Last Sunday was a day of blessings. It began during praise & worship at church when I was completely overwhelmed with God's goodness in allowing us to be actively involved in His plan for taking care of orphans. I never thought we'd be going halfway across the world to bring home a little Ukranian girl to be part of our family--it just blows my mind that God ordained from the beginning of time for Nadia to be part of our family!
Once home from church, we travelled down to Apex for a cookout with our friends Randy, Lisa, and their daughters Hunter, Logan, Olivia (adopted from China), and Kate (adopted from Guatemala). They also invited their friends Thomas (who is graduating from Seminary) and Leslie, his wife.
Thomas shared his perspective on adoption and how it is such a parallel to how God adopted us into His family. I was blessed by this heart-felt observation and especially blessed when I found out that this "cookout" was really...
A Surprise Shower to celebrate our newest daughter!!!
I'm hoping the white dress fits Nadia so she can wear that on "Gotcha Day!"
Then it was off to our weekly small group meeting. OK, so we're not really that small of a group anymore but we still call it that. These guys are the best "family" to have around when most of your family lives out of town.
They blessed us with the all-important car seat for Miss Nadia!
They also spent time covering us in prayer as we get ready to take this awesome journey to Nadia.
Beckie, who is the one with her hand on my arm, prayed about the fact that God has been preparing our hearts and our family for this journey WAY before we even knew we would be on this journey. That was really insightful of her and blessed me tremendously to be reminded of that. (Who says the "youth" of today are going downhill--this young lady , who just graduated from college, is going to make a huge impact for the Kingdom here on earth!)
I look back on Sunday as an anchor to this completely crazy week that has been filled with travel arrangements, finishing school, house renovations, and tons of nesting (that's for another post). :)
Yes, we are very blessed to be able to bring Nadia into such a community of love and encouragement. (And that's not even to mention the amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who she gets to be related to as well!!!)
One of the things we've heard a lot about from other families who have been to Ukraine is that most of the women there wear mini-skirts and stilettos. My husband's ears perked up when he heard that since he hasn't seen me in those types of outfits since I snagged him and we walked down that matrimony aisle. (Sound familiar?) Nowadays, he's lucky if he sees me at all since we're both hustling trying to get ready to be away for 3 weeks! So, in honor of the culture of our new daughter, and to add a special perk for my husband on this adoption path (reluctant husbands, are you reading this??!!), I went out last night and bought these FABULOUS SHOES!!!
It's gonna take a little practice to get used to the altitude in these shoes but I'm going to have fun doing it and I know a certain man, who's about to become a Dad of four, who will be thrilled to see a glimpse of that gal he dated 17yrs. ago! :)
We finally received our SDA appointment via e-mail today!!! We are to be in Kyev, Ukraine on Monday, June 7th at 11am to begin the in-country process to bring Nadia home!!! That date is very significant since it is also my Mom's birthday! We are so excited and have already called the travel agency to start looking at flights for our trip.
We will be taking our two sons, Allen (13) and Michael (10) with us. We really agonized over whether to take Josi along as well but decided it was better all the way around to have her stay with my parents in Pennsylvania. She is VERY excited to have her grandparents, aunts and cousins all to herself while we're gone! Oh yes, A.J. the best Beagle in the world will be there too. :)
Hang on little girl! Your Mommy and Daddy are almost there to get you!!!
It's been four months to the day that we committed to adopt Nadia. It seems like so long ago when I sit here and think back to Sunday, January 10th when we sent the e-mail to Andrea at Reece's Rainbow saying that we wanted Nadia to be our daughter. This picture from the RR website that drew us to her from the beginning is etched forever in my mind and in my heart. It has seemed as if we've been waiting FOREVER to bring her home to our family and we really hope that this will be the week we get our State Department of Adoptions appointment. But as I sit tonight and ponder the 4 month mark since we've started this adoption, I realize that even though it feels like it's taking forever... this waiting period will seem like a blink of an eye compared to the Forever Family that we will become to Nadia. And we will be all the more richer from the lessons learned in the waiting and in the new family we are soon to become!
