Friday, January 18, 2013

Thrown to the Wolves

Usually, I drink my coffee slowly and thoughtfully, requiring me to microwave it several times because I get distracted.  This morning, I am chugging my coffee as I drive around to the parade of schools, desperately needing it to wake me up and not wanting to miss a drop.  An IV would be easier!  I am the kind of anxious-tired that I can only relate to those first few weeks when you bring your infant home and you keep thinking, "I can't ruin him/her" :)  Good pressure.  I also feel that early baby joy when you can't believe they are yours and you marvel at the gift.  I cannot imagine a better situation with 5 new kids.  I mean it, these kids are fabulous.  And God has created an incredible sense of family that only He could create.  You can't manufacture this stuff!

We started school this week: 2 in elementary, 1 in middle school, 1 at the freshman center and one in the high school.  I never thought that driving away from a 17 year old would be tough.  But I felt like I was truly throwing him to the wolves--High school in the U.S., teachers that don't speak his language, profanity he has never been around, PDA at every corner.  I think it's different when you spend years raising her younger kids; they're differently prepared for public high school.  Not to say that I loved that Logan was exposed to all kind of nastiness but I knew she was equipped and ready to be a Christian at school.  And she was a rock star!  My Peruvians have such an innocence that made it feel weird to push them out and say "Go survive! I hope you figure it out!"  All week, I keep thinking about how in Genesis 16, Hagar calls God the God who sees me.  My prayer is that our kids would feel seen and loved by that personal God.  That God would fill in the gaps that Scott and I can't fill or don't even know there is a need to fill.  God sees them, at their school, in our house, in their head.  I am so grateful He meets them where they are and meets their needs.

Fortunately, no one fought me on going back the second day.  My middle schooler in fact, is rating her days at 9's and 10's on a scale with 10 being the best day of her life.  So I guess she's enjoying it! 
Some of them come home with their brains hurting.  Which I totally get because Peru made my brain hurt.  (Not to mention that I now can't speak Spanish OR English well because I'm so language confused in my house! But that's another story)

So we've almost survived our first week of school.  I'm pretty sure I am more excited to sleep in tomorrow than they are!  The 3 year old had better cooperate! :)  Laney turned 3 this week which is unbelievable.  Our college student started class this week.  That girl, by the way...I am so grateful for! She cleans, baths Laney, does laundry...before I've even thought it needed to be done.  My husband is constantly asking me what he can do...and it's not like he doesn't work 2 jobs or wear 5,000 hats.  I have cooked 2 meals this week that someone else prepared so that all I had to do was throw them in a crock pot.  We have received more than 1 anonymous gift in the mail. We have friends bringing one kid home from school.  We have cousins loving on the kids and making them feel like there is someone in this world that they don't sound stupid to when speaking English.  I could go on and on...  It takes a village--and I LOVE my village! 

34 comments:

  1. Is it weird to be jealous of someone with 7 kids!!!??? I love everything about this:)

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  2. I love hearing that they are enjoying school! That is definitely one of my fears of adopting a 15 year old--having to throw him to the wolves. But you're right, God is with them wherever they go. Thanks for sharing so honestly about how it's going and how you're doing! I know I will be relating pretty soon. Glad you hopped onto our story. Thanks for the prayers! It's been a wild ride.

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  3. Lacy, just a little! :) But you can have 7 too. Or more! Come on!!

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    1. I do have a lot to do to measure up to you:-)

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  4. I read about your story on K-Love and have to fight to hold back my tears as I sit here at work!! What an amazing and inspiring story. I'm blown away by how beautifully the two families have blended into one and how your whole community is showering you with so much love and support.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    May the Lord continue to bless all of you.

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  5. I, too, was listening to KLOVE and heard about your story. The thing that made my ears perk up was that you are from Blue Springs, MO, where we spent 9 years. And then to hear your story was just so encouraging! I'm really touched, too, by your friends and family taking such good care of you.
    Praying that God blesses your family in mighty ways!

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    1. Wow, what a small world. It's a great place for our family! Thank you for the prayers!

