Monday, April 30, 2012

God Moments

It's already happening! Let me give you the context. 

This weekend as we sat filling out paperwork for our home study I was overwhelmed to tears at the money due with the forms. We figured we could make this payment and the next two agency fees and then our supply of money for this adoption would run out. Up to this point in our lives, financial security has never been an issue. We have always had more than we need and have been able to give without it involving much faith. Essentially, we could rely on our bank account to provide for our needs and wants. But this adoption is a totally different ballgame. 

This journey is the biggest opportunity we've had to trust God as our Jehovah-Jireh. To trust that he takes care of his children and that it is his voice and his hand leading us to this little girl. I am so thankful for a husband who has unwavering faith when mine is so weak.

And just this morning we were blown away at God's provision. Today, when we needed to mail our check with our home study, our tax refunds came. The total was $400 over the checks due...just enough to pay for our online adoption training, fingerprinting and some legal documents! HOW GOOD IS THE LORD! 

And for the cherry on top, our home study agency charges additionally for families living over 30 miles away from their office. According to Mapquest, we live 29.15 miles apart and do not have to pay additionally.

Wanted to give some great praises for the incredibly encouraging things the Lord did for us today!

Eye of the Storm

Wanted to take a few minutes to write from the eye of the storm. Lately I look around at our completely disheveled house and tell myself it's totally normal. We are, after all, ending a semester, leading a team to India on Friday, moving during those two weeks and in the middle of paperwork for an international adoption. Everyone's house would be this disorganized if their plates looked like that, right?

So what do you do with so much going on at once? Spend an afternoon at the lake with some very awesome RAs, of course, and spend the evening meeting with students. When life's a zoo why not add more animals, right? :)

Team India shared in church this morning for a bit before the afternoon's annual RA picnic. In 4 1/2 days we'll be on an airplane heading to Kolkata and every time I hear the number butterflies explode to life in my stomach. This is really happening and despite the Indian heat wave, it is going to be incredible!

But already, I think about these two faces and how badly I wish they were going on that plane with me. Everything makes me think of them. Even the pastor making up the word "dumb-ball" this morning. Levi is venturing into the world of compound words with his favorites, meatball and eyeball. He chuckles every time he says the last one and points to our eyes. I think he would have chuckled with me in church this morning.

Tonight they're both asleep and I am going to join them so I'll have energy to soak up every daylight hour we have together. Our plan is that I will update our twitter daily while in India and possibly post on our India blog when the team can make it to an internet cafe. We'll do our best to share what's happening during our twelve days. And when I get back we'll have much to share about our new living space and adoption progress. 

Keep us in your prayers for safety and speed for everything in the coming two weeks. We'll surely need it.

Blessings to you as you begin your May.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Filling In the Blanks

Monday morning we mailed in our first payment and contract to officially begin the process of adopting. More paperwork followed to begin the application with our home study provider. The papers we've completed thus far are like mere sprinkles from the fire hydrant of questions and papers that are to come. And each time we sign, we're ultimately saying that we agree to lose all control in this process. That we willingly chose to walk this road without any guarantees. It's all quite unnerving with the exception that we've been given a sneak peek of who awaits us. And the giver of the glimpse is a pretty reliable source. ; )

All of this paper business wouldn't be possible were it not for some very significant events taking place in the last six months. So while filling in the pages we thought we'd also share the miracles that have happened to bring us to this point.

As you might recall in our sharing before, in order to adopt a girl we were desperately in need of another bedroom. I prayed God would make one appear. He didn't go for that. Instead, He intended a time of waiting.

Good things happen when we wait...even when the waiting is long.

We often break and then our hearts change. I personally was confronted with the need for repentance over seeking God's gifts instead of God Himself. Jason and I both had to choose our way and time. Some of our families' hearts even changed in favor of adoption. And then, in the waiting, our circumstances changed.  A new position on our campus opened up making it possible for us to move to a three bedroom, two bath apartment. The major details of job descriptions and finances that seemed impossible for this type of move all changed. And that was the open door to adoption we had been waiting for.

In May it will all be official. While I'm in India Jason will be assisted by family and friends to move us across campus and then the home study visits will begin. We'll miss the dorm community but are excited for this healthy change for our family. And excited we can now grow.

