Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adoption update

I have been asked several times this week by random people if we were "done" having kids. People at the bank, people at work. Just random people. No, I reply. To some I share the story that we are adopting. But I admit my heart has a twinge of sadness when people ask. Not because I don't want to have more. Not because I don't want to share that we are adopting. But because my heart gets a little sad when I think that we are indeed missing a member of our family and I am not sure when he will be home with us.

Last Friday we were blessed to watch my dear friend's two week old baby for a few hours. Elizabeth and Claire were in love. And when the baby left Claire asked when we were getting her baby brother back. With all the adoption talk she thought that little guy was ours to keep. It was super sweet and she totally understood when I explained who he belonged to. But still my heart was sad. When our we getting our baby brother home? I can't help but wonder.

Our dossier is almost complete. We are waiting on approval from immigration and I have a few more items to gather. And then we send this set of paperwork out along with the agency fee of $1,700.00. And then we will be officially on the wait list. But that to me is bittersweet. Ethiopia is uncertain right now. Things are shaky and wait times are being lengthened. I am so ready to get our official wait time started. But we are still not clear how long it will be. We are uncertain of many things. But what I cling to is that God is not uncertain. He has us in this place at this time for a reason.

When I pray sometimes I just beg God to allow our baby to be home soon. Sometimes I get weepy thinking we may have to wait years to hold him in our arms. But yesterday after reading an email from our agency with more confirmation of longer wait times Todd reminded me that it does not matter what it looks like to our eye. We are walking by faith. We serve the God who created the world by his word in 6 days. The God who parted the red sea. The God who made barren old men fertile. The God who kept Jonah in the belly of a fish. The God who raised Lazarus from the dead. The God who healed the blind, sick and leper. The God who became a man and died on the cross and on the third day defeated death. We serve a God who calls things into existence simply by his word and calls dead things alive again. He takes men who are murderers and makes them saints. He makes things that are not into things that are. He is the God who lead us here. He is the God who is still leading. And we are following Him by faith that He is leading us.

When the Ethiopian government first announced that they were slowing down adoption approvals I was reading a book. In many ways that book was what kept me sane during that awful moment. The book is called "Hinds Feet on High Places". It is an allegory about a woman's (Much- Afraid) journey through life with God. During one part of the story the Shepard asks the young woman if she would follow Him even if it looked like he was deceiving her. She said she would. He then asked would she follow Him if He did deceive her. Much-Afraid looked at her Shepard and replied out of an honest but broken and confused heart that she believed He was incapable of deceiving her but that she would follow Him if He did. The book follows her journey and in many moments the way that the Shepard leads little Much-Afraid appeared to be wrong. At times it even appeared to go in the opposite direction of their ultimate journey. You have to read for yourself to see where they end up. But I choose to believe that God's purposes will prevail even if it looks like we are being lead away from the very thing we seek. Our God sees the bigger picture.

Psalm 48:14 "For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end." (NIV)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Days of Grace

The other morning the kids and I were having a discussion about grace while eating breakfast. It was clear to me that grace was not exactly something they understood. I tried to explain that grace was getting something that you do not deserve or getting something better than what you deserve. I am sure technically and biblically it has a more full meaning but I was trying to lay it out to them in the simplest terms. So I sat there trying to explain but sure that they were still not getting it and after a while I just prayed silently that God would give me opportunities to display grace to them tangibly that day.

Fast forward a few hours. I had all but forgotten my little prayer. We were frantically trying to get out the door to take dinner to a precious friend who had just had a baby. The girls were doing their very best to delay us and I was trying to do my best to not lose my patience. After a frantic scramble to get in the car we finally made it. While in the car Elizabeth asked if we could go in the house for just a minute so they could see the baby. In my mind we were already late for where we needed to be after we drop off dinner and these kids certainly did not deserve to get out of this car. It took me forever to get them in the car to begin with. It was then I heard, "Give them grace." Honestly I did not want to give them grace right now. I wanted to run in and quickly drop off the food so I could get to work quicker. But then I remembered my prayer and decided to tell them that they did not deserve to go in but I would let them go in and give them grace.

I am not sure that it clicked or them or that they understand grace really well.

But that picture clicked in my heart how often I get grace my my Lord. How often do I deserve the things he gives? I know my heavenly father constantly showers me with grace. He constantly gives me more than I deserve and forgives my faults. After getting the kids down for nap today I sat to read my Bible and do my daily devotional. The devotional was talking all about how we are to love others with the same love God has shown us. His love for us is inexhaustible. And it clicked for me. I do not love my children like that. I do not shower them in grace. I want to. I want to love them the way my heavenly father loves me. But so often I am impatient and get "huffed" with their failures. My heavenly father thankfully does not parent me the same way I parent my children. He is slow to anger and rich in love. (Psalm 145:8) May I learn to love them with the love of God. And make each day a day filled with grace.