2011 is starting off with a bang for us, and I'm so grateful for the blessing of this change! We first heard our call to adopt in September and immediately began filling out applications and paperwork. We met our case workers and agents and felt like things were moving quickly. We thought we might actually get our little girl within 10 months. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of our control, our little adoption journey came to a dead halt. Surprisingly enough for my personality, I trusted that God was in control and that His timing is perfect. I trusted Him and decided to follow where He lead and for the time, He wanted me to spend time and help care for my mother who was fighting leukemia.
Praise the Lord! She has been told that she is currently in remission and has been home since the day before Christmas Eve. It's been a wonderful, peaceful few weeks, and I'm thankful for every moment we get to spend with her! It is so nice to see her smile again, to see her gain back strength, and to allow God to continually use her illness to glorify Him (and let me tell you this is not an easy task).
I've learned alot from my mother's illness and the various other trials my family has gone through, and I know now that my strength and understanding is not enough. I need to lean on Christ.
Not to say that I've perfected this faith. Not in the least. In fact, its still a daily battle to remember to put down my goals and desires and say "Your will be done."
Wednesday is the perfect example. We had our first meeting for our home study. Everything went really well. We had already finished half of the paperwork, but were given another large stack of papers to complete. For those of you unfamiliar with adoption, I can not accurately describe the number of trees that give their lives to fulfill the requirements of our adoption. Our respects to them all...
The meeting went really well, and we enjoyed our caseworker so much. It was exciting to finally feel like we were on our way to adopting our little girl (whoever she may be) waiting for us in Africa.
That night I lay in bed unable to sleep. Thoughts of the mounds of paperwork still to be completed and compiled and notarized and apostilled were swirling through my mind. I actually enjoy paperwork. I LOVE filling out forms. Its a sick obsession of mine, but if there is a form to fill out, pass it my way. However, these papers worried me. You have to worry about the date that you sign them, the date that they are notarized. You have to make sure you word everything correctly so as not to offend the Ethiopian government. In a word, its very...tricky.
I also felt the burden of the financial load we were taking on. And not only ourselves but our reliance on others. We took this step of faith knowing God would provide every penny we needed. In my mind, I thought this meant Nick's business would start booming or he would do some side work to earn extra money. I knew we would rely on our friends, family, and acquaintances for some of the finances, but not EVERYTHING.
Adoption is a costly, costly mission. And the burden of knowing that I need other people to support our mission in something I love and cherish doing makes my heart feel heavy.
I tossed and turned and tossed some more. And I began to question if we were making the right decision.
Nick is usually showered, dressed, and out the door before my alarm even goes off. But because of a scheduling conflict, Nick hadn't left for work when I got up the next morning. I told him my concerns. I told him the weight I felt on my shoulders. I told him I was questioning what we thought God had called us to.
And then he asked, "Are you doubting?"
Questioning is one thing, but to doubt God is another thing altogether for me. I wasn't "technically" doubting God...I didn't think. But maybe I really was. Was I actually worried about the effort it was going to take by me to fill out paperwork and go to the courthouse and raise $30,000 to adopt my child. Suddenly, I just wanted to be able to have another baby because it was EASIER! Life is not about the ease of which we go through it. Christ calls us to daily pick up our cross and follow Him. Our cross is a BIG burden and He expects it of us.
After Nick left, he sent me this text "Doubt is the direct result of taking our eyes off the Lord. - James McDonald". Followed by "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5,6. And my wonderful husband reminded me that this is not about us, it's about leaving a testimony to those around us. That we are to reflect the glory of the Lord in every situation.
Psalm 119:36 "Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!"