Thursday, February 16, 2012

Helping the Heim Family

During our adoption adventure Eli and I met someone I am thankful to now call a friend, Traci Heim. We also got to meet two of her adorable daughters. I have always been amazed by Traci and her family - not because it is large (and growing!) but because of their faith, and I am excited to learn they are once again adding to their family. Traci and her husband have adopted each one of their six children. They are in the process of adopting a sibling group of four. That's right! When I say things to Traci like "this and this and this would have to take place before this takes place and what about this...???(in my own life)" Traci's response is usually something along the lines of "Who says God can't do ALL of that, in His own timing?"
She is passionate about her faith, her family and adoption. When I saw they were trying to adopt this large sibling group I thought oh my goodness...what can I do to help? I know it's not much but I am posting the latest blog entry from Traci's blog Like a City on a Hill it will give you some insight into why they are working hard to bring four children home. She has a give away going on the help with fundraising, which is nothing new to the Heim family. Maybe you are reading this and wondering how you could help? Just hop over to her blog and read a little about the Heim family. Here is the link again: Like a City on a Hill and this is Traci's blog post from February 15th:

Hiding my feelings from myself

Have you ever been so calm and serene about something that normally would have all your senses on edge? You know, something so important that there is no way anyone other than you understands the urgency, cares so deeply, acutely knows how monumental the situation really is more than you?

Usually when I am undertaking a new adoption process, (as I write that it makes me laugh. Adoption has become common routine for me. Awesome!) I become what I call hyper Type A. I micromanage every aspect of every piece of paperwork, both the paper I am responsible for as well as those items that are not my duty: think home study, fingerprinting, background checks, visa approval, etc.)
I become hyper-aware of every minute passing that could be used to complete some vital part of the adoption process.

This time has been very different. There are some big unknowns around this adoption. I am going with a new home study agency. It is not so common to adopt a sibling group of this size in Illinois. I have absolutely no idea about how the time frame is going to unfold. All things that would send me reeling into "figure out every facet of every possible scenario" mode, but oddly not happening.

Foolish, foolish me to think that I had really matured that much.

A dear friend asked me to send her an email about the kids. She wants to help raise awareness of our adoption to encourage prayers and financial support. I was excited for her support and set out to write to her about the kids.

I shared what Eastern European Outreach had written about them and then I included personal details about the afternoon I spent with them along with observations from college students who had spent the last three weeks with them.

I thought I would be sharing basic details about their ages, looks and personalities, and I did that. But I learned something as I wrote to her.

Here is a picture of Masha along with what I wrote about her.
Masha (Maria) had a shy hope about her. She was one of the oldest children at the orphanage. There was a group of American college students finishing up a 3 week visit doing VBS type activities, and it was obvious that most of it was geared for the younger kids. I think Masha's life has been spent on younger kids. She definitely felt responsible for her younger siblings. She was embarrassed by some of their behavior while they were talking to me, it was actually great to see that dynamic. It seemed more like an older sister than a mom. I was glad to see her being able to relate on an age appropriate level. She asked to see her picture after I took it, and just like most teen girls, she didn't think she looked right. Her hair was troubling her. She blushed and made a face after looking at it. I asked her what hopes she had for the future. She told me she would like to be a travel agent. I pressed her if there wasn't anything else?
She looked in my eyes and quietly breathed, "I would like a mom and a dad."
And there it was. At nearly 16 she still hoped, believed that maybe she could still be cherished and loved by a mom and a dad. That someone would come and tell her that they loved her and would take care of her.
And she trusted me with that wish.
She is the one I can't get out of my head. She is the reason for our urgency. She doesn't have much time and she deserves to know she is loved, cherished, prayed for, valued. She needs to know that 16 is still just a baby and that I long for her to be my baby.
16 is so very young to be so old and alone.
It's not right, and God help us we are trying to change that.

As I finished writing this I found that tears were streaming down my face. I learned something I hadn't told myself:
I learned how very much I love them.
I felt how much I ache for them.
I realized how incomplete our family now is without them.
I had not shared that with anyone before.
I hadn't even told myself those things.  
I  still have peace about not knowing when and how their adoption will come together. I know without a doubt that God's hand is guiding and directing us. There is nothing else I need to know.

I know that all of us have needs and that money is tight for everyone. I also know that God moves his people to provide and if you are so inclined to be a part of our adoption you can donate here. Every $10 still enters you into the give-away for the Lladro figurine.
Above all else I value your prayers for my children both already here in my home as well as these precious children yet to be called Heims. Please pray for their hearts to keep hope alive, pray blessings upon all those who handle our paperwork. Pray that the Holy Spirit would move within the hearts of His church to take up the cause of the orphan. To volunteer their own homes as the ones where God sets the lonely.
Thank you, dear friends.

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