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Saturday, June 30, 2007

God-The Planner Of Our Family...and appropriate adoption lingo

This picture (on the slideshow of our computer) triggered this post.
What a beautiful surprise Treston was to us! We got the call the day before Thanksgiving about him...before I answered the phone, our lives consisted of three kids...and Rusty was sure that was it! There was no baby on the horizon for us. 5 minutes later, our world changed.
We weren't looking for a baby, but New Life felt the Lord lead them to us, so a baby was looking for us. How awesome was that!
We prayed and prayed. I waited for Rusty to make the call. I had great peace that my husband was seeking the Lord, and not his own feelings or desires, so I waited with confidence that he would know what the Lord wanted for our family.
He did. We said yes, and the whirwind began. We sped through the foster parent process and less than 2 weeks later, we had Treston's placement (the official placing of the baby in our arms, the picture above, and signing of the papers) on December 6th. What a wonderful day etched in my memory forever!
We already knew that God was the Planner of Our Family. He had shown us that years before. We knew God had called us to adopt, and the timing of Justus' adoption made no sense for us financially. But God spoke clearly to us...adopt...brown baby...now. That's basically what we heard.
We already had Emma and Jax, fairly close in age (less than two years apart.) We had a girl and a boy, and people said to us "Now you can quit! You have both." That seemed odd to us. But it's true...the socially, suburban, acceptable goal is to have a boy and a girl, healthy, look like you, voila. Perfect family.
We weren't aiming for the world's goal. We wanted our family to look exactly like God had in mind.
We went to Matt and Erin's wedding last night (Yay!!!) in Waco. It was a 7pm wedding, so we decided to leave the babies with Becky, and let them go to bed on time. We took just Emma and Jax.
There we were, dressed-up, Rusty, me, Emma and Jax. I ran into someone I hadn't seen in years that I knew from Baylor. She said "what a beautiful family you have." For a second, I looked at us through her eyes. We looked like that "perfect suburban family." A boy, who looks just like Rusty, and a girl who looks like me. I quickly added that we had two other little ones at home. It felt weird to be without them. There's nothing wrong with having just two children, HEAR ME, but that was not God's plan for this family. So it would have been wrong for us.
After we got Treston and we moved from 3 to 4 kids (ages 6 & under)we moved into the freak category. Again, by perfect suburban standards, 3 are acceptable, but 4 kids...people ask you immediately "Are y'all done???" Someone asked me this recently, and I kind of shrugged and said "I don't know?" He looked at me, openly puzzled by my response. I have to explain to answer honestly that we are not the Planners of our family. We don't know what God has for us. If we didn't learn that with Treston, than we are pretty dense. Adoption is the most intentional, multi-step, a million decisions process. He showed us that we can adopt a baby without ever even looking for a baby. Wow!
We like having four. We feel unbelievably blessed, and a little overwhelmed at times. Rusty always feels done. I never do. But we are content in the true sense of the word.
I believe we have to be content to allow God to grow our family the way He wants to. Family Planning is an actual term we use. Birth control, when you think of it, is pretty funny too. I'm not saying don't use birth control. (See a great discussion on birth control and family size on the Her Hands blog.) But we are NOT IN CONTROL, as much as we think we are. We as Christians are insistent on making our own plans, down to what sex babies we will have, how many, and when. Who do we think we are? I preach this hard in our Countdown class for engaged couples. Young couples are often insistent that they will be married for five years before a baby comes along. They're not encouraged to consult God on decisions like grad school, birth control, or insurance. I am always saying "But God is the Planner of your Family" like it's my mantra. You can make a plan, and you can take the pill, patch, and ring everyday, but if God wants a baby for you, then you shall have one.
I have seen young couples in our church succumb to God's Plan with joy, seeing children as a blessing, and not an interruption to their lives and careers. I'm so proud of you guys!
All this to say...God has faithfully layed out His plan for our family bit by bit. We've watched it unfold with anticipation, resistance, and surprise at times. But we desperately want to be in step with His plan for us! Can you imagine this Bacak clan missing any of us? I can't. And I'm SO GRATEFUL!

As for some tips on appropriate adoption lingo...
I have people ask me quite frequently questions about my kids. Here are the most common ones...
Are all these yours?
So you had two of your own before adopting?
Are Justus and Treston brothers?
Do you know his (Justus or Treston's) Mom?
Why did she give up her baby?

