Saturday, March 20, 2010

Annual Husband Post

Hello world.

This is John.

Christine's husband.

This is my annual post. I'm not a blogger or a blog reader.

But my wife's been asking me to blog something for awhile now.

Never nagging, nor pleading, but her patient requests simply deserve to be finally honored.

(After all, I often plead impatiently for things from her and her turnaround time is lovingly amazing).

So it may be a blog to you, but it also serves as a "thank you" to her!

[Hey, if it's good enough honey can it serve as your early June-Birthday present? I crack myself up.]

Anyway, I see we have a new blogsite titled, "oh yes we are". She tells me people comment on it questions.

So, in no particular order, without having read any of the comments/questions, let me just give you my answers to all the question words of:

Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, How much, ... are there others...let me go google the phrase "question words"...I'll be right back...well, [thirty seconds later], I see that the first link included also, Which, Whose, Whom, Why don't, How long, How far, and How many... so the post will need to be just a bit longer now to be comprehensive...

So without further adieu...

Who--We, the Reed family, are planning to adopt a child between the ages of 7-13. If he/she has a sibling in that same age range, we would of course adopt the sibling pair.

What--OK, that's kind of a strange question word to answer as you undoubtedly know "what" adopt means and "what" adoption is. And to add a bit more to the (superficial) answer, "what" it will be is an international adoption, and you know "what" that is too. But knowing that you don't always read for the superficial (and knowing that I don't want to shop in June for a present!), I just might add "what" adoption means to me. Well, I was adopted. My birthparents raised me and love me and I them and I have a great relationship with my parents. What a blessing they were and are! So that's of course NOT what I'm talking about when I say I was adopted. But I was a spiritual orphan in a soul devouring world where "Life's a bitch and then you die" seemed the motto and unexpectedly without solicitation, a Heavenly Father gave me a new life with peace and joy beyond most's understanding because "Love" is the eternal purpose. Of course I don't deserve or understand how a simpleton like me could actually have a relationship with the creator of the universe, but His own words say it was via "adoption". Of course I know I won't be, and can't be, spiritually adopting anyone. But the proportional analogy of "God is to Children of God" as "earthly adults should be to earthly children" is not only tight, but a truth central to the 'what' of our life.

When--Time and its events we can't predict nor control--despite our will and our actions and the strong, frequent illusion of their influence.
But, coming back up a depth, if our will and actions are permitted to have the desired influence, then I think mid-to-late-this Summer(?)

Where--Wherever the child is in the country of Ukraine. This is still unknown--and why the Who answer still could not specify.

Why--I know my "What" answer (above) touched on a lot of the motivations expected in a Why answer but I actually usually find myself answering simply, "Why not" when I am asked the 'why' question. Why does a golfer golf? Why is bacon delicious? Why does Sveta say "Peesh Koo"? Why does a fighter fight? Christine and I strive to be good earthly parents while at the same time bask in God's glory of being in the family of love. Why does a lover love? In many respects actually, if we were to put on our judgement hats, a golfer golfing is stupid, bacon being delicious is stupid, Sveta saying "Peesh Koo" is stupid, a fighter fighting is stupid, and a family in 2010 having 4 more people in their household than a census form allows is as stupid as a lover loving is. But I'm convicted when I wear that hat because that's the same hat that says Jesus dying on the cross was stupid too. Love, grace, and sacrifice is what He did. And we desire love, grace, and sacrifice to permeate these actions of ours too--granted at an infintessimally smaller scale.

How--Legally. Prayerfully. Patiently. Joyfully. Through a local agency / friend. If you really have process /"how" questions, Christine will answer them.

How Much--A lot. Again a "stupid" amount. $30K-$40K. But see the Why answer again and/or ask how much did He pay for you?

Which--Hmm...kind of at a loss here, so I'll briefly take:
Which Country/Region/Orphanage? Ukraine/unknown still/unknown still
Which children will travel with us this time? Caleb and Rachel
Whose--The world is His and everything in it.

Whom--As I'm not an English major, I can only think of answering 'whom' questions along these lines, "The adoption will benefit whom?" Of course the orphan(s) will benefit going from no family to having a loving mom, a loving dad, and loving siblings. See the six examples of proof already in our family. But we all can benefit. The child is probably hugging no one now but soon could hug you! I know you don't need it and it can sound really stupid. But I feel anyway that our hearts continuing to soften in various ways like this is a huge blessing--at least as huge as the blessed family in which I grew up.

