Saturday, December 22, 2012

Adoption Day

In all of the Christmas season rush, I choose to stop and just take everything in, breathing in and out His goodness and feeling His presence surround me. Tears stream down my face as I sit here in awe of our Lord who gave us the ultimate gift, His son, on Christmas.

As I sit here and reflect on this last week I am reminded of Matthew 7:7-11, 

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

Oh friends, He hears- so keep asking, keep searching, keep knocking…and He does know how to give wonderful gifts, especially at Christmas time! I want to share the events of the last week so you can see His hand and this scripture as clearly as we do today!

Wednesday, December 12As you know, I posted here on December 3rd that we were told we would have a December adoption date. That all came to a screeching halt last Wednesday. We found out the very last lady we had to meet with before getting our court date was taking 2 weeks off in December… beginning that next Monday, December 17. So there it was Wednesday afternoon and we had to meet with a woman (I had never met, nor did I have any contact information for) by Friday if the adoption was to still happen in December. This lady serves a huge area and has appointments set up in advance. So unless we had some sort of miracle, the adoption would be in January. I was devastated and a mess; just so tired of waiting. I even told my friend (and preacher’s wife) that I was tired of God’s timing and tired of hearing people tell me that after two years. She began to pray. I considered hiding in my hole and even tried. However, a dear friend came into my classroom on conference time on Wednesday afternoon and wrapped her arms around me and wept and prayed with me for a miracle meeting and a December adoption date. Then 3 other of my teacher friends came in my classroom and the five of us joined in a circle and prayed.  I relayed the news to my family, and they all started to pray. At church that night, another friend prayed with me during prayer meeting for this meeting and I saw a few more friends at church and asked them to pray specifically about this as well. "For where two or more gather in my name, there I am with them." -Matthew 18:20

Thursday, December 13- at lunch…. the lady called!!! She had a cancellation and could meet with us on Friday! An answered prayer- a miracle! Kelsey said I sounded like a crazy woman on the phone with all my shouting for joy and telling the lady I had even googled her (yes, shameful I know, ha)! I told her there were a lot of people praying for an intervention from God, that she would contact us! Glory to God, all praise to Him!

Friday, December 14- We had a 2 hour meeting with the lady, just as we had prayed, right before her vacation time began! This was our very last CPS meeting; rejoice! Our attorney would call and get our court date on Monday!

Monday, December 17- We were given our adoption date ;it would be TOMORROW, December 18!!! Praise God! Isn’t that just like Him to show up and show off? He said to us, “You kept asking, you kept searching, you kept knocking. Let me open this door for your family. I love you, my children, let me show you what I mean in Matthew 7:7-11. He said to us, “My timing IS perfect for the good gift I want to give you for Christmas- a son!”

Tuesday, December 18- Exactly one week before Christmas, ADOPTION DAY! Oh what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day! The courtroom was filled with so many friends and family! It was so special in that room that day and we will remember it forever! The judge's touching  and meaningful words, Caden's attorney holding my hand, our attorney's calm and joyful demeanor, our precious CASA worker, the CPS workers who have been on the case for so long, our friends crying in the background, the hugs, the joy, the cheers, the tears....that day was such a special gift! Thank you God!

So without any further delay, all praise and honor to Him as I announce…

After 2 long years, the wait is over!

Chad, Tammy, Kelsey, and Colton Greene
are happy to announce the adoption of our son and brother:
Caden James Greene

Welcomed to the world: 06/25/03
Welcomed into our hearts & home: 10/24/10
Adopted & Forever Ours: 12/18/12
Chosen by God, to be chosen by us!

Please bring your entire family and come help us 
celebrate this happy occasion on 
Sunday, December 30, 2012 at the Fellowship Hall at FBC, Rusk.
Program promptly to begin at 2 pm, followed by some family fun!

If you have a Faith Blue t-shirt, please wear it, otherwise just wear blue!

Thank you for your faithful love, support, and prayers over the last 2 years.
It’s time to celebrate with our new son; sincerely hope you’ll join us!



