Saturday, February 18, 2012

What God is Doing While We Wait ...

This season of our lives feels a little bit similar to the frequency of my blog updates ... slow! If you're like me, you want to just fast forward through times of waiting. I want to hurry up to the exciting parts. But I'm praying that God will help me see the beauty of this process. I don't want to just endure it. I want to savor it and take notice of every little thing God is doing to prepare us for the day we've been longing for. The day we meet our Charlotte.

To the untrained eye, it may appear that we're just going about our lives as usual while we wait. And in some ways we are. But beneath the surface ... there's preparation and transformation.

God is ...

testing our faith. I look at what we have and what we need to complete this adoption, and (I'll just be honest) there's a gap between the two.

This is a picture of me pouring over another grant application. And might I add, I was mistaken when I thought my paperwork days were over after I finished the home study and dossier! We have applied, but we're still waiting. We don't know if we'll be approved for any of them. But we know that if we aren't, then God has another way. This kind of knowing does not come easily. It does not come through instant gratification. It comes from YEARS of following God one step at a time and WATCHING Him show up. 
This does not feel comfortable. I wish I had the whole story in front of me so I could skip to the last page and make sure everything worked out. But that's not faith. God is using these days – where it feels like we're out on a skinny limb, hanging over a cliff, with a stiff wind picking up – to make us fully aware of who we are and what we're capable of apart from His provision.

James 1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

And God is ...

growing an unspeakable love in our hearts. Have you ever thought much about arranged marriages? The bride and groom are picked out for each other by someone else. They may have never met before the wedding. Before they get to know each other or fall in love, they find themselves in a covenant relationship. I'm sure there is a lot of fear and anxiety over meeting that person for the first time. Satan would love to paralyze me with fear like that. He whispers, "What if she doesn't want you? What if she doesn't bond? What if her needs are too much for you to handle?"

But GOD says, "I am Father to the fatherless, and I have chosen her for you." As I turn over every fear and every anxious thought, He replaces them with truth. And He replaces them with LOVE for her that I can't explain. It's a love that brings tears to my eyes if I hear a song about adoption. Or see a little Asian baby. Or wonder if someone has hugged and kissed her today. With each passing day, this journey becomes less of a business transaction with contracts and payments, and more of a mother running toward her child.

And it's not just me. My husband and children pray every day for Charlotte. My two year old son constantly points to the globe in our living room and asks, "Where is China, Mommy?" My five year old sees a note on our mailbox and shouts, "Maybe it's a letter from China!" He prays each night that God won't let her grow up without us. My precious nine year old goes to the altar during a children's worship service to intercede for her sister, asking God to keep her safe.

So while I'm so ready to be done with the wait, I'll thank God that this time isn't wasted. He's using every minute to make us ready – "mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Created for Care

This past weekend I had the privilege of joining over 400 other adoptive moms at a Created for Care retreat. For me, it was a chance to get away from the "busy" and connect with other moms who are in varying stages of the adoption process - from those waiting for their first to mothers of 8, 9, even 10 children! But mostly it was about slowing down to really listen to God's voice ... to hear Him tell me who I am and how to love and raise my children in a way that points them and others to Him. 

I would venture to say that everyone who has answered the call to adopt has experienced countless miracles as God orchestrated every step of the process that led them to their child. Just the supernatural love alone that allows a person to feel a mother or father's love for a biologically unrelated child is miraculous. So to stand in a room with 400 other women who have been there, and who are continually broken for the things that break God's heart, led to the most tender, compassionate, awe-inspiring time of worship I think I have ever experienced. I always enter worship praying for God to inhabit our praises ... to be there. But on Friday night, before that thought could even really form in my head, I knew He was already there. 

I am so blessed to have been in the presence of so many amazing women. Each of their stories is nothing less than BEAUTIFUL.