Thursday, October 24, 2013

HER Waiting... The Hardest Part

I know, I've been quiet lately about the adoption process itself. There are many reasons for this lack of blogging.

First, there's not much to report on our progress. Today marks day 38 of our wait for a match. There's nothing we can be doing right now to expedite our adoption.

Another reason for my silence is all the planning that's going into our November 16th Orphan Awareness Fundraiser. We are extremely busy with this and frankly, I am quite thankful for the distraction.

Lastly, I don't talk much about this wait because it's flat. out. hard. We knew to expect this wait but nothing could have prepared me for how hard it has been.

The hardest part about this step is not the waiting itself. Yes, we are eager to know who our daughter is, but that's not very difficult. This adoption is not about us. It's not about the desire to grow our family. Growing our family is an added blessing but it's not cause for anxiety.

The hardest part about this wait is knowing that Emily Hope (and so many others) is sitting in an orphanage, experiencing neglect on many levels, and the reason we are not being matched is a matter of processing paperwork. There are millions of orphans in China alone but only a small percent are being made available for adoption to families who are willing and able. I read testimonies of friends visiting orphanages and their accounts of the many orphans just waiting there. What stands in the way of these children being handed over to Christian families in the U.S.? Bureaucracy, indifference, politics, laziness, pride. Most orphanages in China don't even allow international adoptions. While ignorance, pride and resentment rest in their hearts, many of these children don't stand a chance.

She is waiting. And we are ready for her. That's the hardest part. We will continue to wait and pray. I cry out to the God who loves these children infinitely more than I do. Please remove the obstacles that are preventing files from being released. Change hearts in China to make "the least of these" a priority. Change hearts here in the states to reflect God's heart, by fighting for justice for these orphans. Adopt. Fund. Pray. Go. Then trust. Trust that if we are being obedient in living out the gospel, the Lord will provide.    

I highly recommend adopting a child if you are a control freak. Your inadequacy to trust in the Lord will be squashed over and over and over and over until you finally realize that the Lord's sovereignty that you so boldly preach about is relevant in your own life. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Countdown to... "Bringing Home Emily Hope" Orphan Awareness Event

Our "Bringing Home Emily Hope" Orphan Awareness event is only a month away. We are very busy ironing out all the final details and are getting very excited about the big day!

We've posted this event on our Loman Adoption Facebook page. If you don't "like" us yet, please do that. If you haven't seen our FB event yet, you can view details HERE. Feel free to RSVP while you're visiting our event page! The purpose of this event is to bring awareness to our community of the global orphan crisis and it also provides a tangible way to help in relieving this crisis. Proceeds will go towards the expense of bringing our baby girl home from China. A portion of the proceeds will also benefit (un)adopted, who we are so thrilled to have joining us for the occasion.

There are many ways to help, if you feel led. Whether it's through your time, your monetary donations, or just a heart to hear how you can love on orphans, all of these are valuable.

If you are interested in volunteering your time at the event, please email me at We still need a few slots filled for the 3:00-4:30 time frame as well as 4:30-6:00.

Just coming to the event shows a tremendous amount of support for our family and
(un)adopted. There's so much to look forward to!

As I mentioned in my previous post, we have some exciting auction items available to bid on at the event. This will be a great opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done, all while supporting some worthy causes. While you are busy battling it out on the bid sheets, the kiddos can enjoy complimentary popcorn, a bounce house, or have a favorite balloon animal made!

Thanks to Bebe's Kitchen, Cooking for a Cause, you can buy a jambalaya plate at the event for $7. We will also have water and soft drinks available for $1 and complimentary coffee and hot chocolate. Thanks PJ's Coffee!

Also available for your enjoyment... some excellent live music by Joe Bergeron of St. Timothy's Methodist Church and his posse of incredible musicians! Don't forget your blanket to sit on while enjoying all this food and music!

We will also be selling t-shirts and accepting donations at a "Loman Adoption" table. Garth Thorpe, from (un)adopted, will also have a table where he will gladly discuss the organization with you and answer any questions you may have. We are especially excited to share our adoption story with you and hear Garth give a brief presentation towards the end of our event.

We hope you can join us on November 16th! Please continue to pray for God to work through this event. All praise and glory to Him!

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Sneak Peek at our Silent Auction

I can't believe this is less than 6 weeks away! We are blown away by God's provision in all the details. It's coming together so perfectly and we have so many people to thank for this. We won't ever be able to sufficiently thank every person involved but we will certainly try!

