Thursday, September 27, 2007

There's stupid, and then there's...

...Michael Vick stupid
...The US women's soccer coach stupid
...Columbia University stupid

can you think of any?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thoughts from Guatemala

We're down here to pick up our son, so my thoughts will be mostly focused on the adoption process and what I've observed...
- Although everything we read and have been told about the general political climate being anti-adoption...I have never gotten that feeling from the locals we´ve met. I know that the places we go (hotels, restaurants, etc.) like the revenue that stems from a steady stream of visitors, but you´d think you'd feel some resentment if such a feeling existed.
- If you don't have joy prior to adopting, then all of a sudden getting a child probably won't resolve that fact, I have no research to substantiate this opinion, I think it might further enhance your non-joyous spirit. I've noticed all kinds...and there is no way to paint with a broad brush here...but a good number of people I´ve observed, maybe 25 - 30%, think that getting this baby will make them happy...and I have a sinking feeling that if that's why they are going into this, it will be like the 'new car syndrome'...once the novelty wears off, there's still that void.
- New airport terminal, new hotels, a thriving and bustling downtown business wouldn't know that Guatemala is a 'developing nation', ravaged by poverty, by what the average businessman observes. See previous entry on Venezuela...wealth exists everywhere...and there are always places for wealthy to stay and eat and do business.
- The folks at the US Embassy were all very nice. They process between 30 - 40 adoptions a day, and have a much nicer countenance than most DMV agencies back home. It is very comforting to know that you are represented wherever you go.
- The countryside looks beautiful from the plane. I'd love to come back some time as a 'green tourist', hire a guide, hike up a volcano or go see some Mayan ruins...that would be cool.

Monday, September 03, 2007

God's Will

For my wife it started over three years ago when her sister and her family went to Brazil to be missionaries. The Thanksgiving before they left, she told her sister

'if you find a little boy who needs a home, please call us.' It didn't seem like a big deal at the time.

Little did we know at the time that Brazil, although they have over one million orphans, does not allow foreign adoptions. But I never gave it a second thought...just thought my wife was spouting off. Until...

My daughter and I went to Mexico with my friend Brent's youth group. We bonded with the coolest family. The little boys' name was Miguel. He reminded me so much of my own children...bright, precocious, no I prayed...God, there's got to be something I can do...

So, I came home and wrote the family a letter, via Amor ministries...

'Is there anything we can do to help you guys further? I know you are in your new digs and all, but the gap between me and you is just too great.'

I'm guessing now that Dad thought he provided just fine...I'm not sure how the letter went over, but I never heard anything back. Dead End.

More prayer, more discussions with my wife...

Side note on prayer. I think I'm a fairly faithful when it comes to prayer. I pray formally at times...but mostly in a 'without ceasing' kind of way...throughout the day, just kind of discussing with God what I'm thinking...kind of talking things through seeking affirmation or...maybe not.

Then at some point one of the discussions with my wife led to her getting up several nights in a row, going on line and discovering that their are millions of babies around the world with no families. Well one thing we got is we discussed it...prayed about it...and really there wasn't any's on.

The process started a year ago. This week we bring Henry home (as long as the US Embassy doesn't do something very bureaucratic).

Then I guess chapter two of 'God's Will' begins for this book.

I would have never guessed, predicted, or even thought that this would be how we'd honor and praise and serve our Lord. Now that we're in it knee deep, I couldn't be more joy filled. That's how He works I guess. You just can't imagine it until your there. It's not about you and how God is going to bless you, or the stuff you get, or the status you have in the community, or what board you serve on...It's all about love and how that manifests itself in others. And if you can have a part in that...well, it's just very hard to describe how cool it is.

Things I'm thinking...

- Auburn's offense is really bad this year. The offensive line is not very good. Brandon Cox could possibly be the worst 3-year college starter in the history of football. And, Brad Lester or not...I'm not sure we are going to score more than 10 points against Florida, LSU, Georgia or Bama.
- Quinton Groves is the real deal. I hope he doesn't develop the very common habit of taking plays off.
- My wife does a great job with our children...the kids are so well adjusted, responsible, and independent. Yes, they have natural 'leadership/take charge tendencies', but hats off to her for letting them flourish.
- Information in general really needs to be filtered through a 'negativity filter'. Let me explain. A couple of days ago I went on a rant about the 'Fox news affect'...well, I've seen it apply in other areas: Blogs, group settings like lunch tables, etc. For example...while monitoring the process of our adoption in Guatemala, my wife found a blog called has forums and threads for people who want information out of a country where there is none coming out - it is an amazing portal. However, it tends to be dominated by about 20 - 30 people posting their problems with the adoption process. Rarely do you see someone post the contrary position that everything went smooth for them, because they don't want to spit in the face of these folks having problems. So, we have 3000 adoptions a year in Guatemala...30 of them having extreme problems are posting their issues on Guatadopt...500 - 1000 others are monitoring Guatadopt for information of what to expect...and in the end that information comes with a very negative tilt to it. I see this dynamic a lot...not sure what the solution is though.
-My 15 year old daughter has friends who are getting cars now...the three most recent I've heard about - Mercedes, Land Rover, and brand new tricked out Ford F-150 4WD. Now, I'm a big proponent of being able to get nice things...but you ought to be 35 when that process starts.
- On that same topic...we've had this general guidelines for our girls, relative to things, that even though we have moderate wealth...they should be able to 'do poor' if God leads them that way. So if they fall in love with a Missionary, then they shoul be able to be happy with said missionary, and not have that door closed becaue Dad spoiled them as a teen ager...however, how do you have that conversation now, without throwing previously mentioned friends Dad under the bus?
- One of our own at Church has grown up and become a Youth for Christ Missionary. His ministry is very cool...going into poorer neighborhoods and working with at risk middle schoolers. I've been using one of the white pages in the back of my Bible to list opportunities to give as God has laid on my heart...I have like 15 charitable needs, all important...YFC is now on the list. My prayer is that God will give me the abundance to give to all I see here...and reach balance between this and the upcoming vehicle purchase looming.
- I hate my yard. Was asked at work by one of our Millenial associates what my plans were this weekend...and yard work came up. He said his primary tool for yard work is a bush hog...anything else is frivalous and he won't do respect-o-meter for this young man went up exponentially...what would my neighbors think if I let it all go and used only a bush hog? Funny thought though...
- I wonder how close a Cat. 5 hurricane can actually get to a country before they allow you to fly they still run the flights and just fly around the storm?