Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The "WHY?" and the "HOW?" of it all

"Why?"  and "How?"  Those are pretty much the two most common questions I get asked when it comes to adoption.  Well, ladies and gentleman, be prepared for the most thoughtful, deep, thought provoking answers ever!

"Why?"  Because we feel that this is what God has called us to do.
"How?"  We have no idea, but we trust God will provide.

What?  Those answers were not awe inspiring?  Well, those are the cliff notes answers - if you want the real dirt, feel free to keep reading.

A lot of people wonder why we are adopting again, especially so soon.  They also wonder why we are adopting a 12 year old boy.  I recently posted this on our Facebook adoption page and it pretty much sums it up:

Some people hear we are adopting again and smile. They hear we are finally getting a boy and the grin gets bigger. Then they hear he is 12 and the grin turns into a frown. The horror stories are told, the warnings are given, the dangers to our daughters are laid out- as if we are bringing a criminal into our home and not another child...
We have talked through all these things, prayed hard about this decision and have come to this conclusion- we will be confidant in what we know, not fearful of what we don't. 

We know God has called us to adoption. We know that he loves us, our girls and our son more than we can imagine. We know that things won't be easy, but that also doesn't mean they will be horribly hard.

We are not willing to let our unfounded fears, anxiety of the unknown, personal preference for space and comfort, financial strain or other excuses be the reason we walk away- this adoption is in Gods hand and he will either open doors or shut doors- we are just trying to be faithful to keep walking forward.

So, we are walking forward with the hope and prayer that we will bring this boy into our home. This child that needs a forever family (just like the other 147 million orphans worldwide). These older kids dream of having a family too- I think of how many children our son has watched leave the orphanage over the years and how his heart must have ached to be one of them- but because of his age and gender (and unfounded fears and anxiety of potential parents) he has been left to be there. Without a family. Without a mom to comfort him when he is sick. Without a dad to play catch with.
So, to all the naysayers- I appreciate your concern- we have wrestled with many of the same questions and concerns, but we know that our God is great and he has set us on a journey, and when he made the command to care for the orphans, it wasn't based on age, health or gender. 

That pretty much sums up our heart on the issue.  We met this boy and our heart couldn't walk away from him.  It might not make sense to everyone, but it makes sense to us - he needs a home, we have a home.  He wants a family, we are a family.  God called us to adopt, we will adopt!  I know it is not for everyone - while I STRONGLY believe in God's command to care for the orphans and the widows: 

Isaiah 1:17 
Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;

    plead the case of the widow.

I know that how we answer that call is different for each of us.  Some are called to adopt, others are called to orphan care, or financially supporting families or ministries, or mentoring or whatever!  There are a million different ways God can call you to defend the fatherless, but we know that God has asked us to "take up the cause of the fatherless" by making them fatherless no more - by bringing them home and making them ours.  

I don't have any fancy statistics for you about adoption - I do know that there is an estimated 147 million orphans in the world today. I know a lot of those kids are really young, and I know A LOT of those kids aren't.  A lot of those kids are growing up never knowing the love of a parents, or the comfort of a home to call their own, or the joy of clothes right out of the dryer, or a bite of cookie dough before putting the cookies in the oven.  

There are lots of statistics and reports and numbers and information - it is enough to make your mind explode!  And a lot of people see all those facts and figures and get overwhelmed and feel that that can't make a difference, that they would only be filling a pool with an eye dropper if they got involved - but what if you broke that number down to one.  One life.  One child.  One orphan.  Could you make a difference then?  We think we can.  I know we can't adopt all the kids in the world, but we can adopt this one.  We can love this child.  We can show him Christ.  We can let him eat cookie dough and we can let him wear socks fresh out of the dryer on a cold winter day. And that's what we are trying to do.

So, that takes care of the "Why?", what about the "How?".  Well, this is where you come in.  While we are applying for every grant possible and saving as much money as we can, adoption is expensive.  This adoption will cost around $25,000.  That includes agency fees, travel, in country expenses and legal fees once we come home.  Now, I hate asking for money.   I hate fundraising.  I desperately wish that I had a bag full of money just sitting here, waiting to be used for this adoption, but sadly, I don't.  But after seeing how God provided for Bridget's adoption, I hate fundraising a little less. 

One of my dearest friends pointed out to me that it was a blessing for her family to support our adoption because that is how they felt called to defend the fatherless - it was such a humbling thing for me to realize.  Not only did God use fundraising for Bridget's adoption as a source of refinement for me,  but he also used it to write a beautiful love story for her!  Every note, every email, every card sent to us on her behalf is a stone in her path home.  If and when she ever doubts her place in this family, she can look at those notes and look at her puzzle with the names of so many people that sponsored a piece, and she will see that she was loved.  That she is loved.

So, we want to do the same for our son.  We have purchased another puzzle and will do another puzzle fundraiser.  The way it works is for $10, you sponsor a piece of the puzzle.  We will write your name on the back of the piece (or pieces) and when the puzzle is complete  it will be a beautiful reminder of how our son was loved home too!

If you would like to sponsor a piece you can send cash or check to:
Solecki Family Adoption
1071 Alegria Rd
Los Lunas NM, 87031

Checks can be made out to Solecki Family Adoption.  
Or, you can click on the Donate button on the right side of this blog and make a donation through PayPal
(Donations are not tax deductible)

As always, we thank you for the love, support and prayers so many of you have shown us through this process.  Thank you for being a part of our lives and for being a piece in bringing our son home.

