Friday, August 24, 2012

The Glad Game

So, we had some movement on the adoption front this past week. It turns out that the US Embassy could not reach the person who found Moses so the phone interview never happened. They are now requesting a sit-down interview with him, in which, our agency in Ethiopia must set-up. The CWAE staff is nothing short of amazing! They have been working and fighting for us so hard throughout this final US Embassy step. After some searching, CWAE got in contact with our finder and set up an interview date for September 18 at 7:30am (that is September 17 at 11:30pm our time). PLEASE join us in praying over the interview while it's happening at that exact time. The Embassy was unfortunately booked with interviews until this date. In most cases thus far, once the interview happens, the Embassy has cleared families that morning. We are hoping and praying that this is the case for us, and they do not need more information to prove his once, orphan status.

We were really hoping to travel as soon as possible after we got clearance, but with this timeframe we are going to have to wait a little bit longer (it's freakin' killing me, people!) since we are coming up on film festival season, in which Jordan runs Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival worldwide. That will be starting up 2 days after the interview and will last what feels like a lifetime. After the festival we will be free to travel! That will put our travel dates around the end of September to early October.

I've always known that the timeline for Moses coming home has always been set. I always knew that the timing would work out the best way possible if I just let go of the timeline and let God do his thing. It is a conscious battle daily to let go of let go of control. But, to be completely honest, it has been easier to do this now that we have an actual date to go off of. 

Most of my girlfriends, say that I can always see the good even in the worst situation, and it is true. I can! When I was little girl, one of my favorite movies was Pollyanna. If you are familiar with her story, you know that Pollyanna is a recently orphaned little girl who had to go live with her very cold aunt that also runs the town and it's people by intimidation. Pollyanna would play this game she coined "the glad game." Whenever there was a negative or hopeless situation happening or a person that was just being a "negative nancy", Pollyanna would play this game and she would say something to be glad about. Before long, everyone around her started seeing the good stuff in things too, and the whole town's perspective changed, even her aunt's.  My mother would always make me and my brother's play this game when we were complaining about something. I loved this as a little girl, and I love it even more now as an adult, because I see even more now, that Pollyanna knew what was up. As a little girl, just searching for the goodness in something and just simply saying it and claiming it out loud, would completely change my perspective on the situation, and honestly, that is how I have lived my life ever since. I have never stopped playing that game.

So, guess what?! I am tired of feeling sad, helpless, weak, pressed, and everything else negative under the sun about waiting for Moses. I AM PLAYING THE GLAD GAME! And this is what I am so glad about while waiting for Moses.....

-Family nights. These phenomenal days that I have had with just me, Jordan, Max, and Stella, where we can heal all of our waiting and anxious hearts by just loving on each other as a family.

-My husband. This amazing man that stands by my side, who is still there, after all this time and  after all we have been through since the day that I laid eyes on him. I am utterly and completely in love with him, after all this time, more than I ever have been. 

-Being able to take Stella to her first day of kindergarten.

- Getting to spend 4 weeks alone with Max during the day while Stella is in school. Being the second child, he has never had that much one-on-one attention. With me being the middle child, I know he will appreciate that.

-Being a mom to 2 out of 3 of my kids at this moment. Let's face it, things could be worse, so I will choose to be happy on the days I have with, at least 2 of my children, playing tea party, puzzles, and robot battles all day long.

- Getting to go to work and talk with my sweet clients friends about our journey, and just being filled to the brim with nothing but words of support and encouragement. I have the best job and the best clients in the world, y'all!

-My family and friends. Anyone who I have laughed with, cried with, and have been vulnerable with these past couple of months. I am so eternally grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for continually pointing me to Jesus when I need it most.

- Spiritual Growth. Being able to have those daily moments of reflection, where I look at where I was, where I am now, and how far I have come. Looking at all of that and seeing without a doubt God's working in me and how He he caused such a transformation. I can only respond by saying, "YOU ARE AMAZING GOD! HOW GREAT IS MY GOD" I deserve none of His goodness, but in the midst of my struggling, and my crying out to Him, his loving kindness appears through all of these things that I am glad about it, just as he promised. Guaranteed to work every time!

So, I want to try something. All of you readers out there have to participate. I say, screw these bad situations in our lives that we keep letting get the best of us! Let's encourage each other. Let's play the glad game.......

Tell me, what are you glad about? 

