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Along for the ride…

free-pictures-rollercoaster-superman-SpacePotatoFirst…I want to say to those of you reading along this year with me the One Year Bible reading…thank you for your PATIENCE these last few days. I must warn you, you are taggin’ along with a momma in the midst of her adoption journey. It’s one of “ebs and flows” they say…and being in a looong eb, invites the downhill stretch of one of the parts of the adoption roller coaster. BUT…let me also say that TODAY’S POST will be one I come back and read AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN on my journey and wait…so bear with me.

First—if you can’t read between the lines in my last few posts, I’ve been discouraged. Yes, it’s true. As a write I can make even the dimmest days seem flowery, but I’ve never been a good faker. So it’s true. I’ve been discouraged. (BEAR WITH ME.) Some of you may be adopting yourself and many of you reading may be specifically with our agency, so you know we’re in the midst of a wait…with little or no movement. When you wait—or you feel like you are at a standstill in life—it’s often easy to look around.

My friend Addie said to me the other day as I confessed my discouragement, “Andrea what is it you always say? Don’t look to the left or right. Look straight ahead at the race the Lord has called you to. Don’t give up on what His plan is for you.”

Um. Right. Ad, you sure that’s what I always say? Truth spoken. Didn’t listen. Looked to the left and the right. BUT–my eyes are up now…bear with me some more.

We started our process in August and when we turned in our dossier our agency told us conservatively we could plan on a referral by May–but this was being conservative. So, my heart thought May—but secretly thought MAYBE March. As there has been no movement, I realized March and April were out…but so was May. After talking with my caseworker, we realized late summer was a more realistic month to get a referral—which would mean we may possibly get caught in court closure in August and September—so the hopes to have a baby home by Thanksgiving…maybe a little more of a reality. Longer than I had hoped—so I look to the left and the right.

Aren’t there little ones out there that NEED me RIGHT now? Pick up phone. Call local agency. Lady says YES! We need families RIGHT now. Get excited. Tell husband when he comes home. Husband looks at me and says—honey, that isn’t what I feel the Lord saying to us. I feel our child is in Africa. We have to wait. Check my email. Reread email from caseworker confirming late summer more realistic. Richard leaves to go to bed. All alone in the quiet. Tears. Just had to get that out. Then I prayed—and the Lord brought rest to my soul and spoke clearly again to my heart.

DID I WAIT ON YOU ANDREA?? DID I EVER GIVE UP ON YOU?? NO. I did not. Because you were MY child. I KNEW you would be mine. And you, my daughter, I knew you were worth the wait. I wanted you sooner. I longed. I even cried. But you were worth every bit of the wait. And I refused to give up on you. So then…I tackled what I always tackle when the Lord speaks to my heart…the big questions: What is true of this situation?

Do I believe the Lord led me to my agency? Yes.

Do I feel the Lord led us to Africa? Yes.

Did He specifically confirm through scripture His plan just a few weeks ago? Yes.

Do I trust the Lord with His plan for our family even if it means waiting longer and being a harder road? Ummmmm…pause…DEEP BREATH…YES

I became a believer when I was 18. I believe the Lord persued me RELENTLESSLY for 18 long years. I am SOOOOO thankful He never questioned like I did, “Isn’t there a little one out there that needs me RIGHT NOW?!” Nope. Instead, He said, “That one…she is mine. And I will wait for her as long as it takes.”

I believe He called us to this journey. I believe He led us to AGCI. I believe He is good. I believe He knows what is best for Parker, Laney and Frank…AND OUR CHILD IN ETHIOPIA. And I ALSO believe He is using YOUR prayers to sustain us and carry us through this journey.

FINALLY–as if His revelation couldn’t get any bigger…today is the 6th day of Lent. I chose the ornament for Day 6 (the day I had no idea a month ago as I put it together how much it would mean!) to be the story of Isaac and Abraham. There are TWO stories that the Lord has pressed on our hearts about our child—1. The story of Moses (I feel the Lord wants us to reach out in a different way to our child’s birth mother if she is still living) and 2. The story of Isaac…so much so…Isaac is one of the names I have been trying to convince Rich to consider for our son! BUT it’s the STORY that God has pressed on my heart from the beginning…and today when I was in the valley of discouragement…He REMINDED me of His LOVE through MY CHILDREN’S LENT TREE!

You can imagine how crazy we looked filling out adoption papers with a 4 year old, 3 year old and 7 month old last summer. Yes, crazy. So crazy–that a few folks asked us if we were. Some times I wondered. BUT THEN…one night–the Lord specifically put Isaac and Abraham on my heart…

Do you think Abraham looked CRAZY taking little Isaac up the mountain to be sacrified? Do you think his servants who trailed behind thought he had lost it? Do you think Isaac, his beloved son, questioned His father and thought he was nuts?! YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! BUT…the Lord was faithful and wanted to see if Abaraham would do anything that He called Him to. AND the Lord also provided. A ram in Isaac’s place. That story I have carried in my heart when I have gotten comments “Oh that’s nice”…”How interesting to adopt a baby from Ethiopia”…”You sure are going to have your hands full”…but the Lord always says, REMEMBER ABRAHAM…BE FAITHFUL…FOLLOW ME…YOU MIGHT LOOK CRAZY TO THE WORLD…BUT I WILL PROVIDE…DON’T LOOK TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT…TRUST IN ME!!!

