Thursday, February 28, 2013

Draining, Rejoicing, Thanking

The past few weeks have been draining.

It’s Lent, so my husband has two sermons to write and memorize each week instead of one.  I fill in as organist more often to relieve the burden on our one regular church organist.  Our church has received a request to form a dual parish with another church of our fellowship (located 30 miles away), so there’s been a lot of conversation on that. Work has been just exhausting for me.  The kids have been SO wired and loud and crazy.  Finally, of course, there is adoption paperwork.  We thought we were ‘done’ with the home study, only to have our social worker request scans of certain dossier documents before she wrote it.  Understandable, but hard for us to do in this busy season, in which we are struggling to find time to sit down together and get any sort of serious decisions made.

We may be changing our country choice, which would mean switching to another agency for placement after our home study is done and in our hands.  I don’t know what our home study (current) agency will think or do about that, but we have to do what’s right for us.  We never were ‘decided’ on country choice (just ‘declared’), can’t see how any of their country programs are going to work for us, and they have been questioning our declaration since we made it, encouraging us to continue elsewhere.  No decisions have been made – at this point, the goal is to simply get the home study done and go from there.  But it’s something needing to be carefully thought over, something else to consider amidst this very mentally full schedule of ours.

It was a wonderful day for some special friends of ours and the adoption of their baby girl was finalized in court today.  Yesterday was a grand day for the sister of an online acquaintance, as they received word that they will soon be parents of twin 3-year-old boys.  I admit, my first, knee-jerk reaction was to cry out of pure selfishness.  What wasn’t it OUR turn?  WE’ve been waiting for over six years for children; these couples had only been waiting about four years each.  When, Lord, will it be MY time?

Yes, selfish.

My struggle today is to rejoice in their triumphs.  And as both couples praise God for answered prayers, I look to focus on my prayers that have been answered, instead of whining about the big one that hasn’t yet received my desired answer.

I prayed long and hard for a significant other…boyfriend or fiancĂ© or husband…and was blessed with my wonderful man, with whom I went from dating to engaged to married in less than ten months.  Many times, while working long, stressful hours to support my husband through Seminary, I pleaded with God that it would end.  It did.  I asked my Heavenly Father for my husband’s vicarage (internship) to be someplace warm, and his first Call to be somewhere back in the Midwest.  YES on both counts, and oh my, what joyful days those were! 

There has also been an unexpected blessing that I never asked for when we decided, rather suddenly, to get a dog last November.  I cannot even begin to express the joy she has brought us!  She has been such a loving, nurturing, healing balm to my hurting heart over the last several months.  We have asked ourselves several times, “Why did we wait so long to get a dog?” only to realize that, if we hadn’t waited, we wouldn’t have this one.

What a fitting prelude to our future adoption.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February Song

(The title of this post is borrowed from the lovely Josh Groban work, "February Song.")

Oh, February.  I think it's always been my least favorite month.  First off, there's the weather.  Gray, cloudy, slushy, muddy, and cold.  It really depresses me, to the point that I bought a therapy lamp last year.  Also, growing up, I hated Valentine's Day because I had no Valentine.  Of course, that changed when I got married.  My husband also happens to have a February birthday, which is something to look forward to.  In 2010-2011 we spent a year in the subtropics and I found I LOVED February.  The weather was absolutely beautiful.  It was quite the contrast to February in the upper Midwest, which we are now back to.  Gloom, gray, and cold.

It's kind of a fitting picture.  While it feels much better to be actually 'in-process' with adoption, it still feels stagnant.  We put so much work and time into the home study, only to move on to the more intensive dossier.  We declared a country (Hong Kong), only to still feel completely undecided about where we are adopting from.  As our social worker and the country representative have continued to constantly remind us, it is a program that only has children with moderate-major, lifelong special needs available.  I think we are both afraid of moving one step forward, only to take two steps back.

The point of my post here was to provide a bit of an update on our adoption status, as well as our mental and emotional states.  I guess I've done that.  You can see that things are moving, but we are as uncertain and fearful as ever.

God is in control, and He knows what He is doing.  His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.  I can rest in that.