The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Church Search--The Conclusion???

So, I didn't quite keep up with my "episodes" of the church search, but thanks for praying for us all the same. Yesterday was our fourth visit to the same church and the New Comers Lunch. I've been looking forward to the lunch for the entire month, making mental lists (which is pretty fruitless considering the state of my memory) of questions I wanted to ask. Normally, when Aaron and I have "dated" a church, we have invited the pastor and wife to dinner at our house. Given the state of our house this month and the fact that this church had prepared a place for our questions, we respected that and waited. Which was kinda hard for me to do. I'm a pretty inquisitive, curious kind of gal and trying to gather info through observation rather than direct questioning (which, I feel confident, would have been welcome too) was something of an interesting experiment (especially in new situations--or recipes--I try to follow the directions first before going my own way!).

I think looking for a church to call home is somewhat similar to dating. When our family "attends" a church, we're committed. We are certainly expecting to get some things out of the "relationship," but we are also looking for a place we can humbly serve and contribute, and once we're there, we're there. So, we want a good fit, shared values. Like in a marriage, similarities are "money in the bank" so to speak and differences are regular withdrawls. We don't want to commit and get knee-deep in a church only to discover fundamental differences (in beliefs/doctrine, or values, or even ways of doing things in areas that count). And, just like finding a spouse, we know we'll never find a "perfect" fit with a church--we're just looking for one we can spend a good part of our lives with.

When Aaron and I were dating, we were clear with each other about the purpose of the relationship, just as we've been clear with the pastor and people of this church that we're new and checking things out, deciding whether we want to move into a deeper commitment (no kidding, I actually had someone ask if we wanted to help out with any of the ministries--to be fair, he specified the parking people--on about the second week. I told him I thought we better commit to the church before we commit to it's ministries!). And, when Aaron and I were dating, there was a period of three months when he was working in France and our relationship was all via email and a few sporadic phone calls. I used this time to ask him probably more than a hundred different questions (and no, I don't think I'm exaggerating the number) about his values, hopes, dreams, past, etc. The lunch at church on Sunday felt like a miniturized version of the same--with an audience. :)

Yeah, it was a little strange because, of course, there were other newcomers at the Newcomers' Lunch. And, no one, not one of them, asked a single question. Just me. Oh, and Aaron--he did ask one. Here I was thinking I was going to be putting the pastor on the spot (and feeling a little sorry for him), but then each time he finished answering a question, every eyeball in the place turned toward me! It was kinda awkward and I tried to push off the attention and let someone else ask something. But, the truth of the matter was that most of the other attendees were college students brought by their friends and they probably didn't think for thirty seconds about what to ask and here, I'd been thinking about it all month (and done it before, no less).

But, I kept my "doozy" of a question for a private moment. The pastor of this church prays often during services and on his own for the other churches in the area--by name. And, it's just obvious from the way he talks about them that there are other churches and pastors he respects and likes. You get the picture that this guy is more about building the kingdom of God rather than just building his own little castle within it. So, I felt pretty confident and comfortable asking my question. But, I wouldn't have asked it of just any pastor. "Given what you know about our little family, which I realize isn't all that much yet, and what you know about the other area churches, do you think that this church is the best place for us to make our home?" I wasn't trying to be difficult or challenging, but I did realize his answer would be a test of his character, whether or not what he portrayed from the platform was really in his heart. And, I was seriously interested in whether we should check out anywhere else since we don't know anything about any of the other churches. I mean, I prayed and hoped that our church search would be quite short and simple and I was expecting God to answer, but that doesn't mean that the first church we dated would be the one we committed to.

He gave me some options and some pros and cons of each, even brought up the dating analogy on his own. He recommended one in particular because it is closer to our home and because it has an emphasis on racial reconciliation. I had an interest in that particular church from my internet research already for the reasons he specified. We're still wrestling with whether we should go check it out, but to tell the truth, I think Aaron and I are both at peace that we've found our home.


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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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