I don't mind these questions! I know people are curious, and as you know, I love sharing about our family and adoption!!!
I mind how they're worded.
People who are unfamiliar with adoption just lack sensitive words for these questions. I don't fault them for this, but I am super sensitive to what my kids are hearing when they hear these questions at the pool, Target, and HEB. (Basically, everywhere we go.)
So here's a little adoption education.
They're all MINE, whether biological or adopted, and they are all brothers and sister. I don't want my kids to ever hear otherwise.
Emma and Jax are biological children. I do not refer to Justus or Treston as our "adopted kids". They're all my kids. Period. But clearly, I birthed Emma and Jax, and God gave us Justus and Treston through adoption.
Justus and Treston have one Mom, and that's me. They both have birthmoms whom we love, pray for, and include in our lives! They are very important! But if you ask me about their "Mom" I will assume you mean me.
And birthmoms make a noble and selfless decision to place their baby for adoption, rather than give up. New Life prefers that wording, and I agree.
I know this sounds super sensitive, but pretend that you are Justus and you hear these words everyday. It could cause hurt feelings, feelings of not belonging, of being abnormal, or confusion. It's my job to protect my children over my job to satisfy people's curiosity.
We welcome questions! Truly! We love to share our adoption stories! What a blessing it is to share what God has done in our family.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Call For Prayer

I have mentioned before about my brother Brian, and his wife Amy, going through the process to adopt two little ones. This was a strange turn of events, brought on only by the Holy Spirit, that led them into this. They have hit some roadblocks...and we desperately need your prayer! I know you guys don't know all the details, but your prayers would mean so much to our family!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My New Yellow, Best Friend

Once again, my husband has changed my life.
We have a bad history with vacuum cleaners.
For some reason, they are just not our friends.
You cannot have a Golden Retriever dog, and a vacuum that refuses to suck.
You can't.
It sucks.
To see dog hair on the floor where I put my baby down is not acceptable.
It's just not.
So remember my birthday post, where I was so excited about getting a new vacuum cleaner?
How cliche is this? A stay at home Mom so pumped about a household cleaning appliance? Some might find this sad, but I feel as though my readers will understand.
This thing is magic.
I'm in love with it.
It sucks up everything, even on my hard floors, and just leaves the items too big to vacuum alone, on the floor. It doesn't suck them in and make a God-awful noise! No. It just leaves them be.
Also, there are no long tubes to get clogged up, so it doesn't lose suction.
And best of all...this one is going to win you over...It's bagless, like all of the vacuums I've had, but to empty it, you don't have to reach in and pull out the huge glob of disghusting matter that was just under your feet. No. You don't even have to touch it. You just pull a lever, and the bottom falls out and it empties into the trash can.
The first time that happenned, I wanted to cry.
Vacuuming is now one of my favorite pass-times. (As if we have pass-times in our life, but you get the drift.)
If you call me, I may not hear the phone.
I'm vacuuming.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Check out my Mom!

Check out my Mom! How cool is she? She has a blog now.
My mom is a pastor's wife, Nana of 15 (working on 17) grandkids, and her lifework and ministry is to pregnant women, babies, and adoptive families at New Life. This is the agency who blessed us with our last two babies. We have a GREAT appreciation for the amazing work they do!
My Mom has great wisdom on marriage, family, and adoption issues. Check out her blog at www.cindyseay.blogspot.com and learn from a Titus 2 woman. She rocks!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Fruit Fly Infestation

