Have you ever been cliff diving? I spent summers at Kanakuk Kamp in the Ozarks and remember feeling petrified standing on the edge of a bluff looking down at the water below, trying to summon up the courage to jump. I never had the guts to make the big leap, unless I had a friend hold my hand…then I jumped screaming at the top of my lungs!! I guess you could say I was afraid of heights and danger and loss and pain and wild adventures.
Adoption is a combination of all the things I’m afraid of. For years, I wanted to make the big jump, but was too afraid. I had no idea what was below… would the waters be too deep or dangerously choppy? Roger and I believed with all our hearts God wanted us to adopt a child. But we always came up with every excuse in the book NOT to adopt: *we have two older children *we are getting old *it’s very expensive *life is too convenient… the bottom line, we were afraid!!
My third adoption hero is Jamie Jo Braner, who mentored me through the process from A to Z. She was the one who finally said….no more excuses!! Jamie was tough as nails when she needed to be, but promised she would hold our hands. She never let go. Our mentor helped us with every single piece of paperwork or document to complete the home study and dossier. I would often call confused about a form and she would race down the hill to help me (we’re neighbors:) In the adoption world…we call this part of the process *paper pregnancy* and its challenging and miserable and painful and frustrating.
She never let go. When I would whine about how hard the waiting was, she would pray and support and encourage. She never let go.
Jamie and her husband, Andy have dedicated their time and resources to help many families during the adoption process. During our wait for Zoie, they adopted a precious baby girl from Rwanda and are still waiting for their daughter in China. They host an adoption fellowship group… mentoring families every month in their community. Jamie Jo, thank you for holding on and never letting go during our crazy adoption journey. You held our hands so we could JUMP!!
The Braners are moving to Durango, CO on May 3rd….you will be dearly missed!!
Here is their blog to stay in touch…branerpartyof7