Saturday, January 23, 2010

Which side of Waiting

I'm the analyst and the doer. I measure. I critique. I contemplate. I graph and plot and then decide. When problems arise, I contrive a plan and go about fixing the problem. Adoption isn't cooperating with me!

By this point, we expected to have a court date. Each day I expect a call. Each day comes. Each day passes. Still no court date. Adoption may not cooperate with my plan, but God's commitment to see my trust in Him expanded, my belief in His perfect timing and my reliance on Him is proving successful. I suppose then, this plan of His is again part of our plan.

When reading the other day, something occurred to me. I realized the specifics of "which" I was actually waiting. I'm waiting to begin our life long journey with our newest son. I'm not waiting on life, just for a very important part of our life to join the ranks and fill a hallow spot. And when I recognized what we are waiting to begin, I also realized the specifics on which our son waits.

We are waiting for the sweet firsts: first hug, first kiss, first touch, first glance, first moment of realizing he's ours, first change of clothes and diapers, first bath, first feeding, first moment of teaching and guiding, first milestones, and first "mama" and "dada". These firsts hallmark the beginning and belonging. These first say, "WE know you. We did these together... WE." I grieve because I long for "we".

Our son and his caregivers are also waiting. Their waiting couldn't be any more opposite ours. They are waiting for the last goodbye, the last hug, the last kiss, the last outfit and diaper change, the last feeding, the last milestones, the last "goo-goo gaa-gaa", the last teaching, last baths, last snuggles, the last time to visit an orphanage to hold the child you loved enough to give new opportunity, the last moment of hope of restoration of a complete family, the last look in the eyes you've grown to know, to leave the known culture, environment, and society. They wait for departure similar to death. There's no return, no more WE. Their wait is painful, too. Their wait doesn't promise tomorrow. I grieve because my promise of what is to come is the promise of their pain.

My heart aches for rushing the Lord's timing. I'm sorry I didn't consider your side of waiting. Hug one more time. Kiss once more. Hold this child. Know who he is, and teach him. Visit the child whom you've given life and given so sacrificially to us. We will wait. Lord, work in your perfect time. But, strengthen me as I wait.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

A celebration of no small measure is upon us! Our son celebrated his 4 month birthday yesterday in a Gladney foster home in Addis Ababa. "Miraculous moment?" you ask. Yep! Who other than our amazing Father could weave together the lives of family in small town Texas and a young mother in ET? Knowing 70% of the births in ET go unattended, who other than God could put it on this mother's heart to provide care for her unborn son and seek out a hospital for delivery? Who, other than our Lord, could portray such a perfect picture of a parental love so sacrificial as to give the most precious part of oneself? When a young lady in ET was faced with her own limitation, God found opportunity to make Himself known to a her, to little boy, and to a family waiting to love him. As said by Denver Moore, "Our limitations are God's opportunities." Thank you Mr. Moore for reminding us that the limitations of a poverty struck nation offer God opportunity to make Himself known!!! Happy Birthday, Baby-Opia Knight. We are hopefully waiting for God to make ready the day the ocean no longer separates our family.

Shirts for Shoes

This is a stunning collaboration of photographs from award winning photojournalist, Tom Davis, Hannah Leman and Simon Scionka. Tom's passion is simple and contagious- take care of orphans. Tom and HopeChest team up for Valentine's Day with a special Project Fundraiser- Shirts For Shoes. You can also join by purchasing a T shirt that will provide a brand new pair of shoes and a new shirt for over 400 Ethiopian orphans living in poverty. Together, we can make this a Valentine's Day to remember.

Simply Love Like Crazy from Kari Gibson on Vimeo.

Go to the like below to support "the least of these" and meet the needs of orphans in need.

Be My Valentine

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lead Me to the Cross

In modern, middle-class (or upper-class) America, is it possible to feel destitute? Can we really find a place of dependency? I've been throwing around this idea. See, it seems the ease of life and the availability of resources keeps us from knowing the desperation of dependency on anyone other than ourselves to meet our needs. Truth is, most of us can't identify ourselves with the "least of these" to whom we reach out and serve altruistically. If the destitute nature of our existence is something we can't grasp, then how do we testify to our wretched spiritual status? Yet I still rush to served the why?

