We will get our hands dirty!

"My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him."
-Derek Loux

I saw this quote at this wonderful blog today. It perfectly captured what's been on my heart lately. As you probably already know, there have been some changes in Ethiopia adoptions lately. We found out last week that we will have to travel to Ethiopia twice instead of once. This increases the cost of our adoption by about $4,000-$6,000. As we've shared this news with most people they have been sympathetic, but encouraging. Most just continue to pray for us and stand confident with us that God will provide the extra funds. Last night was the first discouraging encounter I've had in relation to the new law. I was on the phone with a family member who had read the news on our facebook group. He first expressed his feelings at how stupid the law seemed to him and how he felt it wouldn't fix anything and how we were just being taken advantage of. I tried to explain things to him, but I don't think he understood as he has no experience with or knowledge of international adoption. His next comments surprised me as he informed me that there are tons of kids here in America that need homes and it's not too late to quit the Ethiopia thing now. It was very clear that's exactly what he thought we should do. I basically told him that quitting wasn't an option. That we had invested so much already and in the grand scheme of things this extra trip really isn't a big deal. The conversation ended fine, but I wasn't happy when I got off the phone. This mind set scares me, quite frankly. Here's why:

We're not in this for us. We're not in this for our own personal gain and pleasure. We're not in this to be gratified. We're not in this for us!!!! We're in it for someone who can't help himself. We're in it to save a life. We're in it to bring attention to the cause of the orphan. We're in it for a little boy who deserves parents who are willing to spend a little more money and be "inconvenienced" with an extra trip because HE IS WORTH IT!! 

John and I have felt called to care for the orphans (however you define that word) for a long time. That's why we took in 2 year old twins when the state removed them from a bad home until their parents could get it together. This same family member had a similar attitude then. We weren't getting the stipend that the state was supposed to supply for the care of the boys. We were having trouble paying bills because the money was 2 months late. He said we should call and say that they needed to get us the money, or they could come get the boys because we're done. I was shocked! I informed him that was a terrible idea! All that would happen is that the boys would get moved to another foster home. How horrible for them! We weren't doing it for us, for our own gain and personal comfort. We were doing to to provide a stable and loving environment for two little boys who desperately needed just that.

I just feel the need to express myself in this area today. We don't live our lives seeking our own personal comfort. It's not our goal to "move up in the world." We don't seek a bigger house, bigger paycheck, more things, and better vacations. We seek a live lived out loud for Christ's glory! We seek a life that is poured out in serving others! We seek to live sacrificially so that those who have nothing may have something. I can't comprehend being okay with a huge house filled with "stuff" and taking lavish vacations and acquiring more and more while there are millions who live moment by moment wondering if they'll ever eat again, or ever own a pair of shoes, or live in a house even if it's just one room. That's not the life we desire. 

So we will pay the extra money to bring Tucker home. We will make the extra trip.We will adopt again. We will do foster care again. Over and over and over we will live our lives to serve others. Because that brings God glory - and as a result it brings us joy! We will get our hands dirty working for the Lord...

"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” 
Galatians 5:13-14


Jim and April said...

Shouting from Ohio....AMEN SISTA! Love that quote but also totally feel where your coming from about your convo with your family member. We have experienced the same thing with my husbands side and it totally hurts me! People just dont get it!

Jenilee said...

Just commenting in support! praying for you!

Wylie @ Shout A Joyful Noise! said...

You know, it occurs to me that the bible verse that is your blog tagline sums this up quite well! This journey is not one walked by sight & therefore it must be discerned with spiritual eyes. No, it won't always make sense to the world. But God has given you eyes to see everything in it that He needs you to see along the way. In the waiting rooms He really does reveal more of Himself to you, doesn't He? He is equiping you with everything He knows you will need to parent His child. Abram waited 25 years for his son & it wasn't because God changed His mind or forgot what He promised Abram. He was preparing Abram for a much bigger picture. Preparing Him for an anointed assignment. Preparing him to be a father of nations & that is what we are as believers, handing down His word & hope to the children He blesses our lives with & crosses our paths with. It's all part of His perfect plan. I wouldn't want it any other way! His thoughts are not our thoughts & His ways are not our ways, praise Jesus! God bless you in the journey. Believe Him through every minute of it & don't miss any of the blessings! Great is His faithfulness...

3 Blessings said...

You know I am full support of you. Standing with you.

Leigh said...

oh man, I don't think people realize how deeply comments like that sting. Tucker is your son already, God called you to him and he is yours. I think it's hard for people to fully grasp that unless they have been there or unless they are really doing life with you are able to see how strong your bond with him is already. Gosh it just hurts my heart for you.
So blessed by your love and faithfulness to our Savior and His plan for your life and the life of your family.

The Tylers said...

Hi Lauren- I am Mike & Linda Tyler's daughter-in-law. I've been reading your blog for a while and haven't commented yet, but just felt I needed to on this post. I'm sorry that family member has been discouraging you. I love that you guys have the right motives and Tucker is one "lucky" little guy to have you guys for parents. I cannot even imagine giving up on the adoption because of one extra trip. I have no doubt that you feel like he is ALREADY your son. You would never imagine abandoning a biological child, and this is no different! I know God is going to meet all your needs and help get that little guy home with you where he belongs soon!

Kristin said...

What an awesome post Lauren!!! I think it can apply to many things the Lord asks us to do. Those who do not know Him well, will not understand.

