Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ok...a side note.  I'm not as smart as I thought I was...I just don't know how to spell!!  I thought that I made up the word "plentious" -- but I only made up the spelling that way!!!  The correct spelling is "plenteous" and it means just what I intended for plentious to mean!!  Thank you, friends, for your "gentle" correction of this frazzled Momma!!!  I'm always open to helpful instruction!!!!!
"YOU HAVE A TRAVEL DATE."  Words I have LONGED to hear since we started this crazy ride!!!  We got a call at 6:04 this morning from our stateside facilitator telling us of our travel date!!  I'm not going to put our dates on our blog, as it is public, but you can email/txt me if you want to know.

Suffice it to say that we will be able to go have our appointment with the DAP in country, then go to Sam's region and meet him just a couple of days afterwards!!  We DO still need prayers for a miracle court date.  We need to be able to have our court date before we have to come home to re-group or it could significantly delay things and possibly cause a 3rd trip.  That's not seeming like a good option at this point (hello????? or at any point hereafter!!!), so please pray with us that we'll have the Lord's hand on ALL these details and that things will go CRAZY fast and flawless as we head over to this place where EVERYTHING is foreign to us and being out of control here only LOOKED like we weren't in control!!  There, we will merely be puppets at the mercy of translators and team members!!!

Ok, so I just had another miracle in our long list of miracles, which have not been plentious lately, but appear to be picking back up today!! (I just realized that this word that I made up a number of years ago "plentious" has become part of my vocabulary, but the rest of the world has not yet caught on, which is why spell check just got me, but I like it, so I'm leaving it!):

We are supposed to take a photo album of some kind with us to have to show the people we will be meeting with then leave with Sam when we have to come home after our first visit.  I have been working on this bugger on Shutterfly off and on for a week.  I was JUST finishing the back cover (which means that everything from the front cover to the back page was done!!!) and tried to import a picture of Sam onto it and the whole dad-gummed thing disappeared.  Well, as any good Shutterbug, I had been saving my project.  But I logged back in and it was NOT THERE.  I wanted to throw up. I began praying and pleading with the Lord to help me find it.  I searched everywhere I could think to search.  I then spotted the customer service number and dialed.  This poor, unsuspecting customer service GENIUS answered the phone and I, with a slightly shaky voice, told him my plight.  He logged into my account and could not find the book. He looked everywhere.  He was VERY sorry.  I was in tears.  He offered me a free book for the inconvenience.  I told him I didn't have time!!!  He continued to look and as we were talking through things and he suddenly suggested that I might have a second account somewhere.  I'm telling you this man is a GENIUS!!!  I quickly gave him the other email address he might find it under and IT WAS THERE!!!!!!  Almost in it's entirety -- just missing the last 2 pages...which I was quickly able to reproduce!!

I told this GENIUS that if I'd been anywhere near him, I'd have given him a full-on-the-mouth kiss, but instead to find the hottest girl he works with and have her do it.  He was so happy that I was so happy.  I am SO grateful to the Lord b/c I believe that HE prompted the GENIUS to think of an additional account b/c I was clearly NOT thinking about that!!!

I'm SO VERY EXCITED to stand back and WATCH the Lord move mountains for us to get to our son.  I know that He OWNS this situation and He keeps proving to me that I, um, well...don't own it.  Glad to be a spectator on this -- it's way too big for me and my feeble brain!!!

More soon, I'm sure!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today has been a roller coaster of emotions for me!  It started with a text this morning that we have been approved by EE's DAP (the department that has to approve our application before we can get permission to come over to pursue our adoption).  Since I wasn't expecting ANY news until Thursday at the earliest, this was a WONDERFUL surprise!!!  I finally felt like we are getting somewhere!!!!  It's been FIVE weeks and ONE day since we have been submitted, but 6 and 1/2 weeks since the paperwork left our hands.  It has now been LONGER that they've had our paperwork in country than it took for us to get the whole "she-bang" started and completed.  It is a classic case of "hurry up and wait."  Frustration mounts.

