Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Am I expecting too much?

I read this yesterday. It was an excellent blog post and made me think.

A Lot.

I am thinking mostly about what our expectations are of Elli and how little effort I expect from her regarding those. I forget that we are taking a little girl whose knowledge about the world outside her orphanage, foster home, or town let alone other people and asking her to fall in love with us and everything about us in a few short days... OK, we'll give her a couple of weeks.


This is "Abigail"
She has a family that will
get her sometime this year

How is that humanly possible? To be honest, that takes a tremendous amount of trust. How do you trust people you don't even know? What if her idea of family, sisters, brothers, mamas, daddies, etc is very different from what her reality becomes? What if she has no idea what to think and just sits stoically by while we try to get her to jump up and down with glee at the thought that now SHE has US... YAY for her!

And I watch our adoption account dwindle and wonder how in the world we are gonna fund this whole thing.

I am expecting - REALLY EXPECTING - a little girl to be just gloriously in love with every aspect of her new life and completely trust us to provide everything that is good and right and necessary and wonderful for her and I can't even trust the Creator of the Universe, the owner of cattle on a thousand hills (Ps 50:10). Well, I say I do, I really try to, I so completely want to. There are days, fewer and fewer, that I sort of don't.

It's not that I don't trust HIM. I know He can do anything He wants. It's just that I don't think I am worth his effort. Really that is what it boils down to. I have read about His work, I have heard about His work. I have even SEEN His work. But when it comes to little ol' me...

And yet, what did I say I wanted Elli to know, to trust, to be convinced of?  I said I wanted her to stand firm on the fact that...

This is "Logan"
She has a family too.
they will get her soon

"she is worthy of belonging, she is worthy of  a last name, and she is worthy of forever"

I meant every bit of that. I am adamant about that.

And yet, why don't I feel that way about God's love for me? To be honest it's because I am not worthy. I am well aware of that truth. HOWEVER, I am WORTH IT. See, I know that Christ's blood covers me. That when God looks upon me He sees his perfect Son and THAT makes me WORTH His energy, His effort, His supernatural work. He created both Elli and I. He was clear that He wants us to do what He wants us to do. We have no doubt that we are in His will - this, we are sure - is a no-brainer.

I have no other conclusion to make than if I expect Elli to fully trust us, I must fully trust HIM. I am not a fool though. I know that there is reality to face and that one little Chinese orphan cannot fully trust anyone. Most of those precious children have no reason to trust, no experience in that behavior.

I, on the other hand, have no excuses. Oh, yes, He knows I am a failure so many times and loves me anyway but I am still expected to go with what I KNOW. I KNOW HIM. He will provide. I will REST in the knowledge that His will is what it is and He will accomplish it.

Thank God!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What I want her to know...

This was originally written days ago, BEFORE, I got the email from our homestudy agency that they had Fed Ex'd everything out. Needless-to-say, I'm a bit happier today, but the following is no less true and important to this mama's heart...

We are still waiting. I assumed (I know... don't lecture) I would be holding my finished homestudy in my hot little hands right now knowing that my I800a application would be in Dallas or at least on it's way there by now. Of course not, why? I haven't a clue but it's not in my hands and never has been and I am just going to have to be at peace with that.

I waver back and forth several times a day talking myself in and out of being frustrated, hurried, impatient, angry, and then, in the end, I let it go and get on with my life at least for another couple of hours.

Most evenings I am found on my computer reading posts on numerous Yahoo China adoption sites. I've learned so much and met so many people that I am thankful that I have been forced onto those sites by an overpowering need to feel close to a daughter I haven't met yet.

I've made my own red thread bracelet that I have chosen to wear 24/7 until I walk through the door here in Madison, MS with Elli. I have realized that choosing to adopt - REALLY choosing to do that  - choosing with the knowledge that you really didn't chose at all,  you were called and you have submitted - does all kinds of things to your heart and your head and even someone who is sensitive to the issue but hasn't been "called" themselves doesn't fully get it. Those who think adoption is only for the infertile never will so it's not even worth trying. I have learned that leads to tears... of frustration and even anger.

This, my friends, is a heady business. In both a positive and negative way it is so. It is also "all consuming" and depending on whether the day is negative or positive regarding the adoption every aspect of that day is either negative or positive. I have to stop living like that - it's too hard on me and much too hard on the other precious gifts that live here. So I am working very hard to not allow my day to rise or fall based on the email I get from someone involved with my adoption agency or homestudy.

Of course, I am perusing, as I usually do before bed, the Yahoo sites I so regularly frequent. Tonight, while reading some posts others have so graciously shared I was intrigued by the comment one woman made in her post. She was trying to explain why those who are adopting children that have been in the same foster home for years shouldn't feel horrible about taking their child away from their foster family. A family that everyone knows is temporary and can end at a moment's notice.

It was an "a-ha" moment for me. It was the explanation that I needed to plainly but lovingly share with all those who look at me like I have two heads when I tell them I'm adopting (at 49 no less and already with 4 bio children) and then I add the 35,000 dollar "cherry" on top.