Why don't--Why don't we stop? I think I've kind of answered that already. But we would stop if that were the will of our current family. All our kids are good with the idea too and this actually makes me a "proud papa".

Why don't we adopt American children? Right or wrong, our hearts seem kind of settled on Dennis being our youngest and Adam being our oldest. In Ukraine orphanages, if children are not adopted by the age of 7-13, they typically will not be at all. Loneliness becomes their core sentiment and sadly the plight that lead them to become orphans in the first place is statistically likely to repeat (poverty, promiscuity, alcohol, abuse, etc). So that is another reason that we have this as our desired age range. Adopting children of this age in the U.S.A., as I understand it, is impossible for a family like ours--Fostering, two-per-bedroom rules, etc.

How long--The process is like a pregnancy in duration (approx 9 months, but some more, some less, all pregnancies are different). The plane flights are 15hrs. The train rides maybe 15hrs too (depending on the region). You are in country maybe 4-5 weeks straight. Or maybe 3 weeks with a shorter trip 2 weeks later.

How far--Using the "great circle method", the method pilots use to calculate distance, it is approximately 6,300 miles from here to Kiev.

How many--For those that may have heard me say, only whimsically really, that '12' was a biblically complete number and that we were done, [citing the twelve patriarchs, tribes, disciples, gates, angels, foundations, pearls, stones, or actually much, much more...] well, all I can say is that our table still has room, our van still has room, our bedroooms already have the beds, and my heart and time and schedules can handle more. I know most tables can't. I know most vans can't. I know most houses can't. And I know most hearts can't. But I have a helper and an enabler in my heart that makes the impossible possible (if not miraculously easy!).

Any more questions?


Annie said...


Mama D.'s Dozen said...

GREAT post! Thanks for sharing!

A long time ago ... and many kids ago ... my husband used to say that "7 was the perfect Biblical number". Well ... for our family ... God had other ideas.

We then thought that "10 is certainly enough". But ... God said, "No ... consider the orphans."

When we adopted 3 from Ghana we said the same thing ... our house is big enough (who says you can't have 4 per bedroom?) ... our van is big enough (these 3 made it a family of 15, and we had a 15 pass. van) ... our hearts are big enough ... our God is big enough ... So, why not??!!


Laurel :)

Mama in Uganda said...

Amen, amen, amen. I follow your wife's other blog. Thanks for sharing. It is so nice to read a blog post from the husband/daddy's heart.

Thanks for your obedience.

Mama in Uganda

princessmama said...

Wonderful post! Thank you :) It is such a blessing to us to read about your family.

living4him5 said...


Amy <><

Joni said...

I love your explanation for 'why'? Your 'why not' is just so neat. I wish we were in the position to adopt, and I truly would in a heartbeat. As of right now we simply can't ... but miracles do happen ... !

Mama Seoul said...

What a lovely post!

Sally- That Girl! said...

Can't wait for Robert to read, your hearts beat the same!!!

Anonymous said...

What a great post, John. I admire you and Christine tremendously for what you are doing.

mommytoalot said...

why not adopt in your own country. There are many many many older children who would love to have a forever family.

Annie said...

We did not adopt in our own country for a few reasons: one is our love for Russian culture...but obviously that doesn't apply to most people.

A more serious one is that having worked in child welfare for much of his career my husband realized that in our state, at that time, for sure, "Family Reunification" was the by-word and by the time children were ever released for adoption they had been bounced from foster family to birth family, back and forth - strangers/neglect or abuse/strangers/neglect and abuse for years. They had often been put at a great educational disadvantage (even more than learning a foreign language) because they had also been bounced from school to school.

Furthermore, for those kids who are able to take advantage of it, in this country a high school education is provided for all; foster kids have a many different scholarship opportunities open to them. In many other parts of the world, a child ages out of the orphanage at 16 and it is "good luck to you". They will get a small bit of money that has been accruing over the years, but no ongoing support or educational opportunities. So many of the girls have little choice but to fall into prostitution.

Anyway - those were some of our reasons.

Anonymous said...

It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)

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