The letter made it to Embassy!!! Now we wait for clearance. Almost there….

The letter made it to Embassy!!! Now we wait for clearance. Almost there....

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Love is Fadeless Hope.

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

1 Corinthians 13

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Not to be dramatic, but I think I’m dying.

Every morning I seem to be waking up earlier and earlier. It’s like I subconsciously think the earlier I wake up the quicker news will come about our adoption. Or maybe it feels like I’m passing the days faster. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t work.

No news yet. No emails. Nuthin.

A benefit to the early mornings, is to be up to watch the sunrise, center myself in Jesus, and hear what He has to say about Olive and our adoption, for that day. I feel close to His heart this morning. I feel Him interceding for us. I feel Him reassuring me that He is with Olive- ever present, always near- bringing comfort, joy, peace and surrounding her with His love. I feel like He said that He is the only thing she has consistently known in her life. Through all the changes and trauma, Jesus has always been near. I have prayed that for her since before she was born and I believe it’s been true.
Jared Anderson led worship at our church on Sunday. He sang one of my favorites “Glorified”.
The lyrics say 

I’ve come to worship
I’ve come to lift up Your name
For You deserve this
Life laid down like the one that You gave
I have but one voice
One heart and one sacrifice
So would you take this
life laid down and be glorified
Be glorified

I have but one voice. One heart. One sacrifice. Just this one.
As I sang it, I was overwhelmed by what an honor it is to be using this one life that I have for something so beautiful. This Mama’s heart says I would do anything for Olive, for my kids. Anything. I would sacrifice, I would pay any price, I would lay down my own life. It’s all I got and I would give it for them and for His glory. It’s just so much bigger than me.
I was quietly crying and said, “God, I feel like I’m dying in this.”
I heard a still small voice whisper “unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it will not produce a great harvest. But if it dies it will yield a rich harvest” (John 12:24)
And because God speaks to me in pictures, I thought about the caterpillar who turns to formless goo in the cocoon, before it becomes a butterfly. It must feel like it’s dying.
I thought about the verse that talks about being stepped on, crushed, how it’s then that it produces a beautiful fragrance.
I thought about one little seed going into the ground, being cracked and broken up . When the shoots start sprouting up the seed essentially ceases to exist.
Those words have been hovering around my head the past few days, and this morning I finally had a chance to look up the verse it comes from. I searched “seed” and looked at a verse in Psalms. I looked it up:
Psalm 126:5-6
“Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.”
Wow. What a promise. I love the kindness of the Lord. Such an acknowledgement of my tears, of my my one life, my one seed, being sown and dying. I feel like a person walking in a field, weeping, throwing out my seed to sow. Fully surrendered and holding on to hope that a harvest WILL come. The promise of Olive being home will be fulfilled. Death and Life in me.
For the first time in my life I really understand what it means to die to myself.
“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 2 Cor. 4:10-12 

A fellow adoptive Mamma, also waiting for her baby to come home, sent this to me:

“When you are going through very tough times and there is no relief in sight, you usually start looking for a way out. These escapist longings stem from self-pity and a sense of entitlement: You think you deserve better conditions than your current situation. But when you think this way you are ignoring My sovereignty over your life. Though your circumstances may indeed be painful and difficult, they are not worthless. So muster the courage to say yes to your life, trusting that I am in control and I am with you in your struggles. Come to me with a courageous heart, hoping in Me, and I will bless you in many ways. Moreover, I will multiply your small act of bravery: I will strengthen your heart.Isaiah 40:10-11 – See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

In my life, in my death, may You be glorified, Jesus.

Be Glorified- Jared Anderson

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Choosing the Dark

No letter yet.

No letter.

The one (very small) thing we need to move forward is not yet written or sent by the Doctor in Mekele. We thought it was all ready done and in the mail or on it’s way somehow, but no. Our agency is guessing it may be done and ready to be sent by Monday. But I’ve learned now that there is no way they know that, and it’s easier to tell me that, and keep me calm, then tell me nothing.

I asked our agency if once the letter is done, and when Doctor says it’s ready, if someone could fly there (an hour flight) and then fly back that same day so we can skip relying on the Ethiopian mail system. They said someone MIGHT be able to drive, probably not fly. This would be a 2 day drive, and pretty difficult in the middle of rainy season.  The staff in Denver has very little say or control over how things are done by the staff in Ethiopia. And all my suggestions or methods that seem obvious to me are not so obvious to ones who are ultimately responsible to get it all done.  Plus they said if we go throwing money at this now (paying for extra things like a flight) it could jeopardize the whole adoption.

Yesterday was not a good day for me. I felt weak and out of control. I started coming up with solutions- hire the man who was our driver to fly to Mekele and bring the letter back, or ask the staff in Ethiopia to fly there, or just fly there ourselves and get this thing done.  I started questioning everything our agency was doing or saying. They started to feel like the enemy somehow. I was having anxiety attacks and moments where I couldn’t breathe. Everything felt different. Suddenly it all felt wrong and uncertain. Dark and impossible.  My response was “fix it myself”.

Then I heard from God. As I was thinking “What are we going to do to fix this?!” I heard God say (with so much love), “What have you ever done in this adoption?” In other words He was saying, there has not been one thing that I can take credit for from the start of this adoption to this point today. He has done it all. This was never my idea or my plan. This was never accomplished by my energy or abilities.  It’s always been Him and for His glory. Being in this place now doesn’t change that and trying to “fix” something will probably do the opposite.

