Sunday, June 28, 2009

Down payment

Well, it has been about two weeks since I posted, and praise God we have accomplished so much! We have nearly completed our homestudy phase. Apparantly many couples take 2-3 months to complete this and we started just two weeks ago! We are finishing up some online courses and waiting for the last of the paperwork to filter in, but we are nearly done. Next is the dossier phase. This is where we prepare our file to bring to Russia that basically states that the US stands behind us as a couple able to care for a Russian child. We are so thrilled yet still praying for nothing to hinder us in this!

Last Thursday I paid the Agency Fee for the adoption. A heafty sum of money - enough to feel like there is no backing out now! I am so thankful for God's peace that surpasses my understanding! Every morning I awake with this peace. As the day goes on, I do tend to get more apprehensive - money, time, chores, work, even telling this surreal adoption story to someone - I get anxious and start to second guess. But God is so faithful to clear the slate every morning and renew my peace! I know it's the right thing and God's will. But why is God's will so hard sometimes? Even when we know the blessings are so amazing!

We went on a camping trip this weekend in the mountains, and I was lulled asleep and awake by some awesome noises of God's creation - I washed dishes alongside some wild turkeys eating the grass in the meadow. I mountain biked next to grazing cows. I watched hawks circle overhead and awoke to woodpeckers right outside our tent. I even watched a squirrel eat a hole in our trash and escape with a banana peel. I didn't even scare him away - I just watched. It was an amazing weekend of enjoying our Wild God! Huge trees, canyons, and mountains with skies filled with birds of prey, side by side with small lakes and gentle meadows filled with butterflies.

My husband reminded me that we serve a God with wild heart, and that he loves to watch us be bold in His world! It renewes my faith that God loves the fact that we are going to travel half way around the world to a once hostile land to take in an "orphan" that, in Russia, is barely considered to be human. These children will carry the "orphan" label with them their entire life and always be treated as one of the lowest civilized classes. We will be entering enemy territory - as many Russians believe that the only reason someone would want one of their orphans would be to sell it's body parts or use as a slave.

I already love this baby as if I carried it, and I haven't even seen a picture. But it is enough for me to know that God knows the number of hairs on his head and I pray is putting a new song in his heart right now.

Don't worry little one - we are coming for you! But be prepared for a wild life - full of adventure, passion and love!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The scales have tipped...

Well, after much prayer and petition, my heart has settled. God asked us to count the cost, to pursue all avenues and take our findings under great consideration. I am reminded of the Lady Justice - blindfolded holding out the scales. I can only imagine that under the blindfold, in the depths of her soul, she looks to God to place the measures on the scale. God did that very thing for us. He has made his will abundantly clear that we are to choose the route of international adoption!

Jesus himself tells us that praying in His name he will grant us the desires of our heart! Sometimes - like little children, we don't like the gift wrap the gift is delivered in. There are some beautiful packages with delicate bows and ribbons, thick satiny paper and elaborate tags. Almost like Alice in Wonderland where the cookies say "Eat Me" and the bottles say "Drink Me". We have no idea what's inside or what it will do to us, but we are enticed by the package. Satan loves to give us beautiful packages to unwrap. Once we choose one of these packages, the others seem to fade away. The one wrapped in comic strip paper or leftover grocery sacks hold the real treasures, but we can't get passed the wrapping!

This was part of the revelation I had in my decision. God has obviously taken away my ability to conceive or carry a baby to term - for a season. And it has taught me much about humility! But then the Lord presented two gifts - adoption or surrogacy. He said, "Look over the wrapped packages very well. Feel how heavy they are. See how beautiful they look. And then choose." I was enticed by the surrogacy package. A baby that is physically ours! Our flesh and blood. Our genetic makeup. Easy to relate to. "That's your dad!" or "That's your mom!" "She's got my eyes" or "He's got his daddy's smile" - just like we do with our precious child now! But then I picked up the adoption gift. This baby is not me...not Chris! We played no part in this child's life yet. But yet when I held the package for the adoption gift, and held it up to my chest, it fit right inside the void perfectly! How much better is a child that God created and then gives to us! When we have nothing to do with it at all! God is not limited to our gene pool. He could pick anything he desired to bless upon our family!

And the scales tipped...

Now we are full steam ahead! We attended an informative session at an agency recommended by a friend from work who adopted her son from Russia. They were absolutely a top notch company! Full of information! We had really been thinking about Africa or China to adopt, but Russia seems to be a better fit for us and our family. For the past week we have been acquiring and filling out paperwork. Next week is our homestudy interviews and Doctor Appts (and more paperwork!) But none of that bothers me. I have such peace and excitement about this process. I am praying that I don't need to learn any patience! That God knows what child he wants us to have already and that nothing would stand in our path for bringing home that precious one!

The hardest part is deciding what choices to make! My paperwork required us to choose boy or girl. Emily has prayed for a baby sister for about 3 years, but she also wouldn't mind a baby brother. Chris and I had also really wanted another girl. But I had a prophetic dream that an Eagle came down to me with a scroll. I unfurled the scroll, and written on it was the name of our child. I couldn't read the name, but I knew it was a boy name. I was so shocked, even in my dream, and I couldn't get it out of my head. So we changed our paperwork to select boy or girl. If there's one thing I learned it's that I don't want to miss out on one more blessing God has in store for us, so I will let him choose! :) Boy referrals come before girl ones (Currently, baby girls in Russia are in higher demand than boys.)

Please pray for us as we go through the process. I'd love to hear your kind words of encouragement. I'm sure the whole process won't be easy, but I do pray that it will bring much glory to God!

Spokoinoi nochi