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An update on our journey to bring our little girl from China home…

I am learning to surrender to Jesus…and to follow my husband.

These are two things–I confess…that I struggle with.

I like to be in control. I like to get things done–and I am secretly driven by the motto “if you want it done right–do it yourself.” SO…I stink when it comes to delegating. I rarely say no to a task…well, because if I want it done right–you know the rest. And I have seen this pattern play out in little things like planning perfect birthday parties to big things like making family decisions (which by the way…really aren’t my job).

I am married to an AMAZING man who trusts my walk with the Lord–and often when I say I feel led to do something, he holds my hand and walks with me toward it. When we decided to adopt our 4th child, it was after seeing an adoption slideshow on YouTube that left me weeping in my seat. Granted, I believe I was moved by the Holy Spirit and a seed was planted–but ultimately…looking back now…I feel as if I was in the driver’s seat. Of course I slowed down and some times put ‘er in neutral to wait for him to get on board. And eventually we were right there together–going full force in a paper chase to bring one of the most amazing kids on the other side of the planet HOME.

When we talk about the journey to our son…it is truthfully remembered by momma making lists. Momma telling him what to do…fingerprints on Friday at 3:30 at UPS–DO NOT FORGET…doctor’s physical next Tuesday for bloodwork at 5pm…made it for 5pm dear so you wouldn’t have to take off too much time for work…and meet me at 2pm at Starbucks–need you to initial everything and then we’ll pop in the UPS next store for everything to be notarized…GOT IT?

I read the books and gave him 10 minute Cliff Notes talks. Encouraged him to go to Together for Adoption conferences…come on honey it will be fun to connect with others on our journey. AND Travel time came…naturally–I was more “attached” to the journey and I went…while he stayed back with the children. Truthfully, he wanted me to go because I am a stay-at-home mom and it made more sense for ME to go–especially due to the face we had an 18 month old at home going through separation anxiety. We needed to maintain as much peace in the hearts of our children as possible as a new transition was about to happen. BUT also what was happening…is I was the driving force when God created a husband to be…and I need to hold his hand and follow instead.

Thankfully, we serve a God of grace…and He works miracles around me…and nothing can thwart His plans–not even a “get ‘er done…gotta get my baby home…nobody better get in my way” ME. Thank you Jesus.

Earlier this week, we were talking and gaging our hearts on this journey to our precious daughter in China. We were laughing about how my plate was full with Created for Care Retreat planning, homeschooling our children, Wiphan Ministry work…and can I just say homeschooling our children again for full-plate-status-sake again? Our plates are full…but we absolutely feel the Lord asking us to grow our family once more. Yet something within me doesn’t feel *I* should be the one getting all the things done. I have done it before–so it would make sense for me to do it again as I know what all the abbreviations, forms and things mean–but I felt in my heart…I need to hand this completely over. And I did.

I asked him if he would like to take care of everything this time…to be the one talking to the caseworker…to tell me what I need to do on the checklist and when…to LEAD OUR FAMILY IN GROWING…and be able to pray for guidance in timing for each and every step. Part of me thought he would tell me that he really had no desire to…how thankful he was that I did everything and wanted to…and just to let him know when and where to be once again. But my beau smiled–not thinking I’d actually hand over the “sacred white 3 ring binder”…and I clinched it tight for a moment.

“Do you want this???”

Can you part with it and trust me to do it?

GULP. “Yes.”

I know as a wife, my beau would like me to trust him and how the Lord leads him…so whether it’s done in 3 months or 3 years…I am excited–and I want to trust how the Lord leads my husband to lead our family. For the next few months, you may not see many “China adoption” updates–because there probably won’t be pictures to document the steps and some times…my beau may even forget to tell me what he did or didn’t get accomplished. And that’s okay. Momma is going to be the momma…do the job the Lord has called me to do RIGHT now–and trust my husband to lead and drive our family as the Lord leads.

I only had about 30% of the things checked off…IF THAT…and it’s out of my hands–and that oddly feels good. If you run into me and ask where we are in our journey, my answer will probably be, “That is a GREAT question!” BUT having one little girl–I know there is just something so special about a daddy to a little girl. And I love that my little girl’s daddy can tell her…that he jumped through a million hoops to get her home. That he went to a million places to make sure she’d be in his arms soon. That he prayed for God to lead him in His perfect timing…so one day our hearts would be matched together…because it was God’s plan for us to be family…for her to be his little girl.

I walked away feel so refreshed…knowing that all was going to be taken care of…so many things I thought I had to do–no longer did I have to worry about a one. And it reminded me of the cross. What our lives should look like. Taking our loads and giving them to Him…releasing all the things we hold most dear to Him…and trusting Him, our Creator, with the outcome. I love when marriage mirrors Christ’s relationship to us, and His love for us. And I love that THIS is the picture of how our daughter is being brought home. My heart longs for her just the same…but this feels RIGHT…and I’m so excited to see how He leads.

Elle J - August 18, 2011 - 12:35 am

Amen!! This is fantastic, Andrea. I love how you wrote every sentence; it is so positive and uplifting. Well done – letting go, trusting Him and him, and beginning the journey in a new and equally special way.

Sandi - August 18, 2011 - 2:37 am

Okay…wow. I told my hubby tonight that he had a son from another mother-sponsored child. I told him my stories of my day of the man with the torn sock, in the wheelchair who needed help…of the young man who needed a little something extra…of the woman who lost her job who needed help buying her medicine. When I thought he was going to say, “Ok go back to work if you are going to give away my hard earned money”, his response was simply a smile. He said he had a heart to heart with our 7 yr old about what it means to be christian while mommy was gone. I think God gives us laid back husbands because he knows that they will be the calm and the still when our hearts are leading us to go and do. God is so good.

Lara - August 18, 2011 - 9:39 am

I am so glad to know I’m not the only one that’s captain of the Adoption Ship. It’s so hard to give over control, even to my spouse.

Kristin - August 18, 2011 - 11:04 am

Oh wow. I am weeping right now because I know that feeling. I am in awe of what you are doing and I applaud you and your husband. Your family is a beautiful picture of what God can do if we let Him lead. I have been following you for some time now and have been so enlightened by your lives. Thank you for sharing what God has laid on your heart!

Alison - August 18, 2011 - 1:20 pm

I LOVE this, Andrea. I have had to step back SO MANY times and realize that I am the one trying to make the decisions and lead our family…instead of letting Jody do it! I love that you are giving this adoption journey to your husband to lead ya’ll! Way to go! I know it must have been really hard to hand over the 3 ring binder!!!

Dawn - August 18, 2011 - 1:27 pm

WOW!!!! I am such a control freak when it comes to adoption. I am the planner, the checklist person, the person who wants it done yesterday- 3 months ago would have been better!! YOU are amazing for doing this…..can totally see God in it 🙂

Tracy Sheehy - August 18, 2011 - 3:13 pm

I struggle with that same thing. When you said you read the books and gave him the 10 minute cliff notes…I had to laugh because I do that too. Thank you for sharing!