By Tone:

Mission & Perspective

Ever since we began dating we have talked about becoming missionaries.  We had no idea what God had in store for us, but it turns out it has to do with building our family.  Someday we think that God might call us to be missionaries in a more traditional sense.  For now, we will embark on the mission called adoption.  The fact is there are many children without forever homes and our heart breaks over this.  We know that God has called us to adopt–He has been abundantly clear about this.  As said before, there is no explanation as to why God called us to this mission so early in our lives; but we are confident and know that it is His will for us.

Because we are obedient to His will, there are a lot of sacrifices we have to make.  For those of you who know me, I am not the most humble person on the face of the planet–quite the opposite.  This process has been all kinds of humbling.  It has attacked my pride and my confidence over and over again.  It has given me a completely new perspective.  Especially around how our money is spent.  Now for anyone who knows us, Brian and I are pretty frugal.  Both of us wear hand me downs from siblings, we save more than we spend, and we give faithfully.  

Despite those things, we still need a lot of help.  I cannot even begin to explain how humbling that is.  Time and time again, letters pour into our home from missionaries and other persons in ministry and we do not hesitate to give or pray for them.  Now that it is our turn, I can relate to the pit in their stomaches that I am sure many of them must feel as a result of fundraising for their mission.  But we know it is the smart and practical thing to do.  Like the missionary and ministry community, adoption fundraising is a common thing.  Speaking with experts from agencies and wise counsel from our church body, we decided to start a fundraising campaign.  Since a lot of our family and friends are from different states, we knew we could not do a more traditional fundraiser, so we began an electronic one.  

This fundraising will continue until we bring our child home.  We hope to raise the funds necessary, but also understand that the Lord would not have put us in this position without the ability to provide for our child ourselves.  We realize with adoption, though, it is wise to call upon your community to see how they can help.  Your prayers and donations will forever have a hand in our child’s life.  Many of our friends who have their sweet littles ones now as a result of a successful adoption can attest to the incredible impact community has on adoption.  This includes fundraising.  Adoption costs tend to rack up over time and the chance to lose money over a potential match falling through is likely.  Since God has given us the ability to fundraise, we have decided to do so for our adoption so we do not fall into debt.  

When we began this journey, our perspective on building a family was so narrow, so judgmental.  Now that we are in it we know that every family makeup is different and that every family makeup is beautiful in its own right.  Some people cannot physically produce children, so they adopt.  Some people have some biological children and then they decide to adopt because of age or calling.  Some people adopt first and then try to have biological children later.  No matter what the situation is, we should all remember to embrace the way in which people go about building their families and support them in anyway we can.  Give if you can, pray if you do, and send a kind word if it is so laid upon your heart to share it.  But no matter what you do, remember that perspective makes a difference.  Wouldn’t it be a better world if we all decided to treat others as we would like to be treated?  I think gaining perspective helps us do that.

By Brian:

Gratitude

How can we possibly express how grateful we are for the people in our lives who donate their time, energy, and money for our family?  In life, we hit many roadblocks.  Sometimes we sail through life’s challenges; unfortunately, many times we stumble.  When we ask for the generosity of others, we often hesitate.  We do not feel worthy of another person’s time, energy, or money.  This is ironic because many times we would not think twice about helping out the people we care about because we want to see them succeed.  I want to summarize the challenges and successes we have felt in all three of these different types of donations our friends and family have given us over the years, specifically during the adoption process.
 
Time
 
Asking for another person’s time is a difficult task.  In our constantly moving, communicating, dynamic world, we understand that time is valuable.  When someone donates their time to a cause, they are essentially saying, “This is more important than the thousand other things I have going on.”  Sometimes they don’t really mean this; however, just by showing up with a positive attitude they have told the person or organization that for these minutes, hours, days, etc., they are worthy of their time.  
 
We have had dozens of people donate their time to us during this adoption process.  Sometimes it is as simple as an encouraging message on Facebook. Sometimes it is the long hours talking on the phone, planning a baby shower, or learning about the adoption process so that person can better support us during this stressful process.  We want to thank anyone who has spent even a minute praying for us, thinking about us, or reading our blogs.  Without you, we would not be in our current position.
 
Energy (Support)
 
Energy is another life currency that people express to those they want to see succeed.  How do we quantify energy?  I do not know, however, we know when someone has donated their energy to a cause.  Often, when someone donates energy it looks similar to when they donate time.  These two currencies go hand-in-hand, however, I feel that the donation of energy is separate than the donation of time.  Energy is donated through a genuine care for the cause.  Donating energy is difficult to illustrate, but we know it when we see it.  It means supporting a person or cause until we are exhausted, and then still going.  It is the athletic cliche of giving 110%. 
 
People have donated their energy to us through late nights and genuine concern for us.  We know that we do not see all the energy that people put into us, but we know that people have been donating their energy to our adoption.  We know that we have people praying for us, even though they have other things going on.  We know we have people thinking about us during quiet times.  We know that our friends and family have and will continue to give us there love and support.  Without your energy and support, we would not be able to adopt our child.  
 
Money
 
Finally, we will discuss the donation of money.  It is the easiest form of support to quantify, yet the most difficult to request.  When individuals donate their money to a cause, they are choosing to give someone else something that they have worked incredibly hard to achieve.  Monetary donations are essential to any cause.  Where we put out money defines who we are and what we support. 
 
It is humbling to ask for money for our adoption.  It is a lot easier to ask for time and energy.  It seems tacky to ask for someone to support us through monetary donations.  Trust me, we understand this.  We knew how expensive adoption was when we started the process, and we have worked extremely hard to put ourselves in a strong financial situation.  However, we will be writing a very big check within the next few months.  We have received some criticism because of our fundraising efforts, but we would like to make it clear that we do not expect anyone to donate money.  We appreciate every single penny that anyone donates.  Through our fundraising website, we want to give people the opportunity to donate it they can.  Although it is difficult to ask for monetary support, we know that it is ultimately going towards the adoption of our future child.  We love this child even though we don’t know him or her.  In the same way that we need help through the donations of time and energy, it is humbling to admit that we need help raising funds to bring our child home.
 

We thank everyone who has come alongside of us through this process.  We have seen people donate their time, energy, and money to our family.  We are truly humbled.  God has blessed us with all of the people in our lives.  We hope you know that we appreciate every prayer, kind word, and donation. 

https://www.adopttogether.org/watersfamilyadoption  

4 thoughts on “Mission & Perspective/Gratitude: A Waters Family Dual Post

  1. Thanks for sharing all of this! Jarrod and I just created our profile through Adopt Together as well. Definitely praying for you guys and grateful for the kind words of wisdom you’ve shared with us thus far! Thank you so much!

    Amanda & Jarrod Stichter

    1. No problem–it’s our pleasure to share about our process with others. Do you all blog? We would love to be praying for you in your journey, too. Congrats on your adoption process!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s