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Jason Raitz

Jesus Follower. Husband. Dad. Son. Brother. Pastor.

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Leadership

I think we made a mistake…

Ok, I know this is going to sound crazy, but…

I think we made a mistake.

 Let me back up. I have no idea how we could have done it. Shoot, I have no idea how we did what we did. But, I think we could have attempted it. 

I think with God’s help, it was something that we could have done. 

Actually, Tracie brought it up to me months ago and my  first thought was…’she’s crazy!’. But, I will tell you I prayed about it. I really did. But honestly, I have been a level of stressed out that I have never been in my life. I really needed to remember Jesus’ words…

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, ‘that is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life, whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear’

So, you maybe wondering what I’m talking about?

I think we made a mistake by not bringing home…

TWO CHILDREN FROM CHINA. 

Yes, I’m crazy! Tracie is crazy! Ican hear the chorus’s of ‘your crazy’ righ now. I can see all the eyebrows going up. I can see people waking away. 

Especially after re-reading my blog post from last night! Wow, we were tired yesterday! Kai gave us a run for our money. 

But, being here. Walking around his orphanage. Seeing the RIDICULOUS need. Having our hearts broken and then broken again. Meeting families who have adopted 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times. Seeing what God has already done in our hearts. 

Yeah, I think we made a mistake by not at least attempting it. 

Now, I have no idea how we could have afforded it. I have no idea how we could have managed it. I have no idea. 

I really have no idea. 

To be honest, I have no idea how we were able to do what we did. I have no idea how we’re going to afford 3 kids with PKU. I don’t know how we afford 2 kids with PKU. I actually had someone tell us we were financially irresponsible for adopting a child with PKU when our need is already great for the two we have with PKU. 

That broke my heart. 

We’re kind of figuring stuff out as we go. 

But, I was pushing Kai through the lobby at our hotel yesterday and I was watching a new dad push his new baby girl in her wheelchair. Yes, her wheelchair. Then I talked to another dad who has a new baby girl, she’s 8 and blind. And I talked to another family who is rushing to get their new son back to the US because they don’t know how long his heart will keep working before surgery. 

And, my heart broke again in ways that I never thought it would. 

JUST BROKE!

Actually SHATTERED!

And I realized I think we made a mistake. 

I know God is working in us. I Know God is working in Kai. I know God is working in the people following our story. 

I know we did what God called us to do, I just wonder if we were suppose to do more?

I wonder if in the future God will call us to do more. 

I know for sure it wasn’t a mistake adopting Kai! This boy has already captured our hearts. This boy is our son and we will love him forever. 

Tired, Overwhelmed, Exhusted, Amazed

So, no sugar coating here. 

We’re Tired. 

Kai is a super happy kid and then he isn’t. 

Last night was rough. Not much sleep. I ended up walking him from 430-630am all over our hotel. Which worked out, because I was up anyways. 

Overwhelmed. 

This afternoon when he woke up, wow. He was not happy. It was next level. He was overwhelmed and we were overwhelmed. 

We know that he has 3 years of life that we know nothing about. We also know that his entire world has been turned upside down. 

Exhausted.

So, even in our exhaustion, we are so thankful! Every minute, every hour and every day is such an amazing adventure with this little boy. 

We would be honored if you would continue to pray for us. 

Amazed.

In the midst of all this, I am just continually amazed. I walk through the lobby of our hotel and I see family after family with their adopted kids. 

Families adopting little girls who can’t use their arms. 

Families adopting little girls who are blind. 

Families adopting little boys and girls with Down syndrome. 

Families adopting little boys with congenital heart disease. 

We spoke with one family who didn’t know what their new son’s life expectancy even was. But, they felt called to adopt and love him. 

I am just Amazed! 


The Next Leg of our Journey has Begun

What a day! Long, hard, exhausting, stretching, tiring, good, great, wonderful and everything in between!

We left our hotel at 1:30pm and drove to the Nanjing airport. Which was by far the largest airport I’ve ever been in…ever! They say everything’s bigger in Texas, well, everything really is bigger in China! Holy Cow!

We got through security and made our way to the gate. Our flight was delayed 2 hours. Ok, so, we started to walk the airport. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was probably 5 football fields long! As we were at the very end of the airport, I looked at the flight status and it said it was boarding! It had just said delayed and we had like 2 hours to go! So, we high tailed it to the gate. We got to the gate and after they scan your ticket, they load a million people into a bus and drive you to your plane. I took 15 minutes! No joke!

