Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Calm My Anxious Heart and Mind

Today my heart is anxious.  I find myself worrying about things I have NO control over.  We are done with paperwork...for  right now.  I think deep down I thought this day would never come…it seemed so far off.  God, on the other hand, had a different plan for us.  Never in a million years did I think that I would already be able to stare at our beautiful daughter's picture.  Never in a million years did I think that we could travel in  January.  Never in a million years did I think that I would be getting Zoey Love’s room ready for her, in the month of December (2011).  If I sit and let my mine wonder, I grow anxious.  My heart begins to race and I fill a little out of control.  Nothing in my life has stirred me like the adoption of this little girl.  It has taken me out of my place of comfort and put me directly in God’s arms.  I must lean on Him daily or I find myself doubting everything.  Not to long ago Ty and I prayed together and he said something so profound…He said that Satan didn’t want this to happen…that Satan was going to start working double time to stop this beautiful family from growing.  It really hit me-Satan doesn’t want us to get Zoey.  He doesn't want Zoey to have a forever family.  Satan wants me to be anxious and worry about tomorrow.  The more I fill my head with doubt and worry then I am not growing in God…I am not allowing this to be a wonderful journey of faith but a journey of fear.  I don’t think so…I’ve got the Creator Of the Universe, on my side and I will not be anxious…instead I will put on my armor of faith!!!  Watch out Satan!!!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7

Consumed By Love,
Christy

Monday, November 14, 2011

Realities and Misconceptions

Must admit we’ve been on cloud nine and our feet haven’t touched the ground in a few weeks.
We’ve seen Zoey and she’s seen us (through pictures)! 
She has our pictures and will only let people hold them for “one minute.” Thank you Lord for Al Gore and the invention of email! 
She sees airplanes, points and tells her friends, “That is taking me to my family in America!”
She knows a little bit of English and loves dancing, singing, picture books and writing! 
We know her favorite foods and have even purchased a cookbook that our contact in Ghana recommended!  Thank you Lord for Amazon.com and a used 1960’s copy of Ghanaians’ Favourite Foods.
Though we are on a mountaintop now I must admit that there is a valley full of misconceptions about international adoption constantly swirling around us and some harsh realities we are preparing for in our immediate family.  Here are a few.
Realities and preparation:  So many things could and will happen.  Many we can’t plan for regardless of how many blogs and books we read or trainings we go through with the adoption agency.  We are trying to educate ourselves for the worst and hoping for the best.  
We know Zoey will get frustrated by the communication gap.  Heck, we’ll be frustrated too! 
She will likely only bond with one parent at first, and it probably won't be be me. We are faithfully praying that she does bond with at least one of us quickly!
We don’t know what she has seen in her life, so what frightens her or sends her into a shell is unknown to us. 
Our food is going to upset her stomach. And we won’t be able to cook like grandma no matter how hard we try.  Yet at subpar she’s still going to hide bits and pieces  of food, in her pockets and under her bed until she’s sure she can have it every single day.
What about some other hurdles, like: fear induced vomiting, night terrors, panic attacks and our first taste of racism.  Yes, I said racism.  It’s still alive and well no matter how hard we’ve tried to turn our blind eyes to it. 
These are just a few of the realities our family is trying to educate ourselves on and prepare for.  These are areas our family would love you to specifically be praying for us as well.
Misconception 1: Some think Christy and I have pursued this calling based on the false assumption that since we are American that we can bring her back here and all these luxuries will “fix” her.  Let me be very clear when I say, America cannot, does not and will not fix her!  Don’t fool yourself into believing this or think that we believe this.  It is true that God, by His will, has chosen us to be born and live in this great country. America has given us opportunities and has provided us a means to be a loving forever family to a fatherless child half a world away.  But America does not fix her! She does not need fixed!! She is not broken!! She is perfect!  What’s broken is the fact that she’s going through life without a mother and father!!  And that we can fix!  We can give her a forever family.  And if we won’t who will??
 Misconception 2:  I’ve heard these phrases from people, “How could she possibly be happy when our worlds are so different?”  “How could she possibly be happy when you are uprooting her from her friends and everything she knows?”  “How could she possibly be happy leaving with two strangers who don’t speak the same language and aren’t even the same skin color?”  I must answer by saying; we aren’t blind to the fact that we are going to have HUGE culture, language and abandonment issues we’ll have to deal with. Some of those possibilities I addressed earlier and some of the realities will always be kept private within our family. Maybe a better way to answer the “How could she possibly be happy…” question is this way - God created something special within each of us humans that knows we should not be an orphan.  This yearning has no social, racial or geographical boundary. We weren’t made to be fatherless.  If we were meant to be alone then the Bible would not say time, after time, after time to defend and care for the orphan.  It’s not the way God made us and we know it even as a child, even if fatherless is all we’ve ever known. 
So, “how could she possibly be happy?”  I ask you to focus less on where she’s from, how she’s lived, what her skin color is and what ours is.  Focus more on our family answering God’s call to care for the orphan through adoption; though there are many other ways people can help, this is path we have felt God leading us.  And more specifically leading us to Ghana, Africa.  Try to understand that since we are honoring Him in this way, by providing Zoey with a loving family, we “believe and don’t doubt” (James 1:6) He’ll take care of her happiness, when He’s ready. This is a big God we serve! To quote a person from our adoption agency, “this journey you’re about to take is as much about your faith as it is your love.” We have faith God will take care of her happiness, He’s pretty good at the life change business you know.
 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.
 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning
. - Lamentations 3:22-23