Does this picture make you want to throw up?
I picked one of the lesser graphic ones.
We have had a fruit fly infestation in our home.
Similar to the massive love bug plague of 2004. Do you remember that?
Who could forget? It was right when we got Justus, and I didn't want to leave the house. The love bugs were truly like an Old Testament plague. I kept wondering when we would repent here in B/CS and make them go away!!!
This is similar, but not quite near that severity.
We may not be the only ones experiencing the fruit fly problem, because I've heard other people complain about them and have seen them buzzing around the fruit at HEB.
It has reached the point where I've wanted to pack our bags.
I love this house, but those nasty little bugs make me lose my mind.
I literally become an irrational human being.
No matter what I was doing to keep the house super clean and remove any food sources for them, they just wouldn't go away.
They were the worst in my bathroom!!! What the heck is in the bathroom with sugar in it? NOTHING. They were just mocking me.
They've been laughing at me.
Every time I would kill some, I would say "Go tell your friends! IT'S ON!"
But they weren't scared.
They just kept making babies and making themselves at home.
Rusty said they only live for like 24 hours, so we've had about 14 generations of these nasty things, and they weren't planning on leaving.
I checked into having our house bombed by our Pest Control Company (One Above Pest Control...they're such nice people.) But Rusty was not ready to spend the money until he tried it himself.
Well, I have to sing his praises once again. He did it. He bought some spray and some fogger things at HEB last night, and he set it all up before we left for church this morning. I decided maybe we should couple that with some real prayer while we were there.
As we were leaving, we were talking trash to them, trying to intimidate them...hoping we could really back it up with these things.
IT WORKED! I haven't seen one since we got home from church!
We have won!!!
Way to go husband. The fruit flies are gone.
There is hope for anyone else out there whose home becomes infested.
Trash talk and HEB foggers.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Rock Star Brothers...

Okay, only one of them is a rock star, but the others are pretty close.
I am one of five: three brothers and I have one sister.
They're all pretty awesome.
Brian has a new blog I wanted to tell you about. He and his wife Amy are pursuing adopting a two and three-year old pair of siblings, and he created this blog to share the process. Brian lives in TN with my awesome sister-in-law, Amy, and their four kids. They're about to kick it up to six, if you can believe that! Their story is amazing, and I'm anxiously waiting and watching on the edge of my seat to see what God is going to do next. Brian has worked in ministry, as well as the Christian music industry, but is now working for Compassion International, and loves it! Check it out at Brian's blog (He has a link to the left also)

Robbie is a rock star. He has a band with a super creative name...The Robbie Seay Band. (RSB) I love my little bro, and his better half, Liz. They have some gorgeous, straight-out-of-the-catalog, crazy, fun kids! Liz just started blogging as well, and I wanted to let you in on their lives. Check it out at Rob & Liz's blog (Also linked up on the left)

Chris is an author, pastor, national speaker, husband, and father of four. Chris has written many books, some published by NavPress, but his current project is a paraphrase of the Bible called 'the voice.' He and a large team of writers and artists are telling the story of scripture in a captivating narrative form. You can check out these recently published books at www.hearthevoice.com (You can also google Chris Seay and find hundreds of other links to go to. It's crazy.)

Jessica is my way little sis! She just graduated from Magnolia HS and is headed to HBU. She is passionate about missions, photography, and is so fun!!! We can't wait to see what God does with her in her college years.

That's my fam. I'm pumped their bloggers now, so I wanted to let you all know!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy 5th Birthday Jax!

I can't believe it. My Boogie Bear, as we call him, is 5 years old.
He is a CONSTANT source of joy in our lives.
I love his crazy, ecclectic, self-created, twelve-piece costumes he wears, and that he runs through the house- stops dead in his tracks when he sees me in the kitchen- and says "I love you Mom" and then runs off. He often declares I'm his "best Mommy ever." This child melts my heart.
His best friend is his sister Emma.
He either wears costumes or underwear. Hardly ever anything in between, unless forced.
He loves fruit, and hates chocolate.
He asked for cereal for his special birthday breakfast.
He believes in pirates, superheros, and everything Scooby-Doo.
If he needs something out of the garage at night, he asks me to go with him so "he can 'tect me" (protect me.)
He asks everyone who comes to our house or he recognizes at church "What are YOU doing here?"
He'll still snuggle and take a nap with me.
Every year is an adventure. I look forward to five-year-old Jax. I LOVE being his Mom! Happy Birthday Jax!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Father's Day Super-Dad!!!

