Friday, June 27, 2008

The Next Step

Many of you have noticed the little picture and verse on my sidebar with the label "The Next Step" placed above. With others of you, Jamal and I have discussed this new development extensively and in detail. Thank you for your input, your encouragement, and your prayers.

We are happy and proud to announce that next week we begin the adoptive family assessment. Our family will be participating in joint and individual interviews, as well as home visits. After these interviews and visits, we'll be able to begin putting together our family profile. If this is the venue that we ultimately choose, an expectant mother looking for a family for her baby will select us and we'll have probably a semi-open adoption. The other option we are still considering is adopting from foster care, which is how my siblings and I were adopted, of course. We are still in the process of making this decision (between infant adoption and adopting from foster care), but are very excited to at least be starting the process and moving in the right direction with our adoptive family assessment.

For me, it comes down to this old story:

This story tells of a young man who was walking along the seashore. Far ahead of him, he saw a distant figure: someone who like him was walking, but who paused every few steps, stooped down, and seemed to be throwing something into the sea. His curiosity aroused, the young man hurried forward, his feet awkward in the sand, as he tried to catch up with the man.

As he came closer, he saw that it was an old man, and the reason that he would stop every step or two was to pick up a starfish and fling it into the ocean. It was only then that the young man noticed the thousands of starfish that littered the beach for miles, stranded there by the tide.

The young man felt a rising sense of anger. What the old man was doing seemed so pointless, and he couldn't wait to catch up to him to tell him so. By the time the young man came abreast of the older man, he was out of breath.

"Why are you doing this?" he gasped. "You can't save all of these starfish! It's useless! What does it matter?"

The old man paused for a moment, looking down at the crusty starfish he'd just picked up. He turned it over slowly, then answered. "It matters to this one," he said and with a slow, deliberate motion, he tossed it back into the sea, into life.

If God allows, I want to be the one who makes a difference in the life of a child, because it matters to this one.

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