Our paperwork is currently in USCIS in Haiti awaiting I-600 approval, that means our paperwork is now in US hands. Once we have the I-600 approval we will then need to wait for the visas to be issued, once that is done we get the go ahead to go pick up our kiddos and finally bring them home. Our paperwork has been in USCIS for seven weeks this Friday March 7. That sounds like a long time and it is but they have a backlog of dossiers which is a good thing because that means there are a lot of kids real close to being united with their forever families. Patience...
I was doing okay up until about two weeks ago. The news of one family getting their I-600 approval sent me into spontaneous praises to God. That could only have come from God as I was leaning into Jesus but as I've said many times, lately, during this process the flesh is a tough contender and when I heard that the family whose paperwork was submitted to USCIS on the same day as ours got their approval at the five week mark I gave in to my selfish and sinful ways.
It didn't happen right away, it was gradual but I could feel it and I chose to allow it to sneak in and take root. All the while my LORD was standing by at the ready to help me in my time of need but I chose instead to wallow in my bitterness about how long this was taking, how unfair it all is, and how could it possibly be taking this long, and of course why didn't we get our approval too? Of course I was happy for the family, how could I not be but I was beginning to feel sorry for myself and how unfair it all is.
I chose not to trust in my LORD and Saviour the One who loves those kids more than I ever could, the One who knows infinitely more than I do and who has this whole thing already worked out. I stopped listening to reason and instead listened to myself. I ignored the God who holds all life in His hands, regardless of what we think or believe. What a mistake that was, what a mistake that always is!
But as I had my wee tantrum and pity party God in His infinite mercy and grace chose to give me a glimpse of what He is doing. This whole adoption is not about me, obviously, it's not even about the kiddos, it's about so much more than that, it's about Him, Him and His plan, His plan for the redemption of His creation. He loves us all so much more than we could ever imagine and the "Good News" the Gospel message is one that we need to cling to every minute of every day. It's not just a one time thing, it's something that we need on a daily basis. We need to continually go back to the Gospel message. There we find the authour and perfecter of our faith and that's where we find the "everything" we're so desperately looking for. When we find ourselves in Christ every minute of the day life seems more manageable, not easier for when we say Yes to Jesus that doesn't mean life on easy street, in fact it often times means just the opposite.
I'm not saying it's not okay to cry or be sad or mad or whatever emotion you're feeling, because our emotions are certainly real and God gave them to us but we mustn't base our decisions on them and react to them in a way that is inappropriate, which is what I was doing. I should have stopped at the crying part, leaned back into Jesus and carried on trusting that His timing is perfect but I didn't and I didn't believe at that time that His timing is perfect, I knew it but I chose not to believe it. But because God isn't like us, He chose to love me anyway, even in my nasty tantrum, and He decided to give me a tangible reminder of how GREAT He is and still I don't even have a clue of how truly great He is.
God's encouragement in a letter...
On Monday, March 3, I received a hand written letter from a dear friend from the Milwaukee area (you know who you are!) in the mail. As I sat at the table with my kiddos I read the letter that was to be the turning point for my bad attitude. Tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't speak. She is following our journey and wanted to let me know that she is thinking of us. I felt ashamed for my bad behaviour and thankful for such an amazing God that in my sin He still reaches down and shows us that He has this, He's got it all covered, and the He's not done yet. He used that letter and my friend to bless me in a way that was just so needed. Wow........
So please don't be fooled. As far as patience goes, I don't have any, ANY, I by nature am not patient so please don't read my blog and see this patient woman, enduring these two long years patiently, I haven't. I've cried, I've shouted at my kids in frustration, I've held grudges against my husband for no other reason other than that he walked into the house in a good mood when I wasn't, yes that really happened :(, I've felt sorry for myself, I've doubted myself as a mother, every emotion you have had, I've had it too. AND I've tried to control parts of this adoption which is just so ridiculous to even think about! We're all the same, we're all sinners in need of the one true God. I'm so thankful that God in His grace chose to use this sinful family to show His grace to those around us. I hope that's what you see when you read this blog.
Thanks for following along and for praying. Please continue to pray these precious souls home and pray that I would have the patience that can only come from Jesus!