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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

bold.

This was waiting in our inbox when I limped through the door yesterday, holding my hurt and bearing bags of food.  It called for dropping everything and staring at the computer all through dinner time and then some.  At some point we ordered pizza and had a movie, but as soon as the Smalls were in bed, I was back here, staring at her.  Our sweet girl.  And not only six, count 'em six, pics, but several reports as well that found me digging through our adoption binder for her growth charts so I could graph her out, see where we are in that regard.  And then was heart sick to learn she's lost three precious pounds since our last report.  Has fallen soundly off the growth charts, her little self.  And photos of her impossibly small feet make it clear why she is not weight bearing yet or walking.  But even though we are ready to leave at a moment's notice, we have months left to wait.  Months of her being with the same foster mom, possibly losing more weight, not getting the therapy she needs for those sweet pink feet I long to tickle.  Last month this news would have made me curl up around myself and be sad.  But not this month.
It started with a man on Facebook.  A preacher who needed prayers for his dying wife and chose to go public with them, to ask boldly.  Because, he said, he'd realized that not doing so, that refusing to ask loudly for a miracle was only an outward symptom of his inward doubt.  Fear of painting God into a corner.  Doubt that God's reputation can handle the bad PR that would come of being asked a noble thing and not delivering.  And it spoke to my heart, this boldness.  And so I'm linking arms and asking too.
This baby needs to come home.  Father will bring her here in perfect time, we know that.  And while we have no idea what God's will is for her homecoming, we know that God's will is changeable sometimes.  That the prayers of his people are heard and listened to and, sometimes, used to change his will.  And so I'm asking, we are asking, for a miracle of paperwork.  Our LOA, the next big step, is supposed to take 4-6 months.  We are asking for it in February.  Matilda turns 2 on the 9th.  We long for her.  And so we are asking boldly for Father to deliver her LOA in February, despite Chinese New Year, despite best guess estimates, despite.  Asking boldly because we love a bold God.  Asking without fear of putting egg on Father's face if it doesn't happen.  Asking because we have no other choice.  Asking because we will travel within 3 months of our LOA, so the sooner the sooner, right?
And so you know?  The man's wife has not yet received miraculous healing, perhaps won't this side of heaven.  But the asking of Father and being answered differently does not diminish Him.  Instead, when we ask boldly, the evil one is diminished and Father is glorified, even as it confuses us and offers ample chance to exercise faith.  C'mon Church.  We are to be a Body who asks boldly and accepts graciously.  Will you join me?  And not just for Matilda, but will you ask with courage for the things that seem impossible?  Will you give Father a chance to blow you away?  Will you accept if if He chooses not to?  Will you?
This is me being real.  Telling my children, who are every bit as anxious to get her as I am that we are asking for a Feb LOA because Father can.  Reminding them that we will praise no matter when it comes and that she is held until then.  That we all are.  So thankful for those big hands.

bold.

This was waiting in our inbox when I limped through the door yesterday, holding my hurt and bearing bags of food.  It called for dropping everything and staring at the computer all through dinner time and then some.  At some point we ordered pizza and had a movie, but as soon as the Smalls were in bed, I was back here, staring at her.  Our sweet girl.  And not only six, count 'em six, pics, but several reports as well that found me digging through our adoption binder for her growth charts so I could graph her out, see where we are in that regard.  And then was heart sick to learn she's lost three precious pounds since our last report.  Has fallen soundly off the growth charts, her little self.  And photos of her impossibly small feet make it clear why she is not weight bearing yet or walking.  But even though we are ready to leave at a moment's notice, we have months left to wait.  Months of her being with the same foster mom, possibly losing more weight, not getting the therapy she needs for those sweet pink feet I long to tickle.  Last month this news would have made me curl up around myself and be sad.  But not this month.
It started with a man on Facebook.  A preacher who needed prayers for his dying wife and chose to go public with them, to ask boldly.  Because, he said, he'd realized that not doing so, that refusing to ask loudly for a miracle was only an outward symptom of his inward doubt.  Fear of painting God into a corner.  Doubt that God's reputation can handle the bad PR that would come of being asked a noble thing and not delivering.  And it spoke to my heart, this boldness.  And so I'm linking arms and asking too.
This baby needs to come home.  Father will bring her here in perfect time, we know that.  And while we have no idea what God's will is for her homecoming, we know that God's will is changeable sometimes.  That the prayers of his people are heard and listened to and, sometimes, used to change his will.  And so I'm asking, we are asking, for a miracle of paperwork.  Our LOA, the next big step, is supposed to take 4-6 months.  We are asking for it in February.  Matilda turns 2 on the 9th.  We long for her.  And so we are asking boldly for Father to deliver her LOA in February, despite Chinese New Year, despite best guess estimates, despite.  Asking boldly because we love a bold God.  Asking without fear of putting egg on Father's face if it doesn't happen.  Asking because we have no other choice.  Asking because we will travel within 3 months of our LOA, so the sooner the sooner, right?
And so you know?  The man's wife has not yet received miraculous healing, perhaps won't this side of heaven.  But the asking of Father and being answered differently does not diminish Him.  Instead, when we ask boldly, the evil one is diminished and Father is glorified, even as it confuses us and offers ample chance to exercise faith.  C'mon Church.  We are to be a Body who asks boldly and accepts graciously.  Will you join me?  And not just for Matilda, but will you ask with courage for the things that seem impossible?  Will you give Father a chance to blow you away?  Will you accept if if He chooses not to?  Will you?
This is me being real.  Telling my children, who are every bit as anxious to get her as I am that we are asking for a Feb LOA because Father can.  Reminding them that we will praise no matter when it comes and that she is held until then.  That we all are.  So thankful for those big hands.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

away.

