your oven, every room in the house tornadoed through, and an inability to find your keys because the 1 year old was playing with them while you dozed during the supposed reading time that didn’t last long for mommy.  (cough, cough, its not like I’m speaking from experience…from this week)

Pregnancy is a cross to bear.  A giving up of one’s own life so that another might have it.  It is the gospel worked out, into every nitty gritty too-fatigued-and-nauseous-to-keep-up-with-the-housework-much-less-the-blog-i-wanted-to-be-more-faithful-about moment, in which I exchange my “right” to pursue my own passions and desires, my”right” to my body, my “right” to my own energy, my “right” to have a certain figure (let me tell you, when you are on your seventh pregnancy*, your body wastes NO time stretching right back out to the way it looked for 47 months of its previous existence). You give up your “right” to keep up with the New Years Resolutions, and you give up the “right” to have enough strength to keep your kids in line and do everything you need to keep things running.

But with all the suffering involved, even if its nine long months of it, it is worth every moment to impart life, a body formed around a soul entrusted, right there in your own womb.  Its worth it for who that child will be, how that child will bring laughter and joy and sanctification to his or her awaiting family members.  It is worth it for the sake of every life that child will impact throughout its life.  And most of all, its worth it to provide a place in which that little body can grow, grow eyes and ears and a heart and mind and a body to experience all the wonders of his or her Creator on this miraculous planet called earth. It’s worth it to bring a child into the world in which he or she will come to know God’s incredible redemption story. This child will come to know that although, he or she is born with a sin-cripped heart that will never need to be cultivated, only exposed, he or she will also find that this sin-cripped heart has been dealt with by the Sin-Crippler, Jesus Christ, the One with a pure heart. This child, I pray will gaze upon the cross that Jesus died upon, and come to realize this is his or her means to  a new heart, the very Heart of God, come to dwell in us. This message is what cripples sin within us, that only His heart can live abundant.

This is the greatest of all miracles, all mysteries, and it takes the miracle and mystery of pregnancy to invite a soul into such wonder.

So in the meantime, as cells reproduce rapidly, and God works miracles within, I will have to wait in expectation.  Not getting what I expected, but still expecting to get.

Expecting to get…

Strength when I have none.
Faith to ride the storms.
God moving in our children, when I’m rendered too weary for the job**
Order when I can’t be the one to enforce it.
Joyful trust when we don’t understand the plan.

For His promises declare it…that the waves of nausea and tiredness and aches and pains will not sweep over me, but rather the same Lord that created me and now forms this child, has commanded me to not be afraid but rather trust in the fact that I, and this child, and my family, who will all be affected by this pregnancy, have been called by name. And we are His.

So my three year old is HIS, when I really should be doing a better job of discipling him but can’t keep up with everything. And my 6 year old is His when I’m going to have to ask her to prepare lunch for her siblings. And my 8 year old is His when he’s just going to have to figure out a way to get his homework done without me. And my four year old is HIS when she’s going to have to settle for staccato-style reading of her older siblings rather than mommy always reading that book to her. And my 1 year old is HIS when he’s dressed in mismatched clothes because his four year old sister dressed him and that was the only way we could get out the door in time. And my husband is HIS when he comes home to dishes begging to be done and a wife fallen asleep at 9pm.

And my faith will be built, and there’s will too, as we all depend on the Mighty One, Jesus, together.

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Isaiah 43:1-3

And the battle cry these past few weeks, as morning sickness has set in, has been the calling out into the water that the Lord does.  And the expectation that He will meet us IN the waves, and IN the fire, For HE is the Lord our God, the Holy One of Isreal.

My Savior. from my sin. from my fear. in my weakness. in my need.

*stay tuned for what this means for our adoption process

**we lost one baby, in between our first and second children, thus making this our seventh pregnancy

***I already saw this happen, as last Tuesday I felt like death incarnate, and could not function.  Daniel Josiah and Trinity (first and second born, ages 8 and 6) “sent me to bed” and said, “Don’t worry, Mom, you go lie down. We will clean up the kitchen.  AND THEY DID. AND THEY DID IT WELL: cleaned dinner dishes, loaded dishwasher, started dishwasher, emptied trash, swept, wiped down counters and table and pushed in chairs.  I was amazed. (NOW if they would just do that EVERY night 🙂

 

From the Mouths of Babes…Adoption Options

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Katy-Grace, the girl that is ALL GIRL

Friday we had our final adoption home study meeting in which our caseworker came to our home to approve it as safe and suitable for the addition of another child (we will be paper-ready by next week!).  One of the last interviews was that of our children to ask how they felt about adopting.  Being put on the spot, they offered up their timid “I’m excited.” or “I want a new baby to play with.” or “I want another cute kid in our family.”  Katy-Grace, our not-so-timid child, announces,

“I want a blonde baby girl!”

Judith, our caseworker, knowing we will most likely be adopting a transracial baby, asks,

“Well, what about baby with dark skin.”

No, I don’t want a black baby, I want a blonde baby!”

(I’m quickly realizing that “blonde” doesn’t just mean the color of the hair, but the color of the skin as well)

So we ask her about her cousin (adopted from Ethiopia) and all her little playmates, and her best friends and the babies of our friends who she thinks are so cute who are all black or hispanic. And she still insists on having a “blonde baby”.

And we let it rest, and I praise God we have an awesome caseworker who wasn’t phased by our four year old’s expectation of who, in her mind, we would be adopting.

Then, last night at Chuck-E-Cheese, completely surrounded by all colors of skin and ethnicities (we were the ONLY white people there),

I ask her about it again.

