That's not to say I don't get discouraged. I do. Somedays, I find myself feeling very let down (I'll explain a little more about why in a moment), but I repeatedly turn it over to God. I find myself praying at 3:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and everytime in between.
I'm a numbers and stats person. I'm very Type A, and for quite some time I've followed all the referral stats coming out of Bulgaria (and although I know there are those that will tell me just not to look, I feel that this helps me to be more specific in my prayers). First, I regularly look at and piecemeal translate all of the stats off the Bulgarian Government's website. It's not the most efficient method, but it gets me the information I need. I also follow the blog of another adoptive mother who takes the time to translate in detail each meeting of the IAC (they're the ones that issue the referrals). Here is some of the info I've gathered:
* In the years 2013 and 2014, 10-15+ referrals (sometimes more) were issued at most meetings. These were a mixture of both traditional and waiting children of varying ages and special needs.
* At this point in 2014, there had been 15+ referrals for little girls in our age range (I know there were at least 15, but I'm thinking it's closer to 20). We are open to quite a few special needs, but our age range is young, which we are well aware slowed down our referral time. We have always been very aware of that. (No need to tell me)
* At this point in 2015, there have only been 6 or 7 referrals (one set of twins so I'm not sure how to count that) for little girls in our age range.
* At this point in 2015, there are only around 10-12 referrals issued per meeting, sometimes less.
* There were very few referrals in the month of April.
(I also have other stats for boys and some for older children, but I don't know them off the top of my head, and I'd need to double check the accuracy)
So what does all this mean? These are the stats. These are the facts. I'm a very concrete person so when I look at these it's very easy for me to become discouraged and quite panicky.
This is what my eyes see . . .
But . . .
Over the past few months, God has been showing me that this is not just an earthly battle. This is a spiritual battle, and it must be fought on a spiritual front. My last post was entitled Far Be It From Me to Not Believe, Even When My Eyes Can't See, and in it I referenced the song "It is Well" by Kristene DiMarco. I have listened to this song multiple times in the past couple weeks and one of my favorite lines says:
Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea
Y'all right now my physical eyes can't see, and it would be very easy to give in to that. To let the fear and discouragement and resentment creep in. But time and again, I go back to this line. Far be it from me . . .
So I pray. I pray in desperation. I pray in praise. I pray in thankfulness. I pray in tears. I pray.
And once again, I'm asking you to join me in prayer. I know that this is our journey to walk, but I also know that many of you have come alongside and walked it diligently and prayerfully with us. I'm asking you to pray for an increase in referrals. I'm asking for you to pray for there to be an urgency to match these children with families. I'm asking you to pray.
"I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time - waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God - it changes me." C.S. Lewis