Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weird Blessings

My niece, Blake

In contrast to my “beating my head against the wall” post, I'll take a moment and reflect on some odd blessings that God has given us in the midst of the.... waiting.
Last summer, we were quite certain that it was going to be our last summer being so involved in youth ministries, at least for a while. We were planning on our Little Guy being home (or nearly home) by now, and were resigned to putting all other activities on hold until he was mature enough to tag along and participate with us. Well, now that we're still.... waiting, we can begin to tentatively make commitments. One of the coolest things for me is being able to counsel at a camp where the director of the camp is one of the boys I grew up with. So, two youth camps, a friend's wedding, and a trip to Maine loom ahead of us for the summer, Lord willing!
Such a cutie!
Another blessing (in disguise!) is having more time to think through and process some of the difficult things that have happened in the recent past. There are several specific ways God is at work in my life, and He is allowing this extra time so that He can work on me while I am not distracted by caring for a child. I am grateful for time to spend with Him, and to allow Him to mold me to be a better mom and wife. I am grateful to better learn how to work through the hurt and pain, so I can be a better support to my son when he comes home.
Baby Rylea, 3 hours old!
Philip and I traveled up to Washington last week for the birth of a friend's daughter. Baby Rylea was gently placed in my arms only 3 hours after she was born. You know that old church hymn that goes “How sweet to hold a newborn baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because He (Christ) lives!”? Yeah, it is pretty cool to hold a baby that “new”. It's special to be able to pray for God's protection on her tiny body, as well protection and blessing on her life, knowing that she is in the hands of her Creator. I cannot help but be a little introspective during times like that, wondering if we've really made the right decision to adopt, especially adopt an older child.  I sometimes wonder if there is some mistake we've made, somehow we've overlooked God's path. Honestly, I can say that I have no regrets about our decision to adopt an older child. This is exactly what God has for us at this point in our lives, and He keeps confirming it in so many ways.
However, that being said, I have to confess an almost-physical ache associated with holding a newborn. Realizing that I will NEVER have that experience with my firstborn son weighs heavily on me. I will NEVER be involved in his life from the beginning. I will NEVER know his tiny hands wrapping around my finger, his newborn face scrunching up while he sleeps, his first smile, his soft baby noises. Philip and I cannot share those first few hours, days, months, and even years of his life as a family. My heart screams to Abba to protect and be a Father to my son and my heart aches for the lost time.
The blessing in that? In part, simply knowing we're doing the right thing, that we will be a family of 3 someday, and that his pain and loss will have a happy ending, by the grace of God.
My nephew, Alex
Another blessing we've experiences lately is the number of people that are actively holding my son before the Throne of God in prayer. I can't express how humbled I am (and encouraged!) to get a text from a friend saying that she's drinking a cup of tea and praying for my son. It is amazing to know that the leadership of our church is holding him in prayer and preparing their hearts to love him. I am blessed to be wished a happy mother's day by a teenager who knows our story and assures us of her prayers in this process. I really, truly appreciate it all. It's almost worth the wait just to glean the encouragement of others through prayers!
I am blessed by participation on our puzzle fundraiser. Yup, I'm mentioning that again. But honestly, we're almost at 40%, and anytime we get “the” phone call, I have the funds available to write the check as part of accepting the referral. Now everything we save and raise will go towards airfare and in-country expenses. Praise God!
I am blessed to have time with kiddos though a friend's play group. I can be the third-party observer to mom-kiddo interaction and gleam from their experience and examples.
I am blessed to meet another adoptive family that is... waiting as well, and share stories of how God has miraculously provided for each of us as we take the adoption journey.
Yes, I wish things would move a little faster, but there is so much happening for which I am thankful! Thanks for letting me share some of them! :-)