"It's Christmas every time you let God love others through you." 
-Mother Teresa

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Whole Being Waits

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. -Psalm 130:5

I read that scripture over the weekend and started weeping because I have experienced this scripture for over 2 years, "My WHOLE BEING WAITS and in HIS WORD, I put MY HOPE"...

For over 2 years, Caden has been OUR son, not officially, but in OUR hearts, in HIS heart, and in YOUR hearts. Yet, throughout the long process of adoption, we have endured a very tough emotional journey.

We have sought the Lord for guidance, cried out, felt defeated, and then regained our FAITH in being sure it would all be final soon. Then quickly we would find ourselves having another pity party- just last week I had a friend meet me to cry and pray with me. "My WHOLE BEING WAITS and in HIS WORD, I put MY HOPE"...

We waited on God's timing when another 3 months of false hope had passed. We’ve met with countless people from CPS caseworkers to attorneys to CASA to FAD workers to fictive kin advocates to firemen to doctors and even had psychological exams.

For two years, we’ve had to run home to make beds, wipe off the counters, and cancel plans or appointments when someone calls to have a home visit on the last day of the month. We've had the number of our couches counted, drawn a floor plan of our home, installed a smoke detector in every single room, took all locking doorknobs off our inside doors, and locked up all medicines. "My WHOLE BEING WAITS and in HIS WORD, I put MY HOPE"...

We’ve written essays on our childhood, essays on discipline policies, and essays on how we handle stress. We have been asked every question imaginable and we’ve all been finger printed and background checked, and so have many of our close friends and family. We have attended countless court dates, visitations and phone calls with Caden’s birth family and the hardest the depths of our souls, we've worried, questioned, prayed, and trusted HIS WORD.

And yes, we have even withdrawn from a lot of activities, service, and ministries during the past 2 years as God has challenged us to live James 1:27 in our very home; our greatest ministry.  "My WHOLE BEING WAITS and in HIS WORD, I put MY HOPE"...

You may even find yourself TIRED FOR US or possibly TIRED OF US and TIRED OF hearing about our adoption process.  Because yes, IT. HAS. BEEN. OUR. ALL. ENCOMPASSING. LIFE.  for over 2 years. Loving, praying, hoping, living, worrying, trusting...roller coaster of emotions for two long years.

Unless you've been through a lengthy adoption process, it's probably hard to truly understand the emotional strains we have been through in the last two years. However, we do so much appreciate so many of you who have gone through adoption and come beside us or those of you who just simply TRIED to understand or sympathize. You have just BEEN THERE for us (even when we have withdrawn into a hole) because WE HAVE NEEDED YOU desperately- to pray for us and with us, to listen to us, to love us, and to encourage us! Some of the sweetest friendships have grown during this time, people we didn't even know that well have given such encouragement and love to us. Thank you all for joining alongside us as we have waited, my heart is so grateful for you all. "My WHOLE BEING WAITS and in HIS WORD, I put MY HOPE"...

I can honestly say this has been the longest continuous season I've ever endured. Speaking of seasons, they end! Hallelujah, praise God seasons end... and I am READY for a celebration!!!!  Last Friday you may have heard my screams and tears of JOY (no matter where you live), we were told...IT IS COMING…IT IS COMING VERY SOON…our ADOPTION DATE WILL BE THIS MONTH!!!! Can I get an AMEN, PRAISE GOD?!?! 

I have several friends who volunteered to help with Caden's Adoption Party; please come celebrate with us! DETAILS COMING SOON!  

By FAITH, this little boy will officially 
 “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope." -Psalm 130:5

Thursday, October 4, 2012

ROLLING in Prayer & Paper-Cuts

On our blog 2 weeks ago I asked you, "Friends, will you make a commitment to pray daily for the completion of our adoption? Will you pray for urgency within the department to tie this up with a pretty FAITH BLUE bow? Will you pray for God’s favor upon us?"

All I can say is THANK YOU for your prayers because God heard our prayers and we are now ROLLING (yes, in all caps)!

It is Thursday night and so far this week we've had our home fire inspection by the Fire Marshall, our FBI fingerprints, our reference checks, and the 3rd and final THREE hour meeting with our FAD worker (she finished up our home study with family interviews and pictures of our home). Our FAD worker told us it took us only 2 WEEKS to complete what takes most people 3 MONTHS of paperwork and document collection!  

