Friday, May 31, 2013

Do you TRUST Him?

Man, as I sit here struggling to find the right words to bring people up to speed, I find myself in this unexplained state of peace. This scripture out of Romans is one that has been one of my favorites for a long time, you know those verses you quote over and over and over again... and yet in the past year I haven't looked at it much, until this week. This verse kept "randomly" showing up, or being spoken to me out of sweetest sincerity from friends... in books... and even my precious dad.

Romans 8:38 says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." 

These past couple of weeks I have felt this stirring, or almost an unsettling feeling regarding our adoption. This command to fervently be in prayer over our journey. On 3 different accounts I had friends (some super close to me, some not so close), come to me saying that they felt the Lord had laid us on their hearts and wanted to see what was going on with the adoption. At that time we hadn't heard any updates, but I told them of the same stirring and heaviness I had been feeling about it. 

Two days ago Aaron and I had a conference call with our agency. We got some really crummy news that Colombia has decided to deny us the opportunity to adopt from their country. Reasons that are hard to put feelings to.... 1- Because our faith is such an important part of our lives and played a roll in our motivation to adopt, 2- because we have 2 biological children already, and 3- because we do not struggle with fertility issues. Not only were Aaron and I shocked, but also our caseworker, president of the agency, and also the inter-country adoption coordinator. Tears were shed of course, all the while knowing our God has a mightier plan for us. Amazing how human emotions just kick in even though we know in the deepest part of our hearts that our God works for the good of those who love him... 

There's not a lot more to tell other than as frustrating as it may seem, Aaron and I feel that God is up to something here (clearly) and is beginning to reveal some really really neat things to us. This past year has been a long one, but in the large scheme of things... this denial is simply one bump in the road; one detour that has taught us so much. It does not change the fact that our hearts are still called to international orphans. It does not change our love for Colombia and the orphans there. It does not shake  our original decision to adopt. And it does not shake our love for orphans here. Our path will look different, yes, but our destination will be the same. We are unsure of which direction we are going to head in next.. and ask that you pray along side us as we wait on the Lord to clearly guide our next steps in bringing our third child home.

If any of you reading this (if anyone ;-)) has that sucken in, sad feeling for us... stop! This was a clearly marked road for us in the eyes of our creator.. and for that we will be grateful for what He has taught us and for the deepening our of relationships with Him throughout this last year. If you are searching for an emotion to feel towards this (as Aaron and I were yesterday), why not JOY as James instructs us to.. or excitement knowing that God is preparing us for something much grander than what we can see right now... and rest in the TRUST we have in an unchanging, never failing, always present God. He is up to something really really really cool.... so STAY TUNED...

....... yes lots of questions may arise ... or feelings of bitterness towards the international adoption ways... or thoughts of thinking this is stupid and ridiculous with lots of "red tape"... feelings of bitterness towards people trying to adopt because the roads seem too uncertain and crazy and emotional... feelings of concern or anger because someone else you know has gone through something similar.... The road to adoption is not as easy one. It takes support of many and a clear calling from our Savior to make it through.. not a decision that comes lightly. The enemy would love nothing more than to grab hold of one of those negative feelings towards adoption, or Colombia, or feelings of fatigue in this process.... honestly or even annoyance with reading my updates thinking its stupid to go through all of this. Our enemy ain't got nothing on this. Our God is bigger. Our God is greater. Our God promised that in this world we WILL have trials and tribulation......... BUT HE HAS OVERCOME IT ALL. So we will trust that. We will continue to pray for orphans. We will continue to pray for others in the adoption process. We will continue on in our journey to adopt... We will continue to trust that in all these problems that are arising in other adoption stories and journey's that God is working all things out for the good. We will trust that His plan is higher and His WAYS ARE HIGHER than ours. Let it go. Let the questions and annoyances and negative thoughts go. Christ our Saviors got this... and that's all anyone needs to know. 

T- total
R- rest
S- scriptural
T- truth

Monday, January 14, 2013

God's clock ;-)

We had a conference call on the 8th with our agency to get some updates on exactly where our Dossier is and to talk about the different orphanages we can choose from. Thankfully we are looking at 2 in smaller cities outside Bogota. We have been hoping for either on these two cities because the time spent in country to finalize the adoption is considerably shorter. We are looking at maybe a 2-4 week stay as apposed to 4-6 weeks. GOD IS GOOD!!!! If you've read my previous update you will recall that the Colombian government closes down for the Christmas holiday.... courts and all... for about a month... if not longer. SO our agency's in-country representative will take our Dossier to each of the two privately owned orphanages (one in Cali the other in beautiful Medellin!) closer to the end of January/early Feb. when the government is up and fully running again (hopefully). After she meets with each orphanage on our behalf and gets a better idea as to which orphanage would be better (more waiting children in our age range~0-3~, faster referrals, and a better fit for our family), we will have another call with Beth at our agency to talk things over and choose ONE. That's the one thing we have to specify... which orphanage. We are so so so grateful and thankful that our agency has relationships with these individually owned and operated orphanages and we get to go through one. The government owned orphanages have much longer wait times for their approvals and referrals. 

    So how long will it actually take for the referral? Once we choose the orphanage our paperwork goes through one more round of approvals at the orphanage itself (takes roughly 2 weeks?!). From there it can be any kind of timeline possible. We could receive a referral fairly quickly (a few months), or it could take a bit longer (a year). Beth at our agency did tell us that with all of the changes happening in the Colombian government to expect a longer wait time while they are still sorting things out. That was a bit hard to hear at first, not going to lie. 

This whole process has gone fairly smooth and fairly quickly (strange to say I know given that it will be a year in MARCH since we first began our journey with The Gladney Center!), and I just assumed that the referral would come just as quickly. Neither Aaron or myself have had many of those "WOW I just want my child home right now, this second, and I don't want to wait any LONGER!" moments... thankfully the Lord has covered us in patience and peace throughout this process so far. But now that we are here and feel like we are SO CLOSE, it's hard to swallow the reality that our third child is most likely born, and it could be a while until we get to bring them home. The great news is that the Lord is clearly still working things out in our hearts, helping us prepare Faith and Ava, and get us ready to make us a family of 5. He has refined our hearts, our vision of what this will look like, our relationships, and grown our marriage through this journey so far. This is no easy process. It takes a lot of time, energy, emotions, paperwork, appointments, etc.... It is messy and emotional and exhausting. I believe it takes dedication and a true calling to be able to persevere. Another honest moment.... sometimes hearing "It's all in God's timing" is hard. I know it is, oh and how I know HIS timing IS PERFECT.... but sometimes our flesh cries out in selfish desire to be able to love on our child right this second. Thankfully I have a strong man of faith by my side who can help reign in my emotions and bring excitement back into the place we are right now. Excited to love on our two fantastic daughters right now, excited to know that as long as we're waiting- God's preparing us and GROWING us (that's something to get happy about), excited to know that we could get a call ANY SECOND to see our child, excited to be us right now. To find JOY in this JOURNEY the Lord has placed us on (James 1:2 comes to mind.... Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds). 

I know there will be plenty of trials to come after we bring baby baker #3 home as we all adjust to the new normal.... so as for now, we'll take one day at a time, choose joy, and be excited to know that God's clock is the only one that matters..... and it's perfect.