I know that the Lord can do anything.  I know that often He does the impossible.  I know this because I watched it happen for the first 6 weeks of this process (see posts from 6 weeks ago and earlier!) among many other times.  I also know that there are lots of times when I pray my guts out and He chooses to answer in a way that is different than what I was praying would happen.  I also know that God will not be manipulated by me.  But I also know that His Word tells us that "the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (yes, I'm so old that I memorized that from the King James Version).  I know there HAS to be AT LEAST ONE "righteous man" (or woman) praying for us and I'd like to think that I might be included in that category at least some of the time.

So, tonight I'm praying that we will be able to have a travel date that will allow us enough time in June to get over there, have our hearing, meet and HUG our son and assure him that we will be coming back for him at the soonest opportunity we have.  We have heard that the 10 day waiting period is NEVER waived...and they probably won't even ask for it to be, so we have accepted that and know that we will be going back after the summer to get him.  But my Mother's heart is LONGING to get to establish a relationship with him, to KNOW him and to be KNOWN by him.  For him to SEE us and not just IMAGINE us.  For us to be able to connect with him.  To become Facebook friends so we can "talk" to one another while we're apart.  For him to try to "get" what being a part of a family is going to be like.  To show him pictures of his family, siblings & his cousins & grandparents & our friends who are longing (some almost as desperately as his mother!) to meet him and welcome him into our world!! 

But I'm also praying for the grace to handle whatever it is the Lord decides.  I want my response to be that of a woman "of noble character" that Proverbs says "is worth far more than rubies."

Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm in the 3rd trimester -- about to pop.  I'm miserable and people keep asking "when's he gonna get here?" (though a friend commented today that I look incredible for my 3rd trimester!) ;-)  In many ways this is HARDER than pregnancy because pregnancy actually has a due date!!!  We still have a nebulous date somewhere between now and then...but we're not sure when "then" will be...but that's ok!!  I made a decision during my last actual physical pregnancy that I wasn't going to complain and I was going to enjoy every moment of it (because I knew it would be my last).  I'm not saying I was successful at that...come on, I live in West Texas and it was JULY!!!  I was HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But I truly wanted it to be as enjoyable as growing a 30 lb. watermelon inside your stomach to the point that all you can do is waddle around as said watermelon beats the living daylights out of every organ within his radius all night long every night until he comes out can be.

I made a decision earlier this week that I was not going to wallow in our waiting.  I have been letting my life revolve around waiting.  This is NOT a quality way of life!!!  I realized that I need to embrace EVERY moment that I have here and now and make each of THOSE count!!! 

So, we heard nothing yesterday (Thurs.) and I was really pretty ok with it -- even got to give a little pep talk to a fellow "RR (Reece's Rainbow) wait-er"!!  This week has pretty well confirmed that Sam (I'm dropping the "Yuri" since neither of those are his real name, I don't need to prolong it -- sorry for those of you who have grown accustomed & attached to Yuri!) will not be coming on vacation with us and we might very well not be traveling before August to even meet him.  It's not out of the realm of possibility, but it's not probable.

Not good news to this impatient Momma, but I've actually surprised myself a bit with how ok I am with waiting.  I have given this issue to the Lord and for some reason, His answer right now is "wait."  (could it possibly be because I'm so very incredibly "anti-wait" right now???)

So tonight I was reading....drumroll please..."Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young (anyone guess that prior to reading it?  I'm feeling a little predictable!) and I read today's entry (will post that in a sec*) and then went back and read the one from the 22nd because I missed it.  Get this: "When things don't go as you would like, accept the situation immediately.  If you indulge in feelings of regret, they can easily spill over the line into resentment.  Remember that I am sovereign over your circumstances, and humble yourself under My mighty hand.  Rejoice in what I am doing in your life, even though it is beyond your understanding." 

