Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Last 1,000 feet

Upon arrival, there was an excitement and anticipation.  There were new experiences & new people.  There was the reunion with Anya, Tanya, & Ruslan.  All in all, there was a whole lot to look forward to.  Then we got to mainly concentrate on spending time with them, & also encouraging the other children along the way.  Now it feels like the harder work is upon us.

Thus far, the whole process has been fairly predictable and easy by comparison to our previous adoption of Christopher and Katie.  However, one thing that has been harder this time is being away from family and the familiarity of home.  We are missing Sage, Christopher, & Katie like crazy!

While Todd & the boys prepare to head back to Harrison at the end of the week (provided a successful court date on Thursday...PLEASE PRAY!!!), Jenny is preparing for the next leg of the solo-journey:  another 2 1/2 to 3 weeks of taxi rides, sitting & waiting for appointments, feeling as if she's a bit at the mercy of officials, facilitators, and a foreign culture, and wishing she were home already with her new family.

That's the "work phase".

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. 
My soul also is greatly troubled. 
But you, O LORD—how long?  
~Psalm 6:2-3

It's the part of this journey where the novelty fades and the reality that we are only about half of the way through sets in.  The work is not even so much the daily schedule of things to do, as much as it is the mental and spiritual effort through it all.  It gets harder and harder to remain joyful, patient, and generous right about now.  It would be great to honestly say that doesn't happen and that the whole thing is one blissful walk through a rose garden to a happy family, but it's just not reality.  The spiritual, emotional, and mental fatigue eventually build.  It's the last 1,000 feet to the summit.  It's the final few miles of a marathon.  It's the labor and pain before the birth.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 
I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill.  Selah
~Psalm 3:3-4

It makes us really identify with so many of the psalmists writings.  Whether it's discouragement, sadness, feelings of being alone, fear, or persecution, the psalmists always come back to this:  "My God is bigger than this.  He will be enough for me.  I will trust Him.  I will worship Him."  So whether or not our struggles are real or perceived, God is bigger.  He is enough.  We will trust Him.  We will worship Him.

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
 ~Psalm 9:1-2

And in the midst of this "work" and "struggle", there is purpose.  We have been able to spend some extra time with two children at the orphanage who are about Anya and Jaden's age.  They are extremely sweet kids.  They greet us excitedly when we arrive at the orphanage.  It is a joy to shower them with love and encouragement.  Unfortunately, unique circumstances make it unlikely that the children will become available for adoption any time soon, so their future is a big question mark at this point.  However, God is enough for them.
Perhaps we are just a piece of the puzzle for God to reveal to them that He is enough, and that He does see them, love them, and will watch over them.

Our struggles really are not so great.  They are so minuscule compared with what many of these children face.  Our "aloneness" is temporary.  We will soon travel back home, be reunited with our family, and celebrate that God has added to our number those who will enjoy His love together.  Meanwhile, in places all over the globe, and even in our own backyards there are children who will go on praying for a forever family to find them, redeem them, and love them as true family.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Please pray that:
-Our paperwork is complete & received in time for us to keep our scheduled court date of Feb. 7th.
       -God will fill us with His Spirit that we may represent Christ well, and show His love to those in desperate
                 need of it.
              -God will help us to persevere through every difficulty and trust Him for all things.
                    -These children who are still waiting for a family to "come for them" will be given forever families who
                             love them..

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