We have been very silent....I apologize for this. SO MUCH has transpired and yet, oddly enough, NOTHING new has happened. I realize this probably doesn't make much sense but in the world of international adoption...this is how it goes.
We had another yard sale that was wildly successful. We made around $1400 and are still working on selling some larger items through some online sites. THANK YOU immensely to the many, many friends that donated, helped sort and sell and purchased items. We are blessed!!
We recently purchased a 15 passenger van from my sister and her family for a super great price that we couldn't pass up. If we are able to adopt three children then we will need a larger vehicle. We have been asking the Lord to solve that problem when necessary. When the opportunity arose to buy the van we just decided to move on it in faith and if it turns out that we don't need it then we can sell it and put the money toward the adoption fund. It actually has been used quite a bit for multi-family trips and to help out with transporting groups to church, etc. It is a blessing:) And yes I can drive a big, ole van! My day camp and church youth chaperone experience as well as the days I worked at the Pee Dee Girls Home are all coming in handy now!
We have been hoping and praying since October that the Lord would allow us the joy of being referred a sibling group of three that we knew about. We have been praying for them and keeping tabs on how they are doing. We found out a couple of weeks ago that their parents have been found. This is good news and prayerfully, at least the mom, will work toward being reunited with the children. That is the hope. The children are doing remarkable well in the orphanage. There is still the remote possibility that the mother will decide not to care long-term for her children but with both parents alive and able...it is unlikely that the U.S. Embassy will recognize these children as true orphans. Which means even if we were to obtain legal guardianship for them in Uganda, it could be impossible to receive a visa for them to enter the United States. It is complicated.
So....we are still number two on the waiting list with our agency. However, finding out that adopting the siblings was no longer a possibility was very hard emotionally. Much harder than I anticipated. For me it was a bit like a miscarriage of hope. It did send me spinning. However, the Lord is so good, and has been using this disappointment to truly teach me. He is teaching me that the way I handle disappointment truly reveals my trust in Him.
This has been really hard....because I am realizing that often when I face disappointment or my plans, hopes, dreams don't turn out the way I WANT or EXPECT....my initial reaction is....frustration, anger and honestly, very often complaining. Why? Because I'm not getting my way and I'm out of control.
What He is showing me is that I am depending on MY CONTROL...not trusting that HE is indeed in control. He is not surprised at what is going on. He is not scared, filled with anxiety or uncertainty. Why can I not rest in the fact that this indeed must be part of HIS plan (although not mine) and He has my best interests at heart. Why can't I turn to PRAISE instead of COMPLAINT? Will I take on an attitude of complaint as the Israelites did repeatedly in the desert? Complaining about no water...then no food...then too much manna....then too much meat. If I remember correctly that didn't turn out so well for them. Or will I respond with trust and praise Him ....as Paul did in prison?
Our prayer all along has truly been that the Lord would be glorified through our journey and our story. We seriously want that...but I sense God asking..."Really? So as soon as things don't go your way, and according to your timeline, you get whiny and huffy. You moan and cry and complain. This process leads to ME being glorified! So you really didn't mean it when you prayed for me to be glorified? That just sounded good, right? Glad that you are seeing the true intention of your heart. Awesome!" Yeah, God talks to me like that....quite sarcastic, really:)
So, honestly, I don't want to be where I am....but I am grateful to a God that takes me places I don't want to be in order to teach me things and do a work in me that I truly desperately, deep down want and need. He is refining my trust and teaching me what to do while I wait. He is teaching me how to make my waiting room, a work room. There is not a lot going on externally, but certainly there is much going on internally!
I was weeding today and amazed at how when I pull up one weed and get to the root it so often it is attached and tangled up with other weeds. One root would lead to another, then another, then another. I kind of feel like that is what the Lord is working on in me. I have asked Him to pull out and remove some nastiness in my heart (lack of trust, selfish desires, complaining attitude)....but once He starts pulling it leads to another giant dollar weed that has been tangled up in there and doing damage. So then I ask Him to get rid of that but that is attached to a nasty ole dandelion weed...and the process continues. He is so good to me....so faithful and good to us!
I realize this post has kind of been everywhere...thanks for your patience:) I am going to leave you with some quotes from the book The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions by Jeff Manion. I have been reading this while walking through this season and it has been G-O-O-O-D. I also heard him speak recently and it is a hard but wonderful word. Thanks for keeping up with us and journeying with us and especially for your prayers. Please pray He is glorified, we are submitted and obedient and we will wait with expectant anticipation....with hope:)
"Often God chooses to meet us with His blessing in a place we do not choose to be. He will bless us on the detour. He will bless us in the Land Between. Often the place of blessing is not our place of preference.
Our longing, however deep, may not change the reality. Sometimes we don't get to choose. But will we open our hearts to God? Will we open our lives to His work and His blessing while we are not where we want to be?
Our faithfulness to God in difficult times springs from trust.
Often God leads us through the land we most want to avoid in order to produce the fruit we most desperately desire.
Resist the temptation to zone out, numb out or check out. Pain is purposeful when we respond to God with open and receptive hearts in the midst of deep trial. God intends to grow something beautiful and deep and lasting, but we must cooperate with God for the season of hardship to work its intended transformation. Don't let your detour go wasted. You are in training and God is up to something good!"