Monday, April 29, 2013

Adoption Update - Dancing in the Rain - 4.28.2013

We got 6 inches of rain in less than 3 hours yesterday.  Our curbs swelled with rushing water,  and the rain continued to pound against the windows.  As I watched the time pass and the lightening flash,  I thought of an encouraging note I received from a woman (much wiser than I) at our church.  The inside of the sweet little handmade card read:  “Life (adoption) is not about waiting for the storm to pass…it is about learning to dance in the rain.”

We have been waiting for a break in my husband’s work schedule for a long time. The long hours were wearing on our family and giving me little confidence in our ability to take on a great transition like adoption without my husband’s calm, reassuring presence to stabilize us all. As the Lord has been teaching me about prayer over the last few weeks, I have been seeking His will in everything and His mercy even more. He had given us grace to "weather the storm" thus far and I was learning to accept His comfort and trust His timing.  But, when our daughter casually said, "I miss Daddy." for the first time on Tuesday morning I was heartbroken. I went to the Lord for mercy, asking for a schedule change, for a break for my weary husband, for our daughter's daddy back.  When I got a suspiciously early phone call that afternoon from my husband announcing he was on his way home, I asked why.   He said he met with his boss that morning and she "randomly" told him to work fewer hours, to leave early for family time, and to take breaks when he can. AMEN.

With that answered prayer in mind, my confidence grew tremendously. I thought, “Maybe we should start looking now.”  After “losing” the last sibling group we decided that my heart can’t take much more of the ups and downs. I’m weak and my heart aches for each profile picture burned in my memory, each rejection, each unknown.  We determined to take a break, to not to be actively involved in the adoption process unless we were contacted.  My husband and I agreed not to pursue anything (a 180 degree turn from the hourly inquiries and daily disappointments) and put it in God's hands and just wait for a phone call from our caseworker. After two weeks of shocking restraint on my part (I know two weeks doesn't seem like a long time, but when you have been living in a house with 4 empty beds for over a year....the days seem a little longer than usual), we still heard nothing and my resolve was starting to waiver. In my weakness (and self-will) I went online to begin the search.  I hesitated and thought I should check my email first for some reason.  And there was the mercy of God… in a perfectly timed email from a recruiter with the program.   I stared at the email, feeling God's hand on my shoulder, and bowing my head in shame.  Why do I think God needs help? Why do I believe I need to be involved at all? This is His plan, His story.  I opened the email and read about a sweet sibling group in Texas looking for an in-state placement.  I read their profiles and saw their picture and thought, “God, why did you show me their picture? These have to be our kids or you wouldn’t have shown me their picture. You know my heart is weak.”  I dropped to my knees in desperate prayer and remained there until my pleas turned to praises.  Two girls and one boy…their needs suited so perfectly to our home, our skills, our hopes.  I inquired in confidence, tucking their picture away in my heart. But, I know this could just be another bend in the road.

 I know our Lord is good when He opens doors and just as good when He closes them.  He has given me a peace (that passeth all understanding) about this possibility.  And really, the more I see the path behind us, the more eager I am to see what is around the next corner.  I am learning  to lean on the mercies of God and invest in the power of prayer.  I really feel strengthened for this next leg of the journey, whether it be finally meeting our new blessings or continuing to wait on God.  The Lord has replaced my anxiety with anticipation and my fear with fascination. Since I know that all things work together for the good of them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose, I can’t help but wait eagerly for the big reveal.  And although my impatient heart desires to see this storm (waiting) pass, I am ever grateful for the dance lessons we are getting on the way.

May God get all the Glory.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Adoption Update: A Confession of Humility - 4.19.2013

First of all, let me officially announce that we were NOT selected for the children mentioned in the last posting. We found out April why the delay in the update?
A confession: Although I thought I was prepared for that possibility, because of the circumstances (the reason given for not choosing our family) I had a really hard time dealing with the reality. I was so confident that it was the Lord's will that I had broadcast my hope to all who would hear. When it didn't pan out like I had planned, I wondered why the Lord didn't "follow through". I was in a state of defiant hope for about a week, thinking "God could still give those kids to us if He wanted to. He could still get the glory." I knew that wasn't logical. I knew God knew better than me. But, I was deeply discouraged and I didn't know why....
until I sang the 25th Psalm in my Bible Study class.

