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The Wait

31 Oct

I feel like my life is on hold.

I feel like time is moving too fast and standing still, all at the same time.

I feel like I have never been busier in my life and yet it seems like I am doing nothing of value in that busyness.

We drive to preschool, to dance, to work, to the grocery store and home again. The feeling is always there. It never leaves my mind, my heart, my soul.

Beach Bums

I have thrown myself into projects connected to my friends and the beautiful country so far away and still so close to my heart. These things bring me great joy and we are excited for the opportunities ahead, but this does not silence the aching.

I exercise. I eat. I have a glass of wine. I play with my girls. I pray. I talk to others about my feelings. I go out and live my life.

Color Me Rad 2013

Nothing helps.

I continue to research, preparing myself for what might be.

A Little Light Reading

I set new goals and work towards them, but honestly, only halfheartedly a this point.

I did it.....

My heart longs to return to Africa. I long to meet this precious child. To hold her in my arms. To tell her how much I love her. To call her my own.

I could barely type that sentence because it is painful and terrifying to admit to these feelings and to have them live outside of my body.

When we set out on this adoption journey Cupcake was only 5 months old. We knew that we wanted more children and The Lord had spoken to us very clearly about adoption. We also knew that this process was not going to lead us to a child over night. We had heard stories of people waiting for years to see an adoption completed. We were aware of what might lay ahead of us.

But I lied to myself. “We will be different. Ours won’t take as long. We are special”. I may not have voiced those feelings, but I am an eternal optimist and desperately wanted to believe that God would work this miracle according to my schedule. I honestly believed at the beginning of this year that 2013 would be the year of the baby! I was sure that by now we would be home with our three girls, planning for a holiday season full of new joy and love. But this no longer seems possible. Of course God does not bend to the will of humanity and I know this, but the waiting…..

It is hard. It feels like it will never end.

But, the sun comes up everyday and sets every night. I get up and make it through each day. I find joy in the little things and rejoice in the miracles found in other people’s lives. And I wait.

I wait for a breakthrough. I wait for a phone call, an email, anything. I wait for a miracle.

At this point, I covet your prayers. Please pray with us for this miracle. I don’t know what else to do except to pray.

Many well meaning people ask us if there is any news and this question breaks my heart. I wish that there were news. I wish that we could shout it from the rooftops. I wish that we were boarding a plane tomorrow to meet our precious babe. But there is not and we are not. We continue to wait.

As much as this post was necessary for me to write to update you on our story and to vent my emotions, it is a bit of a downer, yes? I know that there is hope. I know that there is a promise for our family. I know that there is an end to the waiting. This will happen and The Lord knows when. Until then, I wait.

Life has a way....

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Day Four

27 May

Today was a good day.

We had more meetings regarding our adoption this morning, all of which went much better than we had expected. This is a good and positive sign…..

BUT….

We’re not finished yet. It is difficult because I am not at liberty to discuss a good portion of the process we are currently going through or as to why it seems to be so tricky to navigate. But things are looking up and for this we are thankful.

We are so appreciative of all your kind words and prayers. I truly felt as though an army of angels walked with me through every hallway and office we entered today. And I know that was because of you. So please join with us as we thank God for His faithfulness and His willingness to hear our prayers.

There are a few more things that we need prayer for. There are some very important letters that most of the rest of our process relies on. Please pray that these letters are sent and received quickly so that we can move to the next step in our process. After that, the last step relies on the consent of one person. Please pray for God’s hand upon this individual and that their heart will be softened towards our situation. There is a very good possibility that we will have to return home without knowing whether or not these steps have taken place. We once again will have to walk in faith, believing that the Lord is working out everything according to His perfect plan.

In all that we have been through in the last few days with regards to paperwork and meetings and unknowns, I have felt it tough to remain focused on why we are really here. But in a meeting today I was grateful to be reminded…. It is all because of these beautiful children. The needs of these kids must always be the most important thing we consider as we move through our adoption process. That should always be our main concern in everything we do as parents, as guardians, as teachers, as adults trying to create a better world for the next generation. It is all about the children. Its kind of ridiculous as to how quickly I am able to forget this when faced with difficult situations, but I am glad that I have refocused my mindset and that I am ready to keep moving forward.