By next week we expect to start paperwork. In what is officially called the "paper chase" we'll collect 13 to 15 documents called a Dossier {dos-see-ay}. It can take anywhere from three to six months. But we're going for a world record. Stay tuned for our upcoming attempt at making the Guinness book.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Adoption Update

We got the email Monday, but it wasn't a yes or no like we thought. We were asked to send additional information for about three areas of our application. That meant we spent a good deal of time Monday afternoon getting our responses back to them and that by Tuesday afternoon we had another email waiting for us. There were some things about the India program America World wanted us to know so we spent over an hour on the phone with the India program coordinator.

All is well and our last word is that emails should flood our inbox by the end of the week. Our official approval contract could be signed by week's end. But between now and the flooding, we have much to pray about. For so long I've dreamed and prayed and cried over this little girl and now a heaviness has settled over us. This process could take years and means no more biological children until finalization.

God has been teaching over the past week that I must learn to lose control to Him. My life can be calculated according to my time table, but when it is, God-sized things will not happen. And He will not get the greatest glory. 

So, in a sense, the decision we make this week is more than signing up for an adoption. It is a laying down our dreams of Levi having a biological sibling close in age. It is a decision to majorly trust God for finances. A decision to dare say God speaks clearly to His children and sometimes through dreams and visions. It is a BIG decision.

We thankfully accept your prayers as we seek to walk forward and, in doing, lose lots of control. We will keep you posted as things progress. 

Many thanks for joining us in this journey of faith. How we will need you walking beside us!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life in the ER

Perhaps this is tacky but I'm sitting outside a friend's room in the ER. It's more than a little overwhelming. To work here must be absolutely terrifying.

Every time the doors opened out front I dared myself to look at the new horrors that entered. And while I thought the bloody mangled people would freak me the most, the man in the corner who looked like an ax murderer with no apparent malady was the most troubling. Little did I know that behind the white doors more sinister horrors awaited. People role by on stretchers, some give death moans through thick doors and others try unsuccessfully to puke up their lungs. This is no place for healthy people unless they need to increase their prayer lives...begging God to not let them catch what these people have.

Thankfully the student I am with is getting excellent care and doing much better minus the ninety viles of blood the nurse just left with. I've always thought you had to be healthy to survive the ER...but oh my dear goodness this healthy, super empathetic girl is feeling a bit nauseous from all the trauma. Thankfully it's now after midnight and some late night giddiness is setting in to counter the severity of the issues surrounding me.

Soon we'll be headed home with some good meds (for her, not me) and go to sleep thankful for health in our bodies. That is after we make it out of the lobby exhaling and praying continually that we don't catch this stuff.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Levi's Second

He's two! We were in Walmart when 11:11 a.m. made it official on Wednesday. With family and friends we celebrated at a local park that evening. Today we continued celebrating with our Georgia family.

The short video interview we wanted to share will have to wait until we get home to our own computer and wifi, but here are a few pictures in the meantime.

Night all. Tomorrow we celebrate again saying, "He is risen. He is risen indeed!"

Friday, April 6, 2012

Matzo and More

On Monday I wondered if we could accomplish all there was to do this week. But sitting tonight in the deep woods of Georgia, we made it. Tomorrow the pace will pick up again with a second party for our baby who turned two on Wednesday and with Sunday celebrations over an empty tomb and a risen Lord!

We had the chance to step back in time Monday night and share the rich tradition of Passover that has helped us and our RAs better understand this Holy week.

Next up was speaking in chapel and being directed to change our message twenty minutes before we shared. {Gulp}. Good things happen when God does that...but the messengers often tremble when it does. 
Then came paperwork and lots of India discussion. Every Tuesday night I gather with six girls in the living room for meetings. This time included malaria meds from a visiting doctor and activity planning. Following that I had the great privilege of taking one of my girls for a late night out with friends for prayer and incredible inner healing. Priceless time!

And then, the big day arrived. Levi turned two on Wednesday and his language has developed enough for him to get excited about it. "Two, two," he giggled. I'll attempt to share all about that tomorrow with pictures from both parties and his video interview.

The rest of the week included a few great meetings with people, a few huge piles of laundry, and finally a late night drive down to Georgia. Even the air here feels restful. We're very appreciative. Tomorrow we'll have eggs and family and my mama's birthday pound cake!

On a final bah humbug note, we still haven't heard a word from our agency. Apparently they intend to take every nanosecond of the ten business days they gave themselves. Since they were off today, that should mean a call MondayI'm trying not to hold my breath. This is our first exercise in this long process of waiting in adoption, and I believe they are making a lesson out of it. Perhaps by the end Jason and I will be pros but on this week's exam I get a big, fat F.