Tyson

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

God Provided and We Have A Winner!

First let me start by saying THANK YOU!!!  We are so grateful to those of you who bought chances for our American Girl Giveaway!!  Becuase of your generosity...we raised $2,515.  We know you are in complete shock...but it's true...Thank you, Thank you!!  You will never know how much your support means to us...if we could hug each of your necks...we so would!!! 

The winner of the American Girl Doll is Chad Key...#221!!!

Chad was so sweet and told us to buy  Zoey Love a doll instead of sending him one.  Made this mommy cry!!!  Such a giving heart...so we are going to purchase her a bitty baby!!!  I can't wait till it comes in...and I can't wait to see Zoey love on her first  baby doll!!!

Again, thank you so much...love you all!!!

Consumed By Love,
Tyson and Christy

Monday, October 24, 2011

American Girl Doll Giveaway!!!

We are having a giveaway for TWO WEEKS to help
raise funds for our adoption!
PLEASE blog, email, facebook and tweet this!

If you don't know...we have seen our daughter!!!  It all happened last week!! 
It was very unexpected...but so good!  (You can read the story in previous posts!)
The way it is looking we will travel to meet her in December.
Can you believe it?!?!?

We plan to mail in our dossier in a couple of weeks and fees will be
approximately $5,000.  We have saved $5,000 so we can cover the
cost of the dossier but immediately after that we will sign
acceptance of child forms, which is $5,000.
Soooo.....................
We thought we would have some fun
to celebrate our soon-to-be
*A*M*E*R*I*C*A*N* *G*I*R*L*



WHAT DOLL?
We will be giving away 1 (one) American Girl Doll
OF YOUR CHOICE  (up to $100) to the lucky winner.
She will be shipped directly to the winner -- within the 50 states.


WHEN DOES IT START AND END?

Donations will be accepted October 24th-Nov 7th... ending at midnight.


HOW DO I DONATE?

Donations are accepted using the yellow PAYPAL DONATE button on our blog.
Please indicate your contact information
and reference the American Girl Giveaway.
$10 = 1 entry
$25 = 3 entries


HOW ARE WINNERS SELECTED?
With each entry, you will be given a number.
I will email this to you after your donation posts via PAYPAL.
 After November 7th, we will use a random number generator

to select a number/donor for the giveaway.
I will then contact you via email to determine your doll of choice
and have her shipped directly to you (within 50 states)!


WHO CAN DONATE?

Anyone. If you love orphans, donate.
If you love American Girl dolls or know someone who does, donate.


SHIPPING

We can only ship within the 50 states.


Please email, tweet, facebook, and blog about

the giveaway and help us bring
our soon-to-be AMERICAN GIRL home!

Some of the dolls are listed below

 or you may browse the American Girl site.















So excited...Let the fun begin!!!

(If you don't do paypal but would still like to be
a part of the giveaway...just email me christybrown_5@yahoo.com
 and you can send a check)






Friday, October 21, 2011

God's Fingerprints!!!