Father's Day...a day we usually give our Dad a tie and take him to lunch.
What could I possibly give Rusty to show him how grateful I am for him?
Everything is inadequate.
He is not only the man of my dreams STILL, but he is the best Dad to our "Bacak nation" as he calls it!
This is the man who...

goes grocery shopping with four little ones while I sing on the Praise Team at church on Sundays, pulling two carts, and makes every woman in the store stop and stare. He's actually somewhat famous at HEB because of this. People I DON'T know will tell me "I saw your husband at HEB! Wow! He's amazing!" (Rusty actually feels this is a sad commentary on Dad's today. He's out shopping with his own kids, and people act like it's a freak show. But it is stinkin' amazing considering having four little ones!)

comes home from work and goes immediately into tickle, wrestle, jump on the trampoline, swing, and chase mode.

comes home to the insanity for lunch with us everyday ON PURPOSE!

stayed up until 10pm (on Father's Day) making water balloons in the backyard for Jax's birthday party before getting to eat any dinner.

who kept all four of our kids while I was out of town recently for four days and still had the house totally clean when I came home.

He truly is SUPER! I could go on and on...but all this to say- Happy Father's Day Rusty! I hope you feel celebrated everyday in our home. We love, respect, and down-right adore you!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Missions and Orphans

This is my family.
It's no secret, we are passionate about adoption. We are especially passionate about trans-racial adoption. There is a recent post on the Lily 7 blog that I started about racism in the church. I would love to see some of you comment on it. That will be another post on this blog, specifically about trans-racial adoption.
This post is about caring for the orphans.
This post has been brewing in me because of what's been happenning in my extended family lately...my brother Brian and his wife Amy are pursuing adopting two kids that have been a part of a foster family in my other brother, Chris', church. (Confusing?) Chris has been burdened for these two sweet foster kids who have been in the system for over a year, and no family has been found for them. They have already been separated from a sister, and she was adopted out, but Andrie and Patience have been waiting. The agency is not a Christian one, and the likelihood of them going to a homosexual couple is increasing. The foster Mom has been hoping and praying that someone in their church would pursue them, but they have not. Chris was telling us a few weeks ago, when we were all together for my sister's graduation, about these kids. His face was literally pained as he told us about them. My brother Brian and his wife felt God prompting them through this, even though they live in TN, have four kids, no room in their house, and no money to spare. They have prayed about it, and felt a clear word from the Lord to pursue these kids. They are rushing through the paperwork and homestudy to become candidates with this agency in hopes that they will soon have 2 & 3 yr. old Patience and Adrie. They are African-American, and BEAUTIFUL kids!!! What a blessing that will be for my kids to have them as cousins. Please pray for God's hand in this and his favor as they move through this process.
It sparked a discussion in my family.
How should we feel about the orphans among us? When we received the call about fostering Treston, James 1:27 spoke to Rusty.

27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.

Some other words in scripture about caring for orphans...

Ps 82:3-4
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Isa 1:17
17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows.

It's a clear mandate in scripture to care for the orphans, but what does that really mean to us?
Well, I think it's exactly how we should feel about missions.
We should all care about missions.
It's a clear mandate in scripture as well to "take this message of repentance to all the nations." (Luke 24:47) No one questions that. Does that mean that EVERY ONE of us is supposed to do foreign mission work?
But we should at least be asking ourselves about the role WE play in missions.
1st, what kind of missionaries are we here, where we live?
3rd, If not, then are we funding the people who do?
4th, are we training people in our own churches and sending them out?
5th, Are we praying for missionaries and their work?
There are so many roles we could play in this call to missions.
There was a time in my life when I didn't care enough about missions. When I was in HS and college, I respected missionaries...I had done GA's and Acteens...I did my steps...I got my crown...(if you're not baptist, you might be confused here.) I knew missions was very important. But it had nothing to do with me, and I was too self-absorbed to REALLY care.
As I grew in maturity and in my faith, I felt more and more burdened for people all over the world to hear the Good News of Jesus, and come to know Him as I do.
Rusty and I have asked ourselves all of those questions, and we are playing a role in many mission efforts. If the Lord calls us to be missionaries outside of Bryan-College Station, then we will go. The great thing about God is He will make it clear to us if that's the role we should play.
I think it's the same with caring for orphans.
Does this mean that every family should adopt or foster?
But it means you should at least be asking yourself if you should.
What role do you play in caring for orphans?
You could help fund adoptions for families who want to adopt and can't afford it.
You can fund agencies like New Life that do amazing work in the lives of women in crisis pregnancies, unborn babies, and families who adopt.
You can join in mission efforts in orphanages around the world.
There are many roles to play.
What we CAN'T do, is look at the orphans among us and think they are someone else's problem to solve. Or that we don't have what it takes to help.
We have more than enough.
Romans 12 is one of my all-time favorite chapters, and the words have struck me anew in verse 13; "When God's children are in need, be the one to help them out."
I like how that's put. Don't wait for someone else to do it. Be the one. (Anyone remember that old Al Denson song? I just got a lift your lighter and sway back and forth youth group flashback. Wow.)
Again, I'm not saying that this means everyone should foster or adopt.
I just think we should at least consider if that's what it means.
If the answer is yes, you will know it. He has made that crystal clear to us twice. He has changed our hearts and minds to match His will. When he tells you to go get a baby, like he's told my brother and sister-in-law, it becomes a drive in you that you can't turn off.
If the answer is no, then choose another way to help.
But can we continue to call ourselves Christians and feel no burden for the children that aren't our flesh and blood?
1 John 3:17 speaks to that.

