The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Dissatisfaction Goes On

Where to begin? First of all, you simply must read this. Then come back. Please. Please, come back. Please don't love Jamie more than me. My fragile ego can't handle that.

There are a lot of things kinda bouncing around in my brain today. I tried to verbally process with Aaron and then with a girlfriend by phone, but these things are hardly more crystallized than before. Maybe writing it out will help solidify it. Then, again, maybe it's unsolidifiable. (YES, of COURSE that's a word. Sheesh.)

I know I talk a lot about that "divine dissatisfaction" that's been rumbling around these parts like an ever-nearing thunder. I hope it doesn't bore you. I mean, just because I find it mesmerizing like a train wreck doesn't mean you do. Ya know, it's my life, so it's infinitely interesting to me. The rest of you get to choose, I guess. (See what I mean about not even knowing where to start?!)

Today's sermon was about faith. If you're anything like me, you're bored already. But, it was actually pretty fresh. I think the guest speaker (Marty) and I were pretty much on the same wave-length. For instance, he brought up the verse that says God is able to do infinitely more than we could ever dream up. His conclusion? There's a lot more to this God thing than we have experienced so far! That's exactly how I feel. That's what the divine dissatisfaction is all about, really. There's so much more to God...and we want to grab a hold and take the wild ride! Well, kinda. Cuz sometimes it scares me just to think about it, so I have to wonder if I'll survive the living of it. But, most of the time, it's exciting. Or, as Marty's wife later declared: "Scary fun. It's never scary without the fun, but it's never fun without the scary either." Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

He also talked about "dream seeds" and how God puts stuff in your heart and life and then weaves them together eventually, but they start out as just these dream seeds. And, about hearing the voice of God and getting confirmation from His Word and character. So all those things intertwine and work together to get us where He's going (that's the point right? following Him?). So, what are your dream seeds? (Really, tell me. Go hit the comment button and share. I'd love to know. Or, you could be like Mary and write a whole entry on your own blog--just be sure to let me and my stalkers know it's there!)

One of mine is about community. WAAAAAAY back when I first started experiencing the reality of God (rather than just religion), in about 1995, God clearly emblazoned two Scriptures on my heart. I just knew, don't ask me how, but I just knew that my whole life would be about these two things. Ps 68:6 "God places lonely people in families." And, Titus 2:3-5 which basically says that the older women are to live rightly and to teach the younger women to do the same so that no one will be able to say anything nasty about God. I had no idea (in some ways, I still don't) what that would look like in my life, but I knew that's what my life would be about. I guess since y'all don't live in my head, I should explain how the two are connected (in my head anyway). It has always seemed to me that the best way to learn and teach is in the context of relationship. Not just loosey-goosey relationship, but real-life, hard-core, nitty-gritty, raw, life-giving relationship. Like the kind you find in great families. And, another word for families that aren't really related? Community. Again, not some namby-pamby version, but real, raw community.

So far, I've seen a tish of fulfillment, but I'm brimming over with anticipation of what MORE this could mean. I lived in the dorms, with my door open, throughout my college career. Then I lived with nine other women in a home during my internship. (Cute side note: First two things I learned about Aaron, before I ever met him: (1) he was single, (2) he had just bought a house, this house, with the intention of living in community!) And, the second year of our marriage, we had 2 students living with us. None of it really fits my vision of living in real community, but they were good attempts and great experiences.

A few months ago, I read The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. He talks a bit about the power of living in community, and he's experienced a lot more of it than I have. His experiences widened my views. (sorry, having trouble crystallizing again)

Then, I just finished reading Too Small to Ignore: Why Children are the Next Big Thing by Wess Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion, Intnat'l (a child-focused poverty-relief agency). Wess grew up in Ivory Coast, West Africa (Liberia's neighbor) where his parents were missionaries in a remote village. When Americans say, "It takes a village" (who started that? Was it Hilary Clinton?), I think we have no idea. Most of us have never seen how a village "works." But, Wess knows. Wess grew up in a village that is probably remarkably similar to the type of village Pea grew up in. His description of the village's values and how the whole place was like one big family, interdependent upon one another, intimately involved in each others' lives, so much so that they could meet each other's unspoken needs... well, that just resonates with me. That just sounds like the kind of setting where I could live and love like Jesus. It sounds like the kind of place that authentic generational learning and teaching could take place. It sounds like the kind of place where lonely people are absorbed into the fabric of family and community. And, no, it doesn't sound ideal or utopic (yep, that's a word too--on my little bloggity blog at least), but it does sound like a place where my values would be at home.