Well, the plane ride was not Kai’s favorite. It was pretty rough. But, we got to Guangzhou, found our guide and loaded up our luggage and headed to our hotel. 

We are staying at a great hotel for the next week because of some amazing generosity. Actually, our room is out of this world cool. Which is great, because Kai has some room to play!! 

For some reason, I am up! Tracie and Kai are out. We have to be up early for Kai’s medical exam in the morning! 

I’m hoping to head to Church on Sunday! That would be awesome! We’ll see. 

Alright, time for some sleep! 

OH…Kai was struggling pretty mightily with me today. Only wants his mama. Until! UNTIL I gave him some banana, his first ever! Yup, I won him over and I don’t care at all if it was bribery! He was happy, he was laughing and he was smiling! 

A Look into our Nanjing, China trip through my iPhone 

The CHURCH made Kai’s Adoption a Reality

How about that for a headline!?! 

That’s the reality though, without the local CHURCH, Kai’s adoption would not have happened. 

Tracie and I weren’t in a position to afford this adoption on our own. Maybe that should have stopped us from pursuing it. It has stopped many. A few people expressed that opinion to us. Well, not face to face but on Facebook and to others. But, as we prayed about it, we just felt God’s overwhelming push to move forward and to ask the CHURCH to help. So, we did. We did it on Facebook. We did it through emails. We did it on my blog. We did it Face to face. 

And…the CHURCH DID!!!! 

Here’s what I mean by that. Not one Church is responsible for Kai’s adoption or one person or one family, but MANY. 

We had 6 year olds give $5. We had teenagers give. We had families give $20. We had some who gave thousands. We had people give from Central Michigan, the Detroit Area, Grand Rapids and up north. From…PA, IND, VA, CA, CO, NV, TX, LA, NY, OH, IL, WI, WA, FL, TN, KY, DC and some I’m forgetting about. 

But, Kai’s adoption couldn’t have happened without every one of those gifts. 

And, how about this…

99% of the people that gave were followers of Jesus. 

You know why? Because generosity is close to the heart of God! I mean, HE Gave HIS Son for us! Jesus gave everything! The Acts 2 Church gave to support each other. We, as the Church, are called to give! I believe we’re called to give first to God through the Local Church and then to give as God leads us to give. 

I love what Todd Clark said about generosity…

‘Generosity will make you rich not poor’

I have found that to be 100% true in my life. Embarrassingly enough, I fought this for years. I didn’t give because I thought that because I made hardly anything working for the church and because I gave so much time to the Church, that that was the same as giving financially. I was wrong. Dead wrong. There is a very strong and compelling reason that Jesus said your treasure is where your heart is. He knew that we struggle like crazy to Trust Him and He wants our heart. If we can’t put our finances ahead of our heart, we won’t experience all He has for us. 

I can honestly say that is true. I have experienced that. When you make generosity so common in life, like breathing, and you do that over time, whether times are good or bad, one day…

You will wake up and experience a waterfall of the Holy Spirits presence in your life. I have. It’s amazing. 

THE CHURCH MADE KAI’S ADOPTION A REALITY! 

And, actual Churches made Kai’s adoption a reality. This just completely blows my mind! It’s still had to wrap my mind around!

3 Churches, who really don’t know my family or I all that well (I mean, I have a friendship with their Pastors) took offerings to help us! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?? So, we will always be in awe and so grateful to 242 Community Church in MI, New Bethel Church in IN and Canvas Church in VA. 

Then, Thrive Church in CA, who knows more of me and my Church because we’re in the same network of Churches, received an offering as well. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

Also, the night before we left, I asked some folks from my Church to gather and pray for us. And they did! And, they threw us a surprise shower to help with Kai’s clothes and toys and toddler stuff! 

THE CHURCH IS AWESOME!!!

The Church is responsible for this adoption. Of all the complaining and whining I read about the CHURCH, I’m sorry if I can’t join in! I love the LOCAL CHURCH! She is the bride of Christ. The local Church, when working right, is the Hope of the World. The Church preaches the Gospel. The Church gives people a home. The Church allows the generations to come together. The Church is a movement! The Church is the hands and feet of Jesus! The Church is the LIGHT to this dark world. 

That’s why it just shocks me that Christians have become so apatathic towards their Churches. But, that’s for another blog post. 

Here’s what I know…

A boy who didn’t have a family, now has one. A boy who didn’t have a Church home, now has one. A boy who wasn’t going recieve the level of medical care his PKU needed, will receive one. A boy who slep in a crip with 12 other kids, will now have 4 siblings. A boy on the other side of the world, one of the 17 million orphans in the world, now has a home. 

