Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nine Months!

(Yes, I flipped the number upside-down from the six month post)

Using an upside-down six for our 9 month post that's a day late won't be the only thing out of the ordinary for this month's update.

I naively believed we wouldn't be on the Wait List 9 months.   I knew it was a possibility, but I never really thought it would happen.  I really thought we would have a referral by now and would be (not so) patiently waiting for a court date.  For a number of reasons, we are still waiting for a referral and really have no way to even estimate how much longer we'll be waiting.  At this point I still hope we'll be home with a baby this year, but each month that goes by without a referral decreases that possibility.  However, the Lord has been so gracious to enable us to REALLY believe that His timing is perfect and to trust Him in especially difficult times.

This last month has been intense.  As a church we began reading through David Platt's Radical.   Here's Amazon's product description:


It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...


In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple--then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.

I actually started reading the book back in November when the rest of the blogosphere was talking about it.  I got a couple of chapters into it and just had to put it down.  I remember telling a friend it was just "too much."  I wasn't sure how to describe at that time how it made me feel, but I now understand it was guilt.  It made me feel bad about myself because, at the time, I felt like it was adding more tasks to my checklist - and it was "too much."  I couldn't DO any more than I was already doing.  I was nearly overloaded as it was, and here was a guy telling me I wasn't doing enough  It was too much.  So I put it down and thought I might pick it up again at some point when I felt like I could better handle it.

Over the next few months the Lord began showing me so much about myself.  The details are better left for another post, but I began to realize that Lord didn't really have my heart, He just had my good behavior.  As I began to press into Him, He began to reveal areas of sin in my heart that I had ignored and enabled me to repent of those. 

When I found out we'd be reading through Radical as a church, I was not excited.   The last thing I wanted was for our church to be guilted into changing.  Rob and I talked about it and agreed to pray that if David Platt's message was something we needed to hear, we would be convicted that it was right, and not just feel guilty about it.  Thankfully, as we both began reading, the Holy Spirit confirmed to our hearts that Platt's message was true, what he says is right. 

We're only 4 chapters into the book (we're reading 1 chapter a week so we can really wrestle with each chapter), and it has been an intense 4 weeks.  I could probably write a post a day about everything the Lord is showing us and allowing us to witness.  Yes, it has been intense, but it has been oh-so-sweet.  Which is why we have so much trust in His timing.

A couple of weeks ago I woke up at 2:00 in the morning.  I was wide awake and my mind was churning with everything that had been happening.  Because I was wide awake, I decided to pray through all of it.  As I was praying, it hit me.  If we had received a referral in the timeframe we thought we would have, we would have been so focused on becoming parents that we would have totally missed what God wanted to do in us through the Radical study.  How awesome is that?!  The Lord NEVER shows me why things aren't happening like I think they should.  He always asks me to trust Him and MAYBE later He'll show me what was going on behind the scenes.  His showing me this made everything even more sweeter. 

So, have I mentioned it's been an intense month?  A really good, intense month.  And I can't wait to see what next month brings.  Happy, happy 9 months to us :)

Monday, March 7, 2011


Because the last post was REALLY heavy, here's a little bit of happy...

Thanks to the AMAZING Jen Cook and Ann Carroll,

P.S.  I really have THE cutest husband ever, don't I?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

While We Wait: Sacrifice

Sometimes some things just need to be shared.  They BEG to be shared.  As much as part of me would like to blend in, not make any waves and go with the flow – be NORMAL – the events scream out, “Don’t keep me to yourself!  It’s not fair!”  Or maybe it’s not the events at all that scream out, maybe it’s Someone.  Someone who is guiding my life and its events and is weaving me into His story…

About a month ago I received some misinformation.  Someone misunderstood something that was said and called me upset about the possibility of Ethiopia closing its international adoption program. Not knowing all the facts, I got upset too.  I spent a very long weekend wondering about all the “what-ifs.”  What if Ethiopia really put a stop to all international adoptions?  What if we couldn’t adopt from Ethiopia?  What would we do?  I spent a few days mourning the potential loss of our Ethiopian adoption.  What it came down to for me was that I grown to love Ethiopia.  It had ceased being just a means to grow our family.  We have grown to love the country like they are somehow already our extended family.  Just thinking about the possibility of losing that was gut-wrenching.

As Sunday rolled around, it began to dawn on me that if I really love Ethiopia – particularly the children – then I want what’s best for them.  If there is corruption, then my prayer is that it stops. If children are being trafficked, then it needs to stop.  No matter what.   In worship on Sunday morning, we were singing a song that says,

You are the everlasting God,
The everlasting God.
You do not faint,
You won't grow weary.
You're the defender of the weak,
You comfort those in need,
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

Of course, I’ve always sung those lyricsthinking of myself.   But as I was thinking about them, I started thinking about the children of Ethiopia.  THEY are the weak ones who need a Defender; THEY are the ones who need a Comforter.  Of course, He comforts and defends me too, but singing that song that day, my heart changed and all of the sudden this adoption wasn’t all about me anymore.  My desire was that first and foremost God would protect His children. 

As I was singing and praying, another thought came to mind, “What if we didn’t adopt at all and just gave all of our disposable income away?  We could sponsor tons of kids each month.  We could even help fund projects like building wells or schools.  We really could do a lot of good with the money we’ve already saved and continue to put away.”  And it was those thoughts that exposed what was really in my heart.  My heart cried out, “NO!  I want to be a mom!  It’s the deepest desire of my heart!  I can’t give that up!”  And that’s when I heard Him.  A still, small ,powerful voice.  “Will you give Me your desire to be a mom?  Will you sacrifice that to Me?  Will you lay it on the altar and let Me have it?” 

What do you do?  When the Creator of the universe, the God who you say you worship, the God who gave HIS Son for YOU, asks for something you hold most dear?  You let Him have it.  You say, “OK, God, OK.  Take it.  I want You to have all of me.  Do with me what You will.  I will sacrifice my desire to be a mom to You.  You can have it.  Take it.”  At least, that’s my story.  I just couldn’t hold onto something when God was asking for it.

That hasn’t always been my story, though.  I like to plan, and I like to control, and I like to think I know what life will look like in 6 months or a year.  But God wouldn’t allow me to think
that way any longer.  And what I’ve realized is that by giving Him my deepest desire, I’ve actually given Him complete control of the future.  (I “gave” God complete control of the future – how delusional are we to think we have any control over that anyway?)  But my heart has changed.  And the way I feel about the future has changed.  I feel like I’ve given Him the lump of clay that I’d molded into what I thought the future would look like.  He’s taken it and is molding it, and will eventually let me see what it looks like.  And while there are parts that may look exactly like what I thought they’d look like, I suspect there will be some parts that will look very different.  I have no idea which parts those will be, or what they will look like, but I totally trust Him.

While the information I received about Ethiopia closing its doors was not quite accurate at the time, there really is a lot going on over there right now.  It’s hard to know how much is really accurate, and how much is really just speculation, but for sure things are changing.  I really have no idea how it will all play out, but getting caught up in the details right now doesn’t seem to matter much to me.  God is completely in charge of my future, and I trust Him to work all things out in His timing – whatever that may be.

I was asked today if we have a Plan B.  No.  Plan A all along has been to trust that God is writing our story.  He has, and is and will continue to do so.  I have no idea what that looks like, but I know it will be beautiful.