Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Even Good News Will Keep You Up

I have not slept well this past several nights. Perhaps God is getting me used to functioning on little sleep. BECAUSE.....we just received the date for our Embassy appointment!!!!!!! (I could fill this page with explanation points) Our appointment is set for Thursday, March 25th. Our baby girl is coming home!! I cannot remember the last time I was this excited.

I may not sleep again tonight as I am in awe of God's goodness and miracles that we have seen over the last few months.

Thank you for your prayers as we continue to travel this road.

".....I am coming for you!" John 14:18b

Monday, February 22, 2010

What NOT to Do Just Before Bedtime

In months past when I could not sleep, the reason would usually be one of two things. One, I had consumed too much caffeine throughout the day or even splurged and had a diet coke after 5:00pm. The other reason that keeps me up at night is watching back to back crime shows such as Criminal Minds or CSI for hours.

Now, the new thing that I have to avoid just before bed is reading! I'm not much of a reader, but in the last few weeks, I have been working to complete our educational requirements for our adoption. We must complete a stack of books, a number of powerpoints, and a video about adoption, bonding, and potential problems our child may have due to the transition, cross-cultural adoption and just plain being adopted.

Some of the things I have read are simply terrifying! I do not want to live in denial or fear, but I am chosing to trust God. I believe this baby is the child that God has planned for our family since the beginning of time. Any new additions in a family will bring major change, but God has called us to this and will give us just enough strength as we need it.

Isn't that what every parent experiences. In this way, I do not believe we are any different from anyone else.

I pray constantly for our sweet girl! Some things I ask for seem ridiculous, but I am praying that she will love us! I pray that as she sleeps at night, that God is preparing her little heart for her forever family and within hours (or even minutes if He choses) she will feel securely loved.

For birth mothers, they have had 9 months to talk to their baby and prepare them for their sweet voice. My voice will be completely different and she will never have heard me or English words for that matter. It is likely to frighten her, so I pray that my words will be soothing to her.

I just glanced over at the clock and see it is 7:15am in Ethiopia. (we keep a clock set on her time so we can feel closer to her) I praise God that we are one day closer to seeing her beautiful smiling face!!

"I will not leave you as orphans, I am coming for you!" John 14:18

Friday, February 12, 2010

We Passed Court!!!

Just before the light of day, the alarm sounded. I tried very hard to remember every moment as I lay there. Hundreds of thoughts race through my mind, because I believe this day will forever change my life. I wanted to dash downstairs to log on to email and see if we had a message from our adoption agency, but I just lay in bed dreaming of Mercy. Regardless of the news we were about to hear, I wanted my husband to be the one to see it first. My friend said it must feel like Christmas at your house. That is true, but I don’t know if Santa will leave me a lump of coal or a pony! And a part of me feared we would relive our earlier disappointments.

My husband quietly got up to check email. Those two minutes felt like an eternity. Any second I might hear the words that I have waited months to hear, our baby girl was coming home. Or I would hear the dreaded words that cause my stomach to ache and my head to spin, we have been postponed again. Would I know from the way my husband enters the room what that message read? Would I even get out of bed if we got unfavorable news again? Can a find a cute outfit to match the joy in my heart if she is coming home? However, when my husband entered the room he just said, “We didn’t have a message.” Wow! That was not the response I had prepared for. I figured if this was our court date, then I thought we would have gotten word by early morning. I wouldn't even allow my mind to think about all the possibilities. Instead, I tried to stay focused and continue getting ready.

I grabbed my Jesus Calling devotional book and the scripture verse was from Psalm 37:4. "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." I wondered if this would be the day God would answer my prayer and give me my heart's desire. I prayed thanking God for answering our prayer in His perfect time and trust that He knows when it's best.

Ironically, I was helping with a baby shower at work today. I logged on to check email one more time before I made several trips to load the car. Just when I was buckled in and ready to pull out, I remembered...the ladel!! I had to run back into the house and rummage through the drawer looking for the ladel. Just before I dashed out the door for the second time, the phone rang. My heart hit the floor as I reached for the phone. It was my husband and from the sound of his voice, I didn't know if he was about to share good news or bad news.