Ok, ready?  Here's today's...but just the second paragraph: *"When you turn from your problems to My Presence, your load is immediately lighter.  Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your burdens together.  Your compulsion to 'fix' everything gives way to deep, satisfying connection with Me.   Together we can handle whatever this day brings." 

I'm telling you, people, this little devotional book is TOTALLY RELEVANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So there you have it.  God's got this.  I don't.  I'm trusting Him.  He will work it out exactly as it's supposed to be worked out.  It's probably not about me...but very possibly about those in my circle: Sam, our kids, our families, our friends, strangers even.  Maybe we're not on a plane right now because the people that WE need to minister to are going to be on a later plane.  Maybe we're not in the country right now because there's some outbreak of illness that the Lord's sparing us from.  Maybe our kids need us here for something that they're going to be facing in the next few weeks and we shouldn't be away from them for that time.  Maybe....well, you get the drift.  The possibilities are endless...

Now, I'm not going to lie.  I dirt prayed today -- a number of times.  I prayed that the person who is supposed to sign our documents and give us our appointment date will not be able to eat, drink or sleep until they have signed them and have delivered them to the person/place that they need to be for us to get it all issued on Monday -- even if that means working over the weekend, which, I think, is like a cardinal sin in their country, they DO like their holidays!!  8-)

So here I sit at my computer, ready to head to bed (possibly even a bit early tonight after MANY late nights of nearly fretting) truly completely peaceful and resting in the arms of my very capable, completely sovereign, fully-aware-of-our-circumstances Lord and Savior. feels good to be here.

Thank you for your prayers and concern...I love it when you ask about our son!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ok, prayer warriors.  I'm in a quandary.  I have mixed emotions/feelings/learnings about whether we can change the mind of God with our prayers if we pray earnestly enough.  Well, I'm willing to, once again, try it.  We found out today that our travel date will at least be after June 7th.  This is not good news.  If it's around the 7th, we can work with that...but if it gets much further back, we're gonna be in a bit of a "situation." 

Before we even knew Sam/Yuri existed, we planned a trip to Scandanavia for our family.  This (most likely "once in a lifetime") trip is to reunite with our exchange students and their families -- some of whom we've met, some that we have not and also to meet our new exchange student (also planned before the existence of Sam/Yuri in our world) that is coming in August.  If our travel date is much further out than the 8 or 9th, we will not make it home in time to get ready for our other trip and recover from the time difference, pack, and be ready to travel again (but with 3 kids!) etc.which means that an orphan will be sitting in an orphanage still not knowing his family for months longer than he needs to be.  This does not make sense in my feeble mind. I still realize that the mind of God is too wide, deep, high and long for me to even begin to grasp, but this just doesn't add up.

So, I need you to storm the gates of heaven and petition the Lord on our behalf and on behalf of Sam/Yuri.  We need a travel date TOMORROW or the next day at the LATEST!!!  We need to get over there to at least get the first trip out of the way so that he can "wait" (that stinkin 10 day waiting period) while we're on vacation and then come home in early August.  Heck, while you're at it, just ask the Lord (with us) to waive that 10 day waiting period so he can come on the trip WITH us!!! (our desire!!!)

I will certainly keep you posted...Thank you for praying!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately!!!  I simply have nothing to post about because we are STILL WAITING for the phone call!!!!  Once again, I'm reminded (daily now!) that I'm not the One in control and that the One in control is actually in control!!!  Though we are anxiously awaiting our travel date, we are carrying on with life as usual and making plans -- as much as we can -- for the summer not knowing where we will be when (except for our trip to visit our exchange students!)!!!  It's been a crazy lesson in patience.  DO I HAVE IT YET, LORD???