Another of my dream seeds has to do with the terrible injustice of poverty and especially the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. I have no idea how to end poverty. I barely have a concept of how to start chipping away at it. I know that money doesn't solve poverty (have you ever noticed that even money isn't really about money?). I also have no idea how to get ARVs into the communities in Africa (and India and nearly everywhere else) where they are desperately needed. I don't know how to stop the stigma or the spread. But I want to. I really, really want to have something to do with the end of both diseases.

And, then there's this incredible affinity with Liberia. No, I've never been there. Not even close (unless you count India and that looks about as far away on the wall map as Boise). It's like when I was pregnant with Punky, and I'd be thinking about him and I'd have to pull the car over because the tears were obstructing my view. How do you love someone that much when you've never met? It's the same way I feel about Pence and Pea. I love them dearly, but I've never met them. Thankfully the features in their photos are infinitely easier to discern than Punk's ultrasound pics were. Why do I have such a yearning, such a pulling toward a country I've never set foot in and know nearly nothing about? Is it because my family will be inextricably intertwined with this country forever more? No, it's more than that. I can't explain it.

So, what does all this add up to? I don't know. My friend asked me today if I thought I'd live here in Boise indefinitely. A year ago there wouldn't be a question in my mind. I couldn't think of any place else that even came close. Now, I know we won't be here long (in the biblical sense of like 5-40 years), but I can't really say where we're going, when, or what we'll be doing. I feel like we're on the edge of something, waiting to hear "JUMP!"

I won't even ask how high--I'll just plug my nose and plunge right in!


Anonymous said...

my dream seeds were to get married and have children through birth and adoption and that sprouted into a dream of adopting children with special needs. seeing them progress means the world to me. it is hard work, there is no denying sometimes takes all the faith i have (especially to get through the adoption process) but i would choose no other path in this world. the hardest thing is dealing with the people that do not live within the realm of my dreams and dont understand why someone would intentionally adopt a child that is not "perfect" or occasionally reading about an adult adoptee who is unhappy and in pain and blaming it on their "white mommy and daddy" yes, this is a quote that steeped in sarcasm. those moments make me momentarily question myself, but then i look at the kids and how far they have come and know that they are right where they belong in this world...if it could not be with the people that gave them life. ok im rambling, but you did say "go ahead, and hit the comment button...LOL thanks for sharing your dreams. they are fine ones!
another rachel (josie chea's mom from aoh list)

Owlhaven said...

I'm going to talk about this over at my place too...

I know what you mean....

Mary, mom to many, including 4 Ethiopians

Jocelyn said...

I've heard nothing about finalization. Donna said she would call this week after she talked to Eric in Liberia. I know that Isaac was suppose to be in court last week to finish his adoption over there, but I've heard nothing yet.

Here's hoping...this has got to happen soon.

Anonymous said...


I also read that book from Wes Stafford...great book. Very great.

Love, Denise

Tarah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brandi said...

Hello. . .I just looked at your map and you are read all over the world now! Does that make you a world traveler or just your blog? hmmm


amber said...

I love this post. It stirs up alot in me because I have many of the same conversations knocking around in my brain -- and the deep desire to make a difference... to travel the less-comfortable path... to find that incredible peace in doing what is not conventional, but oh so rewarding!
This adoption is stirring up all kinds of old dream seeds (and creating some new ones,too...)
I'm with ya on the 'unknown' aspect of where we'll be in the future. I sense several blind jumps coming. :) Whoo-eee! What an adventure life can be if we are willing to jump and let that "divine dissatisfaction" penetrate our comfort zone!

Annee said...

I used your post as inspiration for my first blog post. Come and see!

Anonymous said...

Great post Rae! Either I am ADHD or I also experience the extreme desire to fix and change and learn and grow like you do. And our kids, it's up to us you know, we've got to teach them and show them a world bigger than Boise Idaho....

I guess you may say that we are dreamers, but it's nice to know we aren't the only ones. :)


And, you crack me up with the whole "Don't like Jamie more than me" comment. You funny girl you.

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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I blog for myself and my kids and I would do it even if no one else cared, but I do like to hear from you (and think it's a wee bit creepy of you to voyeurize us without my knowing it). So, please leave a comment from time to time, or email me anytime at Much obliged, I'm sure.

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued