Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Waiting Mother's Heart...

Ah yes... "waiting"... I've been thinking a lot lately about what that really means and what that has looked life, especially in my adult life. How I've yearned for things, right here, right now. How I've planned for things. And, yet, how God had me wait. Wait. Wait.

My plan: married at 23, first kiddo at 25, and 2nd kiddo... certainly by 30 (I didn't want to be too old when I was having a young family). God's plan... wait! Wait for the one love He had chosen for me. But, it would have been so much easier if he would have just whispered, "Precious child, you'll meet him when you are 28, please don't despair." But, would I have truly found comfort in those precious words or would I have then argued "28? But that means we won't have our first child until I'm (AH! horrors!) 30!" Wait... child... wait.

Our China adoption: it would be just an 18 month wait. 6 months of paperwork... then the wait lengthens and lengthens... and God says "wait"... and then... "I have another plan that you won't even believe I have in store for you." Not China... but Ethiopia!

More paperwork, waiting for a referral of a beautiful baby, waiting for court, waiting for travel... at last we are a family!

God ends our wait for China after 2.89 years... after a lot of waiting... and a lot of praying...

As we begin our 2nd Ethiopian adoption I can't stop thinking about "waiting". And, what is it that we are waiting for?

* We are waiting to see God's plan for our family unfold.

* We are waiting to see the precious girl He alone has picked to join us in this life.

* We are waiting on His timing. Through our first amazing journey of international adoption we learned that all we could really "control" is when we start the journey. Leaving the rest completely in His hands and having us expectantly wait... THAT is His plan.

* We are waiting to see His plan for OUR FAMILY, not comparing our journey to other families, but waiting to see what He has in store for US.

* We are expectantly waiting... a joyous addition... whom we can pour our love and lives into!

And yet... in the beautiful land of Ethiopia, where we witnessed first hand the amazing love of it's people and of God and His Spirit living among them so purely... we know...

* There is extreme famine... there is poverty... there is hardship we could not bear...

And as we wait... at this very moment...
* There may be a beautiful mother waiting for her child to be born, unsure of how to care for her and/or fearful that she may not even survive the birth herself...

* There may be a father looking in the eyes of his baby girl right now; waiting for help, waiting for answers, waiting for hope...

* There may be a mother or father making a long journey... on a long, dusty road... the hardest journey, with the most difficult decision he/she has ever faced... giving up his/her child because they simply can't help her survive.

* There may be a baby girl laying alone, abandoned, only under God's watchful eye... right now...

We are waiting for the God of Heaven and Earth to reach down and make His purpose known.

For us, international adoption is so much more than a "paperwork pregnancy". It is a journey of life: of our lives, of a Ethiopian family's lives, and of God blending the families into one because it is somehow, his good and perfect will... It is heart-breaking and joy-filling all at the same time!

These are the words in my heart. A waiting mother's heart...

Psalm 130:5... "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope."

"Officially WAITING"...

Yes! It's official! We are officially on the wait list for our next baby girl! The kids and Mommy went and visited our awesome social worker at Holt to pick up our completed home study... the last step in our paperwork needed to complete our dossier (all the paperwork required to be considered for international adoption). Yeah Kathie! Thanks for showing us around your office and all your fun animals from Ethiopia!

I know it's a bit blurry... but I love this picture of Shani... as if to say "Thank you... I'll take this from here!"
Then, it was off to the state capitol to have the documents state certified. Unfortunately, my on-line mapping did not take me where I needed to go, however, fortunately it was my third to the office (tee... hee... ), so with a little detective work, we found our way to where we needed to go!

We sent off our paperwork and it was received and approved by Holt! So, yes, we are waiting! Hmm... that's a topic for another post...

Jesus is Risen! Yes, indeed!

Yep... Easter... one year ago! Crazy how fast they grow and how blessed we are that their love for one other just seems to be keeping right up!

I love these kiddos! All dressed up and looking like the precious angels they are...

This easter will be one that will remain in our memories for a long time! Watching Shani's first Easter Egg hunt was of course very precious! And, Micah hunting for eggs so methodically... well, it was just so NOT his typical self, it still makes me giggle.
But, the sweetest blessing was hearing from our children's pastor that Micah had come forward at the end of Sunday school to profess his belief in Jesus. Yes, he's only four and yes, we have taught him to the love the God who has made him, and our family and all the beautiful things (especially bugs) that he loves so much.
Micah has enjoyed praying since he was very little. In fact, the Christmas right before he turned 3, he prayed over our large family meal and thanked God for each person at the table by name... including my Great Uncle Al whom he had just met.
This Easter, Micah prayed at the meal as well... and there was hardly a dry eye when he was through... it went something like this... "Dear Jesus, Thank you for this day of celebration. And God thank you for your Son who loves us even when we are bad. Thank you that he isn't on the cross anymore but is alive! And Dear God, thank you for my family. I love you. Amen." Yep, so cool! You are one AWESOME 4-year-old buddy!
And, Great Grandma, Grammie, Papa O. & Dodo thanks for making the special trip up to share Easter dinner with us! What fun! We love you!!!

Family Fun...

It's time to catch up on blogging... so what better way than to share my favorite recent picture of me and my love... cute aren't we? :) Helping to lead AWANA's at church sure makes you do crazy things! But, what joy we have every week in serving the Lord together, being a little nutty with our puppets, and hearing the children react joyfully and watch as they hide God's words in their hearts!

We surprised the kiddos with a project early this spring. Papa O. brought up his super cool saw and his industrial strength drill. Micah had no idea what they were working on, but loved that he got to help! Dad... you displayed amazing patience and gentleness in teaching Micah... and I was blessed to watch from afar!

The result of the weekend project brought lots of smiles! And now, rain or shine, the littlest of ours wants to swing!

And the biggest of ours... what a perfect way to get that awesome energy out!

Thank you Papa O. and Daddy for all your hard work! We love our backyard park!