Yesterday was a different kind of Mother's Day. I was getting ready for church and could hear the boys were sneaking around and whispering, setting up all the handmade goodies they had for me. Eli went outside to pick some flowers for me and made sure that everything was set up just right on the kitchen island. When they were ready, I went in and opened my gifts- two handmade necklaces, a clay trinket box shaped like a cupcake, a pot of marigolds, bags of goodies that they put together at church Wednesday night, sweet cards that I will cherish forever. I love reading what they write to me or about me: What is your mom really good at? "Yoga" (Eli) What does your mom do to relax? "Laying down on the bed." (Cooper) Where does your mom like to shop? "Trader Joe's" (Eli and Cooper both put this- they know I'm there more than any where else besides home!) What do you love most about your mom? "I just love her." (Cooper) 10 Things I Know About My Mom "She has a kind smile." "She encourages me to do better in everything." "She loves God with all of her heart." (Silas)
Eli setting up everything just right and Cooper and Silas grinning as I read what they wrote to me. Look at those faces.
These are some sweet, sweet boys that God has blessed me with. I am so blessed to be their mom. After they had gone back to doing their own thing and I continued to get ready, it hit me. This overwhelming feeling that I am mom to not only these three sweet boys, but to another child that I love but I don't even know. The sadness overtook me for a moment until I could get ahold of myself.
Lately I feel like I've had a black cloud over my head (okay, maybe more gray than black). It's nothing that I could really put into words (I'm not good at that anyway); just a sadness that has crept in. I don't want to be sad. I want to be joyful! And I have every reason to be for the most part- it's just that when you know the Lord has chosen a daughter for you, and you can't get to her, that's sad. And no matter what situation she's in, it's probably not a good one. And no one really knows when she can join our family. A family that wants her so desparately. Brothers that want a sister. A dad and mom that want a daughter. All of that is just sad. Sad that it takes so long to bring an orphan home. Sad that it costs so much money. Sad that there are millions and millions and millions (keep going) of orphans in the world in the first place. The number is too staggering for me to even wrap my mind around. And one of those orphans is ours. I'm discovering that the farther we get into the adoption process, the less abstract she is becoming to me. We started a year ago by praying for "our adoption"- for God's guidance, for the process to go smoothly, for God to provide what we needed. Now we pray more specifically for "our daughter"- for God to protect her, for her to feel loved and to know that love comes from Him, for her to have (if she is old enough) hope that a family will come for her one day. We love her, even though we haven't met her or seen her or even know her name. What a blessing that God has put that love in our hearts. But loving her makes it really hard to wait. I have entered the pain of orphanhood and it hurts. That's where I think the seemingly uncalled-for gray clouds are coming from. I want my daughter to come home to this family who is waiting for her. I want her to know who we are and how much we already love her. But we have to wait. I know that this is normal to feel this way. This is not a lack of faith and I am not doubting for one second that God is faithful and He will bring us through to the other side. The bright sunshine in all of this is the unmistakable truth that God knows who she is. He hasn't just met her, He made her. He chose her for us, and He loves her waaaaaaaay more than I do. He will bring us together. And while we wait, He is forming us more into His image every day; trusting Him to provide, trusting Him to take care of her when we can't, trusting that He is refining us. Just trusting Him. This is a battle that we are fighting against the evil one who doesn't want the lonely to be put in families. I love this quote that I read from Jen Hatmaker- "To the degree that God loves something, we can expect our enemy to hate it in equal proportions. With a mission to steal, kill and destroy, redeeming abandoned lives out of the rubble of injustice is surely at the top of his Hate List." I am not sad at God, I'm sad with God. He is clearly on the side of the orphan and those who defend them. And all we can do at this point is trust. Trust that no matter what, He has the victory over loneliness, hunger, sadness, darkness and death. And praise Him for that!
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revelation 21:4
I haven't updated in a while for a few reasons. 1. We have been super busy with the end of the school year and me working part-time. 2. I have had this sadness looming and haven't been able to put into words where it was coming from. 3. There was nothing to report on how the process was going. Well, I finally tried to put the sadness into words (hope that made sense) and we finally have some good news to report! We've been waiting for our dossier to be translated in Madagascar since March 22nd. Last week, our agency received the final pages of our translation (YAY!!) and is now preparing our dossier to be authenticated at the US State Dept. This next step should take 1 to 2 months and then our dossier will be headed back to Madagascar and we'll be put on the waiting list for a referral of a child. Our child. So, we have lots more waiting to do, but things are progressing.
On the fundraising front, we have more good news. God has continued to bless us abundantly through His people and money keeps coming in. In 8 months, between our own savings, fundraising efforts and donations, we have raised over $20,000 of the approx. $33,000 that we need. That is unbelievable to me. People are blowing us away. We have had donations of $1 to $5000 (wow.) and everything in between. And every one of them brings us to our knees. My favorite so far (can I say that?) was last month when a sweet mom at school that barely knows us texted me late one night and said that they were in between churches and had $3600 of tithe that was looking for a home. God put our baby girl on her heart and she wrote our agency a check the next day. Seriously supernatural generosity and love. I want to love like that. He is teaching us how while we wait.
We desperately desire your continued prayers, encouragement and support. We are eternally grateful for those of you who are walking alongside us on this journey. Your love means more to us than we can ever express. We have a couple more fundraising opportunities that are in the works and I'm excited to hopefully share those before too long. In the meantime, if you haven't gotten a shirt yet, we still have plenty left. Or, if you want one of the beautiful one of a kind crosses that we are making (see post below) then please email us. Thank you all for loving on us!!