Plant a Garden

On a more specific note, throughout this entire journey we have met some incredible people who are working tirelessly, not only on our behalf, but on behalf of all the children here. Some people who have now become wonderful friends. Thank you, thank you for all that you do, even in uncertain circumstances. I know for a fact that the Lord is blessing the work of your hands.

For the rest of the week we will continue to help Dad with all of his work here and then we get to just be tourists. That’s pretty exciting!

Thanks again for following our journey. Until tomorrow, its time for some tea and then bed ­čśë

 

Day Three

26 May

Today is Sunday! So we went to church. It was everything that I had always imagined that church in Africa would be.

Except for the Sunday school teacher. That was unexpected. Because it was me…..

Sharing one of my favourite Bible Stories; Noah's Ark. They told it better than I did.

Sharing one of my favourite Bible Stories; Noah’s Ark. They told it better than I did.

They were better listeners than any Sunday School class I have ever taught before!

They were better listeners than any Sunday School class I have ever taught before!

Beautiful, beautiful rainbows!

Beautiful, beautiful rainbows!

I wanted to share about Noah’s Ark for one specific reason, and for those of you who know me even a little bit should not be surprised by that reason. Rainbows. I love rainbows! Not only are they rare (at least in our part of the world) and magical and awe inspiring, they represent something so much bigger. They are a symbol of God’s promises in our lives. I tried to get the kids excited about God’s promises for their lives such as love, friendship, His faithfulness and so on, but not much seemed to spark their interest. Clearly I am no Terry B. or Katy L. While a part of that is definitely the language barrier, only the older kids speak any English, the other factor is the reality of the situation that these kids face everyday. They definitely understand the concepts of God’s word (their memory verse work is incredible!) but it is difficult for them to comprehend the actuality of peace and prosperity and many other of God’s promises to us. This is a sobering realization.

So I shared with them one of God’s promises in my life. I shared with them that God had promised me the opportunity to one day come and meet them and play with them and love on them. And that today, they were witnessing a promise fulfilled. This seemed to please them, or at least to be enough for them to grasp. I also shared with them the hope that rainbows represent. Hope, no matter your circumstance, is universal. There is always hope.

That is the sole reason as to why J-Sauce and I are here.

Everyone love candy! Everyone loves J-Sauce, the candy man.

Everyone loves candy! Everyone loves J-Sauce, the candy man.

The rest of the morning was the church service, singing, dancing, praising the Lord, sharing God’s word. Our hearts are full. Then came more chances to serve the people and the children of the church. Not all of the children here are orphans, but a good percentage of them are.

Playing Hot Potato

Playing Hot Potato

Getting ready for Lunch.

Getting ready for Lunch.

Dad passing out new jackets.

Dad passing out new jackets.

They posed me for this. They did all the work. But what a good workout!

They posed me for this. They did all the work. But what a good workout!

Maybe one of my favourite ways to serve: washing hands.

Maybe one of my favourite ways to serve: washing hands.

Serving up some sedza.

Serving up some sedza.

Lunch in the shade.

Lunch in the shade.

Just chillin'.

Just chillin’.

Comfy spot to sit.

Comfy spot to sit.

So excited about her new jacket from Canada.... which the kids think is entirely covered in sow, 100% of the time.

So excited about her new jacket from Canada…. which the kids think is entirely covered in snow, 100% of the time.

Girls here are the same as girls in Canada. Nothing makes you smile more than a pair of new jeans that fir perfectly!

Girls here are the same as girls in Canada. Nothing makes you smile more than a pair of new jeans that fit perfectly!

Sorting out new baby clothes.

Sorting out new baby clothes.

Never too young to start soccer.

Never too young to start soccer.

This evening we are resting up as we have more meetings with the government in the morning. Fingers crossed and prayers said, we hope that these meetings will move things forward and at least get the process started here before we head home on Saturday.

We are missing our beautiful Princess and Cupcake so much, but they gave us their permission to love and hug and kiss all the children who needed it before we came home to them. I truly hope that one day they understand the reason why we had to be apart for some time and what this time ultimately means for our family.

And hope is what its all about.

Day One

24 May

We made it! We are on the ground in Africa.

Before another 19 hours of air travel.... I refuse to post an after picture.

Before another 19 hours of air travel…. I refuse to post an after picture.

We arrived last night and had a fabulous sleep. So today was our first full day to truly experience a new culture. And experience it we did.

The smells in the air.

The chaos in the city streets.