Will post as quickly as humanly possible as SOON as the phone rings!!! 8-)

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Mommy heart is sad today.  I have achy arms and a hole in my heart the size that only a soon to be 16 yr. old boy can fill.  My "son" (not quite yet -- but hopefully VERY soon!) turns 16 soon, or so we think, and he's without a family to help him celebrate.  I can hardly bear the thought of him waking up with nothing "special" to look forward to for his day.  I don't know whether he'll have his favorite breakfast, or whether he'll have a great lunch with friends or his favorite dinner.  I don't know whether he'll have a cake.  I don't know whether he's looking forward to being 16 or dreading it because of the uncertainty of the coming year.  I don't know whether he'll be happy or sad on his birthday.  I pray it will be happy, but I'm not sure what a 16 yr. old without a family (that he knows of) in a country that doesn't value him much and has put him away in an orphanage because he is "different" feels on his 16th birthday. 

I wish he were here.  I wish I knew what his favorite breakfast is.  I wish I knew what he thought a great lunch would be and that I could go pick him & his friends up from school and take him to get it.  I wish I knew if he has a favorite dinner or if he's eaten the same thing for dinner every night of his life that he can remember.  I wish he knew what an ugly (but tasty) cake maker I am and that he was anticipating "Mom's special icing" on his cake.  I wish I could go in to his bedroom in the morning and wake him with "Happy birthday, precious Son!!"  I wish he could hear our family rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" with all the "cha-cha-cha's" and "kumbyah-HUH!" at the end (Adley's specialty!).  I wish I had been wracking my mind for the past few weeks about what to get him for his birthday that will make a lasting impact on him and that he will remember for life as a special gift from his Mom & Dad on this very special birthday. 

I wish I could ask him how THIS birthday is different from other ones he's had. 

But I can't.  Because he doesn't know us yet.  Because he's still in an orphanage in his country.  Without a family to celebrate him.

I have to admit I'm struggling with the Lord a little on this one.  I have left the timing up to Him, and I know that it is PERFECT -- I just don't "get" it.  Why?  Why another birthday -- and such a BIG one -- alone?  Why not work another miracle (like the crazy number of others that have been worked so far in this adoption process) and at least let US be THERE on his day so we can give him a birthday gift in person??  (And that gift would begin with MANY Mom and Dad hugs to make up for the lack of them for the first 15 birthdays.)

The Bible says that we as humans can't "know the mind of God" that "His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts." Most of the time, I'm really glad about this because I know there's no way my human mind could fathom even a minute fraction of the vastness of the knowledge of God.  I can't even pretend that I could "get" the tiniest portion of it.  But as the days tick by and I know we're ready to have Sam/Yuri in our home and family, I wish for just a brief minute that I could know how this all plays out and WHEN it will be that he is here feeling safe and loved and not worrying anymore. I know none of that is possible, so...we're back to that whole TRUSTING thing I've got going on.  Seems to be a recurring theme. 

So, as I go to sleep tonight, I'm planning his next birthday party...and it's gonna be a good one!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tonight I'm celebrating 16 years of being married to my amazing husband.  This crazy journey of our lives together has shown us incredible happiness, intense sadness, insurmountable joy, insanely difficult decisions, (I just realized I have an "i" pattern going here...but I'm going to break it now) unparalleled friendships, heartbreaks, victories, wonders, surprises, and this list could go on forever.  We've seen it (almost) all.  Now we are  embarking on another aspect to our journey -- one we've never done before -- adoption.  The Lord has carried us through so MANY different adventures thus far and I have every confidence that He will continue.  It's intense and exciting and stressful and crazy and we love it!! 

We keep finding things out about Sam/Yuri that confirm over and over that he is such an amazing "fit" for our family.  He is a leader already in areas of his life and I just know that that will continue as he has the proper encouragement to do and be everything that he's been created to do and be.  I can't wait to see where this path of our journey takes our family.

Please continue to pray with us for the Lord's timing on our adoption hearing, travel, etc.  I just feel so strongly that he is supposed to come on our summer trip with us this year, but if the timeline holds true to what it's been for other families, it doesn't look like he would be able to join us.  Please continue to pray for mercy and compassion for the officials who will be making the decisions on our case.  Pray they will be compelled to let us get him home in plenty of time for us all to be prepared for our trip as a WHOLE FAMILY.  I would hate for him to miss it just by a few days as it will be a lifetime of memories for our clan and he would not have them with us.  It breaks my heart to think about.

