Praises and Updates

For those of you who read this blog and have been waiting on an update from our meeting this past Tuesday — I apologize for the delay!  If you were so kind to offer your prayers for us, I want to sincerely thank you… This update’s for you. ;)

Huge praise!!!  The meeting went really well.  As difficult as it seemed going into it, I felt really at peace — even joyful — when we walked out.  Thank you, Jesus.  The interview portion was really comfortable, which was not a surprise.  Bethany has been more than supportive and encouraging throughout this process, so intentional to equip and prepare us, and obviously operating as a ministry — more than just a business.  The “interview” felt more like a conversation with our social worker, which was really nice and, as always, very helpful.

Although it wasn’t entirely easy to make those decisions when it came to finalizing our “preferences” (see previous post), I think we did the very best we could with the information we had, based on our individual situation and how we felt led by God.  I have no regrets.  What we do now is move forward in the knowledge that God is, and always has been, in control of this process.

Another huge praise!!!  We have EXCITING NEWS:  We found out on Tuesday that all we have left is one more interview, plus the home visit and pastor interview (which can be done in the same day when our social worker comes here from Raleigh).  We have scheduled both of these by the end of December, and then she has 30 days to write up our assessment.  Which means…

We’ll be a waiting family by February!!!

For the very first time, we actually have a time for which we can say “it can happen any day now.”  Before Tuesday, we had no idea when that would be.  Even though we still don’t know how long the waiting period will be (one day… six months… one year), we can at least know that we should be prepared starting then.  (Believe me, people — it’s the sweetest blessing, even to still be so unknown!)

My first thought when I heard that?  We need to get a car seat!!  My sister’s first reaction?  When can I plan a shower?!

Lots to think about. :)

God is so good and so faithful.  I’d be remiss to move right along and not recognize His faithful hand in our journey to now, how He has provided again and again His peace, wisdom, discernment, and pure love.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when the very next day, completely out of the clear blue sky, I was made aware of an opportunity to procure a few baby items from a place that was consolidating and about to give away a bunch of stuff (or give to consignment).  Hoping this would be ok with my husband, unsure if I was jumping the gun, but not about to pass up a few great items in excellent condition for absolutely free… the following may or may not have ended up in the back seat of my car:

photo 1

bouncy seat/swing

photo 2

safari style ;)

Yay!!!

And there is another exciting detail in the midst of all this…

Through my job at our church as a Missions Coordinator, I have been incredibly blessed to travel to many different places around the world, privileged to get to see and be a small part of what God is doing and invites us to participate in.  In March of 2014, I will be leading a team to Nepal through a ministry that our church has supported and been in relationship with for a long time: Tiny Hands International.  Tiny Hands is an incredible organization dedicated to the rescue, restoration, and empowerment of women who are victims of the slave trade in this part of the world.  They operate border-monitoring stations along the Nepal/India border (to intercept trafficking as it takes place), children’s homes for orphans (assisting in efforts of prevention), empowerment centers for women who are rescued, and a huge prayer initiative called One Girl.

Human trafficking is a billion-dollar industry across the globe, the second-largest criminal activity in the world.  Unlike weapons or substances, humans can be sold (for sex or forced labor) not just once — but over and over and over again, which makes this vile and horrifying industry so attractive to those who perpetuate it.  It is hands down one of the greatest, most atrocious injustices of our time.  In Nepal alone, it is estimated that around 15,000 Nepali women and children are trafficked into India every year.  Incredibly, there are 27 million people trapped in slavery all over the world, including right here in our own communities.  There are more slaves on earth today than at any other point in history.

So why am I getting into all this in an update on my blog about our adoption process?  What might be most obvious is if you’ve already done the math according to our timeline: waiting family by February, going to Nepal in March.  So, instead of carrying the worry and pressure of “getting the call” while I’m halfway around the world, and instead of turning down this opportunity altogether, we are going to put our waiting process on hold until I get back.  Which means, we’ll actually be a waiting family by the second week in March.

It might sound absurd in a process where no one would purposefully add to the waiting game.  But in the grand scheme of it all, it is only a few weeks’ difference.  (As long as “just a few weeks” can feel like.)  And the bigger truth is, God was not at all surprised by the timing of this mission…

To think about the 27 million people worldwide who are trapped in slavery is an overwhelming concept to grasp.  But to think that each and every one of those 27 million matter immeasurably to God is even more incredible.  He knows them each by name.  When the world counts them as worthless, He sees them as a treasure.

Not just a number.

Not just a number.

And so this is what I think about and why it pertains to our adoption.  If there are approximately 153 million orphans worldwide, and approximately 25,000 women who choose to make an adoption plan over having an abortion every year in the U.S., is it too much to think that God knows each one of them by name, too?  That one adoption might make a difference and might be worth it to that one?  This mission is asking me to return to the implications of our choice on a deeper level: in terms of prevention, in terms of the calling God has for each individual human being He has so carefully created.

Going to Nepal on the cusp of our finally-becoming-a-waiting-family also calls into question something I read just this past week that has challenged me ever since…

“May I not forget that adoption isn’t my highest calling; rather pursuing Him in EVERY area of my life.”

Do I trust Him enough with that truth?  Am I listening enough to hear where He calls outside of what feels biggest in my life?

These are all questions to wrestle through as March approaches, and the waiting begins.  At times, maybe the questions will sound something like whether or not to just do a “bare essentials” shower.  Or which gender-neutral color scheme to use when starting a nursery.  And sometimes they’ll cut right to the core of God’s teaching, as He molds and refines us into closer images of who He wants us to become…

I’ll close with sharing a cool experience I had on Saturday this past weekend.  A friend of mine is due in less than a week, and I attended a “Prayer Shower” for her — a baby shower in which, instead of showering her with gifts, we showered her in prayer.  With her very first child, she is going to be doing a home birth (God bless her way-more-woman-than-me heart), and in the anticipation leading up to the day, we each wrote a word or a verse of scripture on a big canvas for her to focus on during labor and delivery.  We wrote notes of encouragement, and we circled around her at the end of our time together to pray.

I absolutely loved this concept and this special time of fellowship around such a special time in my friend’s life.  It just seemed to help solidify and affirm God’s all-consuming presence in the sacred process of life and becoming a family — however He determines that to happen.

On one of two notes for her, I wrote:

“Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed.  For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” ~Habakkuk 1:5.

Be amazed — The Lord is capable of so much more than we can imagine.  He cannot be bound by our fears, our human limitations, even our wildest imaginations.  I pray that you never lose wonder and discovery of who God is throughout this process.  That as [your baby] learns and grows each day, you too will rediscover the great love your Heavenly Father has for you, in ways you had never experienced before.

I pray that I never forget the love and faithfulness of my Father as He designs this process for us, people He loves and knows by name, enough to purpose and to do beyond what we could ever — even in our wildest imaginations — choose for ourselves.

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