Advocate

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭

Advocate: a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. Synonym: champion

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We were watching an episode of “This is Us” last night. Randall and his family are foster parents to a young woman named Deja. In this episode, we see more of her backstory. As her story unfolds, I realized how important it is for foster kids to have an advocate. A voice through an adult when they feel like they don’t have a voice.

As my mind usually does, it took off on another tangent. I was reminded that Christ is our advocate with the Father. We, sinful people, have an advocate with the Holy Father! We do not have to worry about not being heard.

When life gets hard, I will remember that I have a voice. God hears me through His Son. A Son that died on the cross for me a little less than 2000 years ago today.

I will also remember that I should be the voice, the advocate, the champion for those who feel like they have no voice. The marginalized, the downtrodden, the young, and the old. I will be a pest until those voices are heard.

These kiddos need my voice. Our voice.


“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:1-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Update

IMG_5080I know you guys think I fell off the face of the earth. Unless you are my Facebook friend. 🙂 A sweet friend mentioned that they really enjoyed my blog and wished I would start back. That was a while ago, but here we are.

It has been crazy in the life of the Moodys. Just when you think things are leveling off, something happens to upset the apple cart. Or Moody cart. Last week, it was the start of the school year. D started 7th grade. Z and E started 2nd grade. Little miss V started K3. What a process it was to get 4 kids ready for school to start. Not to mention getting them ready for school every day! We are striving for routine and everyone doing their share, but someone has to be the cheerleader/coach! Yesterday, it was a budgeting error that has left our fundage a little skimpy for a week or so.

Speaking of cheerleader/coach, I will admit to you that I am not always the best cheerleader/coach. Really. Some days it is all I can do to get myself together. On those days, I just want the process to be over, by whatever method possible. Those are not good days. Thankfully, God can/will redeem those. My husband is a great cheerleader/coach. Yesterday, when we realized our budgeting error, I flipped out. FLIPPED OUT! My husband was so calm, and talked me off the edge. He spoke truth to me. He reminded me of all the times God has taken care of us.

Which brings me to the subject of self care. Moms, don’t push past the need for self care. Just don’t. Stay in tune with your body. Get rest. Exercise. Eat healthy foods. Spend time in the Word. Spend time with your spouse/friends. It is good example for your kids. I watched a short documentary on Michael Phelps. While training for the olympics, he never took a day off. Never. Never? Never. Take a day off!!! Block off some time to just think. To pray.

Last week I listened to a speaker who was talking about the ancient brain (some call it the downstairs or reptilian brain) vs the modern brain (some call it the upstairs brain). Did you know that the ancient brain controls 75-80% of our behavior? Even more when we are stressed. These are every day activities that we don’t have to think about, good and bad. These are hurts, habits, and hangups that come out to control things, and we keep wondering why. This is why healing takes so long. You have to get down to the ancient brain. It takes courage and energy to stop the flow from the ancient brain that is controlling our behavior.

This is why self care is so important. Self care will look different for different for different people. Whatever makes you feel better and not worse. Some people need to sleep. Some need to get out in nature. Some need to journal. I like all of these things. I also pickup my Bible and read, letting it take me wherever it wants to and praying as I go. There is something refreshing to read the Bible without an agenda, letting God lead your mind and heart.

Things I am into right now/resources I would recommend:

John MacArthur sermons (right now I am in Genesis and working my way through)

Karyn Purvis (Trust Based Relationship Relational Intervention) and Empowered to Connect

Dan Siegel books on parenting and the brain

Joel Fuhrman and the Nutritarian diet

My Instant Pot!

 

Daughter


Dear daughter,

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes you won’t get your own way. Sometimes life feels unfair. 

Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be afraid. Don’t give up. 

God loves you. I love you. Your family loves you. 

Trust in God. 

Fear

Today is Halloween. Amusingly enough, this morning I had a revelation about FEAR. V and I are off today getting ready for our annual neighborhood candy fest. V was sleeping in, and the boys were getting ready for school. Everything was good, until the boys started getting a little rowdy on the way out the door. I spoke harsh words to them, because I was AFRAID they would wake up V. 

V woke up soon after they left, and I started evaluating myself.  Why would I be AFRAID that the boys would wake up V? The worse that could happen is that I don’t get to drink my coffee in peace. It was then that God revealed to me how many of my actions are motivated by FEAR. 