To catch the full effect of this post and see the complete picture of how God works and the beauty of his timing you need to read Christy’s post from October 17th first. http://brownethiopiaadoption.blogspot.com/2011/10/who-says-god-cant-teach-you-something.html
It all started at the David Crowder, Gungor and John Mark McMillan concert. God was moving and so alive in all of us that rode up there together that night. I believe each of us has our own beautiful story to tell. This is what came out of ours!
Sunday night – Moving, mind blowing concert that lasted until 11:30pm! Our heads hit the pillow at 2:30am – God was working, God was preparing (as detailed by Christy’s post).
Monday – 1pm Christy calls me and asks me to read her post. She told me about this moment she had with God and really felt it was the two of them conversing. So she kept it to herself until she shared her heart on this blog. Truly beautiful! She then says to me, “Ty, I really feel her (Zoey) presence right now.”
3:25pm I’m going through emails looking for the time and location of the Cub Scout meeting when I run across an email from LAST THURSDAY and the first sentence in the preview reads,“Dear Ghana families, I have received a referral of a little girl, birth date June 4th 2006…” The shakes started instantly, because our youngest son Wyatt’s birthday is June 3rd 2004. Immediately I called our representative at the adoption agency and said,“Jynger, I think you have my daughter!” She says, “Tyson are you serious? You haven’t seen anything on her yet but you’re giving me chills. I have two pictures and her story. I’ll send them right now!!”
3:35pm In a panic I gathered up my things at work to head home and tell Christy. After minutes of searching for my keys I realized I had locked them in my truck, ha, not to be detoured…hidden key! Crap, running out of gas, literally sputtered into gas station and put $2.00 in cause I figured I could get home on that. Pulled out of gas station, in front of oncoming traffic and half way into an intersection. I think to myself, “Huh, when did they put this four lane state highway and stop light in between me and getting home?? The devil is out to stop this adoption!!”
3:40pm One block from home I feel my phone vibrate from an incoming email. I open to see for the first time the beautiful face of my daughter. Crap again, I’m crying so I can’t see to drive!
3:44pm Me: Christy where are you?
Christy: Picking up the boys from school.
Me: Come home now.
Christy: Why what’s wrong?
Me: I think I have Zoey!
Christy: No! How?? No you don’t!! HOW?? Don’t kid me like that??
Me: CHRISTY, I’m home from work, CAN YOU HEAR ME CRYING?! JUST COME HOME AND DON’T HAVE A WRECK!
Christy: [Sound of uncontrollable crying.]
Winston:“Momma, what’s wrong? Did Nana die?”
Christy get’s home and sees the picture of this beautiful 5 year old girl sitting on a stool kicking her foot up grinning from ear to ear in her little white skirt and says,“That’s her! That’s her! See I told you she’d be full of energy. Call Jynger now, CALL HER, CALL HER!”
3:57 Upon my third call to the receptionist at the adoption agency, “Ma’am I’m not being rude, but I’ll letting you know now that I’ll be calling every 30 seconds until I get hold of Jynger.” Receptionist, “I understand sir.”
3:59 “Jynger it’s her! You have our daughter!!”
Friends and family that have been following us, it’s her, it’s really her! Amazing the symphony that God orchestrates and when He opens the window of heaven He opens it all the way!
Christy said to me, “If you would have opened up that email last Thursday, we would have still got Zoey, but that was not the way God wanted the story to be told.” It’s now Wednesday and each day has been a new surprise of blessing. I can’t detail them all because I’ll be typing forever…I’m not really even going to do much grammar check and editing because I want to get his news out (so English teacher friends and fam don’t judge me)! Stories of blessing come in later days but quickly I can say, she (Zoey) found out about us and she smiled and she wanted to see pictures!
I’ll close with a scripture that our friend T.A. sent right after she heard the news.
Psalm 139
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who Says God Can't Teach You Something At A Bar?

