January 20, 2012

And the winner is...

Thank you all for supporting us in the Ordinary Hero store this week and for sharing our story with your peeps-and mostly for lifting us up to the Father! We have felt your love!!

The winner of the 'change the world for one' t-shirt is...Brandy Hester! Congrats sister :)

And now a freebie for everyone! Check out this website to download the pdf version of 'Bloodlines'. John Piper's book on race, the cross, and the christian. also, on today's blogpost he is offering a free short ebook on abortion! I'm almost through 'bloodlines' and it is wonderful. He always has me chewing on stuff that is tasty yet HARD! http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/online-books/bloodlines

This week has been one of literally feeling the prayers of the saints lift us up. I can't thank you all enough for this amazing blessing. Though this journey is CrAzY, we can KNOW the peace of God's presence continually-and that same peace is offered to all of His children at all times. I pray I choose to sit in His presence instead of running to my norms (anxiety, fear, compulsion, false control seeking and a general 'freak out state')

Have a blessed weekend!

January 15, 2012

Our first Giveaway!

Wanna win this XL eco fit t-shirt for your hunny bear for valentine's?? or let a friend know you care? or gain an unbelievably soft new shirt for yourself?!

It reads "Change the World for One" I absolutely love this phrase. Our small group went through the book "Hole in the Gospel" by Richard Stearns this past semester and a quote from Andy Stanley he brings up in one of the chapters is "Do for one person what you wish you could do for everyone." And the cool part...when you wear this shirt you are changing the world for one orphan...our future daughter. You're helping fund her coming home and being an orphan no more!

Here's how to enter the giveaway:
1. Check our our Ordinary Hero store and purchase something you love for someone you love and select my name (Megan Manuel) in the affiliate box at checkout, then leave me a comment after this post telling me you did! You can go to the store here.
2. Post about this giveaway on your blog, or facebook page by posting any picture from the Ordinary Hero store and providing a link (http://www.ordinaryherostore.org) make sure to let people know to choose my name from the affiliate box at checkout for us to receive credit for the purchase! then post a comment and let me know you did!
3 'follow me' and comment that you are a follower of our blog!

I'll enter your name each time you do one of these things and I'll draw a name of the winner on friday-January 20th. Yall have a great week and Let's all press on to keep our eyes on Jesus!

January 10, 2012

supporting us in 'the wait'

Its been awhile. I REALLY appreciate the folks who have remembered us and our adoption in the last month. I'll just come out and say it-I've been struggling. I have been thinking and working on any and all other options in the adoption realm to hurry this excruciating wait for our daughter. My conclusion in prayer lately has been "yes, waiting is going to be really hard. I have good plans and growth opportunities for you during this time. Stay on the path I have you on until I tell you otherwise." ok. I'll try to stop today...and tomorrow you may have to remind me again, Lord. The truth is still true to me, but I'm also "paperwork pregnant" and I'm hormonal. Have I mentioned how grateful I am that people remember we're adopting still and ask me about it? I am having a baby girl and I LOVE talking about it and knowing people remember even though I don't have a bump. She's overtaken my heart :) A friend of mine who is adopting put this on her blog and sums up some of what I've been thinking lately. Thank you friends for praying, and supporting us in this journey!!

Supporting Families Before the Airport Arrival

Your friends are adopting. They’re in the middle of dossiers and home studies, and most of them are somewhere in the middle of Waiting Purgatory. Please let me explain something about WP: It sucks in every way. Oh sure, we try to make it sound better than it feels by using phrases like “We’re trusting in God’s plan” and “God is refining me” and “Sovereignty trumps my feelings” and crazy bidness like that. But we are crying and aching and getting angry and going bonkers when you’re not watching. It’s hard. It hurts. It feels like an eternity even though you can see that it is not. It is harder for us to see that, because many of us have pictures on our refrigerators of these beautiful darlings stuck in an orphanage somewhere while we’re bogged down in bureaucracy and delays.

How can you help? By not saying or doing these things:

1. “God’s timing is perfect!” (Could also insert: “This is all God’s plan!” “God is in charge!”) As exactly true as this may be, when you say it to a waiting parent, we want to scratch your eyebrows off and make you eat them with a spoon. Any trite answer that minimizes the struggle is as welcomed as a sack of dirty diapers. You are voicing something we probably already believe while not acknowledging that we are hurting and that somewhere a child is going to bed without a mother again. Please never say this again. Thank you.

2. “Are you going to have your own kids?” (Also in this category: “You’ll probably get pregnant the minute your adoption clears!” “Since this is so hard, why don’t you just try to have your own kids?” “Well, at least you have your own kids.”) The subtle message here is: You can always have legitimate biological kids if this thing tanks. It places adoption in the Back-up Plan Category, where it does not belong for us. When we flew to Ethiopia with our first travel group from our agency, out of 8 couples, we were the only parents with biological kids. The other 7 couples chose adoption first. Several of them were on birth control. Adoption counts as real parenting, and if you believe stuff Jesus said, it might even be closer to the heart of God than regular old procreation. (Not to mention the couples that grieved through infertility already. So when you say, “Are you going to have your own kids?” to a woman who tried for eight years, then don’t be surprised if she pulls your beating heart out like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.) Can I just add my personal note here...pretty please don't say "just have a kid while you're waiting" to me. This is an especially sensitive topic and it's against contract with our agency right now anyways. If you talk to one of our family members you can reiterate this to them too :)

3. For those of you in Christian community, it is extremely frustrating to hear: “Don’t give up on God!” or “Don’t lose faith!” It implies that we are one nanosecond away from tossing our entire belief system in the compost pile because we are acting sad or discouraged. It’s condescending and misses the crux of our emotions. I can assure you, at no point in our story did we think about kicking Jesus to the curb, but we still get to cry tears and feel our feelings, folks. Jesus did. And I’m pretty sure he went to heaven when he died.

4. We’re happy to field your questions about becoming a transracial family or adopting a child of another race, but please don’t use this moment to trot out your bigotry. (Cluelessness is a different thing, and we try to shrug that off. Like when someone asked about our Ethiopian kids, “Will they be black?” Aw, sweet little dum-dum.) The most hurtful thing we heard during our wait was from a black pastor who said, “Whatever you do, don’t change their last name to Hatmaker, because they are NOT Hatmakers. They’ll never be Hatmakers. They are African.” What the??? I wonder if he’d launch the same grenade if we adopted white kids from Russia? If you’d like to know what we’re learning about raising children of another race or ask respectful, legitimate questions, by all means, do so. We care about this and take it seriously, and we realize we will traverse racial landmines with our family. You don’t need to point out that we are adopting black kids and we are, in fact, white. We’ve actually already thought of that.

5. Saying nothing is the opposite bad. I realize with blogs like this one, you can get skittish on how to talk to a crazed adopting Mama without getting under her paper-thin skin or inadvertently offending her. I get it. (We try hard not to act so hypersensitive. Just imagine that we are paper-pregnant with similar hormones surging through our bodies making us cry at Subaru commercials just like the 7-month preggo sitting next to us. And look at all this weight we’ve gained. See?) But acting like we’re not adopting or struggling or waiting or hoping or grieving is not helpful either. If I was pregnant with a baby in my belly, and no one ever asked how I was feeling or how much longer or is his nursery ready or can we plan a shower, I would have to audition new friend candidates immediately.