Unto Thee, O Lord do I lift up my soul
O my God I trust in Thee

Let me not be ashamed
Let not my enemies triumph over me

Yea let none that wait on Thee be ashamed
Yea let none that wait on Thee be ashamed

....I was ashamed. I had limited God's reach to the here and now. I had limited God's power to what I could dream up. I had put my faith in an expectation, a time frame, a hope of a happy ending. And I was ashamed to be back in the position of waiting on God. "Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed." How weak we are. How utterly foolish in our flesh. I had tumbled into bitterness before I could process it all. Another triumph for my enemy. And the devil is no gentlemen, never hesitating to kick us while we're down.  So, God found me battered by self-pity and fear when He came to me with Psalm 25. He found me ashamed and lacking a week of rejoicing in my life. He found me to show me His glory is not in fulfilling our expectations, but in restoring our soul.  How sweet it is to know we can always come to our Father for restoration, to restore the years lost to locusts...and the weeks lost to spiritual defeat. So, I am up again. I have been strengthened by this fall and I'm back on the fighting side. The glory of God was revealed through humility in my life. And I am restored.... Trusting again. Lifting up my soul. And shamelessly waiting.

"Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." -Psalm 25: 1-10


Monday, April 15, 2013

A Sustainable Home Garden - God's Way

I just watched an AMAZING documentary describing God's creation and His plan for sustainability in the home garden. What a blessing!
Here is the link:


Friday, April 5, 2013

Adoption Update: An Unexpected U-turn 4.4.2013

We were so sure we had found the kids God had chosen for us.  They were the right age, the right genders, the right temperaments…they were even in our city!  We didn't even know what they looked like, but we were ready to call them ours. Out of 60 families, we were chosen to be one of the 5 possible candidates…but, we didn’t make the last cut.   Our caseworker endearingly scolded the children’s caseworker for “missing out on the best family ever” and called us to break the bad news.  I was disappointed, but I had a feeling like it just wasn’t over yet. Although the door was obviously closed, I was sure there was a window waiting to be opened.  So, I didn’t delete their info like I did the others, I stowed it away, waiting for God’s big miracle...looking back a little as we sped forward once again. 

Forward in to the unknown, waiting for a landmark, rest stop, or road sign.  And as it had so many times before, the waiting turned to doubt (I am a slow learner, I know). And in my weakness, I reverted back to my desperate searches online, hunting for “the right” kids, or even the “close enough, let’s just get this over with” kids (shameful, I know), inquiring on as many as possible to “turn the odds in our favor” (faithless, I know). We even extended the age range to accommodate children way out of our comfort zone...and even our time zone. 
 Then, last night I went to bed regretting all the inquiries we submitted and I prayed, “God, I’m doing it again. I’m back to trying to do everything on my own. I’m being Sarah…trying to find an Ishmael when I should be waiting for an Isaac. I’m sorry. We don’t want any of those kids we inquired on. We want the ones you have for us…sight unseen….just bring them to us.” 

And as if to remind us that His grace is sufficient (and He's still navigating), we got a phone call from our caseworker this morning.  She said, “Well, your prayers must really be working.  Remember the two little kids that we thought were definitely going to be yours….but you weren’t selected for?  One of the families dropped out…and y’all are back in the running. The selection meeting is next Tuesday (the 9th).”

So, this is an update on our winding journey.  An unexpected U-turn back toward hope. But, more importantly it is a plea for your prayers.  There are two little children waiting for a family.   Our caseworker and the caseworkers for two other families will meet with a committee of advocates for the children next Tuesday to determine who that family will be.  We want God to get the glory.

His will be done.
"And the LORD shall guide thee continually..." -Isaiah 58:11