Saturday, September 22, 2012

From 6 to 8

Time to post...only been 2 years So much has happened over the last several months and especially these last few days. There's just no quick way to sum it up so I'm gonna do my best to explain it here without writing a novel. I have not been able to talk much about this for several reasons. Originally it was because I am all too aware of the world's view and for some reason Christians' view of large families and of adoption. My primary reason now (as things have changed and I no longer care what others think or say about our choices) is that I can't get the words out. Even as I type and try to reflect on the past weeks so my heart overflows with such grief that I cannot bare it and have to stop gather myself up to continue. I guess I'll just give a basic outline/timeline to catch everyone up.

May 2012- I ran across this blog on a friend's facebook page and knew in my heart my life would never be the same. Jacob read it too and our hearts began to stir. We knew God was calling us to adopt and that He was leading us to Reece's Rainbow an amazing organization that I know is close to the Father's heart. We kept these things to ourselves because we knew how people would react. I mean we already have 4 kids, in a 3 bedroom house, and special needs? How would we pay, have enough time....what about our other kids?... the list goes on and I'd take time to defend our decision and answer every question based on God's word and the Holy Spirits leading but honestly, I'm past that. I see something so much bigger than what the rest of the world thinks about my choices now.

June and July-we spent the next couple of months making lots of little changes. We cut out every unnecessary expense and started picking up any extra work we could and found cheaper ways to do just about everything. Adoption was all I could think about and I knew it would be expensive. We gave up a lot of things but it wasn't hard at all. I knew in my heart I had a little one out there somewhere I HAD to bring them home. I longed for this child I did not know.
We also started learning as much as we could about adoption-the cost, travel, insurance...
Reeces Rainbow is an adoption ministry for children with Down Syndrome so I started learning all I could about it as well.
I searched through every child on the site over and over again. I knew I would just KNOW when I saw her/him. Nothing ever really jumped out at me but I knew what I thought God wanted- obviously a child with DS since this was RR's ministry focus and that's where He had lead us, surely a baby because that would be best and of course a girl since that's what sounded right to me...
A couple of times I found that perfect girl. She was exactly what I was looking for...but something just wasn't right. There was no urgency. She would be adorable and our hearts would go out to her because she was an orphan, but we had no intense feeling like I expected. Along the way I kept coming across another listing for a brother and sister. I loved them instantly and wept at the first glance...but they were 2 and 4 and did not have DS and they were...well, 2 of them. Not really fitting into our plan so I would keep looking.
For weeks through my search they were all I could think about. I loved them. I longed for them.

August- I showed them To Jacob. He was instantly overwhelmed with love and an urgency to get them home to us! We took a step back, removed the boundaries that WE had placed on our adoption and knew without a doubt that these were OUR babies

 Now it was real. We went from a family of 6 to a family of 8. But there was so much to do and we did not even know where to start. The cost was to be around $25-30,000 and we needed $1300 just for the deposit to commit to them. It just seemed impossible and I let fear and doubt creep in until I heard Him say as clear as ever "Speak to this mountain and it WILL Move!"  So we started speaking and praying and believing...

September-We named them and even gave them nick names. That's Captain (2 1/2) and Sister (4 1/2). Aren't they adorable!
Nothing else mattered anymore but bringing them home. We learned that sister was eligible for transfer out of the baby orphanage and into the older kids facility. I had heard too much about these places. I read this post by another RR adoptive family and knew we needed to hurry. Once our dossier was complete it would be about 6-7 months until we could FINALLY go get them. The problem was it was September and the country they are in does not except dossiers between Nov 1 and Feb 1 (I do not know the reason). So we had to move fast! I was informed that it was impossible to get everything done before November. But I know a God who heals the sick, brings the dead to life and makes something out of nothing so we were gonna make it happen! This is where the miracles started happening. 1.Someone just offered to pay our deposit. 2.The social worker familiar with our region and known for getting home studies done fast just happened to be coming to DFW and offered to do our study that week! 3.We learned that the only way to get some of the paperwork expedited was with a call from our state rep (for those who don't know, my state rep is conveniently my father). ...That's just to name a few. Everything was moving faster and smoother than possible. If anyone could pull this off in time it was gonna be us. I knew they'd be here before next summer.