Can you tell we are ready to have Caden's adoption complete... to have what has been in our hearts, for 2 years, official on paper as well!?! He is ready too! One night last week I put Caden to bed and he got back up and came into the kitchen where I was working. He told me I needed to go to bed too. I told him I was working on adoption paperwork. He said, "Oh never mind, stay up all night if you need to." Sweet boy. 

Again, thank you for your prayers 
and taking the time to say you are praying for us. It means so much to us. We feel your prayers. Keep praying please! Because what does tomorrow (Friday) hold in this busy week? Another meeting with a different adoption worker. So, you can see we are definitely ROLLING this week! When we finish up with our meeting tomorrow, Chad and I are taking a well deserved 20th anniversary weekend trip to the beach! Awwwwh, can't wait to rest my weary mind and hands... because I may not have gotten morning sickness with this 3rd child, but I've gotten plenty of paper-cuts :)

In closing, the verse God gave us 2 years ago as we began this journey of FAITH still ministers to my soul tonight. Thank you Jesus that Your word is living and active and it penetrates my soul. Hebrews 11:1 "Now FAITH is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

"I believe if the Lord wrote us a personal letter from Hebrews 11:1 about faith, it may read like this... My Beloved, Your FAITH will soar when you look up to me and let go of what you see in the natural. Don't you know by now that I am a God who does the supernatural for you if you will allow me to! You no longer have to be controlled by your circumstance; you can chose to live your life fueled by FAITH  in me starting today. What you see will cause you to lose hope, but your FAITH will free you from fear and doubt and give you the power to persevere with passion & purpose. What I say can never be shaken or taken without your permission. Now breathe my child and choose to never again doubt in the darkness what you know to be true in the light. Love, Your Faithful Father"

Hebrews 11:1 What is Faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” 
-Sheri Rose Shepherd

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update 9/20/12

Hello Friends! It has been way too long since I have updated the blog (more on that later). First, I wanted to reiterate how truly thankful we are for your prayers, financial support, and sincere love to us throughout this 2 year process of adoption. We have seen FAITH BLUE t-shirts in the newspaper, on airplanes & airports, in Florida & even at the Olympics!!! Also, you have told us that you have worn your FAITH BLUE shirts to the hospital for a surgery or Dr appointment, or worn it on a difficult day to remind you that FAITH is the confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we do not see! We also have some precious friends who have a new foster daughter and they purchased one for her as they are on their own journey of FAITH to adopt her as their own daughter!!! Love, love, love it! If you have a FAITH BLUE t-shirt, wear it and share your story of FAITH with us when you get a chance & let it serve as a reminder to pray for us as we still do not have an adoption date. 

Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I sincerely mean that scripture- Oh how I thank God for YOU for your partnership! And can I get an AMEN, on that last part?!?!?!- We are so ready for the completion of our adoption!

 “The great test of faith is that we can wait on God...not push a button and get whatever we want now.” –AW Tozer

Oh how I relate to this quote tonight at 12 midnight! It's been a long day- breakfast duty at school, teaching 20 third graders, a parent conference, a staff meeting, a 2-hour home visit with an adoption worker, and then sitting at the table for another 3 hours filling out paper work that she left for us (I really do love her, by the way). To say “I am exhausted” is an understatement.

As you know, it has been quite some time since I have given an update on the blog. I will be honest; it is because I am tired. I am weary. I am exhausted. We really need your prayers in this process. No, there are not problems with the adoption- even though it has been a truly difficult case in regards to Caden’s birth family. They continue to be supportive- as I said; there are no problems between us or in the case.

I will refrain from speaking negatively about the process we have been through in the last two years. It has definitely been a journey of FAITH. We took a leap of FAITH, and we continue on this journey of FAITH because we were called to do so. When I am weary of the process, I remember that His timing is not my own- but always on time! He is sufficient in everything & not limited by time!

