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Those who sow in tears…

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Those who sow in tears…

Shall reap with shouts of JOY. I like this translation (English Standard) of Psalm 126:5. I like the visual of SHOUTS of joy. Can’t wait to shout with joy!!!

What are you sowing in tears right now?

Mine are falling easily today. Shedding tears as I long for my daughter to come home.

Listening to some good Jesus-focused music while I’m holed up in my room for a few quiet moments alone.

(A Little longer – Bethel/Jenn Johnson)

-and-

(Lord I need you- Matt Maher)

To be honest friends, the wait is getting harder and harder.

How long, oh Lord?

I have well- meaning people tell me that it will all be forgotten once I hold her in my arms… I don’t know about you, but I don’t forget pain and longing after the longing is fulfilled. You do look back and thank God the pain is over though. This grief is shaping me, friends. I’m mindful of a word study I did a few years ago about wadi formation.

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(Photo credit:in2jordan.com)

‘A wadi is a gully, streambed, or valley which is characterized by being extremely dry. Geologists believe that features like wadis were formed during periods when water levels on Earth were markedly different, and that these valleys were probably carved by streams and rivers which later dried up.’ (From wisegeek.com)

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(Photo credit: omantripper.com)

I feel like the tears, longing and waiting have produced a wadi in my soul. Something beautiful, but haunting, that shows clearly where the tears have flowed as I’ve prayed for and longed for Mercy to come home.

Thanks for your prayers and love on me while I walk this valley of waiting. I wish I had fun, upbeat posts to write- but for now, the agony of waiting continues. No new info. And the ARC we are waiting on is ‘supposed’ to take 5 days for special needs adoptions- according to the guidelines. We are in month 6. No word.

Believing He is GOOD in the midst of this. Just LONGING for progress and to be able to scoop her up (legally!) in my arms!

Can’t wait until I have GOOD news to shout with JOY! And I think it’s fun that I blogged on this same passage in July of 2008… A month before we applied to adopt a little girl from India!

http://unfamiliarpaths.com/2008/07/12/we-were-like-men-who-dreamed/

Paperwork is on its way back to India!

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In the timespan of 3 hours, we: received word that the paperwork had arrived, signed it, notarized it, and delivered it back to the agency!!

So, when our Indian adoption counterparts on the other side of the world arrive back at work tomorrow, our paperwork will be sitting in their inbox (and on it’s way by mail).

Yay!!!! Thank you for praying!

6 Years Pregnant

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6 Years Pregnant

Well friends, I’ve been paperwork pregnant for 6 years with our sweet Indian daughter, Mercy. 3+ Weeks ago the orphanage let our social worker here know that they need us to re-sign all of the paperwork that we signed back in February. They said they were sending it. By snail mail. It hasn’t arrived yet.  

We scrambled this summer to re-do our dossier because they lost it, and now we are waiting to re-sign the ‘we want to adopt this child paperwork.’ We don’t know if we’re back to square one with accepting her referral, have a chance of losing her referral, or what exactly the status of this process is at this point. It feels super scary, like an adoption miscarriage… like I’m bleeding and don’t know if I’m going to lose the baby or be ok. I’ve been there before with a biological baby, and I know the heartache that is miscarriage. I can’t fathom going there again after being pregnant for 6 years.

Just voicing my fears, friends. 

A sweet mama at the park asked me today if I would like to adopt more after we bring Mercy home. If she had asked me that 5 years ago, she would have gotten a resounding “YES!” But today, I hesitated and said I didn’t think I could do this again. The wait has been agonizing.

Please pray, praying people. I don’t even really know what to tell you to pray for, but the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth- so pray that He will guide you in prayer for Mercy. For our family. For her orphanage and all of the people over there with influence in our adoption case/process. We have seen God’s faithfulness and leading in so many ways, but as with everything in life, that does not mean the road is smooth, the process goes quickly, or any of it makes sense. It just means He is with us. And for that I’m grateful.

 

My practice of patience

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Practice. Not ‘to do something over and over again to get better at it.’ Instead, it’s more like ‘actively engaged in a specified career or way of life’ (like a physician’s practice). Patience is seeming more like a way of life to me now, than an isolated exercise.

We found out this week that Mercy’s orphanage is requesting that we re-sign the paperwork that we signed 6 months ago.  They already had us re-do our dossier because they lost it. Now they are asking us to re-sign the paperwork that we already signed 5 months ago (because I’m guessing that was lost too?). I was under the assumption that the paperwork was making its way through systems and desks getting the next approvals we have been waiting on. But I was wrong.

