Monday, March 5, 2012

International Adoption- Who would have thought....

For those of you that know me, you probably know that my wife and I have been considering adopting for some time.  Truth is, there has been some real foot dragging in the whole thing (yes, you are quite correct, it has come from me!).  Cannot really say why, could not give you a decent t reason if my life depended on it, unless of course, you throw "fear of the unknown" in, well then yeah, I guess that might cover it just fine, thank you.

Our first course of thought was to go the foster care route, and that may not be completely ruled out for the future, but being able to get into the classes has been a challenge, and oh yeah, did I mention the whole dragging my feet thing?

So, on February 25, 2012, I attended the 5th annual Catholic Men's Fellowship Phoenix conference, this year held at Grand Canyon University Arena here in Phoenix.  For those of you that missed it, let me tell you, you truly missed something special.  1800 men from all over the Valley of the Sun and beyond converged to truly learn what it means to "Defend and Proclaim" our faith.  A blog post on that great day to follow, but let me return to the matter at hand.  As the day progressed, as we heard Bishop Thomas Olmsted defend and proclaim the faith, as he charged us to be the men that God intended us to be, and as the other speakers of the day covered their various topics of interest, I felt something happening.  In past years I would find myself coming home, feeling energized, telling my wife how wonderful things are going to be, how transformed I am (this time), and that you will see a profound change in me!!  I promise!  We've all had that feeling right?  Then about Tuesday, Wednesday, the feeling fades, and what really changed in the end after all?  Usually not much.  Yeah, I'm that guy.

Probably the same reasons I couldn't be a Protestant are exactly why those kinds of things tend to work against me.  Recalling Screwtape's own explanation to the dear Wormwood regarding the concept of undulation, one should recall that the human experience is one of peaks and valleys, and lest we forget that the highs do not last forever, so too should we recall the neither do the lows.  Keeping that in mind, I looked for some things to excite me and energize me but not so that they would blind me to what our lives truly look like. 

What ended up happening was something far more radical.  After a good solid confession, a great conversation with a good priest who was willing to listen to me, and oh yes, the bliss of being forgiven.  Repentance and Absolution are truly among the great gifts of the Church, surpassed certainly by and perhaps only by, the Eucharist!  After the last speaker, as a group we got time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, directly in the presence of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, I was simply awestruck.  I found myself saying, "Jesus, you gave yourself, the sinless victim, that we might join you in Heaven one day.  Tell me what I need to do, and I will respond.  Your will, not mine, be done."

And that was that, right?  There was no surge of feeling, the was no angels playing harps, no "voice of God" giving me instruction.  There was pain in my knees, intense pain.  10-15 minutes kneeling on concrete is not for most.

So I went home, told my wife about the day, told here I think I joined the Knights of Columbus, but I'm not sure, that it was a good day, enjoyed being with my friends, that Josh and Sebastian Bautista (two fine young men, one discerning the priesthood) seemed to enjoy themselves.  I made a point to say that I was not riding a high, but that I wanted to find something I can use to be the man God wants me to be.

Along comes Monday, and what do I see but a post from my friend Leila Miller about this website, Reece's Rainbow, which specializes in international adoption for special needs children, especially those with Down's Syndrome, but other afflictions as well.  Scrolling through the pages, you find stories that break your heart, and some that give you pause, as you realize that in America, many of these ailments would not even be issues here.  If a child was born with them, you would get the treatment necessary.  Not so in many countries overseas.

Then there was this little boy who caught my eye.  He's a cutie, but after talking with my wife, we say that someone with his issues may be well more than we could handle.  We mistook him for another that was bedridden amongst other issues.  So I put him out of my mind.  Moving along.

The next morning, my friend Leila (you remember Leila, right?) posted a video of this little boy.  For a host of reasons, I am not yet posting his video.  But he stole my heart, I told Leila via Facebook, "I want him!  I want to bring him home"  And then God answered, the Holy Spirit immediately began working through a number of people, promising support, offering encouragement, ensuring that if we are willing, they would help us to ensure that we could bring this boy home.  This did let us meet some great people already.  A special thanks to Carla (you HAVE to read her story here) who gave me the courage to ask some hard questions.  And to show that through God, all things are possible, if not challenging, we find that if we but say yes, God will lead us through that which He has lead us to.

So we begin.  Those first questions, round one.  Stay tuned.

But before I go for now- thought I would pray an Angelus:

The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
       And she conceived of the Holy Spirit

Behold, the handmaid of the Lord
       Be it done unto me according to thy Word

And the Word was made flesh
       And dwelt among us

Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
       Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the Glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ, Our Lord.  Amen


  1. Oh, I am so excited for you! This is proving to be a fabulous journey for our family, and I'm so excited for your own journey (whether or not it does truly lead to adoption is beside the point: the discerning, the learning, the praying, all of that is amazingly wonderful!!).

    Sending lots of prayers your way! (From FB)

  2. My husband was at that conference too! Also sending prayers your way!

  3. Hey Charles, Brenda from Memphis here:) I had to reread this again tonight when it was quiet and I could savor every word. You and your wife are the people I pray outnumber those that say NO when God speaks to them. I admire you and am a bit jealous at the same time! Adoption has always been in our hearts since we were married almost 8 years ago when the hubs and i knew I was challenged as far as fertility. Then we discovered my husband was as well! But God blessed us with 2 children of our own but since Christmas of 2009, when we first sponsored a RR child, these children have not left my heart. We are discerning this year, seeing how our first year of homeschooling goes, seeing if another baby might come in the next year, and sorting out finances. But it is so encouraging to see others on a path that we would like to walk someday. I just discovered the first little one we advocated for that Christmas made it home. He is Julie Kehm's little boy, Peter. I was thrilled to find he was safe and sound. During Advent and Christmas, I took dollars from my FB friends and held a blog raffle for Charlotte, also coming home this month! We can get your little one home. You do the paperwork, we'll do the fundraising:) I have a garage sale coming up and would love to make it an adoption sale!!! Keep us posted and we will keep you in prayer! God bless

    1. Brenda, that is very kind and so very sweet. I think that perhaps there may be some misunderstanding about where we are in this process. When I say we are at the very beginning, I mean exactly that. We have not committed to anyone or anything yet. We are waiting to be told if we are "prequalified", which as I'm sure you know doesn't mean a hill of beans, but at least tells us if we should consider proceeding further.

      There is much more discernment for my wife and I before we can proceed. Please pray for us, that we can accurately discern God's will for us in this matter. That would be the greatest gift anyone could give us and the little boy involved right now.

      God Bless You,

  4. I have goosebumps! RR keeps coming up everywhere I look and if it were only me, I'd be all in already. Planting seeds for the husband and enjoying following other's story and living vicariously! :) (p.s. found you from Leila's fb)

  5. Enjoy the ride! We are anxiously waiting to see what comes next. Thanks of course to Leila for posting my piece!

    Keep reading!