Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Paper Chase Progress!

With only one more day left of Mother's Day Out before Christmas break, i.e., before the Asher man invades the house for good and things get exponentially louder and messier around here, I used today to really get some paperwork crossed off our dossier to-do list. I sort of felt like I was back in college writing a paper for an English class. I had some full on writer's block on my Letter to the Ministry for Request to Adopt. I mean, its just one page on the age and gender of our future children, a brief description of our family, and our reasons for adopting. These are things I know. I talk to people about this at least a couple times a week. Every time it comes up that we are adopting, people want to know why, and honestly, I love to tell them. I love to talk about adoption, how sometimes I feel selfish about, like I am getting the way better end of the deal, about the need for Christian families to stand up and start being known as a people who adopt orphans, regardless of race, age, gender, or special needs. So why all of a sudden did this one page piece of paper terrify me so much? It was the fear that saying the wrong thing could somehow blow this whole thing. A "rambunctious" five year old? Oh well, count them out. Maybe I should say "active" instead.
And what is fear but the absence of faith. You know what I am beginning to think this adoption process is? It's God's biggest lesson ever on faith and trust. Haven't we already trusted Him that our children are in Rwanda, chosen for us? So how can I, mere me, mess this whole thing up with a few words out of place? Obviously, I can't.
So with that new perspective in mind I finished three whole papers off our checklist today! Baby steps towards our babies!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our God Never Changes

I have been having major God overload the last couple of days, in a very good way. Ask God to move in your life, and watch out! He will answer that prayer. I am trying to catch up, yet just hanging on for the ride at the same time. Holy Spirit, don't let me fall! My human side wants to say to God, "Whoa, there, I need to process things, make a chart, call ten people and get their opinion, and oh yeah, my husband is out of town - I especially need his advice." God says, Rachel, trust me. It was you who opened your heart to this. You who cleared the way for Me to move and work in powerful ways. You asked to be a bigger part of kingdom work. This is my answer. What did you think it would be like?? I am your God. You must lean on Me, not men. Trust in My understanding, not your own. Let go.
This morning during my Bible reading I was having a hard time quieting my mind. I was asking for peace and a calm so that I could settle and have some quality time in the word. God answered that prayer and as I was reading through some of Isaiah I came across a verse that I never noticed before. The context is God message to Judah about their rebellion - his disappointment at their utter rejection of all things holy, yet their pretense of religion. He says to them,

"Wash yourselves and be clean! Let me no longer see your evil deeds. Give up your wicked ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows." Is. 1:16 (NLT)

Sounds so similar to the much greater known James 1:26. Praise God that He never changes, that His message and word is the same from creation through restoration. That He is the rock that in this crazy world I can rely on. That all those whom are oppressed and forgotten are not forgotten by Him, in fact they are His number one concern. He calls us, His hands and feet here on His earth to care for them, feed them, clothe them, take them in, defend them, fight for them, remember them, shout to the world their need, their existence. Without us, they have no voice, no power.
Love to you all. We could not go on this journey without you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Independent Streak

We have decided to forgo working with an adoption agency and to instead pursue an independent adoption. My first impression of us? We're insane. But actually, with Rwanda we feel this is the better way to go. We certainly don't advocate this for other countries and can only speak for what best suits us, but we've done the research and this seems the best fit for us. Rwanda actually prefers to work with families than to work with agencies, apparently. Besides this, Rwanda is a non-Hague country, which means that an agency is not necessary – and there are actually no accredited agencies licensed to work in Rwanda. We will gather all of our needed documents here, have our homestudy, send our dossier directly to Rwanda, and hire an attorney there to do all the ground work for us in Kigali. Here goes nothing and everything all at the same time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Filling in the Gaps

Since flying off to Rwanda with no paperwork and demanding a baby would get me nowhere, life goes on. Busy busy life goes on. Christmas cards, Christmas parties, advent, cookie exchanges, Christmas shopping, Christmas travel (road trip!), a five-year-old birthday party to plan and throw, you're eighteen months old and you're still only eating five things?! life goes on. Still, my missing children are never far from my mind. I wonder if next year at this time I will know who they are. Will I have a picture? Will I, like so many families this past month, be praying for a November court date? Will I get the best Christmas present ever next year? I am ever hopeful. I love that my God is the God of time, that His ways are not my ways, that He gives us more than we can ever ask for or imagine. Life in the gaps.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Longing is the Hardest Part

We are only two to three months into this and my heart already feels thinned. Heavy. Not burdened all the time, although when the full weight certain heavy matters really sits upon it, then yes, burdened. But mostly in the quiet space at the end of day, when my constant fluttering about has subsided, it gets really heavy, like right before a good cry. And it longs and it calls and it does cry out all the way across cultures and cities and countries and oceans to find two small babies, or maybe young toddlers, that may not even be born yet, but who are my own. I see their faces – mash-ups of pictures of all the beautiful Rwandan babies and children I've seen. I call them by names. They are real children, not cast asides, not nobodies, but valuable children with unique spirits, created by God and we are privileged enough to get to raise them. The yearning to hold them, to love them, to tell them they are safe and loved, to protect them from every harm, is ever present; it is on the tip of my heart, at the depth of my heart. These children are already mine. Signed. Sealed. Now they just need to be delivered. And waiting for that is hard. Really hard.