Then he said, "Well, are you sitting down? Maybe you should take a seat." Almost in a hysterical tone, I said "Tell me! If you know something, tell me!!" Without any more hesitation, he said, "Okay, we passed!!!!" We both erupted into tears of joy!

This means that our little girl is legally ours. Now, we are waiting for our travel date. Our agent seems to think that we will go either on March 25 or April 8. Naturally, I want the earliest date possible. We will miss her first birthday by only a few days and I am not as upset as I thought I would be, because we'll more than make up for it once she's home.

This will certainly be a Valentine's weekend that we will never forget. My heart is so full of love at this moment. This IS the day that I have waited for all my life. I'm a mommy!!! Legally, I have a little girl living on the other side of the world. But in my heart, I think I've been a mom for a long, long time.

As I reflect on all the events of today, I am amazed at God's precise timing that would cause me to run back in the house for that silly punch ladel just as my husband was going to call. He would never have called my cell phone with this kind of news. WOW!!!

Thank you for sharing in this journey with us!!

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waiting Again for Court

I'm so excited, I can't even sleep. I have been almost giddy. A complete 180 degree change from earlier this week when I was anticipating our court date. And now, I look at the clock and see that it is February 12 in Ethiopia and the court will open in 5 minutes. This could be the day that will forever change our family. I am still fighting anxious feelings today, but more than that, I am so humbled that God would let me be a mother. God is entrusting my husband and me with a tiny baby girl to raise her to follow Jesus.

As we pray toward tomorrow, there are so many things that I have asked the Lord. I believe I have used up my quota for prayer request, but if you feel led to pray tonight as you lay your head on the pillow, here are some specific things that we are praying.

Our dossier is perfect. Every "i" is dotted and "t" is crossed.

Ethiopian Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA). They must complete documents to accompany our dossier. I pray they would have all of their documents completed and with our documents.

The judge will show up to court. Anything could happen with no explanation required and our case would not be heard if the judge is absent.

The schedule of the court. Many cases are scheduled per day and sometimes, they do not get to all of the cases they had planned. I pray that our case will be heard.

The birth mother. She will have to show up to court and transportation and work situations could prohibit her from being there or cause her to be late. I am always praying for the birth mother. She is making one of the hardest and most loving decisions.

I have been listening to Travis Cottrell's CD, Jesus Saves-LIVE. I keep repeating #7, "Do It, Lord"

Do it, Lord! Do it, Lord! Do it, Lord we are praying

Do it Lord, do it, that Your glory may be seen!

Yes, Lord! We are praying for this miracle in our life.

Once again, thank you for praying! I will post our court results as soon as I hear something.

"I will not leave you as orphans, I am coming for you!" John 14:18

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Leave it....leave it!!!

I enjoy watching this show called, "It's Me or the Dog". Even though my husband isn't crazy about it, it's a better option than "Say Yes to the Dress" or "Cake Boss". The premise behind the show is a dog trainer comes into a family to train their unruly dog. The trainer holds a treat in front of the dog and repeatedly says, "leave it, leave it." After the dog had excercised some self-control, she will allow him to have the treat.

For some reason, those words keep coming to my mind. "Leave it.....leave it....leave it!!"

I suppose those are the words the Lord would be saying to me. Our new court date is Friday, February 12th and I am tempted to worry. This past Monday, I was a wreck! I am ashamed to admit it, but I literally made myself physically sick with worry. Why would I worry? Do I not believe that God is big enough to take care of our court case? His timing is perfect and our baby girl will come home the exact day He has planned.

My husband knew that something was wrong because I was so quite. I curled up next to him and admited that I was so scared then burst into tears. And now, I am tempted to start thinking about all that could go wrong with our case and allow that same fear to destroy me all over again.

Worry doesn't rob tomorrow of it's trouble, but robs today of its strength.

That is when the words of the dog trainer, came to my mind....LEAVE IT!!! I do not want to pick up that cloak fo worry and fear all over again. It was simply dreadful. Unfortunately, I didn't do so well the first time, and the Lord is giving me another chance to trust Him in the dark.