Last night I went to a David Crowder concert, at Cains Ballroom.  Now for those of you who don’t know…Cains is an old ballroom/bar.  Legends have played there…Patsy Cline, Bob Wills…I mean legends.  It is a really old place and I believe it’s listed as a historical landmark or building.  It was so awesome to be praising God in a packed bar…such a neat night.  BUT during this super night God brought me to my knees. (not literally…wasn’t enough room but if their would have been room I would have been on them) One of DC’s opening bands was Gungor… this man is a musical genius.  He started playing one of my favorite songs, “You Make Beautiful Things” Every time I hear this song I start crying…I love it so.  But last night God spoke to me through this song like never before.   For nine months God has changed me.  If you were to ask people who were close to me…they would probably say that I’m not the same.  I’m sure they would say that I’ve become withdrawn, serious, heartbroken…almost like a sadness has taken over me.  I have felt this…I have felt very alone and wondered what was going on.  Most mornings I get up and my heart hurts…it aches.  It’s very hard to describe to others so I keep it to myself and take it to God.  Through this I have drawn so close to our Heavenly Father and I love that so.  But I still didn’t know what was going on with me till last night…God told me!!!  As I type this now, I am crying. God is so beautiful and He shows His glory in such Awesome ways.  Last night while singing that song He said to me, “I have taken you through these months of pain and abandonment so that you, Zoey’s earthly mom, will empathize with her.  So you will know her pain…of being left alone…abandoned…lost…hurt…sad. You know I only make beautiful things and I have allowed you to be a part of her beautiful story!!!”  Oh, it was so profound.  He has been preparing me to really relate to my daughter.  Isn’t He Amazing!!!!  He knows her heartbreaking pain and how can I help her if I can’t feel some of that pain myself?It just takes my breath away…He is the conductor of a beautiful orchestra. 

Listen to this song...let it penetrate you soul!! While listening to the words...think of our Zoey Love...He is making her new...He is taking away her pain...He making her beautiful!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR7VOKQ0xJY

Oh, How I Love Him!!!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Home Study Fun!!

This past Saturday we finished up our home study visit. WooHoo...we are getting closer!! We met with our assigned social worker in September, on neutral ground, and then she came to our home last Saturday. The boys were excited to meet her...I believe it made them feel they were doing their part. They loved showing her around the house and visiting with her. During one part of the visit...she was asking if anyone smoked, in the home, and of course Ty and I replied no. Well, Wyatt had a different answer...he went on to say, "Mom, remember Uncle Tommy did last thanksgiving." Oh my word, Wyatt!!! So I had to kindly remind him that yes, Uncle Tommy smokes...but it wasn't in our house...he smoked outside and he doesn't live here, anyway. Then right after that under his breath he asked, "Don't you want to know if anyone drinks?" LUCKILY, she didn't hear him. You never know what ol' Wyatt will say...gotta love that boy. He is all about the shock and awe...I guess I'm paying for my childhood behavior...I was the same way...still am, sometimes!! It was a great day and felt so good to check it off the list. She emailed us last night with some questions because she was working on the write up...yay!!!! Once we have the complete home study, we will then send in our paperwork for the I-600A. This form is the key to processing the international adoption and for processing the immigration of the adopted child. Basically, more red tape...but so worth it!!! So today, CeLeBrAtE with Us...we are one step closer to our baby girl!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adoption Update!!!

I know it's been some time since we updated the blog.  It seems we where at a slow moving stand still...if that is even possible.  BUT I am happy to announce that we are not just creeping along anymore. The one thing (of many) that adoption has taught me is that time is something I have no control over.  I have heard the expression "it's all in God's time" and have even said it to others...but I don't know if I really understood what it meant till we started this process.  At times during this process, it has felt like this adoption wasn't even real...like we were just in a foggy dream.  It takes so much faith...and I love God and His patience with me.  He is so incredibly amazing!!!  So with all that being said...I want to catch you up to date.  Today I'll start with a post that Ty wrote for his blog, Ordinary Man, this summer.  Enjoy, and I will post soon because we have more to share!


Man, man, man...

Monday’s email read, “Wanted to let you know that I received your application 2 and everything looks great! Waiting on one more document and then moving you on to the home study! Sincerely, J” This was from the awesome Program Director for Ghana at our adoption agency!


Not that it wasn’t real before but with that email it all became very validating or maybe it’s better to say “she feels closer.” Honestly, I got teary eyed when I read it.


I know this isn’t the “manly” thing to admit, but really I’m past trying to be manly at this stage in my life (come on, I’m 35 years old, 6’2” & 156lbs soaking wet, and if I didn’t shave for a week you wouldn’t notice), I get a lot more emotional the farther Jesus leads down his path. I mean we all cry when Hickory wins the state championship in the movie Hoosiers, but this is ridiculous! You all do cry during that part right?


Seriously I was sharing with a friend last night what a big baby I’ve turned into. We started reading through the Bible at the same time and I was telling him how I was finishing up Genesis and I got really moved when Joseph finally revealed himself to his brothers who sold him into slavery so many years before.