I can't help but stare at their picture all the time. It's like they've always been mine. And I know this sounds crazy but every night I pull out those pictures and pray for them and sing this song
"He'll break open the skies to save those who cry out His Name. The One the winds and waves obey is strong enough to save you" and I whisper "hold on, Mommy's coming" as if they can hear me.

Monday Sept 17-this was the big day that everything would become official. We would make the first big payment. I could finally announce to my grandparents and other family what awesome changes God was making in our family. I was planning a crazy busy week preparing for our home study just 5 days away all while Jacob was out of town...
On the way to the gym early that morning as I prayed with the kids I felt the Holy Spirit say, "Spiritual attack will come. You can take it like a victim or take it like a warrior"  I immediately called Jacob and told him and honestly forgot all about it.
A few hours later came the email that turned my world upside down

"The father's rights have not been terminated -- even though it recently went to court.  The court refused to terminate his rights, so Charlotte is not available.  For the time being, we need to remove them from the website, and they can not be adopted."

My heart sunk. What did that even mean? How did she have a father but was in an orphanage? What about Captain? (they have different dads) What can we do to fix this?

The rest of the day was horrible. I can honestly say that Jacob and I grieved as if there had been a death. But then he remembered what I had called to tell him that morning. So we decided to fight. We have literally done in 4 days everything we know to do. We Have driven the poor RR staff crazy, contacted various in country facilitators and even local missionaries just trying to get someone to help us. What we learned is this- they will continue to investigate and try to get the father's rights terminated so they will be available to adopt. We cannot pursue this on our own by paying someone to find him and sign because somehow that would be considered child trafficking. If/when it does happen they will be listed for adoption in country for 14 months before they can be adopted internationally.

We have gone through every emotion this week. Currently we rotate grief, anger and numbness.
I just don't understand 
Did we hear God wrong-No. I am certain
Why would He lead us here and then let this happen?
Didn't He know how painful this would be?
Is He going to do a miracle?
Am I being punished?
I remember reading another adoptive moms post when her first adoption fell through. She heard the Lord say to her, "it was never just about ONE child" Maybe He has a greater purpose for us in orphan ministry and this was just drawing us closer to that calling...but that seems so cruel???

I am still completely lost on this and have no idea what the future holds for our children but I am beginning to see some things

1997-we're gonna backtrack a bit to my freshman year of high school. One of my teachers, Mrs.Watson, mentioned that she or someone she knew had always prayed "Make me like You, whatever the cost"
I started praying that prayer back then and continued until Isaiah was born. From the moment I saw him I just couldn't pray it again. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I made a conscious decision to stop that prayer that I had prayed almost daily for 9 years. What if the cost was my son? Could I pay that price? I couldn't. I made my children an idol. I knew it...I've known it for a long time now. I'd say with my mouth that I would do anything for Christ, but I knew in my heart that it wasn't true.
Somewhere in the last few months God began to reveal this to me and I started to pray that prayer again.
About the same time I saw this video

Somehow in the midst of all this I know that He is molding me into His image. I know that He is teaching me to trust Him. I know that He is giving me His heart for orphans. Can I just say that I HATE THIS. it is a painful process and I hate it. I'm just ready for Jesus to come back.

When I tuck the kids in at night I can’t help but wonder how sister’s chubby round cheeks would feel on my lips and how Captain would wiggle and giggle as I tuck the blankets around his tiny little body. And then I wonder if anyone tucks them in at night….I think I know the answer and it breaks my heart. He's probably getting molars and needs his mama to hold him at night....and what if sister has a nightmare and has no one to run and climb into bed with?

We are dedicating the next few weeks to fasting and praying. Please pray with us about our next steps.
My prayer is that He will guide us and make us like Him, that we will hear and obey.
And for Captain and Sister-that someone will love on them and hold them and teach them about Jesus. That they will be loved and brought into a family- preferably ours. He's still doing miracles

I don't know what our next step is but I'm listening. I'm ready, whatever the cost. And most of all I'm longing for His return.

Yesterday He led me to this passage

Revelation 21&22

 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia[c] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits[d] thick.[e] 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.[f] 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
 22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20 He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

Tonight when I am in bed I will hold their picture and sing to them and pray and whisper "Don't worry. You are not forgotten"
and He will hold me and whisper "Yes, I am coming soon"