10 years ago I lived in England and was at, what felt like at the time, the biggest decision of my life- deciding if I should stay and continue living there or go home. I was consumed by all my ideas, thoughts and plans on what to do and how to make it happen. Until one night someone shared this verse with me:

Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys his servant?
If you are walking in darkness,
    without a ray of light,
trust in the Lord
    and rely on your God.
11 But watch out, you who live in your own light
    and warm yourselves by your own fires.
This is the reward you will receive from me:
    You will soon fall down in great torment.

Is. 50:10-11

It is better to be in the dark, not knowing anything, but be in the middle of where God wants me, than to light my own fire and find my own way.

How true this is for us today. I was being overcome by fear and torment as I lit my own fires of solutions to find a way to walk this path of uncertainty.  So yesterday afternoon I blew out my flame, sat down in the dark and surrendered (which looks a lot like crying in your bed, apparently).

This is what I surrendered:

I surrender to God and His plan for this adoption. The timeline of how it will come to it’s end and Olive will be home.

I surrender to the agency that we have placed ourselves under authority to the day we signed those papers. I surrender to their methods and decisions, trusting they know more than I do and are looking out for everyone’s best interest- especially Olive’s.

I surrender to Time and the way it can feel like such an enemy when I fight it. I chose to stop resenting it and embrace it.

I surrender to September and the fact that I thought we’d be back in Ethiopia by then.  I embrace the coming weeks of Liam starting preschool, the end of this summer and welcome of my favorite season- fall.

I surrender to this place we’re in. A place of complete and total helplessness.  Pretending to have any say or power is destroying me. I admit that I can do nothing and chose to trust in the One who will do it all.

I surrender to the fact that I write really long blog posts and will probably never change. If you made it this far reading, then gosh darn, you’re sweet.

Olive_court_trip 079

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The Miracle of Dawn

I’m not sleeping very much right now. Which is ironic considering it feels like all I want to do is sleep. I just want to close my eyes and be unconscious through this whole time of not knowing and waiting. But instead, here I am. Jesus wakes me up early and invites me to watch the sunrise with him. It was beautiful this morning. Medicine to my soul. Reds, then pinks then orange. Warmth arising. I close my eyes and imagine I’m looking at the face of God as He looks at me. A moment of pure connection. And I don’t feel so alone anymore. I feel peace. In fact, for one second I completely forget about the adoption and the complications. Frozen in time. I feel renewed. His mercies really are new every morning.

Today I am thankful for the soft glory of the new day.

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Waiting for Embassy clearance- Update 8/22/13

I’m pushing through a lot of difficulty to even post about our adoption at this point. I think I just like to share the positive and when things are not “good news” I tend to shy away from sharing. But it wouldn’t be truthful if we didn’t show every side. I find it easier to just post the emails I have been sharing with our close family and friends instead of trying to write some perfectly worded blog post. So here is what I sent this morning:

This week has been busy and I haven’t had a chance to let everyone know where we are at now with Embassy.

On Tuesday I had a chance to go to our agency in Denver and talk with Kathryn, our coordinator, in person. It was good to have a real conversation instead of emailing/calling. She explained that due to some medical reasons Olive’s birth mom is simply not able to travel to Addis Ababa for Embassy. So everything we thought (that she as on her way there) was incorrect. Instead we are now waiting on a letter from a Doctor that has authority to say the birth mom is unable to travel and has had her parental rights revoked. We are PRAYING embassy accepts this and clears us to go. They were really pushing for an in-person interview but it’s just not possible. We don’t need any more investigation into this. It needs to be done.

So as of now there is a document that is being mailed from Mekele to Addis. A little piece of paper that should close our case and let us go get Olive. We don’t know how long the mail will take to deliver it or where it is even at today- mailed yet or not. Real answers are hard to come by. We think we know something and then find out it’s different. I THINK that the letter has been mailed and will arrive in Addis in about a week. Our agency will personally deliver to Embassy and testify to the fact that she can not travel and this letter from the Dr is the proof. Pray for favor that Embassy trusts that and is satisfied to clear us.

Please pray for that precious little letter to be mailed quickly and safely to our agency in Addis Ababa and delivered to Embassy with no problems.

Please pray for favor with Embassy that based on this Dr’s diagnosis they close this case and clear us to come.
Please pray for mercy for us and for Olive. We are struggling to say the least.

We love you all so much. Thanks for standing with us.

Here’s the promise God spoke to my heart this morning:
“So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Is. 55:11

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Update- 8/14/13

Fore those who are trying to keep track of where we are at. We received this update this morning from our adoption coordinator:

“Hey Kate,

Got a bit of an update from our staff today. They said that their is a contact with the birth mom and that she should be headed to Addis soon. I am not sure who is bringing her though, it wasn’t clear if it was embassy staff or someone from our office. Our staff also said they weren’t sure if they want to see the birth mom in person to evaluate her or if confirmation from the regional officials in Mekelle would be enough. I will ask them today if we can get some more clarification from the embassy about what they need to move forward and confirm with our staff that they are doing everything they need to make that happen.

Let me know if you have any questions, I know this isn’t much new information but I am glad to hear that our staff is working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

Beyond relieved. We were worried they wouldn’t be able to locate the birth mother and for it to happen in 3 days is nothing but a miracle. Really. I needed this ray of sunshine today. It’s really encouraging. Praying the next steps go smooth.

On another note, do you see all the unknowns in this email? This is why it takes forever for anything to get done and why it’s always a mystery as to how things are progressing.  Think you’re confused? I pretty much know the same as you. Crazy, right?

 

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