Thursday, February 6, 2014

Catching up

Wow, it's been almost two months since my last post.  I've had many a person tell me how they miss them.  I could get a big head here.  Although, I don't really feel that my writing was anything special or eloquent, I do understand how friends and family can get attached to this kind of story and want to hear the next 'chapter.'  I have a friend who moved her family to Austria for a couple of years and vowed to write something on her blog each day.  For two years, I read her blog every day and it felt like she had never left.  Honestly, I knew more about what was going on with her family than I had at any point since we'd left college and I felt like I was right there with her.  After her two years were up, they stayed on for another year but she hasn't been writing *every* day.  I miss it when she doesn't write.  (hint, hint)
Anyway, I also feel like there were so many people who helped us get our children home.  I feel like they are entitled to know how we are doing and what's going on.  I don't want to be one of those authors who ends the book badly... or in an entirely bad place to end a book just so you have to suffer through waiting for the next book in the series.
Another reason I'm going to try and recommit to writing more frequently, although I can't promise it will be daily like when we were in Colombia, is that it has a cathartic effect for me.  I can get on here and write all the horrid stuff that happened with no filters and reckless abandon and realize that's not how I actually think about my family and certainly not what I want the world to think I think about my family... so I delete.  And as I delete, something inside of me lets go.  The unimportant stuff disappears and I can really see what matters, what happened that day that makes a difference.  It's not that I'm trying to show a faux family to the world... it's that the first draft before the delete is the venting and the second, subsequent writing of the day is the hindsight, the wisdom, if you will, of what the day really was about.
The final reason I want to write is that I need to write.  It's entirely selfish.  It's not just that I need to write either.  It's that I need you all to read it.  I need you when the times are tough.  I need to be open and honest about what goes on here.  Somehow it's easier to say to the computer than it is to say it to your face when you ask how things are going as we stand and make small talk in the church foyer or pass each other in the parking lot of the gym.  I have always believed in the power of prayer but never have I seen evidence so clearly in my own life as through this adoption process.  I have seen God answer questions clearly and without confusion when we needed to know what to do next.  I have seen Him provide for us in ways that we never imagined when we trusted Him to pave the way.  I have felt His peace at times when I needed it more than I could ever explain. 
We knew it was going to be really touch in Colombia.  We were taking home (to a hotel) three kids that we had never met before.  These kids had been through a lot of stuff and were going to need loving, caring arms to hold them.  These kids needed to grieve.  And at the same time, we wanted to make sure that the three big kids were having their needs met and didn't feel like they were getting thrown out with the trash.  We were prepared.  We had read a lot.  We had a plan but we are laid back enough to realize when the plan needed changed.  We were ready.  We were ready physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 
It was unbelievably difficult.  Although we had expected it, the expectation didn't make it any easier.  It was in Colombia where I finally figured out what Paul meant when he said, "Pray without ceasing."  It was really, really hard.  It was exhausting.  The big boys stayed up late and the little ones got up early, all the while, John didn't really sleep through the night.  The daily (sometimes twice or three times) battles with Diana were physically draining.  The nonstop needs of three little broken souls along with the emotional needs of three big boys were enough to dry up one's emotional spring.  But through it all, I was at peace.  I was calm the whole time... and those who know me well, know that calm is not me... it's not part of who I am.  I had the strength that I needed when I needed it.  There is no doubt in my mind that we were carried on so well because we were lifted up in your prayers.  I know that a lot of you read the blog daily and prayed for whatever was going on with us.  I know that God answers prayers and that He listened and acted when he heard your petitions on our behalf.  For your prayers, your time and your energy, I will forever be grateful.  You called for the strength and the peace and the patience and the calm for us when we were too tired to utter the words for ourselves.
But then we came home.
And that was good, but somehow, I had convinced myself that the worst, hardest part was over.  And I became a little vain and forgot just how it was that I made it though that part.  I patted myself on the back for a job well done and acted as if we had done it alone and it wasn't God that had carried us through.  It was almost as if I had said, "It's ok, God, we'll take it from here.  We're home safe and sound now so You can go on about Your business.  I've got this." 
Yeah.  Well.  Guess what.  In some ways it got easier.  In others, it just got a whole lot harder.  I've been really struggling and I realized that I haven't been praying without ceasing.  I haven't been sharing my struggles.  I haven't been relying on Him, I've been relying on me.  Truth be told... I shouldn't rely on me.  Because I can't do this.  It's too hard.  It's too much.  I'm not strong enough.  But then again, God never really intended for me to do this.

He intended for us to do it, together. 
So friends, pray on, if you will.  If you can forgive me for how I left the end of the book hanging.  I will write more about how the kids are doing in my next post.
I promise.

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