Wow! It is has been 4 months since my last blog! And, boy, what a ride those 4 months have been! This past week was HUGE for us. We F-I-N-A-L-L-Y were able to go to our USCIS fingerprint appointment which was the LAST item on our list before we could submit our dossier. We went to our appointment and then mailed in our dossier the same day. On Friday, our dossier arrived in Portland at our adoption agency, and when they called to confirm that it had arrived, we were SO surprised to hear them say that it looked "perfect!" Nothing about our process has gone that smoothly or quickly. NOTHING. Then came the surprise I wasn't expecting. Our caseworker said that they were going ahead and putting us on the wait list, which I thought would take WEEKS! So, with that said, here is our first wait list number...
That's right! We are officially #124 for an Ethiopian baby boy! Our estimated wait time is 18-24 months from now to get a referral. And, we are going to trust God that the day will not come a day to soon or a day too late. Feel free to remind me of this in the days ahead. :)
For me, Friday was a high. The road blocks we hit at the end of 2011 truly had us wondering a few times if we would ever make it this far. Without getting into specifics, we underwent some pretty intense spiritual warfare and our adoption process took the brunt of the attack. A normal Home Study should only take 3-4 months to complete, and, when all was said and done, ours took NINE. It was rough. But, God is faithful, and He is victorious. And, He proved that through the process of our Home Study. And, through it all, we remained convinced that we started the journey of adoption not because it was something WE sought, but rather, it was something that God called us to do. And, where God calls, He equips and provides. And, that is what He did. The timing has not been ours, and still is not ours. But, we are resting in the fact that HE is in control. Today is only day 3 of what will likely be a LONG wait, but once again, we are trusting in Him.
From the beginning of this blog, my deepest desire was to share our journey with whomever might be interested. My deepest desires have been to be real, to be transparent, for God to speak through me in some small way, and for Him to be glorified. So, because of those things, I want to share with you what God has done in my heart over this last year and a half. It's kind of the "back story" to our adoption. It's been something that I have felt like for a while that God has wanted me to share, but, honestly, it's a long story. It's something that I have tried to share with people in shorter conversations, and I usually just walk away feeling like I didn't do it or God justice.
Over this past year or so, God has been doing some major work in my heart. MAJOR. And, much of the time, it has not been pretty. I don't even know how to put into words what God has done in my heart over the past year and a half. Going through the process of adoption has been the most refining thing I have ever done in my life. Nothing has ever required as much faith or as much trusting as this has. Nothing has required this much transparency or surrender. I can't even describe it. It has been deeply emotional, gut-wrenching, and just really, really HARD. It's also been one of the most joyful, most fulfilling, most satisfying things I have ever done. I have had more peace and felt more freedom in my spiritual life than at any other point so far. And, as one of my friends who walked this road ahead of me shared with me early on, I have SEEN God like never before. He has been SO real to me through every step of the process. I am beyond grateful that God called us to walk this path.
I want to share with you my story. Not because I have anything spectacular to say. I have said it before, but blogging is a little (lot) out of my comfort zone. I truly do it because I want to share what God has done. I hope that comes across to anyone who cares to read my blog. I want to share with you my heart and what God has done throughout our adoption process and what He continues to do. However, I am going to warn you, it is going to take me several posts.
This period of our lives, this journey, has been what I can only call a "undoing" of sorts in my Christian faith. I decided to follow Jesus early in my life, but, I have to honestly say that I took the "saving" and "grace" part of my faith much more seriously than I did the "following" and "obedience" until God really grabbed my attention sometime in the summer of 2010. If you have been around me for more than five minutes since that time, you probably already know that God used the book Crazy Love to start this undoing. Through that book, He began to awaken me to some biblical truths that I honestly had never seriously considered or contemplated before, despite being in church my entire life. But, more than that, Crazy Love caused me to dive into the Bible like never before, to try to understand what it really means to be a follower of Jesus. What was wild to me, is that much of what I was reading and coming to understand about what God really cares about was NEW to me. Not that I hadn't read these passages before, but somehow, even after years of outstanding church attendance, daily quiet times, and Bible reading plans, I had never understood that as followers of Christ, we are actually supposed to DO something with His words, and not just the ones that we like.
So, what I would like to do over the course of several blog posts is to share my heart. You can follow along with me or not. As I said, I started this blog not because I have great things to say, but because I wanted to share with you my journey. I wanted to be transparent. And, I wanted to share with you what God is really doing in our lives. And, I would love to hear what He is doing in yours. I love to hear a testimony about what Jesus is doing to transform a life. I have come to realize that I have spent the majority of my walk with God not living a life of transformation. There have been transforming moments, but not daily transformation. Somewhere along the way, I started to think that going to church, reading my Bible, and occasionally sharing my faith with someone was enough. What I have learned is that God desires for our faith to continually transform us. I had become very stagnant, and honestly, I was pretty happy sitting in my stagnation. If that sounds gross, it should. I now think my stagnant faith was pretty disgusting. And, while I do not pretend for a second to have this all figured out, I do know that Jesus is daily transforming me, and He has been slowly stripping away the things that do not matter (a lot of them) and building back my faith with the things that do matter. It's the process of sanctification walked out. Of making me holy. And, people, it's a lot of work. I have so far to go. The process has been been uncomfortable, it has been frustrating, but it has been absolutely the most liberating thing I have ever experienced.
The way that I want to share with you my journey is to share the scriptures that were my absolute undoing. These are the ones that changed my life. And, they all still affect me on almost a daily basis. I hope they are still changing me to be more like Jesus. He has changed my heart. And, it didn't happen with a one-time prayer. It is still happening. And, I hope that if it isn't clear yet, that one day it will be evident by my actions and by the way that I love. I'm a work in progress, folks. There's still so much work for Him to do.
So, I guess, this is a "stay tuned" kind of post. I hope you will come back for the next one. I'd love to hear what you have to say about the first passage. It's from the book of Mark, and, in what I have to assume was God's perfect timing, it hit me like a ton of bricks, and it was the start of my coming undone.
Thanks for sharing the journey! I'm so blessed to have you along for the ride!