Sunday, March 30, 2014

It Is Well with My Soul

Whew, what a whirlwind the past couple of weeks have been.  I have been hesitant to post, but because so many have asked I will go ahead and wear my heart on my sleeve and share our current adoption situation.  It made my heart hurt and gave me a goose egg the first few times I shared what was going on, but I know that the more I share, the more prayer there is… so here goes.
We were started to pack, had received our travel manual, and were getting super geared up and excited about travelling to Colombia in early May to meet our son and bring him home!  Then we received the call that a glitch in his abandonment decree, which should have been completed four years ago, was going to cause a further investigation, which could prolong our travels a couple of months. 
Devastated doesn’t even begin to describe how we felt.  We were also told that we would have a call later on that week to further discuss this matter with the head of our in-country team.  Though devastated, we were hoping that maybe it wasn’t as bad as it seemed.  We spent several days with tears and intense prayer, and awaited the conference call between Brent, our Lifeline social worker, our in-country guy, and me.   Devastation turned into greater devastation.  Meeting our precious Samuel in a mere six weeks turned into meeting him in 6-7 months at best.
Words cannot express how much our hearts ached and broke.   I haven’t cried (wept is a more accurate term) like that in I don’t know how many years.   This is a precious, beautiful boy who deserves a permanent home.  6-7 months is truly a big deal!  It is that much longer that he won’t be with a family, it’ll add to the time it takes him to adjust, attach, adapt, and learn English, it is that much longer that his heart condition won’t be monitored by American physicians, and so on. 
What is terrifying is that there is a chance he won’t be able to come home.  I won’t go in to details, but this is a possibility.  Granted, in all adoptions this is the case, but in this situation the likelihood is much higher than we would like. 
Immediately, I drove to Brent’s office.  I just needed to be with him in person.   We definitely show emotion extremely differently.  He is such a solid rock (Praise the Lord for that), and I am an emotional wreck.  I ugly cry, and when that is over I remain splotchy and with watery eyes for hours.  At the time I was honestly frustrated that he wasn’t showing his emotion, but a relationship can’t handle two of me.  In hindsight, I am beyond thankful he is so stable and solid.  After leaving his office I called my precious mother, who cried with me and didn’t act annoyed when I said the same thing seven bazillion times.   Shortly thereafter I got to speak with my incredible mother-in-law, who is not only the best MIL in the universe, but is so peaceful, kind, and wise.   It did my feelings and heartache a world of good to be able to talk to my mom and Brent’s mom.  My sister sent me a super long sweet text that said the right things in just the right way. 
As much as we would like to mope around, drown in our misery, whine and fuss (which I have done my fair share of no doubt), we realize this is not what we are supposed to do.  Several lyrics come to mind and have actually helped me, and I say them as prayers several times through the days.   The old hymn, which has always been one of my favorites, “It Is Well with My Soul” proclaims, “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows rolls; Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, It is well, with my soul.”  Casting Crowns has a song that states, “ And I’ll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands, for you are who you are no matter where I am, and every tear I’ve cried, you hold in your hand, You never left my side and though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm.”  There’s another chorus of a Christian song that says, “ While I’m waiting, I will serve you.  While I’m waiting, I will worship.  While I’m waiting I will not faint.  I’ll be running the race even while I wait.”
I had to ask myself and ask the Lord how am I going to praise you in this storm?  This is a child’s life!  A child who may never have a forever family.  A child who may never be exposed to the Gospel.  A child whose heart is fragile physically and spiritually.  Of course I know we have infinite reasons to be thankful, but what was there to be thankful for in regard to this news?  Then the Lord spoke to me through a precious, wise woman.  (I sure hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning her).  Sweet, amazing Tanya Birchfield called me a couple days after we received the news.  Not only can she relate more than anybody that I know, but she gave us some wise advice.  However, more than that she said the most remarkable thing.  “No matter what happens or how long it takes, Samuel is now being covered in prayer more than he ever have in his entire life.  That is the absolute best gift he can have, and he has that now.”  Wow!  Talk about being blown away.  That is so true.  Thank you, Tanya!  Our precious Samuel is being cloaked in prayer.   Prayer is significantly more important than getting him home on our time frame, and more important than anything else that may occur. 
If you are reading this, please pray for Samuel.  Pray for him every time he pops into your brain.   Pray for peace and understanding for our family.  Pray that the people in Colombia get this process and investigation completed in record time, and that we DO get to bring Samuel home and that it is significantly faster than the times estimates we have been given. 
As I close, I’d like to do so with a funny kid story.  Those of you who have kids surely know that although they know how to push your buttons and do so at the worst times, also know that kids are hysterical.  They keep you in stitches, and make sure that boredom never will exist again.  We took a trip to Atlanta for spring break and to get our mind off of things.  Except for Alex’s tummy bug and upset tummy that struck at the most horrendous times, it was delightful.  We did the Dekalb County Farmer’s Market, the Aquarium, had dinner with some of our best friends, and Stone Mountain.  Instead of paying for parking, we used the Uber service frequently, and had an Ethiopian driver one evening.  Lilly Grace picked up on the fact that he did not speak English as his native tongue, and thought she would use her Spanish we’ve been trying to teach her.  After every sentence Mohammed spoke, Lilly Grace would throw in “Gracias.”  We were hopping out of his car, and she hollered, “Feliz Navidad.”  I asked her what she was doing, since he clearly was not a Spanish speaker, and she looked at me and said, “I KNOW this stuff, Mommy.  I got this.” Poor Ethiopian Mohammed luckily just laughed and drove off.
Thanks friends for your prayers!  Keep them up!
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.   They will mount up on wings like eagles.  They will run and not get tired.  They will talk and not become weary.  Isaiah 40:31
PS All of your encouraging words, messages, texts, calls, prayers, hugs, and posts have been so meaningful.  Thank you for the prayers and godly encouragement. 

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