Josh Lewis is LaserMacaroni

This goes out to my good friend lasermacaroni–I mean Josh Lewis–who is now immortalized in a poorly drawn* web comic, Friendly Stegosaurus, and a hilarious Googlebomb. All because he’s no longer the first Google result for his own name.

I am so jealous.

Well, Josh, if you can’t have your own name, at least you’ve got lasermacaroni.

*I should point out that most web comics appear poorly drawn (have you seen xkcd?), but it’s actually a lot harder to draw a comic than you think it is. Trust me, I’ve tried. Of all the get-rich-quick-on-the-Internet schemes, the web comic is my favorite.

Point People to More Content

My biggest blogging pet peeve is when a blog doesn’t point you to more content. Blogs typically post entries in reverse chronological order, meaning the latest entries are first. That’s great for delivering new and timely content, which is what blogs are for.

But when you first check out a blog you may not necessarily care about the latest and greatest entries. You’re trying to get a feel for the purpose of the blog, what they cover, the breadth and depth of what they cover. It’s often hard to get a feel for that from the entries on the front page.

And sometimes you just get sucked into a blog and want to keep on reading. So what happens when you get to the end of a blog’s front page? On too many blogs, nothing happens.

Continue reading Point People to More Content

Adoption is Everywhere

One of the cool things about adopting is realizing that adoption is everywhere. As soon as we started talking about our adoption we started hearing adoption stories everywhere.

There are five families at our church that we know of who have adopted, and three of the five are transcultural adoptions. There are also several families who are considering adoption or have considered it at one time. I’ve also heard from one person whose family placed a child for adoption. And that’s just in our church. Outside our church I’ve heard from several people who were adopted themselves, and more who have adopted or considered adoption.

144 Million Orphans Demand a Response

There are 144 million orphans around the world, according to SOS-Children’s Village. 14 million are AIDS orphans and by 2010 that number will grow to 25 million, according to UNICEF.

In the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, God commands his people again and again to care for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. God continually mentions the orphan and insists that people watch out for the orphan. For me, adoption is one way of doing that. The world is a broken place, and if we’re going to make the kingdom of God known today, we must respond to something as brutal as 144 million orphans. Whether we respond through adoption or sponsoring a child or whatever–how can we not respond?

Businesses Don’t Have to Continually Grow

Ever since starting my own business I’ve found the unending thirst for growth in the business world to be a bit bizarre. Maybe even perverse. How can a company continually grow? At some point you run out of people willing to buy widgets. What’s wrong with simply doing well?

Every now and then I come across somebody smart who backs up my anti-growth leanings. This time it’s Ricardo Semler, the CEO of the Brazilian company Semco. He shared these thoughts at MIT’s Sloan Business School:

The assumption that growth is good for companies is a very difficult one to sustain. There is no evidence whatsoever that companies that grow a lot do better than companies that don’t grow a lot.

(link via 37Signals)

Overcoming the Negative Adoption Stories

This is not the kind of news story you want to read about at the beginning of National Adoption Awareness Month. A French charity tries to fly more than 100 orphans out of Chad under the guise of adoption. Turns out they weren’t orphans and it hardly sounds like adoption. More like human trafficking.

And for me, that’s one of the scariest things about international adoption. I don’t want to steal someone else’s child. The questions raised in this brutally honest Mother Jones article, “Did I Steal My Daughter?” ring true.

That’s part of why we made the choices we did. We chose to work with Children’s Home Society, which has been doing this since 1889. That’s quite a track record. They helped establish the orphanage in Ethiopia where our child will come from, so there’s reassurance that this is no fly by night operation. Ethiopian culture also looks favorably on adoption (so I’m told).

There are certainly adoption horror stories out there. But I think we’ve done what we can to make sure everything is legit and that we’re actually helping children who need help and not just lining someone’s pockets or stealing someone’s child. It’s really sad that we have to worry about those kinds of things. Nothing is ever simple.

Reality Sets In: Adoption Bills

And in the mail today is a bill for $4,600, due upon receipt. It’s for our processing/placement fee and nothing moves forward until we pay it. As if that $27,000+ number wasn’t scary enough, this bill is a nice little reminder that the money has to be paid sooner rather than later.

Reality just moved in.

This also represents the first adoption bill we won’t be able to pay just by writing a check and tightening the belt. We’ll probably be turning to a credit card (low interest balance transfers, nothing high interest thank you) or borrowing from my retirement savings. This is why we’re asking for donations. And why I have a list of 15+ organizations offering adoption loans and grants that we might possibly qualify for. And this is one reason why I hate having student loan debt.

Blogging for National Adoption Awareness Month

November is usually a month for writing a novel. But this year I’m doing something different. In addition to National Novel Writing Month, November is also National Adoption Awareness Month. So instead of writing a 50,000-word novel, we’re going to blog every day about adoption.

That’s right, we. My wife, Abby, has also jumped on the bandwagon.

You can follow the links there to learn more about our adoption journey and keep up on our month of adoption blogging. We appreciate the support, encouragement and prayer. Thank you. And feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments (or e-mail us)–adoption can be a confusing process and we’re happy to answer questions.