Monday, May 25, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Among other countries, we considered Columbia, India, and Africa. Early on in the process, we quickly started to rule out children from Africa. We weren't sure this was best considering all the dynamics at play in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. However, it seemed at every turn God showed us He has a different way of looking at it!
When it comes to discernment, I guess it's easier for me to consider a chunk of time rather than looking for a single 'sign.' As I look back over the recent months, here is some of the overwhelming leading God has provided for us.
a) Over the last year, we have had Africa on the brain and in our hearts. Our great friends Carson & Holly moved to Tanzania in March for a 10 year project. We had been along side of them as they prepared for their move for over a year. Their team was featured at this year's Gulfcoast Getaway in Panama City, Florida.
b) The friend I mentioned in One Prayer Later...they selected Africa (Ethiopia). I am able to put great trust in their research and choice.
c) Jenny has befriended a mom through our home school association who adopted from Africa (Uganda). Her little girl, Savannah, is now 6 years old.
d) In March (before I had a clue I'd be praying about adoption in April), I committed to be a table host for a benefit dinner on UA's campus. I knew next to nothing about the cause. I was just trying to support one of our students in her effort. It ended up being a dinner by Apwonjo -a student group working to raise aid & awareness for...Africa.
e) We quickly learned some of the greatest needs exist in orphanages across Africa. Ethiopia alone is home to over 4 million orphans.
f) In a practical sense, we found Ethiopia to be about the quickest process. It is less costly than most all other countries. And, the required visit is only 7 days or so.
g) Just as we began to lean toward Ethiopia, the America World seminar we attended in Nashville featured one testimony from a family who adopted 2 from...Ethiopia! Hearing their story was so moving. We met their beautiful children Bruik and Ava!
Praise God! He is such a diligent communicator. We are amazed as He continues to pave the way for us in this journey.
Monday, May 4, 2009
a) The thing was particularly well done - quality materials, attractive folder, info dvd, ribbon, etc. I'm sorry, but I'm big on presentation!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Lately, we had both been feeling pretty good about stopping at 3. On those days when temper tantrums and fights over space and stuff rang out...we felt really good about stopping at 3!
But still, those crazy seeds weren't dying! Jenny would sweetly mention adoption from time to time. I just wasn't feeling it. Our garden was plenty big and farming here is plenty tough. The reluctance had nothing to do with adoption. The reluctance was about the number 4!
I was in Nashville in late March visiting with a friend who is in the midst of an international adoption. I related Jenny's feelings to him and expressed my reluctance. A couple of days of later, he and his wife sent an email pledging $500 to 'the Dixon adoption' fund. We were floored by the timing and the kindness and the spirit of it all!
We sighed a timid 'ok, God.' Jenny & I agreed to pray together every night for the month of April. I thought this casual and reluctant exploration couldn't turn out that bad. It was like sticking your toe in the pool to test its temperature...worse case scenario, you recoil in minor discomfort but there's no real commitment because you're still upright on the side of the pool, right?
So it's the first night of praying together! Went fine. 'God if you need us to walk through this door, just make that obvious. We love you...etc., etc.' I'm driving to work the next morning still with my proverbial toe in the water and in complete control of my destiny. I can remember where I was on Highway 69 when God took His forearm and planted it squarely on my back and SHOVED me in, head first into the pool!
It was amazing and funny and powerful and humbling all in one motion! I sheepishly confessed to Jenny that night my reluctance had been miraculously disassembled. She couldn't believe it. Over the next few weeks, I found my conviction growing exponentially! My conversations with friends and fellow employees were all becoming an appeal for them to adopt a child too. I was out of control! At one point I even suggested Noah & his buddies should all go in together and adopt a kid from China or something. Ok, I've gotta bridle this passion - I understand.
One prayer later...we found ourselves filled with awe, passion, and insatiable hunger. I know for sure it doesn't always happen that way. But it did this time! We finished praying through the month. Our convictions have grown inexplicably and wildly. God is truly amazing!