Even my quiet time is saturated with verses about trust!

"I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever." Psalm 52:8
"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." Psalm 56:3

Here is an excert from Jesus Calling that I want to share you.

Strive to trust Me. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blesings I have hidden in the difficulties. If you believe that I am sovereign over every aspect of your life, it is possible to turst Me in all situations.

There have been plenty of difficulties, but even more blessings that the Lord has brought into our life. It keeps reminding us that He is faithful to complete His work in our family.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." (Proverbs 3:5) God is still teaching me what that looks like this week. I am determined to leave it! Leaving the fear and trusting Him is a faith excercise and demonstrates how much we believe God. It doesn't mean that we do not care, but that we have confidence that God is more than able to take care of our situation. I will say, "I trust You, Jesus!" in response to whatever happens.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just a Case of Braxton Hicks

I'd like to think that I'm not a worrier, but who am I kidding. The stress that I felt this morning was something fierce! My husband is always so calm, cool, and collected but not even he could stand the waiting. At 9:45AM I was ready to call our agent but he encouraged me to be patient. In less than ten minutes, he called me back and wanted me to phone our adoption agency. I had to leave a voice message. The thoughts and words were hard to form in my head. "I'm calling to see if you have any word on our daughter today." Of course, she called while I was out of my office and left the following message: "I just received your message and I am confused. I don't understand why you would be calling. I'm not going to know anything until our court date on FRIDAY!!!" The emails we have exchanged clearly stated that our case was going to court on Tuesday, February 9, 2010. My husband and I were completely dumbfounded. We had spent a number of sleepless nights, countless tears, and the most precious moments in prayer for this day--our court date only to learn it's not until Friday!

What started as disappointment and anger has melted into relief and laughter. We haven't been postponed or rejected; today was never our date to start with. Later it was explained why there was confusion between the Ethiopian calendar and our calendar, but that didn't really take away the sting.

Would you call this "false labor"???? I think so.

I wonder if there is a quota on how many times you can ask friends to pray for you. If so, then I've used all of my requests in the last few weeks. Like most people, I try to figure out what God could be teaching us.

The last few weeks have been trying, but there have been some of the most tender moments that I have shared alone with the Lord and my husband. I wouldn't trade the time we have literally cried out to the Lord for our baby girl for anything. I wonder if we would pray and seek Him with such intensity and desperation if we had not hit this speed bump along this path.

God continues to remind us how badly we want this child! Several years ago, my pastor said something so profound. "There has never been an unwanted adoption. While there have been many unplanned pregnancies, there's never an unwanted adoption." How true! I am gaining a little more understanding of Romans 8:15. "We have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [and daughters], by who we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" God has adopted US into His family! He wanted us so badly and went to great lengths to make us His children! After months of paperwork and waiting to clear homeland security, I see how challenging this can be. However, we do not give up because we long to have our baby home. God didn't give up on us either. "We are adopted as sons [and daughters] through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will" Eph. 1:5

God has worked out many details throughout this journey. Why would He abandon us now? We trust that He will be faithful til the end. Until the day we hold our baby girl, we will trust Him in the waiting.

Monday, February 8, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog

Why in the world would anyone have a blog? I believe those words have come out of my mouth more than once. And when many have asked if I had a blog, I just chuckle and say no one is really interested in what I am doing. Even though that may still be true, I must give praise where praise is due. There are hundreds of tiny miracles and even more that I'm sure have gone unnoticed.

My husband and I have been on an amazing journey these last few months after God laid on our hearts to grow our family through the miracle of adoption. We prayed for months before we chose an adoption agency that was a good fit for us. From the week we sent in our application, we have seen the hand of God at work. We completed all of our paperwork in 10 weeks and were prepared to settle in for a long wait. However, God's timetable was much different than ours.

I've never been a fan of movies with flashbacks, but there are gaps in our story that must be completed. I'm excited to share this journey as we prepare to bring our baby home.

"For in You the orphan finds mercy." Hosea 14:3