For When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

eagle

penywise on freeimages

 

Yesterday after reading my post, the Lord gave my mom this passage from Isaiah 40 and she passed it on to me.

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

The point God is trying to make with me yet again is that he’s God and I’m not.  He’s so much bigger than I can even comprehend.  Once again he confirms that he hears my worries and concerns.

The reality is God has allowed this child to come to this point and has clearly directed our family to this point.  For as far as we can tell right now, we are meant to travel together from here.  And I don’t have to figure the whole journey out.  God is clear–I am to hope (or wait) on the Lord and that is how our strength will be renewed.  We will soar and run.  Not hobble along.  God cannot lie and he promises that we will soar like an eagle when we hope in him.

Our pastor this Sunday preached on Psalm 23 and as familiar as that passage is to everyone, it was such a good reminder that we are nothing but sheep.  We have no idea what we’re doing and God knows that. But, he is a gentle Shepherd that is with us at all times and will guide us every step.   Psalm 119 says his word is a light unto my path.  We get to know the next steps, not the whole journey. Today I do not need to worry about our home visit this weekend.  Today, I need to buy him a soccer ball for our visit tomorrow. That’s it.  One day at a time.

I know some of you are facing your own journey that is big and scary and you’re trying to figure out every single step and every single scenario.  Let us all be reminded to hope in him. He’s the one with all the wisdom and power and strength.  I was listening to Logan Wolfram on a podcast this weekend (I know, I’ve been listening to a lot lately) and she said if we’re following God for every step, we will never miss out on what God has for us.  Never.  I love that and I hope it encourages you too.

Adoption and Grief

butterfly
Beautiful blue and yellow butterfly I saw after the presentation meeting

 

In the past days, a lot of people have said, “I can’t imagine what you’re feeling.”

I’ve tried my best in my journal to talk about how I’m feeling and why.  I’m so glad I’ve kept journals for many, many years but instead of documenting what I did, I wish I would have documented more often how I felt.  As an individual, I’ve been working on feeling my feelings. I know that sounds strange for a fairly healthy middle-aged woman who writes as a hobby.  I’m in touch with my feelings, no doubt, but through Brene Brown’s work and the Enneagram (personality type system), I’ve realized I’ve also suppressed so many of them.

My Enneagram type (1w9) is all about perfectionism. I’ve realized that’s not so much about having everything perfectly lined up, although it can I think, but doing everything the right–moral–way.  Being angry isn’t one of the “nice” feelings. I realized so many times I’ve tried to explain away those or ignore them. And while I’m all for forgiving one another quickly, I think it’s also wrong to deny the feelings at all.  Being angry isn’t wrong. In fact, feelings aren’t wrong at all.  It’s whether you let it stay, letting them lead to anxiety, bitterness and rage.  All that to say, I’m trying to honor my feelings and I can’t imagine a better time to practice other than walking through an adoption.

Last week before our presentation meeting I was feeling anxious and scared and yet elated and excited.  I walked out with joy bubbling over.  My birthday carried me through Friday. What better gift than to see a picture of your son and know his story?

By Friday evening, though, I began experiencing a feeling I wasn’t expecting.

Grief.

As excited as I have been to welcome him to our family and to watch what God has done on our end, the reality of what is going on with his side started to hit me like a 2×4 right square in the forehead.

Even though I trust 100% this is the way things should go for him,  it is terrible.  A family is losing a member.  What does that feel like to just never see a nephew or grandson again?  A part of me wants to give his family another chance.  I think that Jesus-part of me wants restoration so badly for them.

What will it feel like for him to be handed a photo album on Monday and hear, “Here’s your new family!”  It’s exciting for us and I’m sure in part for him, but also how devastating must that be?  How do you process that at 8?

So, I’m grieving this loss for him and for them.  Adoption is a beautiful tool of redemption, but it’s also messy and unfair and sad first.

I was listening to a podcast with Shaun Groves recently and he was talking about adopting his child.  He said he just sees himself as the second-best parent.  His child deserves to see a face that looks like his tuck him in at night.  I get that right now.

Scott looked at me in the car Friday night and said, “It’s just sad.”  “Yeah,” is all I could say back. We both looked out the window and just sat, feeling all that grief for them.

The Lord, though, knows all of our feelings and pain.  Psalms says he is close to the broken-hearted.

I opened up Instagram today. A few pictures down, I ran into Jennie Allen’s picture.  She’s visiting the first Rwandan home of her adopted children:

jennieallen

 

Adoption always begins with loss.  Yes.  I don’t think I really got that until the moment I read her words.  She’s many years into this and still feeling that, so I don’t expect this grief to go away. But to hear it acknowledged felt like God was saying he sees our grief.  He’s right here with me walking through it.

I don’t know the right way to handle this except to respect that part of his life and do the best we can with our new family.  Actually, I’m not sure grief can be handled, only experienced.

So today for me, these are the feelings begging to be felt: joy, excitement, fear, anticipation, love and yes, grief.