Genesis 45:1-5



Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, “Out, all of you!” So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. 2 Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace.



3 “I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. 4 “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. 5 But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.


That was really powerful for me! Then I thought about this adoption and our little girl I’ve yet to lay eyes on and a slew of things crossed my mind that I know are gonna tear me up!


I’m gonna cry…at the first sight of her face.


when we have to leave without her on our first visit.


at the sight of Christy seeing her face for the first time.


at the sight of my boys seeing her face for the first time.


at her living conditions.


when she cries.


when we get to share our first bowl of Ramen noodles together.


if she doesn’t want me at first b/c I’m still a strange man to her.


when she misses her friends.


when she makes new ones.


at hearing her story of abandonment.


when she is very confused by our culture.


because I can’t take them all home.


when she freaks over a dog in the house.


when I can’t get her hair right even though I’ve been practicing.


when she gets excited about flushing toilets and bathtubs full of water.


when she asks about going back.


when she falls asleep in our bed.



I’m starting to think that maybe this has nothing to do with being "manly" at all. Maybe this has to do with I’m finally seeing the world through His eyes and it either breaks my heart or gives me great joy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last Night I Hugged A Wal-Mart Checker

I’ve written a new country song!  It’s entitled; Last Night I Hugged A Wal-Mart Checker!  You like it already don’t you?  So what in the world is this post doing on our adoption blog? Well this is what you get when you ask me to guest post…let me explain.

Last night Christy and I had date night, you know, when you have kids and they are out of town so you go to Wal-Mart together to grocery shop; date night.  Don’t you ever doubt that a turn down the detergent aisle can’t turn into a stroll down lover’s lane in an instant!  That honeysuckle’s embrace scented fabric softener is POWERFUL!

As we were checking out we noticed that our checker had a strong accent and very unique name, we’ll call her “G”.  Christy asked her where she was from and she answered, “a country in central Africa .”  That started one of the most fulfilling conversations I’ve had in a long time.  She gave us her inspiring story of how she came here as a refugee knowing no English and nobody, because her country was in civil war.  A foster family took her in until she was 18 and she has stayed here ever since.  We had a good laugh at her misunderstandings of our English slangs’ specifically her recent investigation into what a “Sugar Daddy” was!

Eventually we told her we were adopting from Ghana and the conversation blossomed even more as “G” told us how her country was very close to there.  Christy then asked her about the hearing aids she was wearing.  She was interested in know if “G” was able to get them while in her country or once she got to the U.S.   “G” said there was no way she could ever have something like that where she came from but when she got here her foster family help her get fitted and treated.  Then Christy told her we were willing to accept a deaf child as well, and we all had a little moment right then and there in the Wal-Mart check-out aisle.

As we finished up, and I’m pretty sure much to the amazement of the line that was growing longer and longer, “G” stepped out from behind the check-out counter and insisted on giving both of us hug before we left.

It was an awesome time!  I was seriously considering going back and throwing more canned goods on the belt to keep the conversation going, but the Dave Ramsey in me and restless customers, won out.  I figured 6 extra candy bars and enough breath mints to last me till November was enough. I never would have thought I could have such a moment in Wal-Mart.  I mean I’ve even been tagged as a Wal-Mart hater before.  But last night it was obvious God was speaking to us, he had plans for us to be in that line, at that time, to have that conversation.   

What’s interesting is, on the way there Christy had shared with me how she felt strongly the devil had been attacking her.  She said that earlier in the week she encountered a sense of fear about where we were adopting from and all the things that could go wrong went running through her mind.  But last night as I was sharing the Wal-Mart story with a friend his words brought the whole night together, he said, “Tyson that conversation that happened was God’s affirmation to you that this adoption is good.”  He made that statement not even knowing the spiritual warfare Christy had been battling.

God is speaking to us all around us and all the time.  We just have to be in tune to hear it.

Last night  -  I hugged  -  a Wal-Mart checkeeerrr….  

Till She Is Home,

Tyson Brown

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thank You...Thank you!!!


Have you ever received a gift that just took your breath away...even better...how about an anonymous gift that took your breath away?  Well, we received two anonymous gifts that brought us to our knees. The only problem with that is we don't know who to thank...so we thought our blog would be the best way to say thank you!