The Church did that! 

I love the Church. 

‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you’ ~ James 1:27

I Saw Jesus Today at Kai’s Former Orphange

My heart just couldn’t handle what I experienced today. 

My eyes wouldn’t stop welling up with tears. 

My breathing was short. 

I am utterly and completely exhausted.

I almost lot it. Quite a few times. I had to secretly and quickly wipe my tears. 

Visiting your son’s former orphange + being someone who is high on empathy + being stretched by being in a new culture = heart wrecked. 

A visit I’ll never forget. 

We went to Kai’s formers orphanage in Nanjing today. One of the interesting things about most buildings here is that the hallways aren’t heated. I guess it make sense, why heat the hallways?! As we walked in, it naturally felt cold. When, we got to his room, it was sweltering with heat and then it happened. 

My heart just broke. 

Seeing so many kids with special needs just laying on the floor, well, it wrecked me. 

There were multiple kids with Down Syndrome, kids with congenital heart problems, kids with PKU and a gambit of other needs. 

One child, unable to crawl, just pounded his little head onto to the floor. 

Another little boy just stared and moved his leg up and down. 

BUT…don’t think for a minute that the nannies and care givers don’t love those kids. When we walked up to Kai’s former home, 5 care givers came out on the balcony and all yelled his name. He is a Rock Star. Then, his favorite nanny came running (YES, RUNNING) to him! She kept hugging and kissing him. My heart kept with joy because I know he was well loved! His face lit up! 

I worried about taking him back. I worried he would think we were leaving him. 

I do think it was important for us to see. I do think it was important for him to get one more time to be loved by the women who have raised him. 

Something very interesting happened. Kai cried. 

It was the first time he’s cried since we’ve had him. He almost became a different kid in there. Not in a bad way, but in a ‘I didn’t have a mom and dad here’ kind of way. 

We talked with his nannies. We learned more about how they perceived the PKU diet to look like. We watched him play in some of his favorite spots. We watched his favorite nanny feed him one last time. Her face just lit up. 

We stood next to his empty crib. The crib he spent almost 3 years of his life in. We cried. We realized there were almost 12 cribs in his room. 

Then the moment happened. It was suttle. There was no fanfare. No announcements. No hashtags. No Facebook post. No special lights. 

I saw Jesus laying on the floor. 

As I was wiping tear after tear, I saw HIM. He was as clear as day. His smile was amazing. His warmth was intoxicating. His presence was soothing. 

He was sitting on the floor and a little boy with special needs was resting his head on Jesus’ lap. 

My Jesus was there. 

My Jesus cares for the least of these. My Jesus is where the sick, the hurting and the broken are. 

But, here’s the kicker. I don’t believe He seems them that way. When we look at a child who is physically or mentally unhealthy, we see them that way. 

I don’t think Jesus sees them this way. He just gets on their level, and lays their head on his lap and loves them. 

I couldn’t help but remember some of my favorite passages of scripture from Romans 12:9-17 from the Message

‘Love from the center of who you are’

‘Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle’

‘Don’t quite in hard times; pray all the harder’

‘Get along with each other; don’t be stuck up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody’

‘Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone’

Today was overwhelming. Today was exhausting. Today was moving. Today was powerful. 

Today reminded me that I have been given a great privilege. It is because of many that I am now the dad to Kai. That is something I will not take for granted. 

It also reminded me that I have the blessing of bring Jesus to others. And, that I can be Jesus to those who need Him most. 

I saw Jesus today in Kai’s orphanage and it just wrecked me. 


 

The night before we meet Kai

I’m not even sure where to start! We are here! Detroit to Shanghai. Overnight in Shanghai. Bullet train from Shanghai to Nanjing. Checked into our hotel. Walked around Nanjing. 

I was thinking on the flight…there were a MILLION reasons to not adopt. 

But, there was one very compelling reason to adopt. 

My emotions are going everywhere. I feel like I cried enough for a life time the week before this trip. I know I will cry tomorrow. 

Tracie and I have been talking tonight about how our lives are going to change. You know, that’s a no brainer, but I haven’t thought a lot about that until tonight, I know, weird. 

But, the last 12 or so months have been about getting to this moment and the thousands of moments from here on out. 

