Monday, February 4, 2013

God's Story part 2

Note: This was written last week, I have been waiting for Provisional Approval to arrive before sharing.

I've been trying to process this all week. I am so humbled by the way God has chosen our family to show HIS great glory!
Our agency spent the weekend finishing up our lock for the baby. I found out a little more about the details of the night the file was locked with our family in mind. The director of our agency was busy trying to match families who had been waiting several months. She didn't even know we had our paperwork to China, let alone already had our Log In Date (LID). We were in a virtual "waiting line" if you will, and our turn hadn't come up yet. She saw the file of this baby boy and instantly knew WE WERE HIS FAMILY!!! She was also able to lock the file, not knowing we had LID because he was considered a Special Focus child. When I heard those details I was so amazed how God had worked through her (as He had many times in the past for other families) to find him the family he was meant to be with.
She took quite a bit of risk considering we had said we were only considering a girl. She had never met us face to face, only in phone conversations.
Back this summer when she had called us to deliver the news the sweet girl we had begun the process in faith to adopt, was not going to be available and had already been matched with a family. My heart was heavy, but rejoiced this special little girl would have a forever family. I also knew in the instant, with out even speaking with Chris, we were to continue on this path, God had a plan, a path and we were to walk it blind. And blind we did, we had no money to begin this second journey. We raised the fees for the homestudy update with a beyond successful yard sale. Then, as I struggled to plan a huge fundraiser which we needed to complete the next step of this journey, GOD STEPPED UP HUGE! We raised the next amount needed to get our paperwork to China.
This week I have reflected on this journey. Last June when we were beginning the process, and I believe that special little girl stirred our hearts so much, to prepare us to be ready for our son. He was only HOURS OLD when we began our journey!!!!!!
This week I received the file with his name in Chinese. I sent a message to a friend, who is Chinese and she confirmed what I had already started to believe....His first name he was given could be translated into ...
"Heaven Sent" or "Gift from God"!!!!!!!!
I am overwhelmed at the magnitude of this great story. I am humbled I am a part of the process. I am a sinful human deserving of no blessing, let alone a blessing of this magnitude.
It is at this time I take great pleasure in introducing you to our son

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Julie's thoughts on selfishness and obedience Keepin' it real

Confession time here. I didn't want to adopt. When Chris first suggested the idea I was floored. I thought about what my life would be like again, the time I was the most crazy, busy, was when our big kids were little kids. Sick kids freak me out! Kids who don't sleep frustrate me! But I also knew we were supposed to.  It was easy to fall in love with an idea, sweet baby girl, baby shower, gifts, pink. I pushed away all thoughts of doubt and kept on. Ellie made it easy too. Those first pictures of her, were so gorgeous, how could one not believe of a life of never ending days of rainbows?

She's been amazing. But in those first few months, I struggled. I struggled to remember how to do laundry upstairs with out a toddler falling down the stairs. I struggled to get things done with out unlimited time to do so, and did I mention getting big kids to appointments, practices, etc.? I was late everywhere and forgot a few appointments.  I was a little bitter about Chris' proud proclamation of obedience. Easy to be obedient while at work and I'm stuck here at home, I would think, in those first few days. But then I wrapped my head about my own obedience. I had gone through the motions but had a few resentments about this intrusion in to "my life".

It wasn't until I embraced all who I was called to be, Ellie's mom, mom to big kids, wife and... to be a passionate advocate for the orphan, did things begin to change in my heart and in my daily life.

Then came hunting season. Whoa,  I really got this one wrong! I struggled to maintain order in my mind of not being able to accomplish all tasks at home, while Chris took a lot of time in his hobby. I was angry a lot, and struggling to get my prayer life back on track. I knew I was feeling disobedient but yet I wanted to continue wallowing in my own selfishness. A few knew of my struggles but for the most part, I kept on moving forward as I worried about each and ever detail of the new adoption journey.

I feel I came out of that season with a clear picture of where I went wrong and a desire to try and get it right next season. I know many sisters were praying for me as I struggled to discover the right path.

Most people have no idea why "in our old age" we would want to adopt. My answer? I didn't. In my flesh I didn't want to adopt. But God supernaturally changed my heart. He planted the desire so big, it doesn't matter I get tired after one task, that I will be in my fifties when my youngest are in middle school, a stark realization which until now, I hadn't even thought of, YIKES, it didn't matter what I wanted!

I really haven't mentioned much about not only the legally adopted child and birth children God gave us, but in His infinite wisdom he also gave us one teenage mom and two toddler grandchildren. I have made lots of mistakes in this journey but along the way I have gained valuable truth about the human spirit, my own spiritual growth, and the Awesome power of God's redemption. I think I am trying to say I have been given the opportunity to see God's glory every day I am able to cast "self" aside and live for His glory. It's been the messiest of tasks, and I make quite a few mistakes but I can't imagine my life with out them.

I could have a trip to Disney this summer. I could have new carpet and the tile sitting in my garage for years could be in my bathroom instead of the ratty, peeling vinyl. I could have a lot of things.

None of this matters! I am not the person I was. I am not the person I was five years ago. God in His mercy chose to adopt me. And that's a pretty messy task.

God chooses to adopt us. (Romans 8;15,Galations 4:5, Ephesians 1:5) Adoption IS the Gospel. We were adopted as God's heirs. With out God choosing to adopt us, where would we be? I want to impress upon Christians that I believe with my whole heart, I speak the truth in saying we are all called to be a part of an adoption story. Be it far, with sponsorship of a child (some children are not able to be adopted out of their country), to being a prayer partner for those who are adopting, to support our foster families who really get ignored in the whole picture but who are doing the hardest work of all, or taking a meal to a family who has recently adopted. The ways we can support those adopting is endless. No task is too small.

Adoption and orphan awareness must be Gospel centered for the biggest requirement is to share the Gospel.

In the beginning, I didn't even speak about my doubts, struggles or how I really didn't want to take this path. But then I realized I needed to tell this part because it speaks of the incredible power of God.
In June, when I was finally getting it together, God worked very powerfully. He used a little girl with a very specific special need to stir us into committing to move forward again in adopting This little girl was extremely special, and with out her, I don't believe we would have had the push to begin again. God knew our son was being born and led us to begin so we would be ready for him. I see that part of the story now and it blows me away! But back in that time when we got the call this special little girl would not be ours, the path became dark. I knew I had to still walk it, but each step would be in faith with out the path in front of me.

Ellie and her friend. Both girls adopted from China. To God be the Glory!