Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Strength for the Weary

I shared  a picture last night on Facebook that said, "Adoption is not for the faint of heart". I believe that now more than ever. As I was thinking about being strong through this whole process, Isaiah 40:28-31 came to mind. It's one of the most popular scriptures in the bible. There's a reason for that. I'm reminded that my strength doesn't come from me. It comes from the Lord of Lords and King of Kings who loves me intimately and personally. I can say, without any doubt, that I would not have made it this far into this adoption journey without Him. We've waited, sometimes patiently and other times impatiently. We've been filled with joy, and we've suffered heartbreaking loss. Through it all, God has provided comfort, peace, and strength. And now, we are filled with hope as we once again wait to hear good news.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭28-31‬ NKJV)

Prayer requests: Please pray for referrals for not only us but also for friends we've made as we've walked this road together. Please pray for peace for all those waiting and those home. Please pray for wisdom and bonding both for those home with kiddos now and those who will be bringing kids home in the future.

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Take on Dating and Valentine's Day

Disclaimer: It's never good when my posts have disclaimers. Someone, probably quite a few someones, are going to be royally ticked by my first paragraph. My intent is not to tick anyone off, but more, it's to make us look at our very me centered culture, which seems to have worked its way into our marriages. Please read on past the first paragraph as I do have a point beyond the first paragraph.

And as a side note: I'm far from perfect as a wife. I have plenty of me, me, me moments. God is working on that. 

Tonight Patrick and I will go out for Valentine's Day . . . alone. I've told y'all my feelings on dates before. I do think it's important to spend time alone, but I don't buy into the "we must have a special date once every (fill in the blank) or else we'll fall apart" line of thinking. I think we've created this culture of couples, and quiet honestly women, that "need" constant pampering and attention in order to survive marriage. And yet, marriages seem to struggle now more than ever. If you're going to fall apart if your husband (or wife) doesn't do "XYZ" every single month and holiday, maybe take a step back and look at your priorities. So yeah, Patrick and I will go out alone tonight, but 90% of the time Andrew is with us, and that's okay too. He's spent many a Valentine's Day dinner sitting in the booth at the restaurant beside us. We dated for five years before we got married and were married four years before we had Andrew. We had lots of fancy dates so I'm good with a few big dates a year. But we have a VERY traditional marriage with VERY traditional roles (by my choice as much, or more, than his) so I may be way off base in my thinking. (And this is not saying ignore your spouse and worship your kids. I just get so irritated with this culture of excessively fragile marriages that will shrivel up and die without a special date every 4-6 weeks. A movie after the kids are asleep is fine by me.)

I should stop now. I'm digging myself deeper.

Wow . . . sorry, I think Valentine's Day, in particular, gets me pondering these things. So my original topic . . . Valentine's Day. It's a cute, fun little holiday. I just wish it wasn't so over-the-top. I think it's for kids as much as adults, and who doesn't love a little character card with a sticker and a sucker? We don't do big, extravagent gifts or anything major. I look it as more of an opportunity to show my family a little extra love, which I should probably do every day. So tomorrow, Andrew will wake up to a card, some candy, and a book (because I look for reasons to buy books), and tomorrow night I'm going to make a special dinner for all of us. Then we'll do our normal routine. Patrick and Andrew will play (which may involve nerf guns and me hollering at them not to break something) while I clean up what's sure to be a colossal mess in the kitchen. Then we'll probably play a rousing game of Life or Chutes and Ladders or Trouble, and I'll wrestle my child to bed at a hopefully decent hour.

Why tell you all this (because it's, quite honestly, B to the ORING)? I see a lot of people particularly sad this time of year because they are single, and I think it makes many feel like the last kid picked in dodge ball (been there, done that . . . it's a barrel of laughs). I'm telling you, however, don't look at this day or any day as a day or week or month exclusively for couples. Look at it as an opportunity to show love to those who mean the most to you. Maybe that's a best friend who has been there for every up and down. Maybe it's your own kiddo or a niece or a nephew or a whole bunch of nieces and nephews that fill your life with joy. Maybe it's your parents or grandparents. The who doesn't matter. Just look at this as an opportunity to show a little extra love. And please, for the love of your future and your sanity, never settle for less than the best just because you want a date on Valentine's Day or any day.

And that my friends is my take on Valentine's Day. That and a dollar won't even get you a cup of coffee because coffee is expensive these days, but hopefully it will help you look at the whole holiday with a slightly different perspective.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Moving Foward with Grace

We are still waiting for news. If I don't drive our caseworker at the adoption agency crazy it will be a miracle.

A couple weeks ago I was anxious and frustrated and generally in a very bad mood. I guess I hoped that after the new year we'd hear something, and when we didn't, I found myself extremely upset and unhappy about it. We have no choice but to go forward, but how we go foward is up to us. As hard as it is, I'm trying to go foward with patience and grace.

I believe God cares about us. I believe He knows us better than we know ourselves. I believe that He placed this deep and strong desire to adopt a little girl from Bulgaria in our hearts. I believe He will see us through.

Now if I can just manage to keep myself and my emotions in check.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

An Update (Sort of) and A Prayer Request (Yet again)

How many times have I come here asking for prayer?

I'm asking again.

I wish I could give you all a very specific update. I can't right now. I'll tell you this. Things are moving and happening in Bulgaria. We need lots of prayers. Very specifically we need prayers for favor . . . favor with the Bulgarian officials and government . . . favor with and cooperation from our local home study agency . . . favor with the United States government . . . and extra prayers for good measure. Haha!

At this moment a lot of things are up in the air, and I strongly dislike "up in the air". I prefer to be standing on solid ground. But unfortunately the adoption process spends little time on solid ground.

Thank you, thank you, thank you . . . a thousand times and then some we thank you for every single prayer.

I'll keep y'all posted!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Because Sometimes You Need An Attitude Adjustment

Patience is a virtue. It's also one of my areas of weakness . . .one of the things with which I struggle the most.

I have been incredibly impatient lately. I am frustrated that we haven't received another referral. I'm frustrated with the prospect of waiting even longer . . . of doing yet another home study update . . . of Andrew growing older while he waits for a sister.

I'm anxious for this referral to come, and everyday I wake up hoping that this will be the day. While I think it's important to wait expectantly, I also know that dwelling on the wait is not healthy. I know it makes me lose sight of what is right in front of me. It makes me a less than pleasant person to be around.

I was praying and telling God how I felt about all of this, and I told Him that I don't know how to not be anxious for another referral. I don't know how to do this waiting time with grace and dignity. And as so often happens, God spoke to me not in words so much but in the gentle way that He impresses on my heart. He reminded me that this isn't about my desire to have a daughter. He well knows that desire. He is more than fine with that desire. This struggle is about me not trusting Him. It's about me being afraid that somehow we're going to miss out on the daughter that is meant for us. That somehow God isn't going to get it right. So yeah . . .

That's not exactly something of which I'm proud, and I won't pretend that I was suddenly magically happy about waiting. But I'm determined to do this God's way. I have no choice but to wait on His timing. There is really no way around that, but I do have a choice about my attitude. How I act (or don't act) while I'm waiting says a lot about me and who I think God really is.

As always, I come back to His Word (to one of my favorite scriptures): Philippians 4:6-7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.