I have prayed a lot. I have asked a lot. I have believed a lot. I have doubted a lot. I have stressed a lot. I have given it all to God a lot. I have cried a lot. I have tried to ignore the negative voices a lot. I have thanked God a lot. I have been blown away by God’s goodness a lot. I have been humbled by the generosity we’ve been given…a lot. 

And now…well, the time has come. 

It’s 11:11pm. At 8:30am we’ll meet our guide in the lobby of our hotel and we’ll head to the civil affairs office and at 9:30am, well…

We’ll meet Kai

I have thought, dreamed and prayed about this moment for a long time. Will he cry? We he will pull away? Will he smile? Will it take long for him to like us? 

Regardless of how he responds, we will love him. When he’s ready, we will hug him. 

And…I know we will cry. 

A lot. 

But, here’s what I do know…we will love this boy with all the love we have to love. He has been called by His creator to be a part of our family and the time has come. 

I can’t wait. 

There were a million reasons to not adopt. 

But, there was one VERY COMPELLING to adopt and his name is Kai David Raitz and the time has come. 

The Night Before we leave for China

Tonight was absolutely AMAZING! I asked my Church to pray for my family and they did!

So humbling!

Our adoption journey has been amazing! It’s been stressful! It’s been incredible!  It’s been anxiety filled! It’s been up and its been down! It’s been miracle after miracle! It’s been amazing to see God work and move!

I’ve had sleepless nights. I’ve had nights where I walked around our house late at night just begging God to move so we could provide a home for Winona or Kai. I’ve had nights where I just thank God over and over!

It seems like forever ago that I wrote this post about adopting Winona Mae! Oh wait, it was forever ago!

It seems like yesterday that I wrote this post for my friends and family to meet Kai!!

And now, here we are, Tracie and I leave for China tomorrow at 330pm.

I would be honored if you would pray for us.

Pray for Kai. Pray for Tracie. Pray for our kids back home.

We have just a little bit more to raise to cover our airfare home and I would be honored if you would pray for that.

Please pray on Monday. That’s when we meet Kai for the first time. Pray that we have God’s favor with Kai. Pray that he has an immediate connection to us.

We are so thankful! We are so blessed! Thank you!

 

A little of Kai’s story…And how we’re going to get him as soon as we get our Travel Dates

This is as much as we know about Kai’s story. What I do know is this…his story is about to inter twine with our stories and I can’t wait for our new story. img_1729

Kai was abandoned

At 6pm on June 19, 2014, the Police received a call by a citizen who said there was an unattended male infant at the Railway Station. The police rushed to the site quickly after getting the call. The policemen did a lot of search but failed to find his birth parents or other relatives.

He was confirmed as an abandoned baby, and was sent to the Child and Welfare Institute that day. He wore a white shivering unlined clothes and was wrapped with a pink quilt.

As the Doctor was examining him, he determined that the baby boy was about 5 months old and officially recorded his birthday as January 19, 2014. He was 4.4 kg or 9.7 pounds when he was abandoned, had heart murmurs, couldn’t hold his head up or couldn’t roll over. They ran a series of tests and a week later they found out he had phenylketonuria or PKU for short. Thankfully, his caretakers started him on a low protein diet with a medical formula. We don’t know if his birth parents knew about his PKU and most likely he was off diet for those 5 months.

He loved to be held by his caretakers and he could follow them with his eyes. He especially loved when they would tease him or give him baths.

What’s he like now?

Recently, his adoption agency answered a few questions for us about Kai. He still uses a bottle and he loves his caretaker. He currently weighs 29 pounds and is not potty trained.

We’re told Kai is sensitive and relatively timid. In front of familiar people, he’s more lively. He does have a few simple words, but that’s it. And, we know he loves to play outside.

When do we get to bring him home?

We still don’t know. Ugh! Everything is done. Every form has been completed and approved. Oh, except our Visa’s, which we should have by the end of the week.

So, we are just waiting for China to give us our Travel Window. Once they do, we do not have long to book our flights and plan our ‘Gotcha’ Day.

We do that we will leave Detroit on a Friday morning and we will arrive in Shanghai on Saturday evening. We will then take a train to Nanjing. We will spend 3-5 days there and then we will fly to Guangzhou where the US Consulate is located. We will spend another 4-5 days there where we will patiently wait for every thing to be completed. Then, we will drive down to Hong Kong and fly home!

Whew! We can’t wait to meet him and to bring him home!

Thanks for praying!

Thanks for sharing our YouCaring website on your Facebook page: https://www.youcaring.com/kai-551468

Thanks for praying!

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