Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Wilderness

The last month has been confusing.
We were certain!
We were decisive!
 We were determined!
But this month has been depleting and disorienting.

Step #1 = Applied to the Agency we had chosen for this adoption.

check!

Step #2 = Applied to China Program @ Agency for Eligibility to Adopt.
Agency responds with skepticism that this is going to work for us.
(pause..........................................................

waiting...............................

waiting.........)

and disappointment.

Step #3 = Double check entire process using another Agency.

Send Papers to Bejing, seeking THEIR decision on our Eligibility to Adopt.

(pause.................................................

waiting...............................

waiting..............)

and disappointment.


Step #4 = Utter Bewilderment.



It's a complicated process, especially with China, you must understand.
We knew this when we signed up : it's subjective. It's risky.

But we never expected to fall into the catagory of Impossible since we have been so determined that:
"...From now on we are winding our way down a Red Threaded path to Bejing and Guangzhou
and beyond." - Jan 1, 2011

We never imagined the "beyond" meant anywhere else though!
All of these moments lead to ALOT of self-examination.
To beseeching the Lord.
To searching our hearts, questioning our motives, poring over scripture and wrestling with God.
"Are we wrong, God? Are we mistaken? Have we mis-heard?
Are we literally incapable of knowing how to follow you, God?
What's this all been about?
Why doesn't this make any sense?
Why have you put China in our hearts?
How do we makes sense of this pull to China?
Daughter: Where.    Are.   You?"

and
We are currently looking for the way out of this jungle, still hacking branches that are obscuring the path.

But.
There are some things we KNOW:

1.) We are called to parent. (James 1:27)

2.) Our daughter is Out There Somewhere. (Psalms 68:6)

3.) We will not give up. (Luke 18: 1-8)

4.) We will not give in. ("Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know and holds us responsible to act... Proverbs 24:12")

5.) I am no one's savior. (John 14:6)

6.) But I am grafted into the Vine and He has me. (John 15:1-5)

7.) I feel weak but He is my strength. (Zeph 3:17)

8.) When I keep focused on following Jesus and keep my eyes fixed on him, I march along just fine. When I listen to other voices of anxiety...not so much.


So, we are still certain - and determined.
Maybe not decisive yet...instead looking for the clearing up ahead in this Wilderness
ready to stop wandering
ready to walk on.

It may be that the Red Threaded Path are on did indeed lead through Bejing...
but now leads somewhere Beyond...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"It's how God loves to work - surprisingly and better than your dreams." - Dec. 23, 2010

We have been paying off debt.
Big whoop.
No big secret.
It's been mind-numbing a practice of obedience.
I talked about it  here and here.
We've been waiting to start the adoption process.
Some (Andrew) patiently.
Others (Esty) begrudgingly.
Nevertheless we've waited.
And paid down that ever-present, nagging debt.
All the while knowing there would be more waiting once we actually
paid Step #1
and got to begin paying Steps #2 through 1 million.
Until...Friday came.
The DAY!
The Last Payment!
The Last Check to mail!

"Let's have a shindig! Let's throw a party!
Let's sign the adoption application and send them some money, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!"~ said Esty, The Gas Pedal.

"Let's wait."~said Andrew, The Brake.

"Let's wait till the check clears. And let's pray."

I pouted ...eventually conceded...felt nearly better after we'd prayed together.

Put the check in the mailbox. (mild thrill only)
More waiting.
FABULOUS.

3:30PM arrives.
Andrew walks in from the yard,
 into my kitchen,
hands me a Priority Mail already-opened envelope.

It's from Washington State.
I stare at the return address.
Never heard of them before.
"Who's this from?", I shrug.
"Read it", he says, and walks back out of the kitchen grinning.
Always the man of conservative words.
There's a Christmas Card, a picture, a letter.

"Dear Esty~
 Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!", it begins. She goes on to introduce herself as the mother of a gal I used to be in bible study with on the Mountain. She tells me her daughter introduced her to my blog a couple years back. And then she makes me smile: ..."At the very time you mentioned you were reading Radical and Choosing to SEE, I was also reading them! Coincidence or 'Godincidence'? So when you announced you and your husband were going to 'put the pedal to the metal' for China in January 2011, I just knew I wanted to prayerfully partner with you...my heart rejoices with you as you and your family begin this journey. To God be the glory, great things He has done and will do!"

Included in the Priority Mail envelope?
 A handwritten check equal to the first chunk of money due to the China program.

The Last Debt Payment.
Handed to the Mail Carrier.
And exchanged for the Priority Mail envelope with a gift straight from Heaven
via Seattle.


just take a moment and think about that right there...
It was The Same Day.
Orchestrated just right.
No one knew how much the first fees were.
I had never mentioned it.
I didn't need to tell God, however.
He whispered:

"Listen, little girl ~ listen to Me.
I. See.You.
I'm. WITH. You.
Come.
Get out of the boat.
Over here.
Follow Me.
Now.
And GO."

He is God.
He SEES me.
little, tiny me.

So I am not afraid.
I was born for this.
My God made me,
tiny and petty and ridiculous and noisy and bossy and needy and seflish and proud and vain and naive me.
And He takes my hand.
And He helps me onto the bow.
I can feel the waves rock
I can taste the salty spray
but I hear only His voice.

I'm going.
Yes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's ON

2010 in a word.....

"Surprising." ~ Esty

"Change." ~Andrew

As of January 1, 2011 this is no longer a family of all men plus a Mama.
~~*~~We are officially waiting for our baby girl to come home from China~~*~~
Even as I type that...it seems wildly surprising and I shake my head in bewilderment at God's sense of irony.

We have signed with AWAA.
We are starting now.
And I can see her.
I am not afraid.
I am ready.
As of right now this family is no longer just
All of My Boys and Me
(olivemyboysandme).
God has changed all of that now.
From now on we are winding our way down a Red Threaded path to Bejing and Guangzhou
and beyond.

So from now, these little lives will be documented here.
So please come with me!
What an adventure!

When asked "What do you think about us having a baby sister?":

"I would love one."~ Luke
"Good." ~Graham
"I would love swimming with her." ~Ethan

...here we go......................