Tuesday, March 20, 2012

re-fueling

Maybe I am not an every-single-day-blogger
but normally I am more chatty than this.
I haven't written since January? How can this be?
Hasn't life been marching on?
Hasn't stuff been happening?
Don't I have thoughts and words?
Sure.
But I have just felt...muted, I guess.
Too many times in the last year I have learned that my words were wounding to someone
instead of worshipful or even soothing.
I am not afraid to be fierce for my God...
but sometimes I need time to rebuild layers of thick skin before I can march on. 
 I do not want to wound others. 
I am okay with being offensive for the gospel of Jesus Christ - but I don't want to stomp on people.
  I have needed a break to find my footing again. 
Maybe I've found it, maybe not - but here goes...


January 
was a hard month. And I do mean a HARD month.
Two things happened concurrently in January which left me reeling.
First:
 a family into whom I had invested tremendous amounts of time, funds and mentoring went to Uganda to adopt 2 children...
and came home with only one of them. 
They chose to leave one child behind.
This is a child I have grown to love and feel protective of. 
This is a child I advocated for and literally found myself dreaming about and praying for desperately.
This is a child I raised money and awareness for. 
And she is still in Uganda today.
The process was devestating for all involved. 
The family's hearts, as well as all of ours who were attached to the process 
were left in absolute shreds .
I am convinced I have possibly lost years of my life in grief over this and that the emails and phone calls made about this child and this issue of heartbreak
 would circle the globe easily many times if laid end-to-end. 
There is no winner in this. 
The family is overwrought, I believe.
 I, myself have been mostly unable to discuss it without weeping.
I am certainly not laying blame but wanted to explain why I have found myself cocooning.

No way could I just sit and blog about this lightly.

Second: 
in January, 
while this was happening
 Andrew was in Uganda himself on a mission trip to visit orphans - to treat medically and to love on kids, as well as to deliver supplies and gifts to friends there.
It was a good trip...and a hard trip, too.
When you have already left parts of your heart in a place, it is confounding to return 
and know where exactly to dig in again.
There is corruption.
There is entitlement.
There is poverty.
There is beauty.
There is heartbreak.
It is beautiful and it is hard.
Plus: we missed him an awful lot and counted down to his return.....
but he returned only to go immediately back to work - like the next morning. 
{Lesson learned : counting down "days till Daddy returns" may have been misleading.}
He came home depleted.
We both wonder how other people do this routinely.
His tank is on "empty" I think it's fair to say.
He missed Uganda by his first night home - we both do, tremendously so - but he. is. tapped. out.

So, wrestling through both of those things for weeks on end, concurrently?
And then heading to the Created for Care conference within days of Andrew's return?
Good....and hard, too.
So much to wrestle through.

None of that would have been easily blogged. 

February 
brought so very many shifts for Andrew at work. 
The supremely-demanding type, too where he is swimming so hard against the current of patients he can't catch up on sleep when he's actually home.
February ran. us. ragged.
February we just kept our heads down for the love of Pete and worked hard. 
We closed on the house.
We made peace with the fact that buying the house didn't necessarily mean that
we were never going to Africa...but that for now God is planting us where we are.
We are staying put.

March
 is here now. 
 And the steam is out of our engines for the moment.
We are catching our breaths and I am grateful for the opportunity to 
feather our nest gently and dig in deeper. 
We have bought and are fixing up a house here in town. 
We waited through 6 months while the sale was made 
and are making the the transfer of beds and boxes now.
We're hanging blinds and ceiling fans.
We're packing boxes instead of suitcases.
We're adding square footage instead of another child. 
Last year around this time we were racing...now we are planting roots.

I find myself wanting, again to leave a letter to my children for one day 
when they don't understand why we made their childhood's decisions the way we did. 
I find myself needing to record my explanations.
 I am less concrete on where these little lives are heading again
but remember that 
ultimately?
God HAS this.
He's GOT it.
He's led us here,
He'll lead us on, 
He's leading us now.

The path beneath my feet is more opaque maybe than it was spring of last year 
but it's not less secure.
Last year's spring taught me this:

*the quiet times fill us with fuel to chase the dreams when they materialize.*

I look forward to the next dream materializing.

Some adoptive parents are able to chase dreams and children one after the other after the other after the other after the other.....infinitely, it seems. 
And I will admit that I, too look at those families admiringly and even wistfully.
This spring's events are nowhere near as adventerous
 or interesting as last spring's -
 especially for my kids reading this book one day
or my blog readers hanging in there to see when we announce another addition.
But for now, we are re-fueling.
And even though it feels as plodding as watching grass grow 
I know that after the grass grows...

~~~ the blooms follow.