Sunday, January 29, 2012

Strength For Today

All week, someone in our house has been sick. I have been listening to either one of our four kids or my husband cough their poor heads off. We've made two trips to the pediatrician and numerous trips to the pharmacy. This happens every year at some point...all the kids pass around some "bug" and keeps me stuck in the house for about two weeks straight. (Why they can't all just get it at the same time is beyond me!) So, needless to say, it's been a down week around here. For me, it's also been a down week emotionally. All of you on this crazy adoption rollercoaster know that is doesn't take much to get you down while you wait. This week, that's where I've been.

However, it's amazing how God uses those "down" times to speak to us the most. Maybe it's because when we're down, the only place left to go is "Up". Tuesday afternoon, I was doing my Bible study and I ended up in a pile of tears on the floor. (Those of you on this adoption journey also know that at any given moment you can just burst into tears. My poor husband and friends can attest to this!!) I was crying out to God to show me, if even in just a small way, that He is working out all the details of our adoption and that Troy and I are doing what He wants us to. As I prayed and blubbered and let loose my nasty cry (Girls, you know what I'm talking about when I say a nasty cry. The kind of cry that leaves you looking just plain snot-faced nasty!), the words "Romans 4" just kept reverberating in my mind. After finally being able to think of nothing else, I decided to get up and read Romans 4. (Mainly to prove to myself that I must be going crazy by making up some random scripture in my head.) Romans chapter 4 begins by talking about Abraham and his being justified by faith. As I continued reading, I busted out laughing because around verse 9 it begins talking about blessedness for the circumcised vs. uncircumcised and all I could think of was, "Fantastic Stephanie. Out of ALL the passages in the Bible to read, you pick the one about circumcision......not much help!" (Yes, I do understand the spiritual significance of those verses, but at the moment that's definitely not what I was seeing!) Then, verse 16 hit me like a ton of bricks..."Therefore, the promise comes by faith..." Verse 20...."Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." What was this promise that God had made to Abraham....he promised him that he would be the father of many nations. In that moment, God showed me that "he's got this" and I need NOT waver in unbelief! Even when I can't see what he's doing, "he's got this". How would faith be involved if I was able to see every little detail being worked out? It wouldn't. Faith is believing in something that you can't see!!

There's just no way around it, waiting is hard! There's just something innate in us as humans that does NOT like to wait. However, I serve a risen Savior that will give me enough strength to get through the waiting today. Tomorrow, he'll give me enough for that day. Are you weary and tired, cry out to God. He will fill you up and give you the strength you need for today. If there's anything I have complete assurance in, it's that!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

International Pediatrician Recommendations, Please

I've put it off for long enough. I need to narrow it down and choose our international pediatrician. I've got a few names, but I thought I would see if anyone has any recommendations. So....what do you think? Anyone you can recommend?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waited and Waiting Some More

Well, it's been a little over three months now since we were officially "approved and waiting". And now....we wait some more. You hear a lot of people talking about the INSANE amount of paperwork you have to do to adopt (and don't get me is an INSANE amount of paperwork), but waiting is by far the HARDEST part. At least when you're filling out all of the endless paperwork, you feel like you're doing something to get closer to your child. Once that's done and it's all been submitted, the hard part begins....waiting and waiting. Now, that's not to say we're just sitting around twiddling our thumbs. We do have 4 children between the ages of 2-7. Twiddling our thumbs is not an option around this household!! But, just having to wait (knowing that there's absolutely nothing you can do to "help" things along) can be excruciating at times. The verse that continues to swirl around in my head is "They that wait upon the Lord, will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

So, just in case you were wondering.....we're still waiting!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Child of God

In the past few weeks, I have been extremely overwhelmed with the plight of orphans world-wide. I have been reading a lot of adoption blogs that have shown child after child that are aging out of the system, somewhere. If you've read any statistics at all, concerning orphans, you know that their odds of having a productive life after leaving these orphanages are very, very slim! Knowing these statistics and seeing the beautiful faces of so many children without families, it is very easy to become depressed. This morning, however, a verse from my Dad's sermon hit me like a ton of bricks. I've heard it a hundred times, but this morning it hit me in a completely new way.

"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." John 1:12-13

The fact is that not all of the orphans in this world will be adopted by a "forever family", but they can be adopted by the Father. These children have been neglected by those who gave birth to them, not chosen by someone who wants to adopt them, but if they believe in His name, they will become children of God. What greater family is there to be a part of than God's family? In light of this, it makes the Great Commission seem even "greater" (if that's possible)!

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

These children do have a great need to find a "forever family", but they have a greater need for a Savior! May we be deliberate in spreading the gospel to these sweet children that society has deemed unwanted. May we show them that they are WANTED by a Father that loves them more than any human can or will.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" Matthew 19:14

I will continue to fight and try to help orphans find their "forever families". I want to fight harder though to make sure they know their Heavenly Father, first!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Adoption Conference - Don't Miss

If you haven't heard about the Empowered to Connect Conference that's going to be in Irving, TX, February 17-18, please check out the link below. It's being put on by Show Hope and it's going to be excellent!!! Don't miss it!

Show Hope | Empowered to Connect Conference

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"So Far To Find You"

A friend of mine sent me a text this morning and told me to listen to Casting Crown's "So Far To Find You". So, being the impatient person that I am, I pulled it up on my phone on the way to church. As you can imagine, by the time we pulled into the parking lot, I was crying. I cannot tell you how God is tranforming my heart through this process of adoption. I am going so far to find my child and that's exactly what Christ did for me. Looking at Christ's love for me, through the eyes now of an adoptive parent, has changed me. My life will never be the same (and my child isn't even home yet), and I'm so thankful for that!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

In the Waiting

I have so many people asking what's going on with the adoption and wondering why I haven't posted anything in a few weeks. The answer....we're just waiting. So often I think that I should post something, but most of the time all I can come up with is....we're still waiting. Not exactly something most people want to rush to read. As far as the waiting goes, we are approaching week 11 of our wait. In the adoption realm, that's hardly considered waiting. But, it is waiting nonetheless!

A lot of things have been going on in my head and heart the past week. The main thing that keeps coming up is that God IS IN the waiting! And...if we get too caught up in "we're just waiting", we can miss out on A LOT that He has planned for us while we wait. There is a reason why we have to wait. I have no clue what it is. I can speculate all day long, but only God knows that answer. He alone knows exactly when our child needs to come home with us. Until then, He wants me to live every day to the fullest and minister to and love those around me.

There are a lot of children out there (and by "out there", I mean probably right next door) that are hurting! Small children are carrying around burdens that most adults couldn't even handle. Sadly, we're living in a generation that see children as a burden rather than a gift. Somehow we have completely lost sight of the fact that "children are a heritage of the Lord". It breaks my heart to look around me and see just how many children have been abandoned and hurt by the people that should love them the most. My prayer during this "time of waiting", is that God will use me to minister to as many of these children (and their families) as I can. I pray that God will spark a revival in our hearts to truly see children the way that He does. Childhood lasts but a brief moment, but what happens during that time has far reaching effects. May we be the tools that God uses to help heal this young generation.