It's been a weird season.  Not just this crazy Michigan weather, but here, in this condo.  We are elbow deep in samples and I run out to the house to answer some question or another at least once a day.  A packet of papers came from our adoption agency yesterday.  It's so long and involved the only response I could give it was to lay my head on the vinyl covered table and cry.  I thought getting our dossier in would feel so good.  And it does.  Only it's given birth to the scary reality that we are actually doing this insane traveling with all our children to China to pick up our daughter with special needs thing.  Which has led to hours and hours on Facebook and blogs following the stories of families who have gone before us, comparing our wait times, wondering when we'll go and how I'll manage the flight with my considerable claustrophobia.  Which has led to not sleeping well and worry on the ugly side and leaning into Father on the beauty side.
It's a season and I'm not sure it's going to be one I remember fondly always.  And I sat here last night after getting the human hurricane in bed and looked at my family, all of us on different devices.  There is little to do here, with no neighbors and no friends, no backyard with a creek and abundant wildlife, no projects and to do lists other than the massive one at 9000 that is constantly calling us.  And, frankly, there is little energy, not at the end of these full full days when all I want to do is curl up with my ipad and cruise Houzz to get a good picture of the vanity I want built in the boys bath.  So that's what we've done.  Surrendered to the lull and spent our evenings snuggled on the couch with technology and a glaze in our eyes.  And it's not ok.  When I pictured these days of condo living, I saw it as a grand adventure.  A time to explore our city and play board games and hang out as a family.  I didn't factor in the mind numbing tiredness of working on adoption papers and designing a house.  But Father did.  And he's calling me away.
I'm unplugging us Vos' for a bit.  I'll check in now and then, but the level of connectedness we've acquired is not healthy and I'm putting up my dukes against the pull of it.  Less fb, less blog reading, less comparing our journey to everyone elses and wondering why they aren't the same.  Less kids curled around ipads and more together games of Uno and Blokus.  Less Netflix and more taking them home and letting them shoot stuff and nail stuff and be the feral Smalls they need to be.  Might even skin something while I'm at it.  Prolly not.
I prayed that this winter would find us pouring into our family, and arguably, building our home and adopting is doing that, but I want more.  More adventure.  Even if I have to tape my eyelids open to see the cards, I'm going to play.  Even if I can't eat it, I'm going to pop that darn popcorn and settle under blankets for a family movie on one device, even if the boys declare it dumb girl stuff or the girls have to cover their eyes.  And I'm going to focus on the only One who can prep me for surviving this season: Father.
This is me being real.  Heading to Meijer to pick up so board games and 5 Hour Energy shots.

away.

It's been a weird season.  Not just this crazy Michigan weather, but here, in this condo.  We are elbow deep in samples and I run out to the house to answer some question or another at least once a day.  A packet of papers came from our adoption agency yesterday.  It's so long and involved the only response I could give it was to lay my head on the vinyl covered table and cry.  I thought getting our dossier in would feel so good.  And it does.  Only it's given birth to the scary reality that we are actually doing this insane traveling with all our children to China to pick up our daughter with special needs thing.  Which has led to hours and hours on Facebook and blogs following the stories of families who have gone before us, comparing our wait times, wondering when we'll go and how I'll manage the flight with my considerable claustrophobia.  Which has led to not sleeping well and worry on the ugly side and leaning into Father on the beauty side.
It's a season and I'm not sure it's going to be one I remember fondly always.  And I sat here last night after getting the human hurricane in bed and looked at my family, all of us on different devices.  There is little to do here, with no neighbors and no friends, no backyard with a creek and abundant wildlife, no projects and to do lists other than the massive one at 9000 that is constantly calling us.  And, frankly, there is little energy, not at the end of these full full days when all I want to do is curl up with my ipad and cruise Houzz to get a good picture of the vanity I want built in the boys bath.  So that's what we've done.  Surrendered to the lull and spent our evenings snuggled on the couch with technology and a glaze in our eyes.  And it's not ok.  When I pictured these days of condo living, I saw it as a grand adventure.  A time to explore our city and play board games and hang out as a family.  I didn't factor in the mind numbing tiredness of working on adoption papers and designing a house.  But Father did.  And he's calling me away.
I'm unplugging us Vos' for a bit.  I'll check in now and then, but the level of connectedness we've acquired is not healthy and I'm putting up my dukes against the pull of it.  Less fb, less blog reading, less comparing our journey to everyone elses and wondering why they aren't the same.  Less kids curled around ipads and more together games of Uno and Blokus.  Less Netflix and more taking them home and letting them shoot stuff and nail stuff and be the feral Smalls they need to be.  Might even skin something while I'm at it.  Prolly not.
I prayed that this winter would find us pouring into our family, and arguably, building our home and adopting is doing that, but I want more.  More adventure.  Even if I have to tape my eyelids open to see the cards, I'm going to play.  Even if I can't eat it, I'm going to pop that darn popcorn and settle under blankets for a family movie on one device, even if the boys declare it dumb girl stuff or the girls have to cover their eyes.  And I'm going to focus on the only One who can prep me for surviving this season: Father.
This is me being real.  Heading to Meijer to pick up so board games and 5 Hour Energy shots.