Monday, October 14, 2013


A little over a week ago, I lost my grandmother.  She was 89 years young and beautiful to the end.  Her health had been on a steady decline for several years, but over the last few months her decline was more rapid, and the last week was almost at rocket speed.  Even though I had been anticipating this loss for years, it still caught me completely off guard and let me feel a pain I haven't felt since we miscarried or since my brother died - complete heartbreak.

My grandmother was more than my grandma.  She helped raise me from the time I was six years old.  When I was six, she sold her house, most of her belongings, left her friends and family and came here to help my mom raise my brother and I.  We were able to move out of the small duplex on the wrong side of Central, to a bigger house with grass in the backyard.  My grandma invested a lot of her own money to remodel that house and help turn it into a home.  She cooked our meals, did our laundry, shuttled my brother and I to school and after school activities.  She was the one to stay home and care for us when we were sick.  She was the caretaker and provided us the opportunity to not live at daycare or be latch key kids.  She gave my mom the peace of mind in knowing her kids were taken care of and took some of that single mom burdan away.  While my relationship with my grandma was rocky and strained when I was younger, it blossomed into a beautiful friendship and relationship over the past 18+ years.  She helped me get through school, gave me her car and sent me money to help me through college - she became my biggest cheerleader, supporting me however she could.
I have seen her at least once a week, every week, since Kaylee was born.  My girls don't know a life without our weekly visits.  When we brought Bridget home, she was instantly smitten and would hold Bridget's hand telling her how much she loved her.  The feelings were mutual.

Losing my grandma has made me think a lot about love. What was it that made my grandma leave everything she knew and move to a place she didn't know?  Love.  What made her raise two more children after already raising three of her own, and my cousin?  Love.  What made my mom live her life around my grandma for the past several years, never going on vacation, never skipping a Sunday to bring her flowers?  Love.  What was it that made my grandma so special to me?  Love.

Love.  What is love?  I thought I had a pretty good idea, I mean, I've been married for 12 years, I have four beautiful children...I thought I had a pretty good grasp on this "love" business, but as it turns out I am just starting to scratch the surface on understanding what love is.  

As a child, I would have told you that love was merely an emotion, something that you feel.  I loved my dog, but I did not love my older brother.  I based that on feelings.  My dog was friendly. She liked to play catch, sit with me while I watched T.V. and keep me company during thunderstorms (where we both huddle in my bed, afraid).  My brother, on the other hand, would call me names, steal my things,and make me cry (don't worry, we worked it all out and have a great relationship now).  

I also based love on preferences.  I loved cereal, but hated tomatoes.  Cereal is the perfect food; good anytime, day or night, and its vitamin fortified, so it's healthy, right?  Tomatoes, on the other hand, are red, like Satan.  They taste horrible and the little seeds slime their disgusting ick on lettuce, ruining any salad a tomato is in.  Cereal = good = love.  Tomato = horribleness = not love.

When I got married, I grew into thinking love was an action.  It is something you "do".  You won't always "feel" like you love your spouse, but you "do" it anyway.  And even though I had this new understanding, I still treated love as an emotion and a preference, but also realized that I treated love as a condition, as in "I'll show you love, if you show me love".  I "loved" my husband, because that is what you do.  But in those early years of our marriage, I hardly showed him love.

Then came children.  Oh, NOW I understood love, right?  This person, this tiny human being that grew in my belly for 9 months and stopped crying the instant the nurses handed her to me (and then proceeded to urinate on me too) THIS was love!  I loved Kaylee with every fiber of my being.  I would do anything to protect her.  I wanted to give her the world.  I would do ANYTHING for this child.  Then came 3 a.m..  The endless nights of crying.  The constant explosive poop, spit up, non stop nursing, more crying... Then that fuzzy, lovey dovey love I felt for this child - this precious little being that I thought had redefined love for me, made me understand a whole new level of rage, desperation and fear.  I didn't think it was possible to love and despise someone at the same time, let alone so much.  I completely began to understand sleep deprivation and why it was used as a form of torture.
 My understanding of love was still naive.  It was still focused on me and what I would get out of it.  When things were easy (and I was getting more than 2 hours of sleep) I could love, but if the conditions were not perfect, love was a very hard thing for me to do.

Enter Adoption...Now, here I am, being asked to love someone I have never met.  I love my husband because I know him.  We dated, we fell in love, he tolerates me and makes me coffee.  I love my kids.  I spent hours in labor with each or them.  I have watched them grow before my very eyes and have fallen in love with them, their personalities, their quirks, their creativity...but now, God has asked me to love a stranger.  A child that has not grown in my womb.  A child that has not written me love letters.  Adoption has once again redefined my idea of love.  I see now that it is more than a feeling.  More than a preference.  More than an action.  It is obedience.  I am not asked to love, I am told to love.

The first time my Grandma saw Bridget, she instantly loved her.

Not because she had too, not because she knew her, not because she was lovable or because she would get anything in return, she just loved her.  

I have struggled to understand love all my life, but looking at my grandma, getting to be with her all these years, holding her hand as she slipped away, reflecting on how imperfect our relationship had been, but how perfect it had become - it gave me hope.  Time taught her to love better and it is teaching me the same.