On Easter Sunday I was out on my back porch before everyone woke up, and as I was reading my bible, I looked up and noticed the tree line that borders our property. There were just the beginning signs of budding leaves on the trees, but what stood out to me was a lone Evergreen nestled in the midst of the soon- to- be blooming trees. I thought about how beautiful things will look once the trees are fully green and the other colors of spring and summer are upon us.
Then, God spoke to me ever so clearly about that lone Evergreen. He reminded me that if He were a tree He'd be an Evergreen. Nehemiah 9:5 says, "Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting." Whether it's the dead of winter or amidst the blooming colors of spring, God is the same, unchanging, all-knowing, all-powerful God...very much unlike me. So, the thought came to me that I want to be an Evergreen. I want to be steadfast in my faith whether I'm in the midst of a "dead of winter" trial where I can see no life or color around me; or when I'm in the middle of a joyful "full bloom of spring-time" type of moment.
This adoption process has been frought with many highs and lows but through it all my God has not changed one bit.
1) He is still able to do miracles. "For you are great, and do great miracles. You alone are God. Psalms 86:10
2)He is still mighty and faithful. "O Jehovah, Commander of the heavenly armies, where is there any other Mighty One like you? Faithfulness is your very character." Psalms 89:8
3) He is still my refuge and worthy of my trust. "This I declare, that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting Him." Psalms 91:2
I have at times been able to keep my eyes on Him and leave the entire process in His hands. (Shades of being an Evergreen). Those were times of peace and joy. Ahhhhhh...
There were other times, like last week when we found out that we wouldn't be receiving our SDA appointment because of another form needed, that I allowed myself to be tossed about in the wind like flowers from a Dogwood Tree blown away in a stiff, spring breeze. (Definitely not an Evergreen!) As I wallowed about in my pit of self-pity, God stood there patiently with the rope to pull me out but as I sometimes do....I continued to show my "colors" by staying focused on how things affected ME and MY plans instead of trusting God with the final outcome--NO MATTER HOW IT LOOKED AT THE MOMENT! Those are times of fatigue, sorrow, and little peace. Yuuuuuck!
Thankfully, another characteristic of my God that is unchanging and everlasting is His patience. "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his UNLIMITED PATIENCE as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." 1 Timothy 1:15,16
Yes, I truly enjoy the grandeur and colors of God's creation and when I see a burst of color like this one, it makes me feel alive and appreciative that our Creator has given us so much beauty to enjoy.
But when I step back and take a look at the bigger picture...I'm even more thankful that God will be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow... JUST LIKE AN EVERGREEN!!!
After a long and disappointing week with more delays in our adoption process, the bright spot came in the form of a transformed room. Josi is very excited about sharing a room with Nadia and had lots of fun helping me pick out new bedspreads, paint colors, and furniture. So, without further ado (and since I'm trying to rush out the door to get to small group on time), here are the before and after pictures.
Thanks to my dear husband for working so hard to coordinate his efforts and those of the workers to make this room come to life in such a short time! I really needed to SEE some evidence that we truly are bringing home a precious child in need of a family and a room to share with her big sister!
(Thanks to Nicole for suggesting I get this on my blog--I needed the push after wallowing in self-pity most of the week-ugh!)
....AND AFTER!!! PRETTY COOL HUH???
Can't wait to see my girls playing with dolls, doing each other's hair, and staying up too late whispering to each other in this room!!! Please God, let it be soon!
"To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways: we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness. It should rather be an expression of breathless expectation."- Oswald Chambers
I am a Northern Gal transplanted in the South for over 20 years now. I have a wonderful husband who is the best partner God could have given me. I have 4 terrific kiddos--3 born from my womb and one born in my heart through adoption. Join me as I chronicle our lives as newly adoptive parents and as we navigate our new normal of having 2 daughters with Down syndrome.