I clean my house before guests come, because I am AFRAID that they will judge me (not because I want it to be nice for them). I vote for a certain party, because I am AFRAID that the other candidate will win (not because I think the candidate I vote for will necessarily do a good job). I rush to the grocery store to buy groceries, because I am AFRAID the kids won’t have the right things to pack for lunch tomorrow (not because we are really out of food).  I am AFRAID of being late to work, so I yell and rush my family. On and on it goes. 

The world has conditioned us to FEAR. God tells us to love our neighbor.  God tells us not to fear. God tells us He is over elections. God tells us that He will provide all our needs. God tells us that He gives us a Spirit of power, love, and self-control. 

These kiddos deserve better from their mom than actions motivated by FEAR. My actions should be motivated by LOVE. LOVE drives out FEAR. LOVE comes from God revealed through our Lord Jesus Christ.



Fun

We have had the best time over the last few weeks. V has come into our family like she has always been here. The boys have taken on their new responsibilities with strength and have shown a deep compassion that touches my soul. 

Am I tired? Yes. I will be tired until the day I die. Now is the time to live. 

   

    
   
   
 

Lost

  
It was been a while since I posted a real “honest” blog. Today, I am looking at my silly bird (which I like to call her). She has brought us so much joy. The pain to get to her (and our other boys) is what is on my heart today.

The pain of lost time.

9 months (or so) in the womb for each child: 36 months

12 weeks maternity leave per child (standard for my job status for a woman who is pregnant) minus the time off I was able to use:  approximately 7 months total

Months of life apart from me total (all children): 65 months

Total time lost: 108 months (9 years)

9 years!

It is not just me that feels the pain of loss. My kids and husband do too. Some days our own pain,  brokenness, and loss rubs up against another’s pain, brokenness, and loss. It can get ugly.

Thank goodness God hasn’t given up on us. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

 

Introducing…

She is ours!!! No words, just pics. 

  
  
 
  
  
  
   
   
   
   
   
 

Doctor (Lekarz)

Hey who doesn’t love going to the doctor – a toddler who doesn’t know that she’s going to the doctor that’s who. It all started nice and pleasant. Inviting room for the kiddies. A receptionist that spoke wonderful English. Then health questions about V from the doctor. Easy right? Then came the physical exam that was expected by me, not by her. That’s when the little lady lost it. The doctor went quick seeing the urgency of the situation. He’s apparently done many an adoption examination paperwork. The whole little girl getting her reflexes checked was cool to watch. Her little legs popped like they were supposed to. Never seen it done before, not even with the boys.

All in all, everything went well and a clean bill of health was awarded. Oh and most importantly, no TB test required. Little lady is under the age two, therefore no test is required. Thank the Lord. A blood test then a chest x-ray that would go over well, don’t you think? NOT!! This little lady is strong for her size. I can’t imagine trying to hold her down for a few seconds. Her older brother, Master “A” is pretty strong for his size and I’ve had to hold him down for a blood test before. Actually, it took four of us. Lori, two nurses, and me all had to essentially lay on top of him. Can’t imagine what it would take, but no worries. Whoohooo! Not necessary!!!

Other good day in Warsaw.

Bill

Court (Kort)

What can you say about going to court. Sometimes it’s exciting, sometimes it’s scary, sometimes you feel as though it’s a waste of your time. For us, I believe, it fell into the exciting and scary with anxiety sprinkled on top. Standing in front of judge is bad enough when you can understand what’s being said but now imagine it’s being spoken in Polish. Imagine, as you try to understand every word that’s being said and the only things you can make are Bill and Lori and your address. (Side note: the judge fumbling over our address is funny, because a lot of the time people in America can’t even say it right) Your Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur Conversational Polish can’t help you because the words are not even mentioned until you get to level five and volume 4 respectively. You are hanging on every word the court assigned interpreter says. These proceedings are very serious and all deal with the future of a adorable little girl.

Time to paint a picture:

As you stand in the center of the room, you are standing behind what looks like a prayer alter without the kneeling bench. Consider this where you will “take the stand.” In front of you are seated 4 individuals. Dead center is the Judge. On either side of him is two lay or lower judges with the 4th individual seated at the end of the table. She is the court reporter. To my left and right are tables perpendicular to the made judge table. (yes, that’s right I said perpendicular in a blog post – eh, engineer what can you do) The table to my left seats the prosecutor. She represents the Polish government in Elk that has the best interests of Victoria at the forefront. To my right at the other table is our lawyer representing us. That’s right she’s not sitting beside us at “our table.” This is how they do it. All lawyers and judges are wearing black robes with colors signifying their specific duty in this preceding. Green piping and a green ascot are worn by our lawyer and red by the prosecutor. It reminded me of some legal proceeding in England that I saw on TV. As you are still standing in the middle, behind you are 4 bench seats reminiscent of church pews.

