Protected: When you put your “yes” on the table…

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‘Tis the season for scarves…and adoption.

Guys….It’s Fall. Today. It’s arrived. One of the best seasons of the year. Yes, as a kid I was in love with summer for the sole reason there was no school. Now…Fall. This time of year makes me giddy and want to twirl around in the leaves. Exhibit A:

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For those of you who know me know I love this time of year: pumpkins, football, my birthday, dark fall colors, scarves, boots, pumpkin spice lattes, scarves…I now have an Etsy shop full of them! This crochet thing all started back when I was on leave after giving birth to Cora. My coworker came over to bring me a blanket she started for me so I would have something to keep me entertained. She taught me how to crochet earlier in the year and I made a really sad scarf. The blanket was a chevron pattern (like the one Grandma made you for Christmas) but in much more updated colors. I am pretty proud of it, even though it took weeks to make and is basically a lap blanket for skinny hipsters (how Josh describes it).

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Time has passed since Cora left us and after a very convicting sermon from JD Greear one Sunday, Josh and I discussed our future family. We have always wanted to adopt, but we thought it would be a decision we’d make in the future. God spoke to us through this sermon and asked, “Why are you waiting?” We knew God has always had adoption in our future, but we were waiting to have our own children before we started the process. We started asking ourselves, why not start the process now? We may never have biological children and there are 147 million (estimated) orphans worldwide. God commanded all His followers to care for orphans and we knew the form of orphan care for our family is adoption.

So, after much research, talks, emails and phone calls, it’s official: We are starting the adoption process!

You heard it right, adoption, and international adoption at that. We are not disclosing a lot of details at the moment about the where and who. We have chosen international adoption through an agency and are contemplating a specific country yet to be named (there will be another blog once we officially decide). Why adoption? I am so glad you asked…

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. -Romans 8:14-16

We are adopted by God into His kingdom, into His family with Jesus. We inherit the Kingdom WITH Jesus. Once we make the decision to follow Christ, we are promised to follow Him all the way up into Heaven. Heaven is OURS. What a wonderful family we will have! The best earthly example of God’s love for us is adoption. Adoption is a heartbreaking process. There are years of waiting, years of tears, years of hardship ahead. Adoption is not all rainbows and unicorns, it’s incredibly hard to become a parent to a child who isn’t your blood. But God does this over and over. God adopted all of us and it was our decision to choose His family. He gets an eternity of heartbreak, but He also gets the elation when one of His children joins His family.

Adoption is something that we have both always wanted to do as adults, but never thought it was actually possible for real (read, middle class) people until we joined The Summit. I love my church and one of my favorite things about Summit (besides being enthralled with Jesus) is their emphasis on orphan care. I am so blessed to be a part of a real adoption community. I know several people who have adopted. I used to say to myself “Oh that’s nice for them, but I could never afford it nor am I a stay at home mom; maybe someday I will when I’m rich”. Then I went to an orphan care meeting. I met people who adopted while in seminary school and those who adopted AND worked. Orphan care is a command from God….one of the most important ones. If God commands something, HE will make it work and has for several families.

Is it scary? Definitely. Expensive? You bet. The country we are contemplating costs $30,000+ for the process. Are we risking everything to do it? Absolutely. I have to have absolute trust in God throughout this process; because He has commanded us to care for the orphan, He will provide the means necessary. I cannot tell you how incredibly teary, excited, scared and elated I feel when I think there is a little boy or girl that may or may not already exist out there in the world for Josh and I. My heart starts beating faster just thinking of them. This child will have a traumatic past and may have a lot of obstacles for us to overcome, but we will do it as a forever family.

What does this have to do with crocheted scarves you ask?  We come back to the Etsy shop; it’s called Remember my Chains after Colossians 4:18. I have been friends with and closely followed many who have adopted. They all have so many creative ways to raise money: bake sales, car washes, yard sales, selling pieces to puzzles, etc. I asked myself…what skill do I have besides scanning pregnant ladies? Oh, crochet!!…sort of. After some research with friends on Facebook, I found a pattern and started making scarves. Then two of my wonderful coworkers, Ashley and Nicole, decided they wanted to help as well as a wonderful lady, Marsha,  in Michigan. I opened the shop just a couple of weeks ago and sold 15 scarves in one day! The grand total as of today is 26 scarves and over $500 in sales! 100% of the profits from the shop go to our adoption fund. Our first real step to adoption is the home study, which costs about $1,400. As of now, with all the checks, donations through this blog and scarf sales we have $1,500 in our adoption account!! Only $30,000+ more to go…

And so begins our adoption blog. Follow our process throughout the joy and heartbreak here. Also, go buy a scarf, it’s fall today!!!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/RememberMyChains

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In Him,

The Shraders