“So, Katy-Grace, why do you only want a blonde baby?”

and she gets right to the heart of the matter.

“Their hair is so soft.  Why do black babies have such puffy hair?  I don’t like it when it is so puffy (some of our friend’s babies have HUGE afro’s…evidently its a bit intimidating for her).  If we get a black baby can we do their hair so its not so puffy?”

“Yes, honey, we’ll do their hair so its not so puffy, and probably we’ll get a little boy baby and we’ll cut his hair like boy hair”

“Ok, we don’t have to get a blonde baby!”

And it was resolved.

The last of the Iversons to agree on the transracial adoption we are pursuing.

What sealed the deal?

A truce over the hair style.

Most of Katy-Grace's friends are black

Most of Katy-Grace’s friends are black

She loves doing Mommy's hair. One of her masterpieces. Great plans had been made for new sibling's hair.

She loves doing Mommy’s hair. One of her masterpieces. Great plans had been made for new sibling’s hair.

She knows what she wants, and watch out! if you get in her way

She knows what she wants, and watch out! if you get in her way

My spunky, wild, girly girl

My spunky, wild, girly girl

Only white girl at Chuck-E-Cheese.  She lives in diversity, so we were surprised she would be opposed to it being in our family

Only white girl at Chuck-E-Cheese. She lives in diversity, so we were surprised she would be opposed to it being in our family

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Editor’s Note:  While reading this aloud to the family before posting it, Benjamin pipes up,

“I…I…I.. want adopt Asher!!! (his cousin, adopted from Ethiopia, who we all greatly anticipated joining the family for over a year)

We can’t do that, honey!  He’s already adopted!”

he settles on the next best option…

“I want adopt a boo (blue) baby….”

and he heads down the stairs to go find something to play with.

I can’t win.  Seven people weighing in on who we will adopt.

I’m praying for you; A Letter to Our Child.

You’re Daddy made this video for me, on our fifth anniversary. I pray you will be in the pictures when he makes one for me for our tenth.

My precious child,
I’ve been praying for you. I don’t know what you will look like. I don’t know what skin color you’ll have. I don’t know what family history you will come from. I don’t even know if you’ve been conceived yet. But I’ve been praying for you.
Darling, the Lord started putting you on my heart five years ago now, shortly before your big sister’s first birthday.  That’s when I first started praying for you. Your daddy and I decided we would start looking for you. But then God put Katy-Grace in Mommy’s belly, and told us to wait. And then a year an a half later, we thought we were suppose to start looking for you again, we recruited prayer warriors, and God put another big brother for you inside Mommy, and He told us to wait.  Then your Daddy went to seminary and we didn’t make enough money to start looking for you, and God told us to wait (and in the meantime you acquired a third older brother…lucky you!).
Yes, we’ve waited and prayed and waited and prayed.  And cheered and helped others on as they ran after their own sweet children.
Now, though, now we’re coming for you. God has started opening the doors, and all that praying, and all that waiting, its like a pent up flood ready to rush towards you. And now, because of all that waiting, you’ve got five older siblings, that wouldn’t have otherwise been there,all  so incredibly excited to welcome you into the family, to love on you, enjoy you, and teach you “all they know.”
Sweetheart, I love you, not because God put you in my womb, but  because He put you in my heart, and I’ve been pregnant with you for these five years passed.
And some brave mamma out there is going to choose to allow you to grow in her belly, unlike so many of her peers.  I’ve witnessed firsthand in Newark how scary and daunting and selfless that decision is for those brave few who don’t opt for the “easy” way out. That’s why I’ve been praying for you, for that womb, for that young woman, for her life lived which led to your conception.   And I’ve been praying for that brave decision she will make. Too many of your peers have been wiped out, destroyed for their lack of convenience, silenced before they’ve been given a chance to cry out. A wise man once said, “Do for one, what you wish you could do for all.” I can’t save all those babes, but I have been praying for, and preparing for, and planning for one…for you.
I’ve been praying…and now I’m coming, sweet pea…Coming into that woman’s life, coming into yours.  We’ve got a mountain to climb, to get to you…stacks of papers to fill out, numerous appointments and meetings to make, and thousands of dollars to raise.  And while I pray for you, and survey the mountain needing climbing, I think of the One who prays and intercedes for me…and for you….and for your birth mother continually…THAT praying One climbed a mountain far bigger than a homestudy and the cost of adoption.  That One climbed Calvary, climbed right up on that cross, and descended down the other side into hell.  All that He might adopt me. and you. and the millions of His enemies  that were sought after, sacrificed for, and loved into becoming the Father’s children. Beloved children.
I’m praying for you, to the One who is praying for me, the One who is propelling us towards you. And one day, your Daddy and I are going to hold you in our arms, and we’ll get a picture.
And we’ll frame that picture, frame it in Hannah’s words spoken thousands of years ago because she herself prayed long and hard for a much-waited-for child.

For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.”  I Samuel 1:27

And our prayers will continue for you…that you will be lent to the Lord, your Maker.  The One who sets the lonely in families.
The One who sets you in our family.
For HE and I have been praying for you.

“…but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”  Hebrews 7:24-26

“Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds- his name is the Lord- and rejoice before him.  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”  Psalm 68: 4-6

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8

Would you like to join us in this adventure? Or rather, would you like to join God in His adventurous business of setting the lonely in families? You can partake of this communion with God in the following ways:

~subscribe to this blog to receive updates on the adoption process

~commit to being a prayer warrior for this endeavor

~start the adoption process yourselves

-sign up to become a foster parent

~fulfill the call to care for the orphan, by financially giving towards those in your life who are opening their homes to babes and children needing families.