Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something Borrowed

You say:: "It's impossible"God says:: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say:: "I can't go on"God says:: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say:: "I can't figure things out"God says:: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say:: "I can't do it"God says:: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say:: "I'm not able"God says:: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say:: "It's not worth it" God says:: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say:: "I can't manage"God says:: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say:: "I'm afraid"God says:: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy1:7)

You say:: "I'm always worried and frustrated"God says:: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say:: "I don't have enough faith"God says:: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say:: "I feel all alone"God says:: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews13:5)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We Can With Prayer

Last week we jumped another hurdle. We made it over, but perhaps we lost a metaphorical shoe. The hurdle was our home study, the culmination of weeks of hand-wringing, mega-cleaning, brow sweating, and the frantic completion of what might have been the world's most daunting to-do list. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, maybe just the tri-state area's most daunting to-do list. The moral of the story I guess though is that we made it through with flying colors. Almost.

Our caseworker was very positive. She told us we are wonderful parents ( I tend to agree ) and nothing would stop us from receiving a glowing report as far as the home study goes. The down side? Again she showed apprehension over our ability to finance the adoption. She even asked her supervisor if they thought we would be able to proceed. The answer? "We can with prayer". Not exactly the words I wanted to hear. I want to hear "Oh sure, people do this all the time!" but that is not what we heard. And the fact is, well you don't always want to hear the truth. But the truth is that where we are is standing before an amazing opportunity that I really don't think everyone gets a shot at. It is an amazing gift to not be able to afford what we are doing. That is not a typo, it is truly an amazing gift to not be able. At this point, there is nothing of me left in the process. The only way I put one foot in front of the other is through sheer obediance. Everything human about me screams turn back, its not too late, try again later, this is impossible. So the only thing I focus on is that sweet whisper, just underneath the screaming, the one that says "come, I will show you the way". Now of course I can't wait to bring home my child - because he is already ours. He is already a part of the family, his name in our conversations, his room; adorned occasionally with one more toy. I miss the little boy I have not ever even met. But all this love and longing is water from the Master on a long journey through a seemingly barren desert. And that is such a gift. When God removes you piece by piece from being capable he frees you to experience the awesome chance to step aside and hand Him the glory. I am incapable of claiming any of this as an achievement now or at any time in the future. This was His will, His ability, and forevermore His glory alone. What an awesome gift to be able to give - something that was never mine in the first place. That is not a human experience, we really have nothing comparable. If I took your shoes and gave them to my best friend it would be an act of selfishness, or thievery, or malice, etc. It is human, it is tainted, it is imperfect. That metaphor just doesn't seem to translate and in that is where there is so much blissful ignorance. I can't even begin to understand how our God works but I know that to be able to accept something that wasn't mine and then without burden give it back is a perfect exercise of love. Some day I know I will look back on the words I didn't want to hear and feel thankfulness, in fact I already do. Because with every fundraising bright idea that turns out to be rather dim, and every hurdle we barely clear, with every corner we turn to face another dead end, and every lump in my throat I have to swallow at the fear of flying - I am free to be thankful, free to give up the glory.

Just remember "We can with prayer" And so we pray........

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Moving the Finish Line

Well the goal is to update this blog every week, but with all the towering piles of papers looming over our heads and the wads of sticky notes with to-do-lists that we find adhering themeselves to all stickable surfaces, it is easy for a week to pass by like a blur before our eyes.
Here is the update for this week, we are now working on the dossier, the USCIS application, and the home study simultaneoulsy. The good news is that we were told once our dossier is submitted ( hopefully in a month or two ) and approved that we have about a month until we make our first trip to Russia. The bad news is that after our dossier is submitted, we have about a month until we make our first trip to Russia. Yeah, its the same news. The prospect of getting to meet our little dude before the summer is over is very exciting, even as the funding is extremely questionable. I am just trusting that God has this figured out. We are trying to do some fundraisers but logistically it is a little difficult to balance out the cost of materials against the amount we get to actually put into our adoption fund. For example, we want to do a large scale spaghetti dinner with entertainment but by the time you rent a facility and materials, etc... you could be taking a good chunk out of the proceeds. Once we have this all figured out though we plan on organizing a ministry that would help others in the postition we find ourselves in now. So the future looks bright, the present is just a little overcast. I have a feeling until then that ebay and I are going to become good friends. Anyone want to buy all my junk?
It feels like we are running a race and someone has just moved up the finish line, but it also feels like both of my shoes are untied.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prayer Pillows

To raise funds for the adoption, my Mother-in-Law and I are now making Prayer Pillows. The pillows have a pocket in the front where you can place someone's name or prayer request. Then at night before you sleep you have a soft and cushy reminder of what to include in your bedtime prayers. These are great for kids too! Pillows can be made in whatever color combination you like but we'll also have a nice variety in stock. Since this is a fundraiser we are accepting donations for the pillows with a minimum donation being 10.00. We will have more pictures of the different syles up soon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

God Speaks Through Legos

More than one year after my husband and I officially started the adoption process, the nest was still feeling a little empty. Not that Little Hawk ( our son ) wasn't keeping us occupied or exceeding our expectations at every wonderful and sticky messy turn, it's just that we knew in our hearts there was still an empty chair at the sticky messy table. In frustration I told God that I just wasn't getting it. I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, but in this situation God was really going to have to dumb it down for me because I was playing ostrich in the sandbox. Immediatly, my prayer was answered. God took pity on me and my stupid-written-on-my-forehead attitude and had Little Hawk explain it to me in ways and words I could (mostly) understand. It was simple, Little Hawk wouldn't leave the legs on his lego people. All of the transformers in the house soon had missing appendages, all the sticker cartoon characters were placed lovingly on paper where they all fashionably sported absent limbs. Hot Wheels became more "Hot" and less "Wheels", Memory became a game of full on chance once more than half the pieces went AWAL, and more and more the stick figures started experiencing severe problems with depth perception - sure, they were 2 dimensional to start out with but the one eye didn't help either. The brown paper packages were still tied up with string but the kittens were all missing their whiskers, and yet they were still all some of our favorite things. Then it occured to me, like a lightbulb over my head popping like so many lego men legs....well except that it was popping on instead of off. As my son sweetly sauntered about with his precious deformed treasures clutched safely in his sweaty perfect hands, I asked myself, would it be different if he wasn't so perfect? What if the lego man had both his legs but the child was the one missing something? There would still be all the imagination, all the smiles, all the wonder, and regretably still all the endless hours of Dora the Explorer. That's when I knew, we would be okay with imperfect. Better than okay, why my perfect son, while sufficient in the sticky department, is really the odd man out! What with his non-muppet sized nose and feet that didn't need corrective shoes, things he should have inherited from both of his parents. An "imperfect" child would actually be perfect for us. It was our whole reason for adopting internationally to begin with, to bring a child into a land where he would have more opportunity, more chances. If we could have the chance to maximize that by adopting someone who isn't going to be everyone's first choice, but who could be helped here in the USA, suddenly the whole picture was in focus and I could see everything clearly. Everything but the face of baby blue eyes. That would come later.