For now, I'd love to share a glimpse of the businesses who have donated fabulous items for our silent auction. This is not a final list, as many simply haven't gotten their items to us yet. Again, this is just a sneak peek. A special thanks to all donors will come later. Get ready for some great Christmas shopping, y'all! THANK YOU...

Geaux Tigers Art
BMAC Interiors
Simply Southern
Franco's Athletic Club
Animal Care Hospital
Smoketree Landscaping
EMB Interiors
Fashions for Kids
The Looking Glass
Smoothie King
Rodan + Fields Dermatology
Silver Plum
The French Mix
English Tea Room
Kara Klein
Animal Health Clinic
St. Tammany Linens
LA Academy of Performing Arts
Northshore Gymnastics

This is exciting stuff! There's still time to donate items if you are interested. We'd like to have all items by the end of next week but we will certainly accept them when you are able. :-)

If you would, please pray for our event as it draws near. Please pray that God would draw a multitude of people, that He would be the center of this gathering, that his gospel would be made known to many, that hearts would be transformed to love "the least of these" as Christ does.

Thank you for all your support. Seamus and I are blown away by your generosity!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Adopting a "Special Needs" Child from China

I've said it before... I love your questions. It means you're interested. It means you care. In past posts, I've answered "Why adopt from China?" and "When is Emily Hope coming home?". I'd like to chat here about a great question so many of you ask. "Do you know what Emily Hope's special need will be?"

We are currently waiting for our match, to find out who our baby girl is. So technically, we don't know exactly what her special need is. But that's not really the entire answer.

When we began this journey, there were a million things to consider. Our number one goal in adopting a child is to live out the gospel, to be an example of what God did for us.

<We were spiritual orphans, bruised and abandoned because of sin. God fulfilled his wrath on his only son so that there would no longer be any condemnation for us, no more guilt and slavery over our sin. Moreover, he did it so that we could attain the righteousness of Christ and the right to be called "sons" of God the Father (Christ is our brother!). He adopted us (the cross being the cost of our adoption) in to His family (Ephesians 1:5) and Seamus and I want to be a living example of that.>

We also wanted to meet the greatest need, simultaneously considering our 3 young children and needing to make a responsible decision for our current family. Early in to our adoption process, we knew that God was calling us to adopt from China and that His plan included adopting a special needs girl. This is where the greatest need is in China. Special needs children are throw-aways in this country.

I'd like to clarify that "special needs" means something very different in China than it does in the US. In China, anything less than perfection is unacceptable. In fact, their culture considers a severe birth mark a "special need". Even gender (female) can be viewed as "not good enough". The special needs of Chinese orphans range from birth mark, vision impairment, and developmentally delayed (all institionalized children are developmentally delayed, by the way... most catch up after adoption unless there is an underlying cognitive issue) to HIV and more severe disabilities. So, what does this mean for us?

Our adoption agency required that we fill out a "Desired Child Form". It allowed us to indicate the parameters for our adopted child... age, gender, which special needs we can and can't handle, and the severity of each of these needs. Of all the paperwork involved, this was, by far, the most difficult to complete. It was necessary and very important in making sure we are matched with a child our family can care for the way she needs. It took lots of prayer to get through it but God was faithful in making it clear. We ended up saying "no" to things I thought would be automatic "yes"es and "yes" to things I didn't initially think we could handle. God revealed exactly what he wanted to and reminded us of his promises to provide through caring for our daughter. So, how did we answer the form?

While we are open to a child with a more severe need than vision impairment, we have eliminated severe disabilities as an option. Some medical needs that our daughter may have include a congenital heart defect requiring surgery or a cleft lip and palate. She could be blind in one eye or have a deformity of her ear or hand (just examples). We have indicated that we can handle a minor need that is potentially correctable. It's possible she may have a need that can not be seen. If this turns out to be the case, we may choose not to share her need, to respect her privacy and allow her to disclose when and if she is ready.

Our hearts may be burdened for a wider range of children in another season of life. For now, we are comfortable knowing that we have followed God's will in all of our adoption decisions. We eagerly anticipate God's revealing of who our Emily Hope is! Please God, can you make it soon? We don't know who she is but God certainly does. And He will unite her with us in His perfect timing.

"Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 43:6)