Friday, May 5, 2017

And the Story Goes On.... {Adoption. No Fear.}

Gosh.  I feel like I need to say SOMETHING before I just up and post on this neglected blog.  I went to save something I wanted to write about and noticed I didn't even have a "2017" folder!!  I miss writing.  I feel I miss out on the savoring of good things, hard things— finding the significance in them when I don't write.  For me, sometimes, that means living on a different level— one that's more shallow, not as rich.  Writing makes me stop — and think through things.  God has been faithful to push me out in the deep end to discover some treasure, but I know I've missed some things.  I so enjoyed teaching at church a few times out of Acts which prepared me for what's going on now— Revive TX, which hopefully I can write about later.  Any writing time was spent studying.  However, this morning, the house is quiet.  I am actually a little shaky because Jeff is usually the one who presses the coffee and he's out of town…..  so I must have been off on the proportions— and there is SO MUCH left over!  And I feel obligated not to waste it.  So between my jittery self and this texting stream among a few friends who got a SPRAY TAN last night, I may not be able to put two sensible thoughts together!!  {Spray tan— yes— a girl came to my friend's house and sprayed us all down with a caffeine and stain laden concoction and the comparative notes— and pictures— this morning are hilarious.  Oh the joys of being a girl and having GIRLFRIENDS!} Well, there's my little "hi!" Here is what I wanted to tell you…..

When we chose to pursue adoption, we were just so excited about starting a family.  Sure, we thought through a few things — mainly A BABY— but really, who thinks past the first few months even when having a baby?!  There are a few special select of you who have wedding budgets already in place after the positive pregnancy test but you are just……well, …special.  Most of us focus on all the NEWNESS and keeping baby alive and getting a little sleep.  Your brain catches up later, right?   So, of course, we have two sweet, God-filled adoption stories that have been chronicled in detail on this aging blog. {Just click on “adopting” in the side margin if you need more detail.}  Those stories are no different in that they aren't over after the first few months. Chapters are always being written.  Then, I had NO IDEA how God would continue His story year after year building on the things He had shown us, dazzled us and blessed us with during those processes.  Julia's fifteenth birthday was no exception.  {I did not write an official 15th birthday letter to post here this year.  They seem so personal now that she's older.  Maybe I can post them later one day?  But this will represent that this year because I feel the Lord has something for Julia in this story.}

Random picture but NOT a random friend.  These long time friends at their first Quinceanera.
So 15, right?

And a mom is allowed a favorite picture. {A month before she turned 15}

So her birthday.  On the way to school- the quick less than 10 minute trip-  we typically read a devotional I have in the car or our church's The Journey on one of our phones.  Two days after her birthday, January 26th, I was telling her that this day was almost as special to me as her actual birthday because this was the day we took her home. {Well, to the La Quinta in Bossier City, Louisiana until all paperwork was complete.}  God was faithful to encourage me through His Word throughout the whole process— He chose to use Streams in the Desert and the Scriptures chosen for those days. I was blown away often and the 26th of 2002 was no exception.  So this January, I briefly mentioned it on the way to school that morning.  Well, after she read the entry in Jesus Calling, she looked up the verses on the phone and read them aloud.  And she read this verse, "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7  Unfortunately, I had gotten distracted and was halfway listening but it was enough.  I was like, "Wait!  Read that again!"  She did and I was— blown away, again, by the kindness of the Lord.  I had to remind her that it was the same Scripture that God had given me the day BEFORE we got the call from her birthmother that she was going into labor when I was about to go CRAZY because we hadn't heard from her in weeks.  And the SAME Scripture He so graciously gave me AGAIN 2 days later on the longest day of my life, waiting to take Julia home with us- the day things could have dashed all our hopes and dreams.  He gave it to me in His Word that first day- 1/22- and then it was a featured verse in Streams in the Desert -1/25— reminding me that I didn't need to worry about "bad news"— a changed mind.  Adoption thwarted. Back to square one. It gave me confidence to BE Julia's momma from the second I met her- minutes after she was born.  To give her my WHOLE heart and not be worried that that was too risky until I knew for sure her birthmother would sign the papers.  {And sweet birthmom, S, I know you visit here around Mother's Day each year— Hi, by the way and I love you. Bless you, sweet one. I hope you find this so incredibly encouraging to your heart.  Let Him bolster your heart and faith with stories like this.  God wants YOU to know that YOU did His will.  YOU did the brave thing and sacrificed part of yourself for our daughter's greater good.  You set that story, her story- that goodness- in motion for Julia and all of us will forever be grateful and always remember you for that.  You are loved here in our home and never forgotten.  God is faithful to us both, yes?  May He continue to bless you and your family, S.}

And so He kept using His Word and just then on her 15th birthday, He decided we both needed a reminder of His Sovereign hand in the story.  It is only by His grace that she's ours.  I had no control, but I decided to trust Him like never before and He drew me along every LONG and HOPEFUL day with His Word.  Fine, if one wants to say it's a coincidence or that I am reading too much into it.  I believe He is in charge of coincidences and, on good days, my thought patterns.  So there, you skeptics. ; )

So I told Julia, like it or not, that verse was hers now.  It's just come up too many times around her story for her to ignore.  It's mine too, but at 15, I believe He wanted her to have it as well.

"[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7

Sweet Julia, I have a feeling you will receive bad news in your life— we all do.  It's inevitable in our sinful world where we, sinful people, make choices every moment.  Bad news is a part of our fallen world, but you don't have to LIVE in fear of it.  You can trust that even in hard news, He is trustworthy and WITH Him, you need not fear.  His faithfulness is an anchor— something that reaches to the depths of who we are and tethers our soul deep in His care.  I pray you, Julia, can bask and delight in that comfort and security.
I'm counting on that for me and I am counting on that for you.

May our hearts be steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  So be it.

I love you.  With my whole heart.