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Reincarnation of the Dykstra Family Blog
Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

Comrades is Coming!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

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Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

Why I Run
Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

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Chad Dykstra - 2012-02-15

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-10-25

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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Reincarnation of the Dykstra Family Blog

Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03
6 comment(s) - View or write a comment
Our blog has been “shut down” for quite some time now. Life has been pretty normal and frankly hasn’t felt very blogworthy. In retrospect, we have been very blessed over the past few months and there has been plenty to write about. Our family has seen a significant level of healing and lots of just really good things. After about 3 years, we finally seem to have hit our “normal” and it has been awesome. Awesome doesn’t equal perfect, but I don’t ever remember reading anywhere that we were called to have “perfect” families (or normal families, for that matter.)  
 
During this time, we’ve also been on a bit of a journey. For the last few months, Lora has really felt called to action again. Looking back on it, it seems as though I was as well, but just a slightly different path than Lora’s. What we didn’t realize is that the starting line to this journey wasn’t quite as far away as we (or maybe more specifically I) thought. 
 
Lora has had a heart over the past few months specifically for foster care. Last month at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit, Lora attended several sessions on foster care. She was working hard to learn more, all the while trying to prepare me and praying that I would feel called to this journey as well. If I’m being honest though (and much to Lora’s disappointment) my heart wasn’t there. This doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t break for kids in foster care, because it does. The statistics are staggering, especially in urban and African American households. As much as this does break my heart, I have not to date felt that strong pull that says “this is where I want you to serve.” 
 
Lora and I had a conversation a few weeks ago about the future of our family and I told her that my heart was not in foster care, but rather still in Ethiopia with waiting older children. I love Ethiopia. I love the culture, the heritage, the food, the beautiful people, and their strong faith. This didn’t, of course, mean that I was ready to jump into the deep end or that I had any immediate plans for action. 
 
I’m a runner and I like analogies, so bear with me while I throw in a quick running analogy. We’ve been through pretty strict training over the past three and a half years. It hasn’t always been fun or easy. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Maybe more tears and sweat than blood, but you get the idea. I do have a heart for older children who are waiting for families and we are pretty well-prepared for caring for children that come from places of trauma and loss. I was happy to consider using that strict training again someday. I was ready to line up with the slow people in the back, meandering our way toward the starting line. It seems, though, that God has ways that are not ours and it didn’t take long for us to be grabbed by the ear and dragged to the “elite development” corral where you don’t get to wait very long to cross the starting line after the gun goes off. Well, the gun went off and here we go.
 
A few weeks ago, we were asked by Bethany Christian Services to advocate for “Melody”, an 11 year old Ethiopian girl, and to help her find a family. (A quick side note before I do go too far. The names of waiting children are changed to protect them, so Melody’s name isn’t actually Melody. Although we do know her real name, for the time being we will continue to call her Melody.) We looked at Melody’s profile on the waiting child portal and explained to our kids that she has been waiting for two years and we were asked to pray for her and to help her find a family. One morning a few weeks ago, Zinabu urgently reminded us that we forgot to pray for Melody during our bedtime prayer. This was a shock to us, because although we do have kids who highly value their evening prayers, Zinabu isn’t usually one of them. A few days later, Z came home from school and said he was telling everyone that we were going to adopt Melody and that he was going to have another sister. We hadn’t discussed this and were pretty surprised. We thought it was funny, but we also were slightly annoyed that he was stirring up the rumor mill. All of our kids, in fact, saw Melody as our daughter sooner than we did.
 
It seems that our kids knew something that we did not. Over these past couple weeks, we have been praying for Melody and have been seeking more information about her not as advocates, but as potential adoptive parents. She is a beautiful, intelligent, athletic girl who has so much potential. She’s in the top of her class and she dreams of being a doctor someday. She’s also suffered more pain and loss than any 11 year old (or 100 year old, for that matter) should ever have to endure. We have learned quite a bit about her history and her challenges, however we won’t be sharing this information with anyone out of respect for her privacy and protection (so don’t ask!) 
 
Through this short journey, neither of us have felt any hesitation that Melody should join our family. Adoption is very expensive, it’s hard, and it takes a long time. It is NOT for everyone, nor is it the best plan of action in every situation. We are going into this adoption eyes wide open, aware of the challenges that we’ll probably face. We’ve had several conversations with our kids about what this is going to look like and they are enthusiastically on board. We have verified that Melody’s desire is to be internationally adopted, and we feel uniquely well-equipped to help Melody heal from her painful past.
 
The race is officially underway. We are submitting our official application this week. Even with a waiting child, this is still going to be more of a marathon than a sprint. The adoption process will likely still take 8-20 months, or maybe longer. There is a chance that something could happen and the whole works will fall through. We really don’t know what will happen, but we do know that hanging out in the unknown reliant on God’s leading isn’t such a bad place to be.
Our blog has been “shut down” for quite some time now. Life has been pretty normal and frankly hasn’t felt very blogworthy. In retrospect, we have been very blessed over the past few months and there has been plenty to write about. Our family has seen a significant level of healing and lots of just really good things. After about 3 years, we finally seem to have hit our “normal” and it has been awesome. Awesome doesn’t equal perfect, but I don’t ever remember reading anywhere that we were called to have “perfect” families (or normal families, for that matter.)  
 