Tom Davis, in Fields of the Fatherless, speaks to the calling on our lives to pour out our love and care for other just as Christ poured Himself out for us. I don't think many of my friends would disagree with this premise. Davis stipulates, "(we are) reaching out to the needy because... we see we can make a difference with the needy...(but also because) we're searching. We're looking for something that's missing. We are looking for what makes us whole." I know meeting the needs of others allows me to explain who I am, where I've come from, or where where I'm heading spiritually. It's like I find a place where I can identify myself with The One with whom I so desire to be identified with.

The journey of adoption has morphed my purpose for reaching out to the needy. Yes, I still like to feel purposeful. And yes, there are still moments I'm searching. But, through our new son, God continues to illuminate my neediness. As I see our son's need for a father, for a redemptive hope for a future away from the life he knows now, and his 'lack of identity' with out a father's last name, I see my own need for Jesus. I see in him, this little boy, who I am without the redemption of my father and savior, Jesus. Now, my compassion is rooted in the picture I have of myself, my need for a compassionate savior as He leads me to the foot of the cross. From the cross, I'm filled with a desire to be a physical picture of what Christ is for me.

Seeing need allows me to see my need. My need for redemption fulfilled allows me to know my Father. Knowing my Father brings definition, fulfillment, and completion to my life. I'm so grateful God has used our son to give clearer focus on my true need and desperation to remain at the foot of the cross...another joy of waiting for Him (and waiting for our little him.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Extra, Extra, Read All About it

Extra, extra read all about it!!! Gladney updates their waiting families once a month. I am LIVING for these updates and new pictures. Finally, today we received an update on our newest son. Gladney reports, "________________, It's easy to get a smile out of this little guy. Any form of contact- tickling of little ribs, a smile- causes a wide grin to spread across his face. Today, he was very active as I held him. He reached many times for my face ans spent a lot of time waving his arms happily. A few times, there was almost a Kung Fu motion in the movement of them. I think he might have some predispositions to the martial arts or something of the sort. Who knows? Maybe he's the next Jackie Chan." Gladney's in country workers are darling and witty! Hold him some more, love him some more, kiss him, tell him he's treasured. WE are COMING, not today, but we are coming.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sweetly Broken, Fully Surrendered

New day, but no new news. No courtdate. We aren't expecting one anytime soon. It's hard...harder than we ever expected. The pain, which accompanies waiting, is unfamiliar but not overtly intolerable. I've been in places which bring the type of discomfort which leads me to petition God to remove the pain. This is different. Daily, tears sneak in. Too often it seems I can't even breathe. A thirst that can't be quenched and a weakness are ever pressing on my heart. But this pain is a bittersweet pain. The sweet brokenness God creates as He gently draws us to dependency on Him has a flavor I'm learning like. I feel like each moment He's leading me to a place closer to full surrender.

This surrender isn't like the broken surrender or discipline I've known from sin. It's not even like the surrender I've known with the loss of 4 pregnancies. This isn't the disapointment of lost dreams or the pain of absentee friends. This brokenness holds such promise. A new kind of promise for me to walk through. I feel God promising to heal my thirst and weakness, my parched soul. Isaiah 55:1 says, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters,...come and buy and eat!" The Lord reminded me He doesn't just offer us food and water to eat and drink. His promise is greater. He promises, "As the rain and snow come down from heaven, (they) do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed." in Isaiah 55:10. This pain holds a promise, which brings about a tangible change. These buds and seeds of change are the promise. I can't wait to see the produce of HIS work in me. And I am grateful.

Thank you to our little boy, who's been God's tool for this season of change. Thank you for not just "being our newest son", but thank you for bringing new perspective. Mostly, Lord, we thank you for the sweetly breaking us to a place of full surrender, which solicits a change only YOU can make.