17 But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help — how can God's love be in that person?

I write this as a person who has a long way to go in applying this verse to my life. I know God has so much more to teach us about giving and doing what we can and should for the needy.
I hope all of us, and our families, will be open to what God has to say to us about this.
What will our families and churches look like after we've heard Him speak?

*I'm adding an addendum to this post. Does everyone love the word addendum?
If you want to act now, the Henry's are adopting Camille, formerly known as Denaya. (cute little thing!)
For those of you who don't know them, Mark Henry is our discipleship pastor at LH.
We don't want this adoption to be a financial strain for them. We want their financial focus to be feeding those six kids, and putting gas in their 15 passenger van. (Ouch!)
So they need $900. What a privelege it would be for us all to share in this adoption by helping them financially!
If you're interested, contact me or Heather and we will arrange it, or give it directly to the Henry's.
Also, if you're curious to know about the costs of adoption, I would gladly talk with you.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Kids' First Wedding

It's been a week since I updated my blog.
I'm really not a blog loser.
It's been a crazy week. Our lives are a little out-of-control with travelling right now.
But it's all going to resume to whatever sense of normality we can muster by the end of the week.
I can't wait!
This past weekend, my kids were in their first wedding. Jodi, who we love (you may remember seeing pics of her on the blog before...she lived with us last fall) married Andrew Saturday! It was so sweet that she asked Emma, Jax, & Justus to be apart of it! The boys were the ring bearers, and they were beyond cute in their little men tuxes. Jax didn't want to take his off. He looked good, and he knew it. He did a super job!
Justus was not impressed with wearing the jacket and tie, but it made him the center of attention, and he LOVED that! (Who knew you could wear a diaper and a tux at the same time?) He has learned how to whoop! and he does it often. That's his big crowd pleaser...the sound Aggies love to hear. He probably did it a hundred times by the end of the weekend. He was determined to be on the stage too! He and Jax walked down the aisle, holding hands and holding the pillow, (looking precious) and then walked to me and I took them out. Well, that was not good enough. During the wedding, he made a mad dash (starting in the foyer) for the stage, and made it about a third of the way down the aisle before Rusty (holding Treston) caught him by the back of his shirt and yanked him back. I was watching from the last pew, and it all happenned in slow motion. You know the feeling? I don't know what he's going to do in life to be on stage, but he's sure he's meant for it. The groomsmen reported this to be the highlight of the ceremony.

Stay posted for more updates this week. I have a blog post brewing in my mind about taking care of the orphans. (James 1:17)

Monday, June 04, 2007

My Trip to NY

I've been in NY this weekend with my Mom, my sister, and my cousin Bailey. This was a girls trip to celebrate my sister's HS graduation.
This was our first night in NY. We went to see "The Color Purple".
It was disturbing, sad, funny, and musically awe-inspiring.
Every single voice was amazing.
Fantasia from "American Idol" 2004 played the lead. She was really great!
It was pretty cool to sit in the audience and be white, and in the minority. That felt cool.
The most exciting part of the night was that Melinda Doolittle and Jordyn Sparks (winner of this year's American Idol) were in the audience with us. We were all clicking our cameras during the intermission from afar, despite the no camera rule. If you look closely, you can see both Melinda and Jordyn, plus Jordyn's parents. If I could draw arrows for you, I would.
I'm bloggin from the NY airport, where we have been for over 5 hours. Our flight is delayed, but the plane just arrived, so PEACE OUT!