Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time for Grace

Well, we aren't going to make it in time. Aaron spoke with our director this morning, and she was kind enough to let us know that we will NOT be getting a referral this month. Thus, we will not be making it in time for court closures. Stink.....

So what now? We wait. The grace that is needed will now come to me, in daily doses I'm sure, to make it through this wait. My prayer is that I can wait well. Meaning, no doubting of God's perfect timing, no being angry or trying to blame this or that for the reason we wait, no crying unexpectedly .... well, maybe the last one can happen a couple of times. The hardest part for me is knowing that Malachi will have to sit in an orphanage without us, his family for 4-5 more months. It saddens me to think of how he will grow, the things he will learn as every baby does.... all without me there snapping pictures of every first. I suppose there was always going to be some element of that, as we weren't ever expecting a newborn. Anyway, today I'm at least able to let go of this hope I've been clinging to. I'm able to stop jumping with every phone call. I'm able to completely focus on all that is to come these next 4-5 months without wondering - "what if we have to leave for Africa, then what?". Things like a pending move, homeschooling, leading (or not at this point) a womens study in the fall, travel, and of course .... 4-5 more months of enjoying the family God has made us thus far -- until life turns crazy crazy with one more. (Or 2???)

I will certainly post when the referral comes. I can't imagine it NOT coming sometime in July. So we will have a picture to hold on to at least. That will be good for the kids belief, and for my heart I suppose.

Life continues...... and so does Grace.

2 Cor 12:9 - My grace is sufficient for you

Isaiah 30:15 In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

**Lamentations 3:22-25 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion", says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him". The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.**

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6 months later...

...we are still waiting. Ho-hum. Yesterday marked our 6 month date since submitting our dossier. Wow....that's like half of a year or something. :) Well, we may have just a couple of months left to finally meet Malachi, or we may have 4 months left. Only the good Lord knows (well, and our agency director). In the meantime, a few things have been added to our plate that will fill the wait time up. 1) We have chosen to begin homeschooling this up coming fall. (Gulp) 2) We have decided to put our house up for sale and go back to renting.

That being said, I decided to start a new blog site where I will rant and mumble about the happenings of my life outside of adoption. (The above 2 things included.) Read it if you want, since I'm sure you have all the time in the world to read this crazy girls thoughts! Just an FYI.

So, keep praying. I'm still hoping that we will get that referral this week! And check back daily because who knows - maybe we will!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I just can't give up hope yet.......

Today we had a conference call with the adoption agency. I heard many things that renewed my hope of still getting a referral this month. Maybe that isn't a good thing. Maybe for my hearts sake, I should really be giving up hope. I can't. That's all there is to it.

Our agency director stated that they are hoping to get close to 10 referrals out this month. Thus far in June, there have been 6. We are so close!!!! Only 3rd or 4th in line for a boy (to my understanding).

A dear friend who was helping me try to process the idea of hope/faith/reality/guarding my heart, etc., spoke something to me that at the time she spoke it, renewed my hope even more than the conference call. She said to me that I have to believe God could grant our referral this month because that is how much Jesus loves me. And if He doesn't do it, I have to believe He's got a darn good reason why He won't. So true....... except........

Later as I was thinking about that, there were a few things I was convicted of. (And knowing my friend, she wasn't saying any different, I was just interpreting it to fit my needs.) 1) If we get our referral this month, yes Jesus loves me. However, if He wants us to wait for whatever the reason may be (of which I may never know, no matter HOW good His reason is)..... He STILL loves me! 2) There are 6 or 7 TOTAL families in line in front of me. He reminded me that He loves them just as much as He loves me. Thus, I felt convicted to just plead for referrals. Whether it is MY referral, or 6 people standing in line in front of me. Which leads into my last conviction..... 3) Jesus loves all the orphaned children of Ethiopia, including Malachi, more than I do. So my prayers are shifting. I plead to the Lord God Almighty that He would place as many children as possible with a family before the courts shut down. (Remembering that what is possible to God can look very different to what looks possible to man.) There are over 30 adoption agencies worldwide who have an Ethiopia program. I ask that He move mountains to save many many more children before this month is over. I ask that even just one more child could be rescued from the famine, the poverty, the orphanage, the disease stricken land.... and placed into a loving home before the courts close. And of course my heart, as a mom, will be sad if it is not Malachi who is placed. But the moral of the story.... Jesus loves Malachi, Jesus loves all the orphans, Jesus loves the families waiting in line before me, and yes.... Jesus truly loves me.

So again, I have hope still that it will happen this month. I believe that through God's Mighty Hand, it could happen. And I believe that if it doesn't, He will give me the grace I need to make it until November/December (which is when we were told we could expect to travel if we don't get our referral this month). I've dreaded the possibility of waiting through court closures, thinking that I didn't have what it took to wait much more. But in my friends encouragement of how much Jesus loves me, she also reminded me ....

There is no grace for what isn't. (Ponder that for a second....... I will have the grace needed when I need it, because Jesus loves me!!!)

