Friday, October 5, 2012

Standing for Something


“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” 
― Aristotle

All of my best decisions in life have come with some criticism, including adopting.  With this being our third adoption the excitement from some family and friends has faded. I'm sure some have the "too much of a good thing might be a bad thing" mentality. But I can say those that know our hearts the best are just as excited this time around as they were for our first adoption, maybe even more excited because they know the journey that we are embarking on is a beautiful one with promises of faith and hope and JOY....for us AND for our daughter-to-be. 

I'm getting more familiar with the "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE OUT OF YOUR MIND" eye-popping looks we have gotten from some when we announced our intention to adopt a third child with special needs. I admit, it still makes me uncomfortable when I know people are staring at me thinking "Holy Crap, what in the world are they thinking here?" 

I've struggled my whole life always feeling like I had to seek approval from others. I've always been uncomfortable standing out, and clearly when you decide to go and adopt 3 kids with special needs from another country when you have no known fertility issues, people tend to shake their heads a bit. As I grow in my walk with the Lord, I truly feel more and more comfortable knowing I only have an audience of ONE to please. There are the people who are outright critics and say nasty things because they simply don't agree with what we're doing and really have NO idea what they're talking about, and then there are those who silently criticize by not sharing in our excitement and not fully understanding our hearts. Typically the second type tend to hurt me more. 

Tonight as I reflect on some of those who might be unjustly judging our decision or even criticizing what we are doing, I am learning to take comfort in that because it means that we are standing up for SOMETHING....we are NOT just going through the motions. 

"You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything
You've got to be your own man not a puppet on a string"
-Aaron Tippin

Thank you to those who have taken a moment to express your love and excitement for us! We are thankful for your support! 

42 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah and Shawn, I wish EVERYONE would be supportive--of you and of others who are adopting --whether it's their first or their fifth child! How can it NOT be a good thing to be welcoming a new child into the family? How can it NOT be a good thing to love a child? It's one thing if a person takes on such a task (whether adoption or giving birth) if they can't provide for the child but CLEARLY that isn't the case.
    Anyway, just wanted to say how very happy I am for you all! This little girl is meant to be yours!
    In fact, the night I read your announcement on your blog I dreamed briefly that you guys had her home--and called her a different name than Zofia. You chose a 4 letter name ending in "a" as you did with your other two. Which of course, got me thinking about names lol! In the dream, you called her Lyra initially but then one time called her Lara. Strange how it switched lol!

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    1. Thank you Lori!! Your dream cracks me up :) You know I like 4 letter names that end in "a" ;) Lyra is pretty!

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  2. Congratulations! I have followed your blog since you brought Zoya home. I think it's awesome you're adopting again!

    -Lindsey (Sacramento, CA)

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  3. Some families are fortunate enough to say "One less orphan". Your family is triply (is that a word?) blessed and can say "THREE LESS ORPHANS!!" Thank you for standing up and moving forward.

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    1. I love the word triply so even if it's not a word it's great :) HAHAH! Yes 3 Less! wooot!

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  4. I thought of these lyrics after reading this...
    "So don't you worry your pretty little mind
    People throw rocks at things that shine"
    You guys inspire me.. :)

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    1. Awwww I love this!!!!! Thank you!

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  5. You are an inspiration!!! I am inspired beyond words. Let your heart be filled with joy and happiness as you bring this third blessing home.

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  6. You guys are doing an amazing thing going back again! You are soo blessed! Ignore those nay-sayers and know that you have the 100% support of many, including me. And know that God approves and cheers you on, and that is the only opinion that matters.

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  7. Oh, I feel bad....please oh please don't put me in that awful group....I think it's awesome...I am in awe....I chuckled a bit when you said you had no known fertility issues....and since your venting. Here is my vent....I wish people would quit saying to me...."it looks like you have your hands full" I want to say to them, with the orphan crises in the world it looks like we should all have our hands full. Get up and start standing for something instead of doing NOTHING!!!!

    Congratulations to you and Shawn!!!!!

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  8. I am sure people feel the need to criticize, but criticism doesn't save the lives of precious children. Thank you for saving these girls.

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  9. YIPPEEE - you're adopting again :) What an awesome blessing to your family and to the little one waiting to come home to you all.

    I've never met you, and most likely never will (I live between the UK and SA) but as a kid I grew up in a family made up of all sorts of kids - bio, foster, adopt etc I think it's AWESOME what you're doing.

    Keep your head held high and know that some of your greatest moments will come through your journeys together!!

    Godbless you and keep you in the palm of His hand.

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    1. Awesome that you had the opportunity to grow up in such a diverse family :) Thank you!

