big blue signs

it had been a late night - i think a pool party or something like that. i can't remember the details. after all, it was high school and unfortunately that was a pretty long time ago! but we aren't dwelling on that detail...i was driving back home and sort of sensed that i was going the wrong way but didn't do anything about it. i just kept driving and figured i would eventually get to a place where i could figure out where exactly i was. i did.

when i saw the sign that read, "welcome to north carolina!" i knew i was headed the wrong way. not that north carolina is that far away from my house, but it is a different state. and generally when you find yourself in a different state on the way home, you need to turn around. thank goodness for big blue signs that pepper state lines.

God has been gracious to plant a few big blue signs in my path over the past week. i knew i wasn't in a good place but i kept on down the road. i was angry, frustrated, doubting his provisions. it didn't seem like where i should be going but i didn't turn around. not until God, in his everlasting love for me and patience for my selfishness, reminded me...

this is for MY glory, not for yours.

God is all about himself. he is about one thing. he is single minded. his glory. that's it, that's what life is all about. and as he paints the huge canvas the we try and define as the 'universe' he sees all, he knows all, he is in charge of every.single.thing.

how foolish of me to even entertain the thought that he doesn't know what's going on with our adoption. that somehow in his busyness he forgot our family. he is God. and he is out for his glory. not my glory, not our family's glory. but his own. he's not going to screw up. after all, he is the one who created sarahjoy. he is the one who has allowed china to have the governing bodies that they do. he is the one who has willingly given them the choice to make a one-child policy. he has created sarahjoy's birthparents and allowed them to get pregnant. he knows the people in the adoption offices. he gets it. and he doesn't just get it, he knows every single detail and how everything is going to play out and he will bring us sarahjoy EXACTLY when she should be home. and his glory is going to be seen. because, that is what he cares about. more than anything else, he wants to show himself glorious.

so yes, do i get discouraged about finances and start staring at bank statements wondering how this is going to work? i do. do i get exhausted with the unending paperwork that always seems to have a glitch in it? i do. am i just ready to be done with this whole process? yes, i am. but wouldn't it be sad if i made this adoption all about me. about our family. about sarahjoy. because that's not what it's about. it is about God's glory. about him getting the credit for great and mighty things. about eyes wide open at what he can do. the miracles that he can perform. the promises that he has made.

i am holding on to that truth. God's glory. here, now, forever and ever.



i have had a rough couple of days with this whole adoption thing. i found myself actually angry with God yesterday. and, well, i might not quite be over that yet. i was already feeling discouraged with our finances due to the always badly timed car repair and then we get an email from our accountant (we have VERY complicated taxes) that read something like this,

"yay! you get a federal tax refund. but, you owe virginia taxes and, you have to pay me, so not so much refund. oh, and by the way, you need to take an additional $110 out each month for taxes."

seriously God? are you kidding me? not only do we get next to nothing back, but now we are making less money than we were five minutes ago. at this point i go into split personalities. the nice pastor's wife brain says, "that's ok. all the more room for God to show us his miraculous power for provision." the less sanctified part of me melts into tears and screams, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING GOD? WE CANNOT DO THIS IF YOU KEEP PULLING THIS CRAP ON US!!!"

and here's where i really battle anger. there is a federal tax credit of $11,000 for adoption. that's right - 99.9% of people who adopt internationally essentially get $11,000 of their money back. not such a bad deal. however, we don't. as referenced above, we fall into an extremely complicated tax situation being "ordained clergy". and part of that complexity is that we do not qualify for the adoption tax credit. so not only are we out $11,000 more than any other family trying to do this (x2,so make that $22,000), but we don't even get anything back in general! oh, and then there's the let's take out more thing. it just doesn't seem like this can possibly be right.

i am struggling. i have to admit that the last 48 hours i have been wrestling with God asking him what in the world he is thinking. give me something to hang my faith on. or maybe, that is what faith is. believing when there is nothing to go on.

i read this in oswald chambers yeserday,
"when God sends his inspiration, it comes to us with such miraculous power that we are able to "arise from the dead" and do the impossible. the remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we "get up and get going." God does not give us overcoming life - He gives us life as we overcome. If we will take the initiative to overcome we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because He immediately give us the power of life."

so i guess i am trying to get myself up and overcome, waiting for God's inspiration and power of life. in my head i know He is there. i KNOW he has called us on this journey. and i KNOW he will provide, somehow. but today, my heart is a long way from my head. it is weary. and scared.


14 months pregnant

i am ready to be off this train. i find myself longing to be finished with acquiring children! i am anxious to be done, to move on knowing that our family is complete. but...we aren't there yet.

our homestudy should be ready to go next week. that is a big step in the process because as soon as that happens, we can be officially in the waiting pool for our little girl. there is still paperwork to do (OH MY GOSH I AM TIRED OF PAPERWORK!) but that can be done while we are waiting.

and, the big question, how long will we have to wait? i have no idea. no one has any idea. it is completely up to china and what files get sent to our agency. so, if you happen to find yourself in the office of the China Center for Adoption Affairs you could let them know that we would like her soon. i am ready. let's go. i am hopeful that we will have a referral before the end of the year. but who knows.

God is still providing. i am still praying. and wishing it were done. let's just be real. sometimes i am so tired of the stress of adopting - the finances, the when's, the who's, the unknowns. tired of the mounds of paperwork - once we finish the 'adoption' part we start the applications for financial help. it seems like it never ends. i feel like the expectant mom who is 8 months pregnant. i am ready to get this little girl in my hands! only, there are months left. and actually, we have no idea how long is left. just imagine the woman who is endlessly pregnant with no due date in sight. yeah...she's grumpy. and so am i every now and then.

if you are praying, here are some points to ponder:

1. smooth finish to our homestudy - the all important group of papers that get us to the waiting pool

2. wisdom in how to fill out our 'medical checklist' form. this is the form where we have to indicate what special needs we will accept. so hard to fill out and try to guess at what God would want for our family

3. financial provisions. i don't know how. i'll just leave it at that.

sarahjoy, we wait for you. a bit impatiently right now. but i am choosing to turn my impatience into prayers for you sweet girl. that you would be loved and cherished in whatever family you find yourself in right now. that God would shine brightly and protect you from hurt. that he would be preparing you, and us, to be family. we love you and can't wait to cover you with kisses.