I’m having a very hard time with this. The grief is palpable. It could mean that once we get all this paperwork in, things go swimmingly and bam,bam,bam things are done and moving forward. But based on the fact that I’m 20 days away from the 6 year mark in our wait for a daughter, I’m skeptical. Very skeptical.

The verse I’m clinging to that I read this morning is “Powerful people harass me without cause, but my heart trembles ONLY at your word. I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure. Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. I long for your rescue, Lord, so I have obeyed your commands. Listen to my prayer; rescue me as you promised. Let praise flow from my lips,for you have taught me your decrees. O Lord, I have longed for your rescue,and your instructions are my delight.” -Psalm 119:161-163, 165-166, 170-171, 174

A sweet friend emailed me this very timely verse this morning: ‘And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.’- Philippians 1:6 AMPSo, He will do it. Even when I doubt. Even when I fear. Even when I can hardly lift my head to look to Him about it— AGAIN.

I have been reflecting over the last few weeks. I had a friend dedicate her sweet adopted baby boy at church, and another friend finally get to go pick up her longed-for daughter in India (a family who has been waiting alongside us for YEARS!). With the baby dedication, I KNEW I had to be there. I NEEDED to be there. So even though we had gone to a different service, I snuck in right before the prayer, bawled and prayed, then snuck out and found tissue.

I had to question the Lord about the true state of my heart. Was I jealous? Was jealousy the right word for what I was feeling?

The salty tightness of tear-stained cheeks… The joy of watching another family welcome a child through adoption is tinged with grief.

Grief, not jealousy. Its more guttural than jealousy. Not bitter like jealousy.

Longing.

Hunger, to hold her in my arms.

I felt it whispered to my heart that it’s an act of worship, to humble myself, in my sadness, and rejoice with another in their joy.Will I still weep tears that salt my cheeks and sting my heart AFTER I have her in my arms? Will I weep those tears for all of the children who do not have someone pining and longing for them? Will my heart be broken for the nameless ones who have no one to hold them, feed them, comfort their fears, clean their wounds, teach them to read, hold them ‘just because’ they want to be held?

(Sigh)

Will life always be joy mingled with sadness? Are they meant to be two sides to the same coin? Until heaven at least, I think maybe so.

We have our Article 5 letter!

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One step closer! We received notice this morning that the US immig. office wrote our Article 5 (permission to proceed) letter! So, next what we need is for the state of Uttar Pradesh to issue our SARA approval (ironic, I know… There is already SARAH approval- but we need SARA and CARA approval next). We are waiting for CARA approval followed by a paper called the No Objection Certificate (NOC). Each of these things are ‘supposed’ to happen quickly. I think the official verbage on their website says it should take 5 days… but it seems most families lately have seen it take more like 5-6 months.

Please pray with us that we get CARA and SARA approval- as well as our NOC. Lots of abbreviations! I’d love to go get this little cutie and bring her home soon!!!!

Thanks for your prayers and financial support! We have received 25% of our goal through the https://www.adopttogether.org/mercy page.  We’re also gathering stuff for another Adoption Fundraising Garage sale as well! We have some very generous friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

i800 approval!

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We have our first official approval in the process!!! We submitted paperwork to US immigration and our i800 is provisionally approved. Next step, the infamous Article 5. Ok, it’s not infamous, but I feel like in my blog following days, I kept hearing about that and other abbreviations that I didn’t know what they stood for- so I’m experiencing joy in just being able to say that we’re finally entering into the process of getting all of these abbreviations behind us! :) We have many other hurdles to jump through, but I’m excited to finally HAVE hurdles to jump, even if my pockets are emptying as we go.

So, please pray with us for our Article 5 letter to be released!

On other exciting news- the AdoptTogether  page has helped raise just shy of $4400 (including $1.10 from one of E’s sweet 7 year old friends at school)! We’re hosting another adoption fundraising garage sale in about 6 weeks- so hopefully that will help get things rolling as well, so local friends feel free to bring over your junk (or I’ll come pick it up)!

Thanks everyone for your donations and prayers!

Mercy’s first birthday!!!! And- donations are coming in! Thank you!

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We celebrated our sweet girl turning one today!!! We prayed for her, baked her a cake and sang Happy Birthday in her honor. The boys decorated this sweet cake for her which we all promptly devoured.

We are also overjoyed that our friends and family are helping us out with adoption costs! Thank you all! We have had $1605 come in already through our AdoptTogether page! If you interested in donating, or know someone who might want to help, we’d love if you’d send them to our fundraising page.

I also have been waiting years to post a picture like this:

Praying over the paperwork we signed to bring Mercy home!!!!

Praying over the paperwork we signed to bring Mercy home!!!!

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