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  10. so super excited for you all! Sarah, really could she be any more adorable! Love and best wishes for your journey to this beauty from a RR warrior who also has an extra special daughetr with smith magenis syndrome! I will be following along with your journey...do come by and link up your story and posts on my forget-me-not friday bloghop xxxx

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    1. :) Will check it out! Thank you :)

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  11. Standing right with you! So excited for your family, for this sweet girl who is going to blossom as much as Zoya and Mila have and for you to continue to follow God's call for your lives in spite of those around you that might question you.

    Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. 1 Cor 16:13-14

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    1. Thank you Rochelle! Glad to share the same heart with you!

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  12. Soooooo excited for you and your family!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. ALWAYS follow God's leading and do whatever He puts on your heart. There's no other way to live. I love to see people doing outrageous things and having what Bill Hybels calls Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Keep standing firm in your faith no matter what comments you get. You can never love too much or give too much. You just CAN'T!

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    1. :) Love this! Thanks Kathy! You're right, you can NEVER love or give too much!

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  14. Your audience of one is beaming! And so is the Annessa's family! SO happy for you!

    Brooke
    www.MarvelousLoveBlog.com

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  15. Let anyone tell "Zofia" that she is better off NOT in your precious family....it's so silly!! I will never understand why people think they need to decide what is best for someone else. Thanks be to God for your huge hearts!!! Love you guys to pieces!!!! (((BIG HUGS)))!!!

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    1. Thank you! I will not ever understand either!!!

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  16. Oh Sarah and Shawn - I wish I could put my arms around you and give you both a great big hug! The world need more people like you guys. You and Shawn have a beautiful family. God has blessed you with three beautiful daughters. Can't wait to meet Zofia. She is such a lucky little girl to have you and Shawn for her parents and Zoya and Mila for her sisters. Love you lots.

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    1. Thanks Aunt Debbie! Love you tons!

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  17. I think I have only commented on your blog once before, but I am prompted to say something (as just a random blog stranger). I have followed your blog through your adoption of Mila and quickly went back and read all about Zoya's as well. Your girls are so beautiful, and you are an inspiration to many. I am currently expecting our 8th child, and am anxiously praying for the day to bring my own EE blessing home (God still has a little work to do preparing the hubby's heart!). Thank you for being faithful to God's call and for counting it all joy. Zofia is blessed to have you as her family- and you will be greatly blessed to have her!

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    1. Congrats on your almost 8th blessing :) So exciting!!! Thanks for your kind words and support!

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  18. So very excited for you! Your 3 gorgeous girls are so lucky to have such a wonderful, loving family:) And I know you feel so blessed to have these precious darlings in you life. I wish you everything wonderful!!

    Susan from Boston

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    1. Yes!!! Thank you so much :)

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    2. Just remember that for all of those (crazy!) people who are critical, there are a bunch of us cheering for you!! I'd love to be making the trip to pick up one of those precious Ds kiddos. Your family is beautiful inside and out. Stay the course. God's will is all that matters. Adrienne from Texas

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    3. Just remember that for all of those (crazy!) people who are critical, there are a bunch of us who are cheering for you!! I would LOVE to be heading to pick up one of these precious Ds kiddos. Your family is beautiful - inside and out. Stay the course. God's will is all that matters!

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  19. Hi Sarah,
    I jumped on here through Reece's Rainbow--your daughters are BEAUTIFUL. I think you are making a GREAT choice to add another child to your family. Be encouraged and stand firm!!
    Blessings,
    Carin

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  20. If it helps. I told my family that two people I went to Mercyhurst with were adopting a third child with Down Syndrome and their response was, "they must be saints."

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  21. If it helps...I told my family that two people I went to Mercyhurst with were adopting a third child with Down Syndrome and their response was "they must be saints." Follow your heart, that way you can never do the wrong thing.

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  22. Don't remember if I commented before. As long as you yourself feel that you are doing what's right for your family, you ARE doing what's right for your family :-) which doesn't necessarily mean it would be the right thing for someone else. I just wish those someone elses would care more about being loving and helpful towards others and less about justify their own decisions through critizizing others! (Hope I got it right there, English is tricky sometimes :-) !) Hoping for a smooth and speedy process for you - and curiously looking forward to your sharing more about this third adoption and your sweet girl ! :-)

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  23. Just now remembered my comment and decided to check and see if you'd replied (NOT that you needed to lol!) Yeah, actually I think Lyra is not only unique but very pretty also. Glad you got a kick outta the dream lol!

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  24. I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and I adore you and your husband for being so bold to follow that Lord's beautiful journey for your lives :) My husband and I know that we will be adopting at least one (but with the encouragement of your family, hopefully more!) child with Down syndrome in the future. Know that even though people may look down on your situation, there are many who praise you for it and think it is amazing and inspiring. You have inspired us in so many ways!

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  25. You have a beautiful family and it is going to be even more beautiful when your new little one comes home!

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