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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Six + one = seven blessings!

Hi all. From time to time I'd like to share with you some of the blessings that my readers have in their lives. The following is a story of a young couple, Jaime and Alex, who desperately wanted children but were having a difficult time to conceiving. God did eventually bless them with little ones more than they could have ever hoped for. Read on to learn more about their happy, and now very big, family. They've been blessed! Enjoy!


Six + one = seven blessings!
When my husband Alex and I got married we had always planned to adopt at some point. We thought we would have one or two children and then adopt. As it turned out we were not having any luck getting pregnant. I went to a lot of doctors, as did Alex, trying to find out what was causing us not to have children.

In the mean time we signed up for parenting classes, which was the first step in the adoption process through DYFS. By this time, we had been married a little more than 3 years. The whole process took about 6 months to finally be considered an "open home" for adoption.

On December 21, 2005 we got a call asking if we would take a 10 month old baby boy and his 7 year old sister. Apparently we were the last ones to get the call, as no one else was interested in having new children around for the holiday. In under 5 minutes we were making plans to receive our new additions. Only problem was at this point they were not adoptable and we would probably only have them for a few weeks, if that long. A few weeks went by and there was no sign of them leaving.

One day the 7 year old told me that she had a brother and sister that were somewhere in foster care. She didn't know where they were, but she wondered if I would be able to find out and bring them to my house. I told her that I would do what I could to find out about them, but didn't want to promise her anything. Satisfied with that answer, she also told me that her mom was supposed to be giving birth to twins soon. Later that night I was on the phone and found out that she did indeed have a brother and sister in another foster home, and that foster parent wasn't able to keep them due to the fact that her home wasn't large enough. I asked for the other 2 to come here, and after MANY phone calls to MANY people in DYFS, the other 2 were finally brought here.

Christmas 2006 came and went and although the children weren't adoptable yet, they were still with us. After 15 months or so of living with the same foster parent the chances go up that children will be able to be adopted. My husband and I were, of course, praying to be able to keep the children. The twins had been born and the 4 children that were with me didn't really know them very well, but talked about them often. By the summer of 2007, through a series of unfortunate events for the biological parents, they did give up parental rights and we were asked if we would consider adopting the 4 that we had. Of course we wanted to! About a month later we were asked if we would want the twins. We didn't even have to think about it. After a long battle with DYFS... not all of DYFS thought it would be a good idea for a family this large to stay together...we finally got the twins. Thankfully the judge that was presiding over this case was on our side, and ultimately DYFS had to listen to him. On November 17, 2007, we adopted our 6 children. It was National Adoption Day. We never expected to have such a large family, but this was definitely a blessing from the Lord.

It was very hard to not have children when both my husband and I wanted them so badly. God answered our prayer for children in a way we never could have imagined, but with His help, we're a family, and it really is wonderful.

One last thing I need to say. The adoption process was such a roller coaster ride. One day we were maybe adopting, the next maybe they were going to be reunited... I was still trying to conceive. Finally a doctor told me that since our foster children had been with us so long, the odds were great that they were staying, so I should just be happy with them since it looked like I would probably not be able to conceive. My husband and I are now expecting our new baby in the spring of '09.

So, there are actually two reasons for sharing this story. First of all, God really does hear our prayers and He does know the desire of our hearts, but He DOES choose to answer in His timing, and His way. The second reason I want people to know about this is because there are so many children that need to be adopted, and people don't know that you can go through DYFS and it doesn't cost anything to actually adopt. DYFS covers all of it. Not only that, adoption agency's work with DYFS too. Not that it happens every day, but after the agency's quotas are filled, DYFS is called and there are babies available to be adopted through DYFS. Four of my children, when they came to me, were under 3 years old.

What a blessing! God gives us more than we could have ever hoped for.

If you'd like to share your story to be posted here on Blessings from Above, I'd love to hear from you. It would be an inspiration to me and my readers. Email me at: dendiv@yahoo.com I'll review the posts I receive and post them periodically.

Read "Be Careful" for an example of a blessing in my life. There are many! Remember, this will be posted on Blessings from Above for all to see so if it something very personal please don't write about it. Also, this will be a voluntary, unpaid contribution. Sorry but I am unable to pay!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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3 comments:

Golden~1 said...

This is such an inspiration. Especially to those who desire to have a child, but cannot naturally conceive. I praise God for families like yourself who give of themselves unconditionally.

RedShirtPilgrim said...

Well, my blessing is actually an "ongoing" one.

Last year, my former church in Monterey Park, CA, hired a new rector after a year where it had 2 interims. The new rector made a lot of changes, and quite a bit of them involved me. Normally, I should give him the benefit of doubt. However, because he didn't consult me as well as the follow-up actions he had with some parishioners who had since left the church... I then said to myself, "A rector, in particular, SHOULD NOT disrespect his/her church members... particularly one that's capable and devoted to make the church better. Doing stuff without the involving parties' consent is disrespectful in any culture, I am sorry. I normally am an easy-going person. But making ministry decisions without my consent... particularly ones that involved me, you (the rector) can't do that... I am sorry. You can't make a capable and devoted young person angry like that! On top of that, I can't see myself grow spiritually during your tenure as rector, not that I had during my previous few years, either. So, I guess it's time for me to move on to a new church."

Fortunately, God did blessed me with a nice supporting cast, especially locally. After all, I had met many young adult ministry leaders since 2004 locally and nationally. So, they offered me a lot of support along the way. Moreover, God gave me wisdom in terms of understanding and knowing what I wanted to look for in a church. Making a long story short, I eventually settled into one of their churches in Covina, CA.

Sure, the whole relocation raised a lot of eyebrows, particularly in the Chinese ministry community in the Episcopal Church. After all, it's very rare for a laity who's active in that ministry to go to a non-Asian Episcopal Church. My status as a first generation Chinese Episcopal makes it even more shocking.

However, I was able to find my way into doing ministries of my new church fairly quickly. In fact, I am actually doing more ministry work than ever before. Here're some stuff I am doing.

- tenor in my church's choir (music ministry is not new to me, but singing tenor is)
- YA ministry leader (I can coexist with my friend who brought me into the church in that role.)
- Adult Acolyte (I am doing that because I know the church needs depth in that position.)
- Chinese ministry (I am basically a trend setter for what Chinese Episcopalians should do when they are in a non-Asian Episcopal Church. Plus, since I co-wrote that ministry's mission statement, I think it's important that I follow them.)

I feel that I am really blessed here because it can be intimidating for a racial/ethnic minority to step into important ministry roles in the church.

RedShirtPilgrim said...

you might want to edit the dialog to myself, though, I think it sounds a little repetitive.