To The Loving Gift Givers,
Thank you for the anonymous support for our adoption that you left at our door.  We would love to hug your neck and kiss you face with thanks but understand your anonymity.  What gets us the most is that you have a strong desire to give the fatherless a home, namely our precious daughter...who is waiting a half a world away. Your listening and heeding God's call leaves us very humbled, speechless, teary-eyed, and amazed at how He works through His children.  You have know idea the impact you have made, on our family, and we will forever be grateful for you!!!  Thank you for loving our family!!!

Love,
The Brown's

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Little Update!!

I know it’s been awhile since I posted on here…sorry!  Life has just been crazy…We decided to close my store, The Brown Box!  My heart just isn’t there anymore…different season of life.  I believe that God is calling me to stay home again.  I am thrilled…can’t wait to spend quality time with the boys and then when our daughter arrives I won’t have to juggle the store and time with her.  So doing that has taken a lot of my time…we will be completely closed next week…yippee~!! 

Two weekends ago we had our Lil’ Buckaroo BBQ benefit dinner.  It was a huge success.  We raised around $4500.00 to be split between the three families.   We were so thrilled.  It was so much fun and we felt so loved. 
This is us at the benefit dinner...sporting our shirts!!

We are deep into application two…we are hoping to get it into the mail around the first of June.  Once we send it off, they will schedule are fingerprint appointment and home study.  We are getting closer everyday. Please keep praying for our baby girl and us. 

Much Love,
Christy

Monday, April 4, 2011

Adoption BBQ Dinner Benefit!!



I am THRILLED to finally post about our newest fundraiser!  We, with 2 other families, are hosting a benefit dinner to help raise money for our adoptions.  We are still working out all the particulars but are hoping to make this event not just about raising money to bring our children home, but also raising awareness to the orphan crisis in our world. We have the tickets ready to sell and are working hard to get everything ready for the event. 

The dinner will be Saturday, April 30, 2011.  We will start serving a bbq dinner at 5pm and will also have a silent auction.    In addition to the dinner and silent auction, there will be music, door prizes, some guest speakers, videos, and more!  Of course the theme is cowboys/cowgirls so we encourage everyone to dress accordingly although it is not required.  It will be fun for the whole family and kids 3 and under eat free!
You can buy tickets directly on our blogs through the PayPal link posted off to the side or just email one of us or post on our blogs and we will see that you get your tickets.  $15.00 for adults, $5.00 for children over 3 and 3 and under eat free.  You can also purchase your tickets at The Brown Box!!

Later this week I will post a little bio about each family so you can get to know them better!  We are so excited to be doing this fundraiser with such awesome people and can’t wait for these beautiful families to bring their children home!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Destination Change...Sort Of

I’m so privileged to get guest post twice in a row!  Here’s the deal though.  Unlike my personal blog, www.tyson-brown.blogspot.com, I get to edit myself, any way I want!  I can have as many run on sentences as I want!  Though it drives my mom crazy, being an English teacher and all, I love a good run-on no comma sentences because I want my readers to try to get it all out in one breathe and I’m hoping you can’t by the end because it gives it emphasis!  (Kind of like the one you just read). 

There are other perks about writing and editing your own blog.  One of those perks is I can pick any adjective I want to describe my subjects.  Now, I’m just learning the rules of guest posting, but from what I understand from my lovely bride who manages this blog is, she gets to proof read my post before posting and has the authority to correct run-on sentences as she sees fit AND she get to interject her own adjectives into my work.  NOW NOW, we got’st to talk about this!  Because what I found out later after having skimmed my post from last week that apparently I used the adjective “precious”.  I have nothing against the word precious but I’m just not a “precious” kind of guy.  That is not a word I throw around often even in my most softhearted moments.  My wife is a “precious” kind of gal and last week while proofing my post she sensed a “precious moment” and invoked her editor’s rights and by inserting the word where she felt I meant to put it.

I want to go on the record now and say, if you see the word “precious” in the following post it did not come from me.  Again, I don’t have anything against precious, it’s just not who I am.

Any of you who follow this blog or Christy or myself on Facebook recently saw where we asked for prayers for the situation in Ethiopia.  We asked and still ask that you continue to pray for the country, the government officials making decisions, the adoptive families in limbo and children that desperately need parents.

