Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Turning a Blind Eye

 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
  he turns it wherever he will.
(Proverbs 21:1 ESV)

       Today God gave me a very clear reminder that He is in control--of everything and everyone. As I was getting ready to go to sleep last night, Brent came in holding a copy of our home study (never good). He'd been working on our application for funds from Lifesong and while he was gathering documents, he happened to notice the date of expiration printed on our home study: November 30, 2011. Impossible. We've only had our home study completed for about four months or so and it's valid for a year. The date should read November 30, 2012!! This sounds like such a trivial thing. An error. A typo. To the Chinese government, however, it's reason to kick your paperwork back along with the gift of at least a 2 month delay. I didn't panic ( well, I shrieked in horror on the inside). Then I prayed that the Lord would fix this somehow. I checked that paperwork 1,000 times and never caught that error. Brent checked it. Lifeline checked it. All God's Children checked it. It had gotten past all of us.
    This morning we fired off an email to our social worker at AGCI and waited for a response. We just got delayed two months--could I stand another delay? Yes. If God wills it...we'll wait longer. Our social worker responded after checking with several colleagues and couldn't believe that we had gotten through the immigration approval process with that error. We were granted our I-800A several months ago. They hadn't noticed. And then today, we were officially notified that we've been logged into the computer with the CCWA. They hadn't noticed either. I firmly believe that God turned their eyes away from that date and allowed us to proceed.
   At this point, we believe that if our home study agency corrects the date for our records and we travel with a corrected copy of the home study--we'll be OK. It may pop up and cause a problem in the future, but at this point we are exactly where God wants us to be in this journey. There is such peace in knowing that He turns the hearts (and eyes) of immigration workers, government officials--whomever He chooses.
 I have to smile in my heart when so many high-ranking, important people think that they hold our adoption in their hands. Like paper dolls, God is maneuvering them as He wills and ultimately our adoption lay in His mighty hands. Amen to that!     

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A few things...

     I'd love to say that it's laundry, baking, gardening, and cleaning which defer my attention from blogging, but I'm honest. It's books and fatigue. I find myself so tired these days. If I do have a little evening spurt of energy, then I head to the couch with my book of choice instead of sitting to write. I just possess enough energy to make my eyes move from left to right across the page. Writing requires many functions of the brain. Functions which tend to shut down after 8pm.
 But it's a bright, beautiful noon-ish here in Birmingham, and I wanted to write with some updates and thoughts. Let's start with my favorite topic, our son Will. Our dossier is safely in China for translation. FINALLY. We've had some delays, but it's just a relief to know that paperwork is a thing of the past. It will take about 2-3 months for all of our documents to be translated and reviewed. I pity whoever has that job! They'll issue a letter of confirmation after that. So that's where we are right now--waiting for letter of confirmation (LOC). I'm trying to find things to occupy my time like exercising (see how desperate I am!), cleaning out closets, making endless lists of things to buy for our trip etc... etc... Occasionally, it works and I'm distracted and don't think about the wait. More often, I see Will's picture on the fridge and ache for him.
  Speaking of pictures. We were delighted to receive two new pictures of Will just a couple of weeks ago. I'm so comforted by how healthy he looks and how big! He's 27lbs and all his other measurements are within the normal range. Praise God! He is being well taken care of. I believe he's ready to shoot deer in Alabama, judging by his outfit. Remind me to make a list of clothing needs! The next one is my favorite. He just looks like a tiny little boy. I want to scoop him up and kiss him when I see this photo. So cute! I'm so thankful to God for this confirmation that our son is well and thankful for those who traveled to the orphanage to photograph him. They cannot possibly know what it means to waiting families. I expect that this will be the only update we'll receive before we travel and see him in the flesh! 
Which brings us to travel time. We had been looking at the beginning of the summer, but it seems that August/September is a more realistic time frame. Although the waiting is difficult, both Brent and I have such trust in God's timing and we know that we will meet Will at the perfect time that God appointed. He is paving the way for this union and we are praying that he is smoothing the details as we sit here waiting expectantly. Many of you have asked how you can specifically pray for us. I'd like to share the following requests so that when the Lord puts us on your heart, you'll be able to intercede specifically: 1. Please pray that God will prepare hearts- the hearts of the workers who have cared for Will since he was 14 days old; for Will who has little to no idea about his impending adoption; and for the government workers who we will stand before during our court appointments. May our hearts be prepared also! Pray that we will be able to love the Chinese people and that the Lord's light will radiate from our faces. Pray that we will be able to love Will unconditionally and cling to Christ through the difficult times that we know are coming. Pray for the hearts of our children as we make this huge transition.
2. Please pray for the remaining funds needed for this adoption. I believe we lack $10,000 which sounds ominus, but Praise GOD! He was provided over $20,000 already. We need flight costs to be low when we book and other fluctuating costs to be minimal. I know my God can do this.
3. Please pray for the remainder of the process. Pray that God would safeguard our documents and that they would be attended to in a timely fashion. I pray that He would put people in our path who might be open to hearing about the love of Jesus. I want our trip to China to be more than a trip to retrieve Will. I want this trip to be a glimpse into a world where all heavenly light is surpressed. I need my eyes opened and heart stirred to labor and pray for this country. Deep down in my soul, I know that I am going to fall in love with China and its people just like I did with Czech and the beautiful people there.
With spring break upon us, I hope to write more about some things God has been teaching and showing me during this time. I am constantly amazed at the depth of love and involvement my savior has in my life. I shouldn't be amazed. He loved me enough to die for me. May my amazement be turned into never-ending gratitude.