 

For those tracking our journey, our 1 hour visit with him will probably occur mid-week at a park.  Only Scott and I will go.  This weekend we’re expecting our first home-visit.  We’ll pick him up as a family at the foster home and then bring him home for several hours.  Another turning point for our journey.  How will he fit in with us? With the kids? In our home?  We covet your prayers.

That Moment You See Your Son For the First Time

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Art I received at Allume in 2013 from The Ruby Pearl

 

As far as I’m concerned, The Boy is now Our Son.

I know I prayed to know–to really know–that he was ours, but I’m still surprised at how right it all feels.  We walked into the meeting where I was literally eyeing the trash cans in case I puked.  I was so nervous about what we might hear.

We saw his picture before the meeting started.  I pulled them out and while I can’t describe him or show him to you, I will only say that I knew.  I’ve been feeling like this is really it for several days–that this was the real deal.  In fact, I sobbed last night as God gave me a glimpse into a much larger story he’s been writing.  Something about seeing his picture, though, was the final stamp.  I truly didn’t even need to hear his story to move forward.  However, the meeting went very well.  They read us his background summary, answered questions and then handed us all of his records to take him and study.  I wish I could tell you details, but I will say I’m looking forward to showering him with love and attention.

I can tell you only that he is 8 years old.

And even with that small amount of information, I need to do some math for you and give you a peek into some things that God has been doing.

Do you know what was happening 8 years ago in our family?  We were in the midst of my emotional affair.  Our marriage was the worst it’s been. I just know Satan was trying to tear our family apart not only to ruin all of us, but also to stop this rescue.  Coincidentally, at the same time this boy came into this world.

Two threads began.  One birth of life and one attempted birth of death began.

And did you know, when we began considering adoption 3 years later, we were wanting a 3 year old?  And do you know that he would have been 3 at the same time?

I have no doubts that it wasn’t just that God “let us have him” so that our timelines would “match” but that God specifically set that desire in our hearts so 5 years down the line, he could bless us with our son.

The celebration of his life rescued and our marriage redeemed.

Two threads tied together forever.

God is so stinkin’ awesome. I cannot even stand it.

 

As for next steps, we are thinking that Scott and I will meet with him at a park for an hour next week.  From there, we schedule home visits and then hope to have him settled before school starts in August.

So many of you have reached out to tell us you’re praying for us and we so appreciate it. Clearly, God is near.  Please continue praying that our path forward is cleared and that our hearts continue to be joined together as a family.

 

I walked into that meeting today ready to be sick and walked out doing a happy dance at the elevators.

And so it was..that she, having waited long and endured patiently realized and obtained what God had promised. Hebrews 6:15

 

What I Wore Wednesday 07.16.2014

Happy Wednesday to you!

I spent a lot of time in the pool this week and was at the office the last two days so I only caught one casual outfit this weekend.

 

IMG_3292

I wore this on Saturday for errands and school shoe shopping since I had a reward dollars and birthday credit at Rack Room.  As you can see, the girls aren’t the only ones that got some new shoes.  These are a tad out of the box for me, but I loved the pattern and color.  Plus, it matched my outfit and I ended up getting them for $9! Score!

butterfly pink black

runrunrun 

 

Let’s connect so we can do this again!  Like AmyJBennett on Facebook.  Follow me o nPinterest (where I post these inspirational pictures), Instagram (where you might sneak an early peek of an outfit) or Twitter.

Adoption: Presentation Meeting and Prayer Requests

I hadn’t planned to post today but, I wanted to tell you we set our appointment time with DSS for the presentation meeting–this Thursday 7/16 at 2pm.  I started to make it just a status update, but as it turns out, I have Some Thoughts.

We will be read his background information, be able to ask questions and be sent home with his records so we can decide if we want to move forward with the adoption.  I know we can’t pray to change the past, but please pray for us as we listen and then decide to move forward. I’m taking lots of tissues!

Here are some specific things you can pray about:

  • I want to listen with grace. I already know I’m going to hear some terrible things.  Why else would he be in the state’s care?  But, I want that to move us to compassion towards him, and not towards hatred and bitterness toward whomever was involved.  I want our hearts softened, not hardened as we walk away. We cannot do anything to help his family at this point, but we can love him well. More hatred in our hearts will not help.
  • I want it to be clear whether we are to move forward or not.  I want our hearts to be drawn toward him and just know he’s our son.
  • I truly believe that our timelines will be woven together in ways we cannot imagine.  If this is truly our son, I’m already seeing some threads and am amazed. I want eyes to see the moments where God has been at work.
  • I want wisdom as we communicate to our girls. What is enough for them to understand?

I feel like Thursday will be a turning point.  Right now we know almost nothing, but Thursday we will know all they do.  He won’t be just a name and age to us, but I hope to see his face and know his journey to us.  I’ve been likening this feeling to when I was pregnant and waiting until week 12 to be able to breathe.  So many things can still happen, but it will be like that turning point when you can let go a little.

It’s scary and exciting all at once.  Less than 48 hours, ya’ll!

 

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