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  6. God is glorfied through your life and the story told on your blog!

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    1. I saw that you're embarking on a similar journey. Fasten your seat belt!! If you ever need encouragement, I'll pass along my email address; I'm happy to try to help if I can. :)

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  7. I appreciate KLove's desire to share our story. We know we're not the only people on the planet to adopt. In fact, there's another Peruvian sibling group here in Blue Springs too! I just hope our story encourages people to listen to God, even when it seems crazy. And to maybe help people be less afraid of adopting older kids. There are so many local kids that would choose a family.

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  8. Thank you KLOVE news page! Praising God for how he has orchestrated your family... we too are an adoptive family with 7 kiddos... but ours is reversed - 2 adopted, 5 the old-fashioned way. :) Praying for you on this journey of adjustment!

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    1. I smiled at "this journey of adjustment". It's good but definitely adjustment. :) People's encouragement and support keeps us sane!

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  9. I am not rich but I would like to help with some cash (do not expect a fortune!) Please contact me or post some way (PAYPAL?) to donate.
    God bless you and keep you always,
    Carlos

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    1. Hi,
      Thank you for reaching out to us. If you email me, I can tell you how you can either give to the orphanage or to us if that is how you feel led. Thank you so much for your willingness to give! We are so grateful for people's encouragement and support!
      Lauren
      laurensterling9@gmail.com

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  10. God Bless each and every one of you...please don't be shy about posting your family needs so the rest of us out here in the "village" can help xo

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  11. How do we donate to help you in your mission?

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  12. Dear Sterlings,
    Your story is such a blessing – so wonderful to hear the stories of those who love the Lord and follow his leading. My 3 adult (adopted) children now have families of their own, but I just shared your story and pictures with my 3 younger sons whom I adopted a couple of years ago (the boys are now 8, 13 and 14). The boys were students at the school where I taught when they were orphaned. Anyway, we have been blessed beyond measure, and I pray the Lord blesses you as well. Pure and undefiled religion is to care for widows and orphans in their distress – as scripture says. You know there will be difficult issues, but the Lord will bless you as you are obedient to Him. God bless you – Damon Waggoner

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  13. Laura,
    I love your story and how God connected you with your children. We have travelled to Peru for many years doing medical missions & helping with a VBS at an orphanage outside of Lima. The group we have worked with is out of Texas but we live in NY.
    Does your church have a work they do in Peru? Also, I have seen children by the score who are not adoptable due to the lack of paperwork, etc. How did you manage to get these children....did you go through a particular agency?
    Thanks for being obedient to the call of God to love the orphans. He is a faithful Father who will grace your day to day with His extravagant love! Sue


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    1. Hi Sue,
      You are right, there are many kids in orphanages in Peru that are not available for adoption. Some truly have no family and the paperwork simply needs to be pushed to completion. Others have someone in their life that hasn't given up parental rights of some kind in order for the kids to be declared abandoned. Our situation was unique because the kids were truly orphaned--both of their parents had past away and no family members were able to care for them. We used Villa Hope, an agency out of Alabama. The attorneys that work with VH are fabulous and try very hard to do what is in the best interest of kids in orphanages all over Peru. If you are interested in talking more, I'd love to chat with you. My email is laurensterling9@gmail.com

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  14. Hi Lauren, I read your story in the Daily Mail and, being originally from Peru, I just wanted to say you are wonderful people to open your homes and lives like this. Give my compatriots "muchos besos y abrazos" -- I wish you all nothing but the best!!!

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  15. what are the children's names ?

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  16. Hi ! I just heard your amazing story on Facebook, it's amazing how people like you can do a lot for this kiddos! I'm Peruvian and I live in California about 3 years ago, my husband is American, I met him when he was studying Spanish in peru and we fall in love! But that's whole diferent story, I just can say American people are those who got the biggest hearts! My prayers are with you and your family!

