Monday, July 7, 2014

fear's grip...

I was awoken very early the next morning, hardly able to breathe. Gripped in fear. What were we thinking? We can’t do this! It’s just too much! Surgery...therapy...I wrestled for a few minutes...settled our youngest son, who was sick with a tummy bug, and finally fell back asleep. As a disclaimer, some of you may think this next part is crazy...I probably would have if I was reading it myself, just bear with me. When I fell back asleep I had the most vivid and real dream. Jason and I were sitting on the couch in our living room with his Dad. (Many of you know we lost Jason’s dad in March of this year to cancer and Alzheimer’s). In my dream, he was more lucid that I honestly can ever remember Him being in conversation. He began to talk to us about fear. He began to share with us that when we are rooted and established in our faith the Enemy does all he can to plant doubts and fears in our hearts and minds when God has called us to something. He told us the importance of hiding God’s Word in our hearts, so that we can draw on its truth during times of doubt. He said, “When you leave this house he will whisper lies to you. Telling you that you don’t know who you are or where you should be going! Those are the times you have to rely on your knowledge of God’s Word. Speak it to him, and he will have to flee.” At this point...he was preaching to us! Those of you who knew Kit, know that of all of the things he loved, God’s Word was what he loved most. When he began to be more and more effected by his dementia, and then cancer, Jason questioned and struggled so much with understanding why someone who had devoted so much of his memory and mind to Scripture would be allowed to just loose it all! I can’t really explain it other than to just say that the way that Kit spoke to us in that dream, he was reassuring us that it was the Enemy that had taken his memory, his mind. This, for some reason, had never occurred to us before. It provided so much encouragement and closure for us in that way. I woke up, totally believing the dream had actually happened- it was that real. I realized what a two-fold gift the dream had been- and I believe it was straight up "Old Testament", from the Lord!
I had been reminded that my God is not the source of fears. That He is enough, and so I am enough. That fear is a lie from the Enemy attempting to keep me from my calling. But, also I felt that this was an answer to this question in Jason’s heart and mind. God was not the author of his Dad’s was the result of his incredible faith and the threat it was to the Enemy. His illness was spiritual warfare.
I laid in my bed and wept in total awe that the God I serve is that personal. When we need Him and the reassurance and peace only He can bring...He will meet us. He loves us so dearly.

It was that morning, with a tear stained face, and a scared, but excited and grateful heart that I found the answer to my two questions...
Yes, she’s our girl.
Yes, I’m ready to fight for her.

...the place that is the beginning of God's glory being multiplied...

May it be so, in our lives...
and in the life of this precious one He has chosen us to love.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

all the while He was working...

We found 3 little girls. All with the same agency. All with different special needs. All incredibly adorable. All needing a Mama and Daddy. Next their agency. It was a Friday morning, so I left a message and waited...and waited...didn't hear from anyone all day! So...had to wait until Monday to finally get some more information on these sweet girls. All weekend we had talked about the what-ifs...possible outcomes...what their needs would entail. We discussed the possibility of getting two of them. It was a CRAZY weekend! If you have ever taken a pregnancy test- it felt just like that...but for 3 DAYS!!! Wondering if one of these could be our sweet girl! Monday afternoon, I finally got a phone call from a super awesome girl in the waiting child department. She knew ALL about these little girls! She shared with me pros, cons, concerns, and possible outcomes...information overload! It’s such a heartbreaking and surreal feeling to be looking at a collection of about 10 pictures (which is more than what most orphans have) and a bunch of medical notes describing a child. Those documents and pictures are the only thing they have to represent who they are. When I think of how I knew my boys by the time they were the ages of these darling girls were, I could have filled up 10,000 pages of notes about them. These girls only had 10. When Jason got home that night and we finally had the boys in bed, we sat down to begin to go through the information we had been sent. We were nervous and excited and scared...craziness. So, as we were finishing looking through the files the question was posed...”Could one of these girl’s be our daughter? Do you feel as though one of them could fit into your family?” And, without a moment’s hesitation we both said, “Yes!”...strangely enough the little girl we thought we could care for were two separate little girls! Jason knew immediately that we had found her...I felt extremely drawn to the same child as well (and you will soon see why!), but I was so scared and fearful of her disabilities, her prognosis, and whether or not I was enough to be able to care for her! She was older than we thought she would be. Her disability was not one we had considered. There were so many unknowns. Lots to process. So, we spent a very long and emotional night of discussing and praying and discussing some more. Jason, in his matter of fact way, said. “Liz, you need to answer two questions. #1 ‘Is she our girl?’ and #2 ‘Are you ready to fight for her?’...while you’re figuring out your answers, I’m going to bed...I already know mine.” Seriously! This was one of those moments when I was reminded of why, and so very grateful God gave him to me...he led me in my doubt by his faith.
As I went to bed that night, my mind was swirling 100 miles an hour! But as I laid down the Lord brought something to my mind. Dates. I had been given advice to write down dates and prayers and specific times through this process that seemed important, impactful. God reminded me that night as I lay in my bed that the time this sweet little girl was born, and left on a river bank at 15 days old was when I attended a conference with my closest friends. It was there that He wrecked my heart for the cause of the orphan, and put the calling on my life and the life of my family to be a part of the solution. He then brought to my mind 2 very difficult weeks in mid-July of 2013...knowing that God had put this calling on my heart and praying and asking for God to change my heart’s desire for adoption or to reveal to Jason that this was what He had called us to. It was a season of learning and leaning on the intercession of the Spirit on my behalf- knowing the groaning and aching of my heart. This was the time this beautiful little girl was taken from a wonderful American run foster group home, and returned to her orphanage in a very rural and poor area of China. All the while He was working....working on me...working on our family....preparing us for her.

I had a choice to make...would my faith in His calling be enough?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 step at a time...

So...there’s been quite a few weeks of silence on the adoption front from our family! ...time to break the silence! Throughout the beginning of the year we continued to work on and complete our dossier (group of documents compiled to represent who our family is to the Chinese government) and officially were logged in to China’s system on March 7th. That was a big and exciting day for us... the day the wait began!
As weeks went by, life continued on as usual. Busyness with school and work and the boys. In mid April I began to just feel a real restlessness in my heart. I couldn't really figure out it’s source. But, I felt the need to do something...anything...that made our sweet girl real. Something as a reminder and to busy myself during this season of be actively waiting! Sounds crazy...I get it! But, the real crazy part, is that I decided making a quilt for her was a great way to pass the time! I asked for help from a sweet friend that is a quilting guru, and she was so kind and willing to dive into my crazy! Then, I began to ask myself if this restlessness had a purpose. What was it’s source? Was it me being impatient? Or was it a holy restlessness? So, this began a dialog between Jason and I and God.
We soon found out that the wait time for a little girl that matched our special needs checklist (a list of medical conditions or needs our family was willing to consider) was getting increasingly over two years. In the end,with this information and a lot of prayer, we came to one conclusion. God had called us to give a home to a little girl. Period. We realized that we could be waiting in “line” with 300+ other families waiting for a little girl...or, we could go to where the children were waiting in a line...much longer than 300 deep! We decided to take one step at a time, and just see what we could find out. After the first step, we came to realize that in order to change agencies there was fee, and a short waiting period for paper work to go through. But, we also found that we were still within the time requirements to be refunded half of the last agency fee we had paid. So, they more than cancelled each other out. So, we took the next step...praying God would just lead us where He wanted us to go. Lead us to her...and that’s the prayer that changed everything!...mei mei here we come!