I've been mulling over the next adoption process update that I needed to share with you all....and even though things have been happening, and God has been working, the words just weren't coming to my heart in any way that seemed worth sharing. I looked into my mirror this morning and figured out why.....
The next big step for us is putting together all the dossier papers so they're ready to be added to our homestudy and the immigration clearance form we're waiting for....then we'll be on the official waiting list. The manilla folder with the dossier packet has been a permanent fixture on my desk since our first meeting with our social worker. She gave us all those papers the same day that she asked us the dreaded question, "How are you planning to pay for this...?" We talked about the process....and the fact that at the start we had only a few lonely dollars in the bank marked "adoption"....and the fact that once we started the dossier papers the clock would start ticking and those papers would begin ripening like a peach and would only have six months until they would need to be thrown out and new ones made. It seemed that the responsible thing to do would be to wait until the money was there before we started all this paperwork. Back then I didn't know quite how this floodgates thing worked - how God overwhelms each baby step I take toward obedience with a flood of His blessing.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749- 1832)
I've been trying to start the dossier for about a month now, in fits and starts....getting distracted by life with 6 kids and ministry, feeling overwhelmed by to volume of things that need to be done, daunted by the details and the massive possibility of not getting something right, angered by my inability to make it simple, and really bummed about the fact that I'm just now starting it.
When we started this adoption process I decided that I was going to be "gung ho," I was going get everything done in record time and the Florida's would be the fastest Ethiopian adoption on record. Well, a year has passed and the dossier has let loose the ugly creeping feeling that I'm already an "adoption mess-up."
My mirror showed my pride this morning - that's why it's been so hard these past few weeks to pull an adoption update out of my heart. My mirror also showed me hope in looking to God. Let me take you on a quick version of the "Thompson Chain Reference ride" I took this morning....
- My journal entry: "I'm frustrated by the dossier timing - wondering why I hedged and waited to get started till now. The months and weeks keep going by. It's been a year....I thought we were going to be the fastest adoption out there and now I"m worried we'll be the slowest, and it's all my fault."
- Then...John 11. I'm thick in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Vs. 40 - "Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?'"
- My journal: "Jesus, I want to see, and I want to believe. I've been caught up in what I can do, or might have done wrong....I need NEW VISION!"
- John 11:41 "...Then Jesus looked up and said, 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me...'" and next to that verse, the topic "Looking to God"
- Walk down this beauty-laden path with me....
- Psalm 34:5 "Those who look to God are radiant - their faces are never covered with shame."
- Psalm 123:1 "I lift my eyes up to you, who's throne is in heaven"
- Isaiah 40 - the whole chapter, but especially verse 26 "Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
- Daniel 4:34 "Then I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Lord God!"
- Acts 7:55 "Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up into heaven and saw the glory of God."
- And so, the mirror showed me...
- that my heart had been fearful and prideful....and ugly combination.
- that looking to God makes me radiant and takes away my shame.
- that lifting my eyes to heaven reminds me who's on the throne.
- that the God who hasn't missed one of the starry host is able to superintend the compilation of every detail and paper of my dossier. he'll break open the skies..
- that lifting my eyes toward heaven restores my sanity....oh Jesus thank you!
- that it all goes back to the glory of God.
Now, after that deep breath of Scripture, I'm excited to tell you what God's been doing, in spite of me! the floodgates stay open, my friends, even when I temporarily loose my sanity!!
- another adoptive mom who is a friend from school encouraged us with $50 and priceless word of wisdom...
- a sweet old lady quietly slipped us a $10 bill in a handshake at church...
- the gift of a gold bracelet given a few months ago by a friend was worth $1,057.62...
- the peanut butter jar family, remember them? came with another jar full of collected money, $113.28...
- a mom who always inspires me to be a better mom and love Jesus better when I chat with her on field trips at school sent us this note and $113...."We are so happy for you guys. I shared your story with our family. We might never be called to do what you are doing, however we really feel you are His hands and feet. We are the cane that supports those hand and feet, which means prayers, money, help in ways you need it. Our family had just started a jar for a puppy or a quad. They have decided two kids coming out of an orphanage is way more important. I love that we go to school with families like you guys...."
- $40 came from 4 sweet girls who used to be in our youth group. They're in college now and decided that instead of getting each other Christmas presents this year, they would put the money in a Christmas card for us....
- and there was $400 under the Christmas tree from expectant Grandmas & Grandpas, the immediate family ones and the church family ones....
- I'm mailing out the first document requests for our dossier today!
Look up, my friends...see the God who keeps it all together and keeps YOU all together.....and let that flood drip right into your eyes...
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