I always find it funny how God chooses to speak to us.  While we were praying about this time of transition in Ethiopia, Christy and I decided we should at least explore what our Plan B would be if for some reason they shut the program down in Ethiopia.  After all we are at the very beginning stages of this process.  So as we prayed we continued to feel strongly that our heart was no doubt in Africa.  Problem is when we look at other Africa options through our agency the only other program was Ghana, which is a pilot program.  Pilot meaning they are just recently opening up to adoption and our agency is just beginning the steps of adopting out of this country.  As they say in the description, they are looking for families with a “pioneering spirit”. 

Pioneering spirit, huh, what does that mean?  It means that the first families in and the agency will be learning together.  Like they’ll only take 5 or so families, cut it off there, then go completely through the process with those families as an educational experience before opening up to others.  Call them guinea pigs if you will.  In countries like Ethiopia the agencies, for the most part, know what to expect with the waiting and required paperwork because they’ve done it over and over again – FOR THE MOST PART.  In a pilot program, well, no body is sure of anything until they all jump in together and get their feet wet.  Pioneers if you will!

I wasn’t so sure about all this, that’s kind of hard to sell to someone so new to the whole adoption thing anyway so I almost didn’t make the first phone call to even inquire, but something told me I should.  I was about 30 minutes into our 1-hour conversation with Jynger, the Ghana director for our agency, when I knew this is where we should be.  I actually tried to fight off my giddiness (yes, this is one of my words) because I knew Christy would never go for this.

I heard Jynger tell stories of the rural orphanages she had visited, each with no less than about 80 kids.  Rural as in, no running water, bamboo walls, cooking over open fire rural.   She explained that adoption was not new Ghana in larger more densely populated areas but that in the rural areas it’s been unheard of.  The rural orphanages of Ghana are set up, as basically as places for orphaned kids to stay until they are 18, then they are out on their own.  That’s where our adoption agency comes in.  They’ve been tasked to build relationships with the rural orphanages and to start educating them on the importance of adoption and what it can do for the children.  To go into the rural orphanages and offer hope to children who’ve never had it before.

Much like Ethiopia I heard her stories of children orphaned by poverty, death of parents due to HIV & AIDS and other from sheer abandonment for one reason or another.  In Ghana if a mother abandons her child then decides she wants to reclaim the child she can be imprisoned.  So once a child is abandoned the hope of being reunited with their parents is slim to none.   

I was captivated by her story of going to an orphanage where many of the children had not seen a white woman before.  As she sat under a tree talking to the director she looked around to see that about 50 kids had snuck up on them and were hiding nearby to get a peak of her.  The orphanage director motioned them to come near and they did.  They were all over her; hugging, kissing, pulling, climbing!!  They couldn’t get enough.  She said every orphanage was this way.  Full of kids with an unquenchable love for outsiders and people in general!  She said she had never been to a more welcoming country.

In Ghana many of the adoptable kids will be toddler age and older because in their culture villages take in most of the orphaned babies.  Unlike Ethiopia though, there are no transition homes where kids are able to be given more one on one care as they are being prepped for adoption once they are found to adoptable.  The children of Ghana will come straight from the orphanage.

All this and more Jynger shared with me in our hour talk.

Christy and I met for supper that night and the discussion started – but it didn’t end until the wee hours of the next morning because we had found video online that had come out of one the orphanages our agency is working through.

It was when Christy saw a clip of toddlers sleeping on rugs on the dirt floors of their bamboo walled tin roofed classroom while the older kids were being taught English, that Christy looked at me and said, “This is where we need to be.”  “This is where our daughter is.”  I immediately agreed.

Are we pioneering spirits?  I guess!  How heck do we know the difference between this adoption and any other since this is our first anyway??

So, Ghana, here we come!!!

Again friends and family we need your prayers.

We need your prayers as a family embarking not just on a new experience for us, but also for those who are guiding us.  Pray that our pioneering spirit will not burn out but through trials our marriage and family will continue to draw closer.

We need you to pray for the orphanages, the kids and the directors.  That there will be an understanding of the importance of adoption and the hope it can offer these precious children.  Pray that the daughter God has chosen for us and children for the families after us will have a strong desire to want parents, to desire parents of a different race, and to desire parents from a different part of the world.

Thank you friends, thank you family!  We CANNOT make it on through this journey without you!

Note: Any of you who may adopt in the future.  Don’t put the name of the country in your blog address; you might be called to a different country in the process.  Just a suggestion, after all I’m just a precious little guest poster on this site.

Tyson