During this time, we’ve also been on a bit of a journey. For the last few months, Lora has really felt called to action again. Looking back on it, it seems as though I was as well, but just a slightly different path and urgency than Lora’s. What we didn’t realize is that the starting line to this journey wasn’t quite as far away as we (or maybe more specifically I) thought. 
 
Lora has had a heart over the past few months specifically for foster care. Last month at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit, Lora attended several sessions on foster care. She was working hard to learn more, all the while trying to prepare me and praying that I would feel called to this journey as well. If I’m being honest though, my heart wasn’t there. This doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t break for kids in foster care, because it does. The statistics are staggering, especially in urban and African American households. As much as this absolutely does break my heart, I have not to date felt that strong pull that says “this is where I want you to serve.” 
 
Lora and I had a conversation a few weeks ago about the future of our family and I told her that my heart was not in foster care, but rather still in Ethiopia with waiting older children. I love Ethiopia. I love the culture, the heritage, the food, the beautiful people, and their strong faith. This didn’t, of course, mean that I was ready to jump into the deep end or that I had any immediate plans for action. 
 
I’m a runner and I like analogies, so bear with me while I throw in a quick running analogy. We’ve been through pretty strict training over the past three and a half years. It hasn’t always been fun or easy. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Maybe more tears and sweat than blood, but you get the idea. I do have a heart for older children who are waiting for families, and we are pretty well-prepared for caring for children that come from places of trauma and loss. I was happy to consider using that strict training again someday. I was ready to line up with the slow people in the back, meandering our way toward the starting line. It seems, though, that God has ways that are not ours and it didn’t take long for us to be grabbed by the ear and dragged to the “elite development” corral where you don’t get to wait very long to cross the starting line after the gun goes off. Well, the gun went off and here we go.
 
A few weeks ago, we were asked by Bethany Christian Services to advocate for “Melody”, an 11 year old Ethiopian girl, and to help her find a family. (A quick side note before I do go too far. The names of waiting children are changed to protect them, so Melody’s name isn’t actually Melody. Although we do know her real name, for the time being we will continue to call her Melody.) We looked at Melody’s profile on the waiting child portal and explained to our kids that she has been waiting for two years and we were asked to pray for her and to help her find a family. One morning a few weeks ago, Zinabu urgently reminded us that we forgot to pray for Melody during our bedtime prayer. This was a shock to us, because although we do have kids who highly value their evening prayers, Zinabu isn’t usually one of them. A few days later, Z came home from school and said he was telling everyone that we were going to adopt Melody and that he was going to have another sister. We hadn’t discussed this and were pretty surprised. We thought it was funny, but we also were slightly annoyed that he was stirring up the rumor mill. All of our kids, in fact, saw Melody as our daughter sooner than we did.
 
It seems that our kids knew something that we did not. Over these past couple weeks, we have been praying for Melody and have been seeking more information about her not as advocates, but as potential adoptive parents. She is a beautiful, intelligent, athletic girl who has so much potential. She’s in the top of her class and she dreams of being a doctor someday. She’s also suffered more pain and loss than any 11 year old (or 100 year old, for that matter) should ever have to endure. We have learned quite a bit about her history and her unique challenges, however we won’t be sharing this information with anyone out of respect for her privacy and protection (so don’t ask!) 
 
Through this short journey, neither of us have felt any hesitation that Melody should join our family. Adoption is very expensive, it’s hard, and it takes a long time. It is NOT for everyone, nor is it the best plan of action in every situation. We are going into this adoption eyes wide open, aware of the challenges that we’ll probably face. We’ve had several conversations with our kids about what this is going to look like and they are enthusiastically on board. We have verified that Melody’s desire is to be internationally adopted, and we feel uniquely well-equipped to help Melody heal from her painful past.
 
The race is officially underway. Our preliminary application is submitted and we will be submitting our official application this week. Even with a waiting child, this is still going to be more of a marathon than a sprint. The adoption process will likely still take 8-20 months, or maybe longer. There is a chance that something could happen and the whole works will fall through. We really don’t know what will happen, but we do know that hanging out in the unknown reliant on God’s leading isn’t such a bad place to be.
 

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Comments


Posted by Willow VandenBerg on 2014-06-03

Wow!!! I'm so glad I got "filled in" about all this yesterday by Lora!!! I'm so excited for all you Dykstras and for Melody, should God continue to open the door for her to be your daughter!  But even though I knew the "news" I still read your blog with tears! Good tears. Thanks, guys, for answering God's call once again!

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