1) So on Friday, March 6th, we found out that our court date was May 20th. This date fell in line with what we were thinking ... around 3 months from referral date. We were happy with the date and having a specific date to pray for. That weekend was also the weekend Amber's mom came down to help sew pillows, etc for the nursery.
On that Saturday morning, the 7th, I check email before breakfast and see that Matt & Monica received their court date ... and it was April 22nd. Huh? Seriously? Well, that got me riled up ... you see, they were right behind us on the waiting list and, for those of you who know me, I'm logical. So logically, they would have the same court date or a later one. When I found out that they had almost a month earlier than us, jealousy set in ... HARD! It just happened that a slot opened up for them. I was happy for them ... I really was ... but I was SO not happy with our situation now. You know how you're happy with your salary until you find out what a coworker makes? Yeah, that was me to the extreme.
I stewed through breakfast, sent Matt an email joking about my jealousy and if he wanted to switch court dates. Amber and her mom then went shopping for fabric for the day and I stayed home to paint the nursery. The nursery was previously painted this grey-blue and we were painting it this "light" blue to match his bedding. During alot of the 4+ hours of painting, I was grumbling how there wasn't that much difference between the 2 colors and I didn't feel the need to be painting (and honestly, there was a good difference but I just had my "mad goggles" on). And I should have had a blast painting the nursery for our boy.
Well, somewhere in the midst of painting, God spoke to me and we had a pretty good conversation. It first started on me telling Him why I was mad ... why I didn't think it was fair ... how we feel like we've trusted Him throughout and why we can't go get our son quicker. This was all verbal conversation for me - it helps me actually TALK to God out loud vs. saying it in my mind. Especially when it's big stuff. I could tell He took it all in and then prompted me with 3 Scripture stories...
a) He first reminded me of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites. It was a flatout God walk that they had with Him. The "experts" state there were between 200,000 to 2,000,000 Israelites. Not one got sick. Not one had their clothes wear out - in the desert. God provided manna and quail every day for them. He parted the Red Sea. They saw water come from a rock. He made bitter water sweet with a piece of wood. They were led by a pillar of cloud during the day and pillar of cloud at night. Just with the short condensed list of miracles, I think we could all agree they experienced God daily.
Even with all that, they grumbled. Bad. They were trying to figure out how to return to Egypt to be slaves again. They decided to worship a golden calf and decided that calf is what got them out of Egypt. We all sit back and think, 'man, I can't believe they grumbled like that ... God was with them SO much ... how could you ever be that way?!?'
Yeah, God just called me out. He has walked ... actually carried ... me through our adoption and I've seen His hand in it from the very beginning. From the people he put into our lives from Day 1 to the timing of everything, to the significance of Silas' birthday to the perfect boy He's given us. And now, I'm grumbling because of something that doesn't even pertain to me? Are you serious?
God wasn't done yet ... He had a couple more thoughts in mind for me.
b) He reminded me of the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15). In short, Jesus talks about the owner of the vineyard hiring workers at different parts of the day, with each person individually agreeing to their pay. The first workers did not know what the workers that came later were getting paid until they all went to get paid once the work was over. Well, they all got paid the same. Remember my comment about the coworker's pay above? Yeah, Jesus just called me out. Again. It's not for me to decide. He's got it covered.
And for good measure to make sure I got it, He reminded me of one more Scripture as I was finishing up painting...
c) Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us that we are all in a race.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entagles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Ugh, called out for the 3rd time. I was entangled in sin (selfishness, jealousy). I have my own race to run. And based upon my recent times on the treadmill, my spiritual race was about as rough as my physical one (about died on the treadmill the other day). Matt and Monica has a race set before them as well. I have no idea to what God has called them to. God has called them specifically to that court date for His purposes for them and their boy. Who am I to question that? I need to be praying for them and have joy for them.
What I've learned ... to make it personal. The enemy and sin will attempt to rob me of the joy that is in me. He will try to shadow, distract, and deceive me from the journey God has me on. God is in control even though I don't realize it many times. God is smarter than me and I need to humble myself to Him. God's plan is perfect. As is His timing. I'm just glad I serve a GREAT God that gives me mercy in my tantrums.
So, I just gotta remind myself in the midst of whatever is going on that God is right in the middle of it and knows exactly what I'm going through.
2) OK ... I got the wall where the crib is going to go done this weekend ... well almost. I got the box trim up and now I just have to caulk nail holes, joints, and touch up paint. But it's close. Not sure why I'm going to touch up paint as I can already see a red crayon on that pretty white wall coming sooner rather than later. And I'm ok with that. Really. Ok, not yet, but I will be. I hope. Or the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will be in full force. Yeah, better buy stock in that ... I'll bring back the economy on my purchases of Magic Erasers :)
3) One of the best things that a family waiting for court to get are updates from families that have traveled to get their child(ren). We have had a couple updates in the past couple weeks and it's been GREAT to hear about him ... some excerpts...
I feel terrible that I did not get a pic of baby A. I did see him one day and he is just gorgeous. He seems like a really content and sweet baby boy. Just sitting in his bouncy chair and looking at everyone...really taking everything in and seems very observant. His skin tone is much like my little E...darker complexion and just so gorgeous. I pray that you and Amber are doing well with the wait.
As you might have guessed, we were unable to see your babies. We went armed with pictures and good intentions, but it didn't happen. We spent a lot of time at HH, and loved every minute. We touched and talked to lots of babies, probably yours...we just didn't know it. I was amazed at the number of babies and it was impossible to pick them out. They were always moving from one spot to another, and often asleep. They have a strict routine, and its amazing how the special mothers work. They were outside in the morning til about 11, then inside for a nap. We loved just watching them. Rarely did we hear a baby cry.
I guess all I can give you now you already know..."You babies are in great hands! The best besides your own!
And another one...
Your son is soooo very adorable I was unable to get a picture and I am very sorry but it is because the special mothers are very protective and I was being watched, probably because I was adopting a toddler and they knew I was up to no good taking pictures over there. And he was in a special mothers arms every time I looked over to sneak a picture. Hannah's Hope is an amazing place and you are going to love seeing where he has spent his time. He is being loved by these ladies and so taken care of.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to those who gave us reports of our boy! We LOVE hearing about him and the amazing care he's getting ... however, we were ready yesterday to bring him home! (only 58 days until court but who's counting?)
We are heading up to Indiana the first weekend in April for a shower that Amber's sister is throwing. I went to a local African store today looking for a couple African spices since she is fixing some authentic dishes. The older gentleman did not have the spices (he's from Senegal which is western Africa and Ethiopia is on the eastern side) but he was telling me how much help Africa needs from America and Europe. We had a great chat before his phone started ringing ... he even gave us a donation to be used for when we go over there. His quote: "this boy is from MY Africa" Unreal God meeting and I know we'll go back to allow him to meet Silas.
4) We found out Friday night that Amber's uncle, her dad's brother, passed away very unexpectedly Friday afternoon. We are going to Indiana tomorrow for the memorial service on Wednesday afternoon and will be driving back late Wed night to go back to work on Thurs (trying to save all our vacation for travels and for once we're home). Please pray for her dad and his family. We've invited her dad down this coming weekend to help build a bookshelf (yes, Renee, we've decided to build rather than buy). This will allow him to get away for a few days and help build something for the nursery of his grandson.
Sorry for such a long post ... so many things to get down and still have a few more ... hopefully sometime soon.
Thanks for listening, well, reading ... and praying!