"What men and women need is encouragement. Their natural resisting powers should be strengthened, not weakened.... Instead of always harping on a man's faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his better self, his REAL self that can dare and do and win out!... The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town.... People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts. If a man feels kindly and obliging, his neighbors will feel that way, too, before long. But if he scolds and scowls and criticizes—his neighbors will return scowl for scowl, and add interest!... When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good—you will get that..."
(Quote from "Pollyanna" by Eleanor H. Porter)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Counting More Than Just The Days

"I am counting on the Lord; Yes, I am counting on Him. 
I have put my hope in His word."
Psalm 130:5

Here we are still waiting. Waiting for the last leg of this race. I would love to say that it has gotten easier, that the excitement and anticipation of having him home soon has been enough to drown out the more hurtful and harder truths. There has been nothing harder than watching my son grow older through pictures and not being there in the everyday details; in the memory making. To say that we will have catching up to do is a huge understatement. Each day that goes by is just a reminder of this hard truth that my son is growing up without me right now, and I want nothing more than to be with him in the flesh and grow together.

Here is the paperwork update... We got word from the US Embassy in Ethiopia last Tuesday that our case was submitted to them and they would be looking over it and notifying us along the way. This process usually takes a couple of weeks IF all goes smoothly, the word "if" being the main word, because nothing hardly ever goes smoothly in the adoption paperwork world. Last Friday, we got another email saying that they have cleared Jordan and I as the parents and now they are checking on his orphan status. Praise God! Two emails in one week, I couldn't believe it. Today, we got word that they have requested a phone interview with the key witness in our situation, and so now, we wait patiently and hopeful, that a phone interview will be sufficient for our case, and we will get the final email saying WE ARE CLEARED TO TRAVEL. At that point we book our planes as soon as possible and go and pick him up. 

So, what have we been doing these past few weeks to make the time go by. As we go through one of the hardest trials of waiting we have ever been through, we find ourselves on our faces at the feet of Jesus on a daily basis. Honestly, waking up in the morning and starting a new day in the States is the last thing I want to do. I want to be waking up and getting on a plane. That is the only thing in the entire world that I want to do right now, and honestly, doing anything else annoys me and is uninteresting. I feel like my days consist of a bunch of busy work to pass the time which, lets be honest, busy work puts everyone in such a chipper mood (note the sarcasm), so I have no other choice than every morning to fall at the feet of Jesus, asking him to change my heart and spirit, and proclaim to Him that EVERY DAY that I breathe life is yet another one of HIS days to get glory, even in the waiting phase. It is so easy to serve Jesus and to proclaim His glory in the good and happy times, but so hard in the struggling times. His glory is still there though, we just have to choose to see it. 

Here are a few things I have been doing to keep my mind off of what I really want to be doing. Birthday parties for the kids, cleaning out our house, date nights (lots of date nights), field trips with the kids, you get the picture. I decided to do one last garage sale fundraiser to help fund our trip to Ethiopia, and my selfish thoughts were that this would be a good way to take my mind off of things and keep me busy. By this point I was fully aware that my tank was running on empty and pulling off another garage sale, was going to take everything out of me. As I was going through the piles of stuff  in my 100+ degrees garage (it's freaking hot in Texas) I would just pray. I would pray over every little trinket and shirt praying that not only through this "stuff" we would get closer to bringing Moses home, but that He would be glorified and seen through it. Yes, because, my God can even be glorified through an old t-shirt. In these moments of sweatiness and desperation of crying out to God, He opened my eyes to what his heart is for us, and that in order to be great and feel great we have to serve. That is the only way to experience the fullness of His joy. We don't experience it by sitting around and waiting for Him to bring it to us, we must get dirty,sweaty and uncomfortable and serve Him.  It is amazing how my God can change hearts and perspectives through prayer and His word.

"The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Matthew 23:11-12

 That weekend we had the garage sale, and because of all that stuff I had sifted through earlier in the week, I had some great conversations with people about adoption and Jesus that produced nothing but glory to God, which in return, brought me an overwhelming amount of pure joy that filled me up completely even though I was physically tired and drained. On top of all of that we were able to raise $1500 on this garage sale! That is enough to cover our guest home stay, remaining court fees, travel expenses and Moses' ticket home. All we have left to buy are Jordan and I's plane tickets. My God is truly a God who moves mountains!

I wish I knew the exact dates of when we were traveling to go get Moses. I wish I had an answer other than, "soon!" when people ask me when he is coming home, but I don't. But God does. The story has already been written and there is not enough busy work or any amount of worrying or sadness that will make that day come sooner. So, we are waiting and counting on Jesus and putting our hope in His word. We are leaving it at that, and still giving Him everyday in between.