Friday, July 13, 2012

Headed to Eastern Europe!

For the past two months Norman and I have been praying about what our next adoption would look like.  We're pretty experienced with State Adoption from foster care, but we were feeling like we needed to take an extra step of faith and adopt two boys with special needs... and this time, Internationally.  "Why would you spend over $30,000 adopting two boys with special needs overseas when you can adopt for free right here in the US?" I can hear people asking us (and we've asked ourselves the same question).  And our answer is:  Because it's hard.  It takes a LOT of work.  It takes a lot of raising funds.  It takes a lot of travel time away from our kids.  And there aren't a whole lot of Christians doing it!  At first we had planned on getting one older boy, close in age to our 10-year-old son; and one little boy, close in age to our 3-year-old son.  But the more we looked at children's profiles, the more we felt led to pursue two older boys instead.  Older boys are less likely than girls and younger boys to be adopted, but God has put a soft spot in our heart for them, and we actually had a terrible time trying to decide which ones to request as a match for our family.  There are just soooo many sweet boys in orphanages hoping for families.  Some have severe needs, but many have mild, manageable needs that can improve tremendously just by having the love and nurturing of a family.  Two days ago we found out that our request to be matched with both boys was approved, so now we are in the process of requesting USCIS approval and preparing our dossier, and trying to come up with fundraising ideas like crazy!!  The faster we can come up with the fees, the faster we can get our travel dates and finalize the adoptions.  To see pictures of the boys, please visit our "Adoption News!" tab. (pictures had to be removed--can repost after our first visit!)  The boys are 12 and 9 years old and both have some minor special needs that will need to be addressed once here in the states.  Please pray for them and our family as we prepare for this huge transition.  If you would like to help us bring these boys home, please scroll down on the Adoption News page to see ways you can help--some don't require any money at all. 
We are selling our books and music (check Books and Music tabs :) and we will be holding several benefit concerts here in the Duluth/Suwaneed GA area (See Voice Lessons tab).  We'll also be holding various auctions--offering iPads, Kindles, jewelry, video games, etc. etc.  If you can help us by donating items to auction, participating in one of our concerts, purchasing books or music, or just simply making a donation, we would be so grateful for your gift, whether great or small.  Finally, if you know of anyone in the north Atlanta area who is looking to buy a house, please keep us in mind--we have our own real estate company, La Roca Realty, and have been in the business for over ten years.  Just a few extra closings can provide all the money we need to move through the adoption process as quickly as possible.  If you'd like to help us bear the burden of raising funds by making a tax deductible donation, please click HERE.  Thank you especially for your prayers!
Lisa and Norman

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Pro-Life" and The Church

There are two things I used to be extremely passionate about. Things that Christians should be passionate about.  But I can’t muster up excitement for those two things any more.

The first is the pro-life/anti-abortion cause. Before you get shocked and angry, hear me out. I’ve been actively pro-life since I was a teenager. I saved a baby from being aborted when I was in high school. I volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center. I published a pro-life book called The Least of These. I’ve always made my voting decisions based on which candidate was pro-life. I still believe abortion is murder and that God will judge those who shed the innocent blood of the unborn. BUT……I’ve realized that Christians speak out for “life” while turning a blind eye to the children who have not been aborted....who are living like animals in some orphanages around the world...simply because they weren’t born perfect.

We’ve all been asked the question: “What if the fetus has severe abnormalities?” And we boldly say, “It doesn’t matter—all life is precious to God. You cannot take a life!” But most of us would not consider taking in a child with these abnormalities. It’s easy to be unaware here in the States. Amniocentesis and ultrasounds detect Down Syndrome, deformities, etc. etc. and the majority of these babies are aborted. So we think special needs children barely exist. Or we ignorantly think they are being well cared for in institutions. But take a look at the video below showing what happens to some children who aren’t born “perfect.”

  watch video
These children are rarely held, never hugged or loved; never taught to speak or walk. They live their lives in cribs, fail to thrive, don’t grow, and become profoundly autistic, exhibiting self harming behaviors, like banging their heads into their cribs, just to feel some stimulation and relieve themselves of the boredom. These children are great publicity for the Pro-Abortion movement. In fact, I’ve seen pro-abortion videos on YouTube that point out these very same children. Their point? “Why would we want a child to grow up in this atrocious, deprived, depraved environment? Nobody wants these children!  We need to offer prenatal screening around the world so that these children--who nobody wants—not even the Christians—can be aborted. They’d be better off dead.”

And you know what? I’m sorry to say it, but they WOULD be better off living with Jesus than to live their lives with no one ever loving them or touching them or caring for them. I’m sorry if this is offensive. But we Christians must do something about this orphan crisis! There are too many waiting children—waiting and waiting and waiting—because no one—not even Jesus’ supposed disciples want them.

If Jesus were walking on the earth today, would he be protesting at the abortion clinics? Or would he be visiting the suffering orphans who’ve never known love? What would he tell his disciples about them? What would he instruct them to do? Oh that God would break our hearts and let us feel what he feels for these little ones!

Those of us who call ourselves “pro-life” need to put our convictions into action. Do we want a deformed baby to NOT be aborted? Then how about we open our homes and hearts to him? Do we want this holocaust of children with Down Syndrome to end? How about we adopt a child with Down Syndrome? Or at LEAST—if you can’t adopt or are too fearful, then GIVE UP YOUR COMFORTS and finance someone else’s special needs adoption. There are beautiful families struggling to get the funds together to go across the world and ransom these precious little ones. WE can ransom them by helping financially. And the more material things and entertainment we can live without, the more children we can save.

I think that deep down inside, while they would never admit it, some Christians are somewhat relieved that a majority of babies with special needs are aborted. It gives them less to feel guilty about. Until these “unwanted” children are spoken for and claimed by Christ’s church, the pro-life movement will continue to fail. For me personally, I’ve come to the decision that for now, I’m walking away from the anti-abortion cause, and putting my focus on saving “the least of these” who are already born.  Don't get me wrong--abortion is murder--I hate it.  But how can I fight for their rights to live until I am personally involved in caring for their needs once they are born?

May God stir up his church to store up our treasures in Heaven and not here on earth—and to give our lives and do everything we possibly can for the least of these.

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