This Sunday, our pastor talked about a guy in the Bible named Nehemiah. Many years ago, I heard a sermon on this subject and through this story, I learned a very valuable lesson, so I wanted to share it with you.
At that particular time, Jews were slaves in the land of Persia. Nehemiah was a cupbearer of the King. One day, he found out that the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed and wild animals were roaming in the city and “the survivors there in the province who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame”.
Nehemiah was so troubled by this news that he sat down and wept and mourned for days. He eventually got permission from the King to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls. Nehemiah and the other people who were helping him rebuilt the wall in only 52 days. That is incredible! Can you imagine rebuilding a city wall without any modern technology in 52 days? That’s nothing short of a miracle.
It’s interesting to me that Nehemiah had such an emotional experience when he heard the update of Jerusalem, his native land. There were many other Jew that were now living in Persia, and I’m sure they must have known what had happened and some of them must have been very bothered by the ruination of their city.
However, Nehemiah didn’t just stop with feeling sad and upset. He REBUILT THE WALLS.Since we started telling people that we are adopting, we’ve heard many, many people tell us “Oh, that’s so awesome. I want to adopt too!”
It’s interesting to me that so many people want to adopt, yet not many of them actually do it. Since I was a little girl I’ve been troubled by the plight of the orphans. When I hear the statistics, my heart just breaks. Can you imagine that only 1 out of 10 Russian orphans will grow up to a normal functioning member of society? The thought of those children on their own in this big world, who never learn what love is, what a family should be like, and don’t have anyone to teach them basic life skills, is mortifying. I don’t want to feel the emotion but them brush it off and go on living my life. I want to do my part, and do what I can to give a home to a child who doesn’t belong to anyone. I want to encourage others, who have that desire also, to make a step and start acting on their dream.
I believe that everyone has a passion inside them about something. Not everyone has a desire to adopt. Not everyone should adopt. (By the way, just because a couple doesn’t have children, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are obligated to adopt. And just because a couple already has their own biological children, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t adopt.)
What are some things that get you excited? What makes you emotional? What are things that you would like to change?
Our brother and sister-in-law, Dmitry and Ulyana, are absolutely dedicated to creating great music. They write songs, music, practice their instruments and perfect their vocals. You should see the amount of work they pour into their music.
Instead of relaxing after work, they get together for practices with the band a few times a week and many nights they stay up til past midnight because it’s important to them to achieve a professional level in their music and to create new songs think of new ideas, and do their absolute best in every way.
They save up their money for new equipment, instruments and lessons. Almost every summer they use their vacation time from work to travel to Russia on mission trips. When they see people’s lives change from the hope that they hear in the message of the songs that is their reward. They are so inspired when they have Family Festivals in the Russian cities. There are puppets, games, music, free ice cream and lemonade and they look around at the happy, smiling faces of families having a great time together and building memories. They share with others the value of family.
Right now they are in Russian with the Message band. Check out their website and listen to their music at messageband.com. They are some music videos on there too.
What are the things that you’re good at? Organizing events, writing stories, designing websites, selling cars, or taking great photographs? Maybe you are passionate about providing medical care or education, designing beautiful homes or beautiful hairstyles?
Make the most of your talents. Don’t just dream – ACT.
When you hear the statistics of Russian orphans and it brings you to tears, don’t look for excuses, look for answers. Start saving money, research agencies and set actual goals. You may need to postpone buying a house or going on a vacation. If you keep postponing your dreams until a better time, that time may never come. Trust me, life has a way of throwing things our way all the time.
Some dreams aren’t as spiritual as being a missionary or evangelist, but are just as important. Feeding people may not be spiritual, but it makes me happy. I love sharing our home with others and sharing recipes with other cooks.
Be the best you could possibly be. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. There are challenges and frustrations and you won’t like every step of the process. Keep your goal in mind.
Be creative. We’ve had a nightmare of getting our paperwork together. It’s been very frustrating and very long. One of the last things that we have to do is have all the documents notarized and apostilled (nationally notarized). The documents are sent overnight to the capital of the state, where they are processed in the Department of State, and then sent out again to us, at which point we send it to our agency.
If you live close to the capital it’s easy to just stop by the Department of State, drop off your paperwork and pick it up the next day. However, if you live 7 hours away, like we do, that’s not an option.
Last week we found out that our social worker completed her part of the documents incorrectly. We had to get the right signatures and then send the paperwork to the capital again. We would lose so much more time. It was very frustrating, since we had already done so much work to get the paperwork finished up to that point, and now to be so close to a referral, to only have more delays. We found a courier service in Tallahassee, who we sent the documents to, she took it to the Department of State and sent it to our adoption agency. Now isn’t that a creative? She is an adoptive mother herself, and saw first hand how valuable this service would be to adoptive families.
So, that’s the news on the adoption front. We could get a referral any day now!
Be like Nehemiah – if you see a need, don’t be complacent. Start acting. he could have easily gotten comfortable in his new home, with his great career, but he chose to care. He chose to make a difference. With a lot of hard work, dedication, passion and divine intervention, amazing things will happen.