Tuesday, December 29, 2015

He's Not Coming

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It's a really strange thing to think about someone else the same way that you think about your own children.

To sift through Christmas pajamas at Target looking for his size.

To assemble a bed for him to sleep in and wonder if he'll roll off.

To try to convince him to eat "just one more nugget!" before going to play on the plastic tubes 'o communicable disease.

To notice every accessory that is stamped with the characters that he loves most and wonder just how tacky it would look to have paw patrol socks + shoes on in the same outing.

It feels weird, you know?

I've tried to explain it to my husband as like a weird mom nurturing thing. (I have such poor vocabulary with things like this.)  I'm like a mama bear, I gestated, nursed, and now hustle around the needs of two littles. With news that we would be grafting in a third, my mind sprang right into action. I wanted to love on him the same way that I've loved on my others. Let's do this thing. I knew that there would be challenges with adding a third but I also knew that his maker loved him infinitely and that I was willing to muddle through it. We started prepping.

We've seen every house on zillow 100 times. We've taken off work to have first and second viewings, meet the inspection guy, and show our poor sweet real estate lady how to turn the flashlight on on her iphone so that we could look around in dark corners. We've prepared as if we were actually having another baby. My two year old asks about him and wonders when he will come over. She is excited when we strap his carseat in and tell her that he's spending the evening with us. We were ready to do whatever it took.

But he's not coming.

Obviously, I can't spell it all out for the world wide web but the tide of the circumstances that brought him into our lives has turned. Things are not playing out the way that we were absolutely sure that they would. The situation is completely out of the realm of our control. We have no say in what happens, and we have no choice but to watch from a distance and pray. We see the Lord's provision now in not allowing the homes to go through. We understand now why it never worked out (to my mom-stinct frustration) for him to officially move in.

Since Ellie was born, I've prayed this prayer over her life:

That she would see past the mirage of what SEEMS to be happening in the world around her and hold fast to what is actually true. That her identity would only ever be found in Christ. That when things all around her seemed confusing, that she would stop looking around and look. up. I've realized that praying those words over her even as a baby have prepared me for the way that I would need them in this season.

God is good, and he isn't the source of sin and brokenness. However, he allows hardship for the ones he loves that we would look past our surroundings and desperately call on Him.

As far as being a woman goes, I'm typically pretty unemotional. As in, I usually cry once a quarter at an especially touching suburu commercial. It's taken me weeks of thinking and processing to even be able to put into words what I'm feeling.

Sad. Relieved? Exhausted. Guilty for feeling relieved? Anxious. Stressed?

Obviously, we have barely stuck our big toe into the ocean that is the world of foster care and adoption.  And our big toe got burned and I'm busily wrapping it in ACE bandages while Mason is standing on the diving board ready to jump in again one day. He told me that feeling sad is okay but that just feeling sad is not enough of a reason to not give love to kids that desperately need it. Not immediately, but in a few years he feels very confident in leading our family back down that path. He's such a rock.

So, dear friends and family, that is our update. I'm sorry that it's so heavy. I've been wishing away the heaviness (and freezing cold temps) of this season but it is what it is. I'm clinging to hope that doesn't change. I'm confident our Creator sees and hears and has a purpose in all of these things. Please pray with me for this special boy as he continues down the path of transition. 

****** I was going to postpone this portion for the day that I could post a picture of our happy family of 5, but since that day is not coming, I want to make SURE that I express GRATITUDE.

To our friends who have sent extra sippy cups, meals, and giftcards to help meet the needs of this little guy, thank you. You have loved us well.

To our family that has weighed down our car with Christmas gifts and new clothes for this little guy, thank you.

To the people that we don't know that have given and prayed, your gifts are a blessing. We know that you will receive eternal rewards for them.

To my very special friends that bought us a carseat for this child on the day that we found out he was coming, thank you. We are blessed by you.

To the prayer warriors, thank you for interceding on our behalf.

What a perfect picture of the love of Christ you all have been.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Is He Coming or Is He Not?

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This is what I've been asking myself a lot lately.

We're waiting to hear news about a little boy that we might possibly (probably?) will adopt. Updates come in a "one step forward, two steps back" type of way.

I've started wondering, "Well... Is he coming or is he not?"

We feel excited, nervous, we have anticipation. But then we feel tired and unsure. We're anxious. We feel like it could be anytime but then again, maybe it could be a long time from now.

This roller coaster along with a few other high stressors are making me feel a little bit like BLAHHHHH. MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS OKAY?!?!

We found out last week that the house we were set to close on in mid-January had pretty much every problem a house can have so we've terminated that contract. (Oh really? You didn't know that your oven burners, outlets, and air conditioner didn't work? So weird!)

Also, my baby is getting like 100 new teeth which means you know, that he doesn't ever ever sleep.

We feel weary and tired, yet by His provision; hopeful

I always feel some hyper-spiritualized pressure to FEEL something at Christmas. Like I should be skipping around in elf shoes singing carols. Instead I'm using my Christian-ese to (nicely) curse the winter for dry crackled skin. I don't feel jolly. I feel cold.  Mostly I'm just sitting around wondering...

Well. Is he coming or is he not? 

I've been praying a lot for peace in this season and that my faith in the sovereign God that sees would keep growing. This is starting to happen and with every passing day I'm feeling a little more hopeful and a little less like the grinch. I've tried to "zoom out" and see our situation as a part in God's larger plan that we can't see the details of. Then it struck me, ironically the question that I've been asking IS Christmas.

Hundreds of thousands of other people were asking that same question way before the baby was wrapped in swaddling clothes and put into a feeding trough. I think about Elizabeth and Zechariah a lot. Faithfully living their lives even when those around them seemed to be choosing other things over the God of their forefathers. To top it off, Elizabeth was childless and I just know she wondered...

Is he coming or is he not? 

We've been promised a redeemer but there's no sign of him. We're being faithful but we're not seeing fruit. God, what are you doing? 

There were probably the same emotions that I listed- anxiety, anticipation, wondering if this thing was really going to happen or not...

Today, as Christians living more than 2000 years after the physical, bodily life of Christ, we don't wonder if he will come.

He already came.  And we KNOW that he will come again. 

This is the hope that we HAVE to cling to. If we don't we will give in to feeling helpless and whiny. We aren't helpless and we aren't like those who don't have hope. We don't WONDER. We KNOW.

HE ALREADY CAME. This is Christmas.

Our feelings of anticipation and anxiety and being a little bit nervous are RIGHT ON. We don't have to be sugar plum fairies. We can let ourselves feel the weight of wondering. Then, we can ease into the thrill of the fact that HE DID COME.

Our worry is now our assurance. Our fatigue is now our joy. Our burden has been lifted, we don't carry it anymore. We sing songs of joy wholeheartedly and smile in relief at candlelight services as we watch one small light fill up an entire room of faces that have placed their hope in his earthly arrival, death, resurrection and promise to come again one day.

He was and is faithful.

He is the rock that we stand on. He will keep his word. He will come again. We know this. We KNOW. We don't wonder. I need this to be tattooed on my forehead.

Ultimately, our adoption story is in the Lord's hands. We definitely are still having moments of "what is even happening right now??" but we are choosing to REST and we KNOW that HE IS FAITHFUL no matter the outcome.

This is Christmas. That God kept his word and came to comfort, reassure, love, and challenge his people. He showed us firmly and finally that he does see and know us. He isn't surprised by our struggle, he came to join us in it.

Merry [freaking] Christmas, yall. 🎁😘