"You are worthy of belonging, you are worthy of a last name, you are worthy of forever."

I thought to myself...

 "That is not only the response I want to give to others as to why we are doing what we are doing but it is also the response that I want to give to her.

 It is the truth that I want her to know, to grasp, to stand upon.

It is the truth that brings me to tears every time I read it because I know that, whoever she is, wherever she is, she has no assurance of any of it. How long will she have to live with us before she's assured of it?

I used to wonder when I was pregnant how I could love a little peanut that swam around in my belly so much that I haven't even held. Today I wonder how I can cry tears of despair, hurt, concern, tears of a mama who is desperate to save her child from fear and uncertainty... and I don't even know WHO my child is.

 The ONLY explanation is that the same God who made my heart put my desire for her in it. She's not here, my heart knows she should be, so I am left with a gaping hole that cannot be filled soon enough. It's an experience I could not have understood in any way unless I had been sent on this journey. Unlike many other experiences, words cannot adequately describe this confusing mess of emotions.

It's a mystery. Much like the mystery that surrounds that sacrifice of Christ. It's not surprising then that as Children of God we are considered adopted. I pray that as Elli grows in knowledge and ability to intellectually assess her circumstances past, present, and future, she will also be able to understand that she has a unique ability to grasp exactly what our adoption into the family of God means. I also pray that she will be able to articulate to her brothers and sisters how incredibly special it is to be chosen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I am taking off the happy face...

So, seriously, I will HAVE to be honest and tell you the smile is wiped off my face and the look of frustration and "perturbation" (yes that is a word and Kate and I found it yesterday and we giggled for quite a while never knowing that I'd actually use it legitimately today).  I had wanted ALL our paperwork to be completed and our Social Worker to be done with her part of our Homestudy before the last week in February when MJF and I left for a little respite in NC.

Our Social Worker let us down... and still here we are creeping closer to the middle of March and we have yet to see her write up. Don't get me wrong. I really like her. She is kind and sweet and really takes a personal interest in her cases but she is behind MY timetable and that is frustrating to me.

We left for NC feeling pretty good though because we thought we had it all together and at least had finished up our paperwork responsibilities. HOWEVER, while sitting happily in a quiet restaurant waiting for lunch I received an email notification on my phone (why do we think it's a good idea to have those with us 24/7?). It was our Agency counselor listing a number - a large number - of items she still needs from us. UGHGHGHGHGGGGHHHHH! No, I didn't just scream that out in the restaurant, actually I came very close to just crying... yes, just putting my head on the table and crying that cry that shakes your whole body.

I really thought I was going to rise above every other human being that takes this kind of step to adopt a precious child from across the globe. I thought I was going to have so much on my plate that I would be grateful for all the time it takes to complete this process and manage emotionally where others have failed. Yes, I would be the overcomer and keep my head on straight and not get all freaked out because of the enormous amount of time it takes for one family to adopt an orphan from across the world.


I am totally and completely immersed in this process. I catch myself being upset because people don't behave as if we are the only ones adopting in the whole world. I found out the other day that CJIS - the FBI office in Clarksburg, WV where MJF used to work and where ALL the fingerprints of any importance from all over the world go receive 2500 requests EACH DAY just from adoptive families. I wanted to cry because I knew from experience that adoptive families don't come before terrorists or bank robbers or murders or potential government officials. And I know from experience that I should not expect to come before them. The safety of our nation, of our world, needs to supersede any of us adopting children. So we wait, for a long, long time. For one or two people to process what has been piling up in boxes in the hallway (as I imagine it).

Of course, I am not the only one being handled by my Social Worker, by the Homestudy coordinator in Tupelo, or even by my agency counselor. I have had to come to terms with that emotionally - I've always known that intellectually.

Just as intellectually I've known God's running this adoption show, it's time I allow Him to do it emotionally as well.

Not knowing WHO my Elli Hope is is probably half my battle. Not until China says that they have our dossier will we be eligible to see who they have for us. At this point, I am not sure our dossier will be to China before June and that is enough to make me want to cry.

Since I am not a cry-er I just feel my stomach become knotted and imagine what my blood pressure is rising to and try to remember what I know to be true.

God's got this. He's got it in such a powerful way that I can't even grasp it. He knows exactly who Elizabeth Hope Farhart is and He's known from the beginning of time that she was going to be our daughter. HE IS the Red Thread that links her to us and us to her and when HE is ready HE will introduce us to her. It's our job, MY job, to just "chillax" (as #3 son would say) and live life, fill out a few forms, sign a few papers, and paint a few bedrooms. One day that email will come with a picture of my Elli Hope and before we know it we will be on a plane to China. I have lived long enough to realize the truth behind that.


As everyone who has gone before me has told me...

It is ALL so worth it.

Oh, and PS.... Please please periodically look at the post that I've listed items I am making for our fundraising. This whole endeavor is a $35,000.00 adventure and every 20, 40, or 60 bucks makes more of a difference than you know. I am hoping to be able to create a separate section on this blog to post only those items that I've made but for right now I don't know how and I need to post them w/in a blog post. Thanks.