We were really, really aching to have Caden’s adoption finalized in November for National Adoption month, but that won’t happen due to things beyond our control. Believe me, if I could push a button (or email a judge, or call a supervisor, or ….) Oh again, the Tozer quote  keeps ringing true. We ARE on a great test of FAITH as we know that God has given us Hebrews 11:1 as our confidence two years ago when Caden moved in with us.

As I told a dear friend tonight, I don’t want to become jaded by this process. I want JOY in this, even in the midst of long-suffering, and I mean loooooooong-suffering.  I want to be an advocate for adoption when this is over because it IS worth it. It is not about the system, or certainly not about me, but about staying focused on God – because He is not limited by time. And it IS all about that little boy asleep in his FAITH BLUE room- that makes it worth it all.

Many have asked in the last five months for an update. I honestly didn't know what to say because I truly want God to receive GLORY in this! However, after being told things that didn't line up correctly in "the timeline", disappointment and frustration set in deep in my heart as we moved onto our 5th caseworker in 2 years. I felt like if I was honest, my exhaustion/frustration in the process would squash out any glory God could possibly receive. But you know what? I am pretty sure I can be authentic with you because I know YOU fight similar struggles such as these as well. So I am going to be real and know that God will still receive His due glory because He is God!!! May He receive glory even in the midst of my frustration. So here it is-  it’s been such a long, complicated, and grueling process that I temporally lost the beautiful story God has given us in this! Do you ever forget the beauty in the story He has done in your life? We forget to see it as He does- He sees the ENTIRE journey and not just the point you are stuck in, for what seems like years (literally)! 

So Lord, remind me… sing it to me again- the fragrant aroma of the offering of adoption and how You Lord, have adopted US- You brought us into Your family and loved us! Thank you Lord, I am forever grateful.

Friends, will you make a commitment to pray daily for the completion of our adoption? Will you pray for urgency within the department to tie this up with a pretty FAITH BLUE bow? Will you pray for God’s favor upon us?

We are not alone- will you pray for other families and children waiting for adoption? Will you pray for families that have adopted, fostering, or in kinship care right now- they need your support and prayers. Will you pray for the social workers, attorneys, CPS & private agencies that deal with such heavy & emotional cases? Will you pray for the children across the U.S. growing up in foster care, and others that face life without their fathers and/or mothers? Will you pray that the church (worldwide) would grasp and reflect God’s heart for adoption and orphan care?
We are weary tonight, but know JOY comes in the morning! 

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Psalm 82:3 "Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed."

Hosea 14:3 "For in you [God] the fatherless find compassion."

James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…."

By Faith,
Tammy for the Greene's 

PS Please comment here or on Facebook if you are making a commitment to pray. Again so thankful for each of you; Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Faith T-Shirts

It has been four months since we have updated the blog so a big welcome to those of you who are new to our adoption blog! If you are new to our blog, please read our first post listed at the bottom of this post (or on right margin).

We sincerely thank you for the support and prayer you have given us throughout the last year and a half as we have embraced this calling of FAITH. It's been a long and emotional process, but we rejoice in being told that our official adoption date will be in three to six months! Can we get a "Hallelujah!"?!?!

With that said, we are needing to finish out our "Canvas of Faith" adoption fund. We have designed a t-shirt to help us with that and hope you find the design inspiring in your own lives as well! If you order a t-shirt, your name will be listed on the back of our "Canvas of Faith" and two squares will be painted in for each t-shirt sold.

The scripture we placed on the t-shirt in “Faith Blue” represents the confidence God placed in our hearts as we began this journey so long ago. We are so thankful for this child that God has made a part of our family, and we anxiously await the final season of the adoption process to be complete!  

You can access the t-shirt order form through Google Docs by clicking this link: T-Shirt Order Form

We will only be taking orders for 3 weeks, so all orders are due Wednesday, May 9. You can turn these orders in to the people/places listed on the form as delivery options.

Be looking here on the blog for an announcement of our upcoming adoption party in late summer/early fall! We want to see you there in your FAITH BLUE shirts!

Sincerely, Chad, Tammy, Kelsey, Colton & Caden Greene  
"As you can see, we are a family, the five of us."

If you have not read about our adoption journey, please see our first post below: Our First Blog Post- July 2011