But, once again, I publicly declare (puts a little more pressure on me that way...) that I am RESTING fully in God's timing for all of this.  He knows and He is at work in a mighty way!!! 

I head to bed tonight a VERY thankful wife...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm battling a rush of emotions today...First of all, the Lord kind of knocked me on my behind today with another excerpt from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I've been "waiting" for the call for our travel date.  Kind of feeling like once we get THAT, we can get things in place and move on from there.  Today's devotion reminded me that TODAY is a day of it's own and that I need to embrace ALL that IT has for me to do -- and do it!!!  Here's a little bit of it: "You are on the path of My choosing.  There is no randomness about your life.  Here and Now comprise the coordinates of your daily life.  Most people let their moments slip through their fingers, half-lived.  They avoid the present by worrying about the future or longing for a better time and place..." Oh, how much time have I wasted by waiting...???  What have I missed out on because I was longing for _______ ?  When our oldest child was a baby, I spent so much time saying "I can't wait until she can ________" I realized that I was wishing her little life away and knew that that needed to stop so I could enjoy the moments that I had with her RIGHT NOW!!!

Obviously, until we get the travel date and are on the plane, the Lord has things for us to be about RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.  I am making a commitment to Him and to myself that, though I long for the day when we get to meet Sam/Yuri for the first time, I will be present in THIS moment of THIS day and not try to rush/wish/dream/yearn my life away.  God has something each day for me to do/be/accomplish/learn.  I have to be present  to do/be/accomplish/learn whatever it is for that day.

So, then a new fb friend sends me a link to a blog of a family who has just brought their 16 yr. old daughter home from the same area/orphanage where we will be going.  They are just past where we will soon be.  They have written of the wonders of gaining this new daughter which make my heart soar!  But they have also written of the emotions wrapped around her (the daughter) tender heart as she had to choose to leave EVERYTHING that she is comfortable with -- EVERYTHING she's ever known -- EVERYONE she's ever known and come with them to join their family.  She speaks very little English.  She is sad to leave her friends.  She is grateful to have a family -- for sure -- but is also dealing with VERY REAL 16 year old emotions!!!

In my "dream world", when we meet Sam/Yuri, he gets a huge grin on his (adorable) face and comes running to us to give us the biggest Mama & Papa hugs that have ever been given (which would have to be substantial because we have the BEST hugger in the world in our family already -- little Adley wraps himself around me every day to give me amazing hug after hugs after hugs!!!)  Then the orphanage director asks him "Do you want these people to be your parents?" and he unhesitatingly and emphatically answers "YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" with a fist-pump in the air and we walk arm in arm out of the orphanage and live happily ever after!  The reality that I'm coming to, as we're seeing more and more pictures of him and finding out that he actually DOES have a life & friends & activities & talents & dreams is that he's going to be sad.  Possibly REALLY sad when we say the final goodbye to the only life he's known.  He has friends that he's been with since he was just a toddler.  He will be leaving them -- possibly to never see them again.  He has security there.  He has "safety" there provided by people who are fiercely protective of him.  He has NO IDEA if we will be that for him or not -- he's going to be giving the most precious gift he has -- himself -- to complete strangers, trusting that we have his best interest at heart.

So, my prayer, though it has been for the Lord "to prepare him for us and us for him" is changing to be more specific as I ponder the vast emotions he will be feeling as he realizes what gaining a family is going to cost him.  Though a family is what he wants more than's going to cost him everything.  This is an awful lot for a 15+ year old to process.

Please pray with us that the Lord will even now be preparing Sam's/Yuri's heart to make the hard choices/decisions that are ahead of him and that the Lord will put a healing salve on the breaks of his heart -- maybe even before they occur and that He will equip us to be everything that we need to be for him as his world is turned upside down and inside out!!