I've thought many times over this past month "I need to update my blog", but I really haven't been able to sort out my emotions enough to understand what's going on myself...much less to share it with the world.
Our roller-coaster feels more like a tornado right now. We had a teleconference with our agency last week which basically confirmed what we already knew...that the Ethiopian adoption process is slowing down...at the very least for our agency which is very large. We are way back on the list so it will certainly effect us more than those who are about to recieve referrals. We don't know by how much or for how long and of course God could speed things up or it may not turn out to effect us as much as we thought (for various possible reasons). We are certainly not in panic mode so don't worry. I've said before that Darren and I are planner-people. We like schedules and we like being on time...so...this is really not fun for us.
What we do know is that our future looks uncertain right now and it has forced us to evaluate all of our options again and most of all...to pray more than ever!
I wish I could say that I KNEW without a doubt what God's will was for us right now. My heart feels pulled in a million different directions on any given day and at the end I am brought back to the reality that even though my heart wants answers and my flesh feels like I deserve to be in on "God's plan" right now...I really don't. Isaiah 55:9-11 says
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
His purposes are so much higher and so much BETTER than anything we could conceive of. I wish I could remember this all the time. Sometimes none of it makes sense to me. Sometimes I lose sight of the big picture. Sometimes I get so frustrated because of the red tape from other countries regarding age requirements. I really just want to ask someone, "So...what makes me a better parent at 25 or 30 than the parent I am at 24? I mean, I thought there was an orphan crises and that children need loving families so...I'm willing and I'm getting turned away!? I never complained about the paperwork involved or the homestudies. I mean, if someone's really crazy won't you catch it in the homestudy regardless of their age?" UGH! And then I repent of my faithlessness and the cycle begins all over.
However, I have to remember that with every roadblock that comes our way, God is funneling us into a deeper dependence and understanding of His will for us. And sometimes the hardest thing to do is live in that uncertainty and rest in Christ!
People told me that adoption would be an emotional ride like nothing else. Y'all, I am really not a very emotional person so of course I thought, "well, maybe for YOU, but not for me." I was wrong. I had planned to be very detached emotionally until the day I would see her face and then I knew I would be excited and all that, but I never really expected to experience any kind of emotional pain. I was wrong again. There's something very unique in the pain a mother feels when separated from a child she's never met, for who knows how long, not knowing what conditions she could be living in right now, with no idea what she'll look like, what kind of medical problems she'll have, constantly questioning if you are even going to the right country! The only thing I AM sure about is that God called us to adopt. I may not know where, when, or how, but...I have never questioned the actual fact that we should be adopting.
Praise God, our Sunday School class did a study in James not long ago and these words come back to comfort me often.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I really do want to be complete and steadfast and more Christ-like. I have prayed for that and I know that this is part of God teaching us and (answering our prayers?) through these trials.
Please pray for us! And when you pray please pray specifically for these things:
1. Faith. Pray that we would believe that "God is for us" so who can really stand against us? That we would trust and be thankful over His plan and His glory even when our pain is the means to accomplish it.
2. Our attitudes. Pray that we would refrain from having complaining attitudes. I can't tell you how hard this is sometimes. Pray that we would represent the Gospel with our words and deeds instead.
3. Pray for the Ethiopian process. Pray for the officials to find a better way of efficiently processing their paperwork so that more adoptions can go through on a daily basis.
4. Pray for us as we consider other options available to us through adoption. Pray that we would have peace about the decisions we make and to glorify God through those.
5. Pray for orphans in Ecuador too. I'm going to visit some orphanages there in July on a mission trip and God has burdened my heart for them already.
6. Joy! Pray for us to be joyful parents to the child God has already blessed us with. I feel aweful when I realize that I'm stressing over how to adopt a second child and in turn stressing out the one I have! How silly is that?
7. Pray for Darren's grandad Abe Isaac. He was diagnosed with stage IV Liver and Colon cancer last week. He lives in Kansas and we are trying so hard throughout our hectic summer to get up to see him one last time. He is a wonderful and godly patriarch of the Lewis family and he is very loved:)
8. Daily life: Our AC went out yesterday and there are still 3 flies in my house that seem to have superpowes. I need a double dose of patience today.
Also, I just want to say "thank you" to every one who encourages us so much. We have been blessed with a church who is like our family. I have people to laugh with, cry with, pray with, who bear our burdens and pray for us. You don't know how much your love and encouragement means to us. Thank you for reading this volcano of emotion-post. Hopefully, my next one will be happier!:)