During this little rough patch I've been in these last several weeks, a friend reminded me of a very important perspective. She reminded me that sometimes we get so focused on where we are, and on moving forward (or how far we have left to travel) that we forget about how far we've come. (Gena, you're my hero right now). This reminder has been in the back of my mind, but..as I mentioned the other day, sometimes relocating from the sad seats is a little difficult to do. But I've been trying. I've been trying really hard to stay positive, focused on the good, and still allow myself to be real and to be present in the moment. I don't believe that being strong means you don't show pain or hurt. Jesus hung on a cross, dying for us, and cried out to God, "..Why have you forsaken me?!" But that didn't make Him weak. It made him HUMAN. He became like us, so that we could become like Him. I say that to say that I've struggled to allow myself to be human. I work hard to tell myself it's okay to be angry, sad, hurt. God says be angry and don't sin. He doesn't say to walk around trailing butterflies and rainbows. I'm a candid person. Pretending everything is peachy, when it isn't, has NEVER been my style. But, beating myself up in my head for not being as strong as everyone else appears to be is the flip side of my forgiving attitude toward wearing my heart on my sleeve. I say all of this, because through the sad days and through the days I am angry about everything related to the US domestic adoption industry, I'm growing. I'm becoming more mature. I've learned a lot about myself, about waiting, and about becoming the mother I want to be. When I have these deep,strong feelings, I get to figure out how to take them to God, and keep my heart pure. I get to figure out how I will help my child through these very similar feelings about his or her own world and troubles. I'm grateful for these darker days because they make me stronger. A different friend made the comment the other day that we are stronger where we've been broken. I 100% believe that I will be a stronger mother, wife and woman when these sad days are over. I'm being refined in fire right now, and God has not held back a single bit in showing me that He is still right by my side, just a far enough step ahead of me to lead the way, but close enough beside me to hold my hand. It's been an amazing spiritual journey, one I will never forget. Strength doesn't come from hiding our weaknesses. Strength comes from enduring our trials despite those weaknesses. I'm becoming stronger and I can feel every single bit of me growing, stretching, and becoming all God has designed me to be the moment He places my baby in my arms. It's an amazing part of my life; it's a defining part of my life.
A year ago yesterday, we had our first home study visit. It was awkward, a little invasive and I felt out of my element on more than one occasion. But, we did it. We survived that meeting (and the almost excruciating meeting after it!) and here we are, a year later, with such a huge testimony of who our God is, that I could probably write a book on His wonders in our lives this last year. Part of our Update Packet that I've been working on includes a Home Study Update. Aka...another awesomely awkward, invasive meeting with our local agency and social worker. (Yippee!) What's great about this update, is that I honestly had the thought, "
Iit's already been a year?!" Cra-zy that I was surprised, right? But, we started our paperwork last Summer on our anniversary. I was looking back through my adoption binder (that is a very impressive 2 1/2" thick full of paperwork we've completed, and still growing...) and realized that one of our personal reference letters was written a year ago this week. A YEAR AGO, our friends were writing their happiest blessings about us and coming alongside us on this journey by petitioning for Baby Lewis!!! I feel so loved. We are blessed to have SEVEN friends close enough to our deepest thoughts and personal lives to have been able to write those letters that were necessary last Summer. The forms and packets they received from us were a little on the demanding side. But, every. single. person. was EXCITED for their own little mini packet of adoption paperwork and each one of them contacted me as soon as they received it, as soon as they opened it, and again as soon as they finished their "homework" and had it in the mail. Our friends are amazing. Ah-mazing. You know who you are-you baby petitioning, Lewis loving wonderfulnesses, you! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for supporting us!
We are praying for October baby. Her birth mother will be looking at profiles on Monday (eek!!!) I've had a slight change of pace in how I've been praying for this adoption. Here's a glimpse of what God has been teaching me just this week:
When I pray, I usually ask God for His will to be done and to equip me for whatever that looks like. I don't remember the last time I asked for something specific. My school of thought has been (for awhile) that God knows best. He has His plans. Who am I to ask Him for something different than what He has ordained? I don't want to ask for ANYTHING that would make things worse or ask for something He's willing to give me..but wasn't what He originally planned. I don't want to mess things up!
But, lately, He has been leading me to the same passage of scripture over and over and over and over again. I've read John 14 at least 8 times in the last few days. God Has spoken a lot of amazing things to me since I've been reading this passage. One of those things is this: "whatever you ask of me, in my name, I will give to you." "I will go to the Father on your behalf and ask Him for you." "Why wouldn't I give you what you ask of me? You are my disciple."
So...I'm asking. I'm taking this step of faith and I'm asking for THIS baby. Not "oh you know, whichever one you want, just please help me wait if I have to keep waiting." Nope. Not anymore. This moment, is about asking for what I want and asking God to provide for me what I've wanted since I was eight years old. I'm asking Him for this October baby to be ours. I'm asking Him to cover THIS VERY SPECIFIC birth mother with nothing but peace when she reads through our profile book. I'm asking Him to give her WHATEVER it is she's hoping to find, feel, and connect with while choosing parents for her baby, and to give her all of that while reading through OUR profile book. Will you join me? Will you come alongside us, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus and ask Him to "go to the Father" on our behalf and bless our family with this little girl?
I've been reminded this week of doing this very thing when I met my husband. My parents had very strict rules about "boys" (and everything else in life, for that matter) while I was growing up. When I liked a boy, I was pretty passive about it when it came to being in relationships or dealing with my parents on social issues. However, when I met Adam, before I ever knew I would fall in love with him and marry him, I knew I wanted to be with him. I knew "this is it, he's going to be worth it...no matter where it ends up" and so I fought for him. I went up and down, forward and backward with my parents on dating rules, and curfews, and regulations and we came to an agreement on a standard for dating. When Adam made that nerve racking phone call that started an exclusive relationship, just us...I was able to say yes to him with a clean heart. It was invigorating! Young love, infatuation, and the sense of feeling so free when you're with someone you can't wait to spend time with is a feeling I'm so happy I had the opportunity to experience so young!
This is another time just. like. that. This baby is worth it! She's worth fighting for and I'm going to ask for her, and keep asking for her, and hope God follows through and allows me to fall in love with her forever-to raise her as my own and to be her Mommy. This baby has a perfect place in our family. We are ready to bring her home. We are ready to guide her through every step of her life and love her with all that we are.
Thank you for partnering with us. We've only made it so far because of our strength from God, our faith in Him and our support from all of you. I've made a lot of new friends this last month and talked to a LOT of new people who have been following our story and investing their time and prayer into our lives. Even if this is the first post you've read on our journey...I'm talking to you, too. Thank you! From the bottom of our hearts.
Blessings to all of our friends and family this weekend!