What Did You Do With My Son?

NicholasI guess it’s about time for an update, though mostly we have been busy praying and waiting.  Our homestudy is now officially complete!  Hooray.  From what I hear that is the longest part of the process and now that we have that we can move forward.    We were disappointed to learn that the embassy in EE is enforcing a new rule as of Nov 1, 2012 that will cause us a 6 week delay but we are trusting in God’s perfect timing nonetheless.  The next step for us is to file our I-600A application with USCIS, get an appointment for biometrics (fingerprinting) and then finally file our dossier with the government to be invited to travel to meet our boy!

We also have been working on the new (as of 9/1/12)  80-hour parent training requirement.  We completed 50 hours online and will do a 30 hour face-to-face training in January.

I have to say that if I wasn’t completely disturbed and heartbroken for kids stuck living in institutions before this training, my heartbreak is now complete…..  Their realities are horrific, stuff I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy let alone a child.  As I went further into the training I found myself feeling despair on their behalf.  There are so many hurting kids, broken and wounded and for some there is no hope of ever knowing the love of an earthly family. Many are so starved of stimulation they adopt self soothing behaviors that range from rocking themselves to actually causing harm to their bodies just so they can feel something.  Imagine trying to scratch out your own eyes in an attempt to know you are alive… Sometimes their brains actually develop differently such that they live in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’.  That might mean any number of abnormal behaviors, including, but not limited to aggression, inability to attach to anyone or withdrawing completely into themselves.  Much of it is just too hard to even write about but trust me the list goes on and on and on.  And there is just nowhere to turn but God and again and again I find myself  crying out to God on behalf of every single one of these innocents.  It is all so awful and unnecessary and there are so many kids in this situation.  Why God??  Are we that devoid of your Love in this world?  Why are you allowing this?  What can we do to fix it?

But I know that God hears the cry of the poor.  Again and again throughout scripture the poor and the oppressed cry out to their God and again and again He hears and answers their pleas.

“For I assisted the poor in their needs and the orphans who required help” (Job 29:12)

And one by one, little by little, children are being rescued everyday.  It is incredible to witness and be a part of.  But there are still SO MANY that wait….

The Lord is coming.  He hears the cry and He is coming in power.  He is coming to take these least into His arms. He will lift them from despair.  He will redeem every last one of them.

When the just cry out, the LORD hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the LORD delivers him. (Psalm 34)

And when I stand before my God at the end of my life and am asked that one question; When the gaze of God almighty peers into my soul, silently imploring, “What have you done with my Son?”, I pray I will have an answer.  I loved. I prayed. I didn’t do nearly enough; couldn’t possibly.  I am only me. I am only one.  I am an insignificant part of the great big whole.  But with what you gave me Lord, I multiplied.  You loved me and I loved.  You redeemed me and I offered redemption.  You called me and I answered.  I could have done more but look not at my failings only my fruit.

It is not despair that we should fall into on behalf of these children but rather Joy!   We are called to the Joy and Hope we have been given as Christians.  We are called to Joy because we are loved, we are forgiven, we are saved, we are the apple of God’s eye, we are promised the land of Milk and Honey, and God promised to redeem the oppressed. He is coming in power and is mighty to save.

 So
‎”Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted.” – Isa 49:13

And when he comes how will he find me?  Will I be about His work or consumed by the worries of this world?

Please God I pray, hear me saying only, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be done to me according to they word.”

For your orphans I give my Yes. I give myself.

And there is no greater Honor.

 

Racing to Love

So I thought blogging about our adoption journey and the orphans would be a piece of cake since we are so excited and just have so much love for these kids.  The reality is that stepping into this world is hard and sad and difficult.  For every beautiful story and happy ending, it seems there are hundreds of heartbreaking and difficult stories. Take the family who committed to taking that tremendous leap of faith once again, only to find out that they are not approved because they have too many children with special needs, or the family in a mad race to rescue the child of their hearts, only to find out they are not in time and their child went home to the Lord instead.  The thousands and thousands and thousands of children, all over the world, who merely exist without love or food or medicine or stimulation or a family, break my heart a million times over.  Why do we have so much when these poor innocent children really have nothing.  How can we give to them?  And the heartbreak doesn’t end with the orphans.  At every turn there is tragedy and suffering and injustice.  Families in our own country without jobs and facing an uncertain future, tragic accidents, natural disasters and loss are almost constant blows for all of us.  The pain and brokenness is overwhelming and yet we are called to live with JOY.  As Christians we need to be light to the world and through our relationship with Jesus should possess the peace that passes all understanding, but sometimes that feels like a really tall order.  It would be all too easy to throw our hands up and retreat.  It would be little more than instinct sometimes to run for shelter.  But to where should we run??

Luckily there is HOPE that conquers the fallen world we live in.  We don’t have to shoulder the world’s pain and burden.  We don’t have to mitigate the evil that surrounds us.  What we do have to do is TRUST in Jesus the savior, despite our pain and sorrow and fear.  His Love can heal the whole world and each of us is called to be a vessel of that saving and healing love. We can trust with Joy in the sovereignty and providence of Almighty God.  He has every single orphan and every person who is hungry or homeless or oppressed or afraid in His sights and has a plan of salvation for each and every one.

In the face of overwhelming pain it can be tempting to question our purpose.  Many who suffer wonder what is the point of life at all?  And while that answer may not always be the feel-good remedy the world demands, we can rest assured that there is an answer.  There is absolutely, without doubt, a tremendous and worthy purpose and point for every living soul God has created.  We are wonderfully and fearfully made, on purpose, for a purpose, in God’s own image and likeness.  We have gifts and graces to carry out our purpose and need not fear because we belong to the ruler of all that is good and holy and righteous.  The same is true of the orphans who wither away in their institutions neglected and unwanted.  They are worthy and necessary and God has a divine plan for all of them.

There are nearly a million orphans in the world and we are racing to rescue just one.  It could be tempting to throw our hands up and say, “what is the point?”  Tempting, as the evil one would have it.  But that sure wouldn’t be the kind of Love that saves anyone, and least of all, ourselves.  We are called to Love like Christ, wherever we are, and in every small way that we can.  This is the path to sainthood that has been paved for each of us.

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”  Mother Theresa

So we are racing to bring home one little boy.  We are racing to Nicholas despite crazy schedules and overwhelming responsibilities.  We will not, could never, save the world.  That is for God to figure out, but this one small thing we can do for HIM.

We are simply racing to Love.

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Don’t forget to vote for the orphans HERE.  It only takes a second and you can vote every 15 hours.