So today…when I needed the reminder the most—the Lord had my little Laney pull this out of the bag…IMG_1533

He will provide. He will guide. And like Him, I don’t want to give up. I will fight the good fight until the end…and if you are still hanging around when we get to the end…you are invited to come to the airport and see me bring home my son. Because…HE IS WORTH IT!

Dear Babe of my Heart,

Your momma wants you home so badly, that some times I get so impatient and these last few days…I have taken my eyes off the One who matters most. I have looked around at my circumstances and the need around me. BUT—I know the Lord has called me to YOU. I am not perfect—and you should know that about your momma from the very beginning. This will not be the first time that I let you down. BUT—just as the Lord never gave up on me, I will not give up on you. He waited 18 years on me, and I will wait for you. Tears stream down my cheeks right now as I type wanting to have you home so badly. You must be SOOOOO SPECIAL and the Lord loves you SO MUCH to make my heart ache so. BUT…you are worth it. And I will NOT give up fighting for you. There is a mommy who carried you in her belly, but you are in my heart….and I even hope to be able to tell your first mommy how I longed for you, fought for you and will NEVER give up on you. I can’t wait to have you home. And if you think I’m crazy now, you’re going to really think I’m crazy when I won’t put you down or let anyone else hold you;). Just as the Lord said of me…she is mine—I will wait on her and not give up! I say that about you. I can’t wait to have you home forever.


Today’s reading: Leviticus 17:1-19:37 (Today’s post was about all I could commentate…so I’ll be picking up on Tuesday’s scripture reading tomorrow:).

Nikki - February 23, 2010 - 1:21 am

Amen. Praying for you tonight.

Shannon - February 23, 2010 - 2:22 am

I’m continually amazed at the beautiful posts you write and even in the midst of discouragement you continue to encourage others. I’m so glad you heard Him tonight and can take comfort in following His plan. As we were doing our reading tonight my 8 year old said “No way, would I sacrifice my son if God asked.” Such honesty…and I will never be able to fully comprehend this part of the bible myself but I believe you’re right on…it’s about obedience and being obedient often looks crazy to the world. What could look more crazy then sacrificing your own child? But Abraham was obedient and God met him there. I want to live my life in obedience but it is so easy to look to the right and left. Thank you for the reminder to keep looking straight ahead~I will be praying for your family and the baby that will be so blessed to join you!

Becca Harley - February 23, 2010 - 6:11 am

oh – I needed that this morning! Thank you so much for opening up through your frustration – what an encouragement! We are also dreading the wait – and we are not even on the list yet! But we did feel God calling us to AGCI, and definitely to ethiopia, so….eyes forward! Praying for you today.
Hugs from NY, becca

angie - February 23, 2010 - 7:40 am

my heart breaks for you andrea. i have been were you are a million time during our 2 year wait for silas. but! know that God is working on you and shaping you during this time. i didn’t know it at the time (i was stubborn and didn’t want to be molded…i wanted my baby). BUT…He was right (why do i question Him?!). i needed it BIG time and i would not be the person i am today without the wait.

plus, it will make the homecoming THAT much sweeter. believe me, it is amazing to bring a baby home after a short wait…but just imagine the JOY and REJOICING of bringing home a child that you (and everyone) has prayed for and waiting for for SO long. it is incedible. i still have no words to describe silas’ homecoming.

i know this is crazy…but i am thankful for the wait. once i was past it, i could see all the blessing that God had planned for us that we would have not experienced on my time frame. being on the other side, i can say with confidence that EVERY detail was beautiful orchastrated by God…even if it took A LOT longer than i ever expected and took many turns that i did not expect to take.

hang it there, friend. i know it is impossible…and there is not much that anyone can say to comfort you (well, except for how much it STINKS to wait).

i love you and am here for you.
…and i promise to never say “told you so” again 🙂

Jenn - February 23, 2010 - 10:14 am

quick comment as I rush my kiddos out the door for school…but I AM HERE IN IT WITH YOU 🙂 If nothing else…misery loves company right 🙂 I feel your pain and know exactly what you are going through…I’m here anytime you need to chat! We WILL get through this!!


JonesEthiopia - February 23, 2010 - 10:33 am

I know… The wait is SO hard. Painful. My heart ached for my girls when we were waiting. And, I know that AGCI is always very conservative in their estimated time frames. We didn’t think, when we got on the list this 2nd time in May 2009, that we’d have a referral for 10 months to a year…. And we got our referal a little over 5 months after being on the list! And there were months of very little movement for us, too. I know this isn’t all that helpful right now, but I just wanted to share that I know how you feel and hope that the referral comes sooner rather than later!

Dawn - February 23, 2010 - 12:09 pm

I am with you on this! My heart wants a child so desperately….my heart wants…..TO NOT WAIT ANY MORE!!!!! hanging in there with you!

Sara - February 23, 2010 - 12:22 pm

The wait. OH, the wait. It is so so hard. I feel your pain. Your writing is beautiful. Amen.

P.S. I have been trying to convince my husband of the name Isaac, too….he’s not biting. 🙁

kristi johnson - February 23, 2010 - 2:36 pm

so beautifully written..I can SOOOOO feel your pain!! Been there done that one!! AND, crazy, but i can’t wait to be back in your shoes some day!! 🙂 wonderful post…kristi