The red dirt on the side of the road.

The hue of pink and orange in the sunset.

The chorus of birds and their beautiful songs; simply mesmerizing.

We took the time to drink it all in.

Also, we had our first meeting regarding the process of our adoption. It did not go as well as we had hoped. We walked away slightly disheartened…. But quickly decided to focus on the positives we could take away. It definitely feels like there is a lot of red tape for us to still endure through. But on the other side, there are open doors! There are so many people here that support the idea of international adoption, but we have yet to have a meeting with them where they are able to truly help us.

We have many other meetings to take part in next week and hopefully some of those will begin to get things moving. Our greatest prayer is that we are able to accomplish everything necessary before we leave at the end of next week.

So while today was a great mix of emotions, there is much that we have to look forward to in the coming days. Many more people to meet, orphan care projects to visit, church to attend. We will continue to keep you updated and greatly appreciate your continued prayers and support.

An Oasis in the City

 

With much love from Africa! xoxoxox

Leaving on a Jet Plane…. And other cliches.

19 May

So this is actually happening. On Wednesday morning, J-Sauce and I will be boarding a plane to begin our first journey to Africa.

As crazy and complicated as this entire situation could have been, this absolutely feels like the right time for us to go. While both of us will be heartbroken as we say good-bye to our precious Princess and Cupcake, we know that there is another life that is depending on us to leave the comfort of our everyday existence and travel to a country so unlike that which we know.

There are so many unknowns as we move forward. We are nervous and anxious and scared and….. EXCITED!! What an amazing opportunity to experience. I cannot wait to meet all of the wonderful people and beautiful children that I have spent years hearing about. I am so ready to experience Africa. I cannot speak for J-Sauce, but I’m sure that there is a small part of him that is excited as well.

This trip is a culmination of many years of dreaming and praying and trusting in the Lord. Almost a decade ago, without ever having set foot on the continent, God broke my heart for Africa. I sat, with tears streaming down my face, watching an episode of ER (of all things…. God is weird sometimes) and I knew that I had to make a difference. It became painfully clear to me that money and good intentions and Western ways of doing things could never and will never change the reality of poverty and disease in third world countries. But love can.

That is all I have to give. I have a heart full of love to pour into people who have no idea that their faces have filled my dreams for many years now. God is so awesome….

When people ask me, “Why Africa?” I don’t always feel properly equipped to answer that question. I honestly want to tell them, “Why not Africa?” but that would not get to the heart of our desire to adopt internationally. The best that I feel I can offer is that, without a doubt, without hesitation and with unwavering certainty, I know that my child, whom the Lord has chosen for us, lives in Africa. That is all I know and that is enough for me. So I have to do everything in my power to be able to meet that child and to know that I can call them my own.

Growing in my Heart

Last Sunday, our pastor, who is a very important person in our lives and one of my personal heroes, shared some thoughts about mothers and mothering for Mother’s Day. He referenced the heart and devotion of Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel. This picture of a mother who knew that she was destined to love a child she had never met, no matter the reason or the outcome, struck a chord deep within my soul. I have experienced a small glimpse into what it is like to desire a child so strongly without knowing whether or not that desire would ever transform from dream to reality. But now I will cling to the promise that Hannah was given and I will continue to take each step that the Lord place in front of me with the hope of my child and our family propelling me forward.

So as J-Sauce and I pack our bags and gather our malaria medication, please begin to pray for us. While we could still use some financial support (feel free to keep clicking that donate button!) right now we truly crave your prayers. If you’re not sure what to say here are a few things to ask the Lord for on our behalf.

1. For our travel. I am a horrible flyer and do not envy poor J-Sauce for having to spend that time with me.

2. For our safety. We are aware of some of the concerns regarding travel in this part of the world and are trusting in the Lord to keep us safe.

3. For open doors. We need every green light and positive interaction and helping hand we can get.

4. For soft hearts in the people we meet. There are people who could make things difficult for us and we are praying that the Lord would touch their hearts and that we would see the Lord’s favour during our interactions with them.

People, we need your Prayers!!

People, we need your Prayers!!

If you have other things to pray over us, fantastic! We have been exceedingly blessed throughout this entire process by the willingness of our friends and family and new readers to support us in our dream. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your faithfulness.

I intend to write daily updates each night while we are away, so please check back to see how things are going! Until then, I have some laundry to do.