My small group leader actually told us the other day that he believes God does bless us and it's okay to buy more things for ourselves....that he believes God wants us to be happy. Well, I said I didn't agree with him at all. I believe God blessed Americans because He expects US to solve the world's problems. We ask Him why He hasn't done anything and I believe He would turn around and ask us the same thing! He has give us all the resources to solve almost every crisis in the world and most Americans say NO for their own selfish reasons. I read "The Hole in Our Gospel" and it talked about this and it was such a great book!

I am so proud of you for always doing what God has called you to do. We will be cheering you along on the rest of your journey and helping you in any way we can to get you to your son!!

Critty said...

I feel as if I should stand up and applaud after I finished reading this.

You go girl! To Him be the Glory.

I am glad you stood up for not only sweet Tucker but for our God because He has a wonderful plan for all of you and this, it is just the beginning!

Your blog title is perfect. Living By Faith. That is exactly what you are doing.

Keep going girlfriend. He is so delighted with you.


Jayme said...

I completely agree with you and thank you for the AWESOME post.

If I had a nickel for the times that people would say "there are SO many kids in Foster Care- it's free" and "there are SO many kids in the US that need families, why pay SO much money!" I could have paid for my adoption AND yours!

People are so quick to give advice without thinking. I can't IMAGINE quitting! Like you, we were called to do this and I can't imagine giving up on something GOD clearly created us for. Some are called for Foster Care and others are called to Domestic Adoption and International Adoption. Some are called to all three!

I commend you for your courage and strength. You are 'tapping' it from the best possible resource - HIM.

Lara said...

Preach it! I have been really surprised at the number of Negative Nellie's regarding international adoption. We are just starting to open up to people about our plans, and so many have asked why we can't just adopt a baby from here. It's hard to explain to people that a child born an orphan in the US has the benefit of the foster care system, broken as it is, and there are huge wait lists to adopt here. Yes, Africa is inconvenient. And expensive. But God's calling often is!

Monika said...

I don´t have a words, it is so sad how many people can have this negative opinion. I´m with you and praying for you! You are doing wonderful work! God Bless You!!!

Safe Home Happy Mom said...

Preach sister. I love love your blog!!! I found you on Friday Follow, when you get a chance, follow me back at www.safehomehappymom.com

Maybe we can learn something from each other.

Have a great week

Anonymous said...

I love the quote...didn't know if you (or your other readers) were familiar with Derek's family and story, so thought I would post the link to his family's blog:

His life was (and the life of his wife is) a testament to everything you wrote about here, that adoption is NOT EASY (and AMEN to all you said...Jesus never said obedience to Him would be easy!). He and his wife have, I think, 9 kids (7 adopted). Just before Christmas he was killed in a car accident. For years they have carried out James 1:27, now the Loux family needs some James 1:27 love...especially our prayers. Just thought I would pass this info on so we can be praying for his family as his wife now bears, alone, the "hardness" that comes with true obedience to Christ.

Alicia said...

Oh, Lauren, that was beautiful! I can totally hear your passion in this post!!

Rachel M. said...

I think sometimes there are people to challenge our beliefs so we can stand more firmly for what we believe in and you did it so eloquently! I'm new here but rooting for you to bring this little guy home. What an amazing journey you are on.

He & Me + 3 said...


Thank you so much for expressing and sharing your heart. It is a heart that pleases the Father! Your passion for others is seen daily on your blog. YOur heart is in the right place & doing things the Bring God glory should be number one on all our lists.

Gabrielle said...

I found your blog about 3 minutes ago, and my jaw dropped when I saw the quote, because I actually read that on Derek Loux's blog earlier today. It's awesome to see someone else who has a heart to adopt like the Loux's. I would love to adopt, but I won't even be 15 for a few weeks yet, so that day is a little far off. Still working on my parents to get a younger brother. :) The Bible verse sums it up perfectly. We are called to freedom, but "do not use your feedom as an opportunity for the flesh."

Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

Lauren, you are so correct. He will provide. It's just hard sometimes to trust that, isn't it?

I would love to chat with you about fostering sometime. God has placed this on my heart and did so LONG before I had my own children. Praying for your peace and for expediation to get little Tucker home!

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing your heart! I'm supporting you and praying for you everyday!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You're right; he/she doesn't get it. I love your heart and your willingness to "get your hands dirty" for the underprivileged--those needing the love of Christ via your love. Tucker has a home and parents who love him, and soon he'll be in VA with them, believing that your arms is where he was meant to be all along.

It will happen. Keep the faith.


Melanie Redd said...

Hey Lauren,

It's nice to "meet" you! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and sharing a word of encouragement.

And, thanks for sharing your blog with me! I appreciate your heart and what you and your husband are trying to do!

What's amazing to me... one of my sweet friends from church is trying right now to adopt twins from Ethiopia. There have been many delays, but they are determined to stick this out and do what they must to get these kids.

Each time I pray for my friend, I will also pray for you and your situation! Can't wait to see and hear what God does!

Blessings to you...

christy rose said...

"We don't live our lives seeking our own personal comfort. It's not our goal to "move up in the world." We don't seek a bigger house, bigger paycheck, more things, and better vacations. We seek a live lived out loud for Christ's glory! We seek a life that is poured out in serving others! We seek to live sacrificially so that those who have nothing may have something." I loved this!! It bore witness with my heart so much. God has really been revealing so much to me about me identifying myself in Him and in the body of Christ and not outside of it or in any way in this world.

Anna said...

Such a good word!Why store up treasures on earth?! More for the landfill...... MY American dream is so different- To use what He has blessed us with to minister to others. I let these "naysayers" in my life to help me ponder Gods true calling. To dig deep. The only one I answer to is God, I am thankful that my husband and I are a united team. this whole adoption process has been hard and we continue to lean on Him for our strength. I wish people would STOP telliing me that everyone would understand if we backed out!