Garage Sale Fundraiser

Over the last 2 months I've been driving around Boulder county (and some coming to me) picking up other peoples junk. (I'm all about making other people de-clutter!) As it filled my garage, I'd tag items and move them aside. By the time the weekend of June 6th and 7th came around, over 25 families had donated to our sale to raise funds for Malachi, and the goods took up my ENTIRE garage, front porch and half of my neighbors garage. (Very sweet neighbors!)

We had a dollar amount in mind that we were thinking would get us CLOSE to being done with our fundraising. God DOUBLED it !!!! I was amazed to see steady traffic, beautiful weather, and double the amount of money we were anticipating. Why I was amazed I don't know. God is always amazing!

Thanks to all of you who helped in one way or another with this fundraiser. I hope you are enjoying less junk in your house. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wrestling Through the Wait Times

I just checked our agency blog, and saw something that is so very discouraging to me. (And while I have a harshly worded email sitting in my draft box ready to send via email, I figured this may be a healthier outlet.) There were 2 families who received a referral last week (no this is not the discouraging part). Praise God for that!! The part that was hard to swallow, was that it stated that wait time for BOYS and GIRLS was 7-9 months. We knew that was the wait time for girls, but boys?? They have been saying 5-7 months (which is us right now) is the expected wait time. However, throughout our entire paperwork phase, and even upon submitting it all in December, we were told to expect a 2-4 month wait upon submission of our Dossier. A few weeks after submitting that Dossier, we were told it was no longer 2 - 4 months, but rather 5-7 months (which remember is currently where we are at). Okay, fine. But now, through a blog, I read 7-9 months. That puts us receiving a referral sometime between July and September (not June 30th...see Prayer and Fasting post). I'm so heartbroken, 1) that I read information like that in a blog, rather than hearing it from our agency; and 2) the information itself. I've been trying so desperately to cling to this hope that we would get our referral in time to beat the court closures. Doesn't appear that it will happen that way.

I don't get this...the Bible speaks to hope saying, "hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov. 13:12). Okay, so I'll try to be realistic with what I hope for.... I have been (I think). I've realistically set my hope on what they told us would happen. Now it isn't happening. I understand that I wouldn't have much of a right to be so discouraged were I to be "hoping" for things that were unrealistic, which is definitely what I was nearing falling into the first couple months after submitting our Dossier. I kept hoping that every phone call might be a miraculous referral call even though we were MONTHS from the wait time. But for the most part, I haven't done that. Then the Bible speaks to prayer.... verses like Math. 21:22 - "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, IF YOU HAVE FAITH". (One of MANY verses that speak to receiving what we ask for.) I DO have faith, I really, really do. I still want to hold on to that hope and faith, but I guess wisdom tells me it would be foolish to hold on to that supposed hope with the current reality from our agency. This is one of the many phenomenons of faith that is particularly hard for me to grasp. Pray and hope. I understand that there is ALWAYS that overarching prayer of "Thy will be done". And trust me, I'm praying that. It is in fact the only thing keeping me from losing it currently. I know that the Lord's will trumps all ideas or plans I have. I completely understand the verses about man having a plan, but the Lord directing his steps (Proverbs 16:9). Combine all these ideas together, however, and that is where you lose me. I've hoped, I've prayed in faith, and God has different steps in mind. Huh.....like I said, a phenomenon.

I understand that adoption is always to some degree, unfamiliar territory in which anything can happen. I do still understand that when I'm holding Malachi - none of this will matter. And I do still understand that I have the ability to choose joy (only for 7-9 months now instead of 5-7...giddy up). It's just that the sting doesn't go away with any of these truths. And I guess it isn't supposed to necessarily. Like Jacob after wresting with God (Genesis 32:22-32), perhaps I will come away from this experience with a limp...and thus every step I take in the future will remind me of my need for dependence upon divine grace (Lord willing I remember the battle with every step). For this I can be thankful. But in the mean time.... this stinks. This has happened to me a few MAJOR times over the last several years - I pray for something - I have hope - God has a different plan - God wins. I'm tired. Perhaps I'm not listening right, perhaps my prayers are clouded by my internally focused mind and heart. Perhaps the Spirits groanings are louder than mine (Romans 26:26-28 ... you'll want to read this one for sure if you haven't been reading the past scriptures I've referenced). And perhaps I should be thankful that my God loves me enough to let me wrestle with Him... to let me search deeper into His will and His heart.....and that He still loves me through it all.

Aaron is still in Florida at his cousins funeral (of which I have not blogged about due to the fact that if I think about it too long, I start to entertain the thoughts of "what if"...). So, I'm left here with my thoughts and my computer..... oh, and most importantly, the Bible sitting next to me. I know that every verse I referenced in this post were prompted from the Spirit Himself. He and I have been wrestling for a long time on some of these questions --- He keeps taking me to the same verses. I'll get it eventually. Probably once He knocks all my teeth out.