Now court begins. Through the interpreter, the file of adoption for one Victoria P has been brought forth. The Moody’s have submitted the appropriate paperwork for petition to adopt Victoria. No new additions to the paperwork have to be made. (Everything is good to go) After those formalities are out of the way, the Judge asks for one to testify. Lori volunteers to go first. Questions from the judge included: Is your intent to adopt this child? Yes. Were you aware of her circumstances prior to your decision? Yes. What is your impression of the child? Tell me about her. The judge then turned it over to the prosecutor who had no questions. Our lawyer asked a few to help ram home our commitment to V: Aware of her health? Yes. How will you care for her when you return home? Do you have adequate insurance to cover her in addition to your existing children? Yes.

My turn: Judge asks if I complete agree with Lori’s testimony. I said yes, of course. He again asked the question what do you think about her. After a few more questions, he asked one final question of me. “It is my understanding that you will remind after your wife returns home to your boys. You will be here by yourself with her. Are you scared or worried?” My answer was truthful and with a bit of humor.   I admitted that is was little scared or intimidated by this circumstance, but I then said that I am an engineer and I will adapt to the situation as needed. After a interpreter delay, a few chuckles were heard.  Our lawyer asked a few questions and then offered an open ended question that allowed me to plead for as short an appeal period as possible. In so many words, I said that while I love Poland, I would like to be back home as soon as possible with all of us together as one big family. I believe that I was fairly eloquent. Remember, all questions and our answers have to be relayed through the interpreter: question-translate-answer-translate. Imagine all that floating around in your head.

The court then asked that the foster care family testify. The foster care mom was up first. Questions from the judge were quick and I only mainly heard her translated response. She said that she thought we were wonderful and that she felt that V would have a great family with all the love and care that she needs. Foster care dad almost seemed like a politician. Not all of what he said to us made it through translation, but it appeared very sincere. Lots of hand movements were his thing. He said that though he and his wife love V, they are much older and will not be able to give her the care that she will need that a loving family can give her.

Closing arguments included a final plea by our lawyer and the shortened time and V’s new full name on paper. We exited the room for a moment and then all returned. Court decision – she yours!!!! And the court will reduce the appeal time to the shortest amount possible. Tear, tear, sniff, sniff.

At the conclusion, we were handed a new adoption decree with the appeal ending in two weeks so that visa and passport paperwork can begin. Lots of hugs to the foster care family and some gifts to say thank you. It was a very Blessed Day. It couldn’t have happened any better than it did.

Rest assured, Lady V was under the loving care of our lawyer’s partner. He was wheeling her around the nearby park until we were finished. She slept through most of it… until he stopped moving the stroller. 🙂

One of the best days of my life.

Bill

Bonding (Klejenie)

Hello everybody!!! I know it has been a little while since our last post, but lots of thing have happened since then. Major ones!! The nature of the events don’t lend themselves to photos so the next couple of post won’t be too visual.

Once the bonding period was complete then we returned to Elk, the town where Victoria was born. Three hour trip to the middle of nowhere. You’ve heard of the idea you can’t get there from here meaning there is not an easy way to get to Elk. There’s not. Heck, our driver got lost our first time to go get her there. Our first day was a meeting with the social worker and the child psychologist. The social worker we already had a meeting with in Warsaw. The child psychologist was new to the discussion. She asked some of the same questions that everyone else has done. “How is she doing? How is she playing? Does she respond to you both? Etc.” Of course, they are trying to get a handle on her well being and whether she is compatible with us. Their big question at the end of the meeting…”What do you think about her?” Our Response, “We love her and want to take her home?”

Then I believe one more question was asked, “Is there anything you want to ask us?” Our response, “Can you help shorten the time so that we can go home earlier?” They said they would try and they did.

From what we would find out later, their reports for the court including recommendations that appeal should not last any longer than absolutely necessary because they felt the full family unit needed to be put together as soon as possible. We were very appreciative of their support. Keep in mind, their duty is to the welfare of Victoria, but they are also thinking about her new family as well and bringing us all together as quickly as possible would be good for her, the both, and mommy and daddy.

Bill

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