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  17. God bless you! My husband and I were adopting a baby girl from Guatemala when the adoption agency said the mother wanted to put the older sister up for adoption as well. We defitinitely wanted both girls and went to Guatemala twice to bring our family together. There have been ups and downs but that was al ost 15 years ago! Our older daughter is now a US Marine and the the younger one is a junior in high school. We love the both very much and have been greatly blessed. Good luck to you and your beautiful family!

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  18. I read your story on the Daily Mail and was so touched to hear of your love, compassion and generosity! Your children are so beautiful and it is great to see God working in your lives! The way your church community rallied around you was so inspiring and we really need more people like you in the world. Many prayers from Australia and may God bless your family abundantly.

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  19. I just read your story and have now read through your blogposts....your generosity of spirit is inspiring and so beautiful to see!!! Thank you for being good people and helping those children...your actions prove that love is universal-I hope many others are inspired by your story!!!!

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  20. I'm across the state in St. Louis. Just found your blog via a friend. I hope your adoption journey continues on its current track, with nothing you can't handle. I hope you and your children are a mutual blessing!

    However, if you encounter unexpected bumps in the road, please know that there are also many of us who have traveled that road and will be able to support you through a whole different kind of craziness.

    Our journey has included many blessings, but has also brought us to our knees with tribulations. Like your son starting high school, we were innocent of many of the things we would experience; we are no longer so innocent. We have learned a lot we never expected to know or need - and we're happy and able to share that knowledge and those experiences with others on similar journeys.

    Kathleen Benckendorf
    Attachment and Integration Methods
    http://www.attachmentandintegrationmethods.com

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  21. Hello Sterling FAMILY,
    My name is Danay Warden. I just read your story on the news and I wanted to thank you for what you are doing for this wonderful children... I understand what you guys went through because I was adopted 6 yeard ago with my 4 sisters and we are from Peru as well. Our biologic parents die in a car accident in 2000 and after that we were living in an orphanage in Huaraz, Peru. In 2005 we were adopted by Cliff and Grace Hutchison. They were missionaries working in Lima at that time. I am the oldest, I was 17 when I was adopted and my other sisters were 15,13,9, and 7. Now I am 25, married and have a beautiful daughter. I would love to meet you guys one day. I live in Texas and my mother in-law lives in Oddessa, MO. Maybe one day we can stop by and say Hi. Please, if you have any questions or need any help, I am here to help. I praise God for using you guys so you can bless the life of your children. God Bless you all so much.
    Que Dios los bendiga y un abrazo para sus nuevos hijos y toda su familia.

    Danay Warden
    danayj2002@yahoo.es

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    1. Danay, your story makes me so happy! I told the older kids that you came from Peru when you were 17 and your sisters were close to their ages. It's encouraging to see other people pave the way. We would love to meet you as well. Odessa is not far from us. If you are in Missouri, please connect with us. laurensterling9@gmail.com
      Thank you for encouraging us!

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  22. Hi! I sort of understand what you are going through. My husband and I adopted 3 siblings at once in June 2011. They were 10, 5, and 2 at the time. They are also from Peru. Chiclayo. I'm glad we aren't the only crazy ones!!
    Marianne
    Www.twoplusthreeisfive.blogspot.com

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    1. I've enjoyed looking through your blog. You guys are more brave than us....from none to 3! Wow! I'm glad to know that there are others in a similar journey. Please stay in touch. Where do ya'll live?

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  23. I just read a few comments above. We also used Villa Hope as our agency!
    :).

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  24. I am going out on a limb here, but I believe God allowed me to hear your story on K-Love for bigger reasons than I know. My husband who is also a pastor, and I have 3 children. We know that God has called us to adopt, but we just aren't getting anywhere domestically. We have even started to ask God if He wants to look outside the 'box' (the US). I am fearful of the finacial side. I will be honest. Any advice or encouragement would be accepted for this mom who knows and believes there is a little girl out there for our family. We just haven't found her. Warmly, Julie

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    1. Julie, wow! I understand the fears, the concerns, the questions if you're hearing right. I'd love to chat with you. E-mail me and we can figure out how to do so! laurensterling9@gmail.com

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