My Beloved Speaks and Says to Me, Arise

Remember that time I almost died bringing Nora into the world?  Remember how she was super premature and all kind of terrifying things happened?

That was easier than adoption.

Adoption requires much.

You must first prove yourself to your home study agency.  You must then prove yourself to the country you’ve chosen.  You must then prove yourself to grant agencies.  Who also want tax documents for the past 75 years…at minimum.

Through it all, you have to hustle for funds because redemption is so, so costly.  Fundraisers, yard sales (I HATE yard sales), crafts, asking, asking, asking.  And it’s so beautiful to see your village rally, it’s so beautiful to see people come together to be part of a story of redemption.  But you wonder if they are sick to death of you asking…

Then you travel across the world to meet a child you would die for that you’ve never ever met.  You come with your heart in your hands and you savor the beauty of it all…and the heartbreak too.  Because with adoption comes so much loss.  You will take the child from the world she knows, from the only ones she knows…to a place that looks, sounds, smells and tastes different.  To a language she’s never heard, into a family that has spent a year preparing for her but that she is just not prepared for.

You do the hard work of figuring out just what her “moderate to severe special needs” look like, what it means.  You figure out what she needs.  You batten down the hatches and stay close…parenting in a new way, because what she needs is to know that she can trust you.  That she can let her guard down.  That there will be enough food, that she has a place.  That she is cherished.

God has done such a work in me through all of this.  I’ve had to lean hard into Him.  When fear threatened to steal my breath (and threatens to steal my breath), I lean hard.  When things look like they are unraveling or when issues arise or when it’s looking impossible…I just have to remember…

He called us to this.

He loves Sissy.  She is His.

And He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  He changes the hearts of kings.  He is One who finishes what He’s started.

arise

And so I will.  Arise.  Freeze my hand to the sword, just like Eleazar and fight the fight until Sissy is home safe and sound.

You can help.

Donate directly to our agency atPure Charity  This is an amazing way to help us out!  $20 donations also automatically enter you to win a housecleaning by my friend Mabel.

Donate to our FSP at Reece’s Rainbow.  These funds will cover travel expenses.

Donate to our fund at Go Fund Me.  This is where we raise money for ALL costs.  (The two above our tax deductible.

Any amount helps, from $1 to $1000.

Donate items you make, items you sell, services your provide or gently used items with tons of life left in them from your home.  We have a HUGE auction coming up and we need your participation!

Come to our bake sale Saturday morning.  We will have TONS of goodies to tempt your tastebuds!

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Good Good Father

 

In church on Sunday, we sang this song that has been playing in my head on repeat ever since.

It’s “Good Good Father” by Housefires (or Chris Tomlin, if you’d rather).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/djrY_eFDOwE“>Good Good Father

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I am singing this all day today, over  my own heart…over my sweet husband, over all six of my beautiful babies and the two boyfriends in law…over my seventh baby in Eastern Europe; the one who has never known a father at all.

And I am realizing something for the millionth time as the words sink in deep.  (God is faithful to teach me the same lessons over and over…as often as I need them.)

He is Good.  Nothing can change that.  It’s who He is.  Yes, even when things are Extra Hard and Really Scary.  In the Big Life Things…He is perfect, loving, kind, and He is For Me.  He is For Sylvia.  He’s not a magic genie that makes life easy and makes it all okay…but He is For Me.  Perfect in all of His ways to us.

I am loved by Him.  Nothing can change that.  It’s who I am.  Yes, even when I struggle to hold onto that Truth.  Even when I don’t feel very lovely…even when I don’t feel loved by Him, I am loved by Him.  It’s Truth.  Even if I reject it…it’s still true.  It’s who I am.

Sylvia is loved by Him.  Nothing can change that.  It’s who she is.

And so I have newfound peace moving forward.  I’m eating this elephant one bite at a time…I’m freezing my hand to the sword.  He stands with me and I know that this is not my own battle that I fight, that this battle belongs to Him, the Good Father.

And when a Daughter asks a good, good Father for bread, He will not give her stones.

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Good Good Father by Housefires

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
but I’ve heard the tender whisper
of love in the dead of night
You tell me that you’re pleased
and that I’m never alone

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, It’s who you are,
It’s who you are
and I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, It’s who I am,
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching
for answers far and wide
But I know
we’re all searching for answers only you provide
Because you know
just what we need
before we say a word

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, It’s who you are,
It’s who you are
and I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, It’s who I am,
It’s who I am

You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

Oh it’s Love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so Unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As you call me deeper still
as you call me deeper still
as you call me deeper still into love love love

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, It’s who you are,
It’s who you are
and I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, It’s who I am,
It’s who I am

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, It’s who you are,
It’s who you are
and I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, It’s who I am,
It’s who I am

I Woke Up

This week, there were two anniversary days.

November 18th, the day our Nora was born.  A scrappy little 2 lb. 14 oz. fighter, bursting to life and changing the world.

November 19th, I woke up, after the doctors were sure I never would again.

And I’ve realized some things about those days.  You can read the whole story here and throughout many, many blog posts in 2012.

November 19th, I woke up.

When you come that close to death, your world view shifts.  Things change in your heart, paradigms you’ve always believed and trusted are shaken to the core.

I learned that life is so, so short.  I learned that every single life is precious.  As I held my tiny baby, smaller than half a bag of flour…I knew her life was precious.  And in my heart, something opened up.  Lives are so precious.

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I became more sensitive to news stories of human suffering.  Pictures of children struggling for life in orphanages began to seem urgent. I saw need everywhere.

I also figured out that I want an extraordinary life.  I don’t want the white picket fence and new cars and great clothes.  I like those things…but my life goals are simpler now…

Love God.

Love People.

I woke up to reality.  And every year, I am reminded of the lessons I learned.  You can read about it Here, 2013 and Here, 2014 or some more here 2014.

There is so much suffering in our world.  And I am still piecing together and puzzling out our place in the resolutions.

But I came away from my experiences in November of 2012 changed.  I woke up.  And I know I want to make an impact.  I am reminded anew every year on these days.

I want to make a difference.  Because I’m grateful, because this life is short, because every single person has value that can’t be measured.

Right now.

We are starting with one.  Just one.

Sylvia Grace.

Will you join us?

SylviaGrace

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On Hurricanes And Provision

I think I had an epiphany this morning.

I have friends in the adoption community now.  Mamas I’ve never seen in real life and maybe never will until heaven.  It’s kind of neat, because they’ve walked or are walking where we are, built-in relational equity.

Several have checked in, fearing for our safety with these impending storms.

And I just say to them over and over:

I’m not worried.  The thing about hurricanes…there is literally NOTHING you can do about them.  You can not be in control.  All you can do is be smart, pray and wait it out.  Just wait it out.

And suddenly I realized, that’s how I need to approach adoption.

Adoption is frightening.  So many uncertainties.  The paperwork, the costs- financial and emotional, the process, the unknowns.  All we really know is that Sissy is our daughter and we need to bring her home.

But just like God knows how the path of this hurricane is going to blow, He knows the path this adoption is going to take.  He already knows.

We’ve seen Him in this process.  He taps us on the shoulder and whispers- “I am here.” I had a dream where He came up behind me, touched my shoulder and said these words:  “It’s not going to be as hard as you think.”  He is doing things.

He’s with us in EVERY storm…not just this hurricane.

And maybe this doesn’t seem like the most amazing epiphany ever…but I feel a shift in my spirit this morning and I feel less fear.

Fear lies.

God can do this.  He can bring Sissy home.

joaquin

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