Thursday, December 11, 2014

Perfected

This fighting, this roller coaster is just so tiring. We are at the tail end of expediting our adoption and let me just say this is exhausting. The kind of exhausting that keeps you in bed in the morning and has you telling the kids to break out those pop tarts that you hear cause cancer and otherwise never consider. Who am I kidding? Pop Tarts are a mother's salvation!!! Eat 'em cold, microwaved, toasted. Whatever, just eat them and let my coffee kick in for five seconds.

This adoption has been surprise after surprise. We started out adopting a precious girl that I have advocated for for years. Our last adoption was expedited and I was so excited to sit back, relax and take my precious time with this one. As summer drew to a pleasant close, we discovered that our daughter may have a twin that she was separated from, say what?!? Truth. We asked for DNA confirmation, but it couldn't be done. Long story short, we are adopting two girls, same age, same condition. The second addition not only threw a wrench into our plans of finishing our family with our new daughter, but also caused us to request an expedite. Our second daughter was failing to thrive in drastic measure. In the last few months she has continued to drop two pounds a month and at four years old is less than 14 pounds right now.

Hello, whirlwind, I didn't really miss you. Don't feel bad, you are just kind of crazy and I hope to never meet with you again.

After a harrowing LOA journey they were finally granted on Tuesday. Was that only two days ago? Mercy. I nearly collapsed in relief, except I had to go quickly and get a power of attorney done, yet again, and state sealed and I still need to overnight that bad boy to the Chinese consulate.

Are you expediting? Have you done so in the past?

I'm so tired I just had to review if that was supposed to be passed or past? Keepin' it real, Sisters. This mom's brain is tuckered out today.

So, we did pop tarts, I took a few hours to regroup, and I'm back at it. Because that is what we do. We survive and keep fighting. Each and every day.

At the end of the expedite we travel across the world and arrive to our children looking the worst we have ever looked. Ladies, that lipstick doesn't really cover it. Put the curling iron down, back away from the mirror. You would do far better to spend the morning on your knees begging God for wisdom, and strength in miraculous measure.

And yet, this Great God is kind enough to send us little gifts along the way. He send us friends that shoot encouraging emails that keep us afloat and remind us that the world is still turning. He sends us supporters to quiet the voices of the Dark One who fills us with fear.

And sometimes we get amazing pictures of our kids. And sometimes we have good updates. Our sweet Ellie appears to have been moved to an incredible orphanage and she is SMILING. Oh my, what a balm that is to this tired heart right now.


I don't have an update on Everlyse and if I'm being honest, I don't want one right now. I'm so close, and seeing her further weakened would be my undoing. 

And God reminds me this morning that in my weakness, in my tired, cranky state, He is being perfected. He is fighting for justice and mercy right now in this very moment. In this moment where I feel like I just don't have the energy to keep fighting He reminds me that I don't need it. He is here and He will be glorified in my tired moment when I want to quit. 

And right now it is my hearts desire, more than another hour of sleep, more than another cup of coffee, more than even getting to China right now, more than holding my girls it is my desire that His glory is multiplied to the masses watching right now. 

To all the tired and worn out moms who feel like today is too much because all of the yesterdays have left you with nothing left to give, it's okay. You don't need anything to give. Right now, just breathe. That's all you need to do. God is there right now and as you breathe and have nothing left to give His glory is perfected.

You don't need to understand it. You don't need to grasp it, just have the blind faith to believe it. 



Monday, December 8, 2014

The Coming Trauma

I'm on the verge of traveling to adopt two little girls in, hopefully, a few weeks. The thing is, I've done this before, I've adopted before and I know what is coming. Trauma is coming, beautiful, harder than I can imagine or probably even remember trauma.

I remember coming home and feeling utterly alone and wondering what on God's green earth I had done. I remember feeling horribly guilty for the thoughts going through my head and I remember hiding in my room as I slumped against the bedroom door and yanked at the hair on my scalp.

Oh, but heavens, I remember. It hasn't been that long, not even two years. I swore I would never go back. I was quite certain I would never survive and if I did, well, then that must mean that my son had not survived. It was one or the other. We wouldn't both make it out of that first year.

Then, I saw a mom I had met in China post a picture of her son throwing a tantrum and I thought, "Maybe I'm not alone!" I called a friend, a dear friend who had advocated for my son, and I confessed that this kid she had said would be so great, was in fact not, and in fact I thought we were all crazy. I described the blood curdling screaming that lasted for hours and hours. I described the physical assaults on us all and showed her pictures of the marks on my six year old son.

And I learned that this was adoption.

And that adoption was traumatic.

But it was quiet, and hush-hush. We were all afraid, terrified to:
A: Admit that we were struggling, because what if people thought it was our fault? Or what if people blamed us for adopting in the first place?
B: Scare anyone away from adopting. I mean, yah, they would get the scare of a lifetime when they brought their own kid home, but it was better than that kid never having a family, right? Right??

And so silence wins. Darkness wins. And families suffer. Moms scream into pillows and quite possibly at kids, and cry alone at night, afraid to voice their thoughts out loud even to themselves.

I have learned the value of truth, of speaking out and of admitting that this thing we do called adoption is most definitely traumatic.

Books galore on how to deal with the trauma that our kids come home to us with, but not a single book on how to deal with the trauma that YOU will endure. My friend, trauma will come. Hold tight, hang on to the Rock that is Jesus, grab a friend, some chocolate and tissues and a punching bag. This ride is a rough one.

But there is hope. Hope that causes darkness to tremble. Hope that exists because one man, one crazy, loving man head over heels in love with you, died so that we could know one word, REDEMPTION.

Oh, but the trauma He lived for that word, for that one word. And if we read our Scriptures and hear of how his sweat was blood and how even this God-man begged to be released from this trauma, we know deep within our souls that this beauty of redemption is traumatic.

Watch Him, oh watch Him. Keep looking at His glory. While you sit in the middle of the screaming and you are pulling out your hair and you haven't showered in a week, and you have forgotten what beauty even is, keep looking for the glory that is coming. It may not come today. You may not see it this year or perhaps even this lifetime, but you will see glimpses of Him.

Don't count on it coming through that daughter or that son. He never promised you that when He asked you to walk this road. You may only see the glimpse in yourself. But oh, the beauty. One day, while you sit and wrap that arm, you know the one that secretly wants to do harm, in love around that child despite the bruise on your arm that exists from that same child, you will glimpse the redemption of your own soul. And you will glimpse that most beautiful glory of that God-man.

And it will crush you. If you had the energy you would fall to your knees, but instead you will lift eyes filled with tears to the heavens and you will thank Him for wrapping you in His arms despite the many times that you hurt Him.

You will know Him in His sufferings, the very sufferings that you caused.

And you will love Him for it.

At the end of the day that is what matters. That is all that matters.

This adoption will cause you to doubt Him, to doubt His goodness, to question His wisdom, His ways, His love and even His existence. But if you watch for those glimpses you will find Him and oh, how you will love Him.

This blog is a simple journal of the first year of an adoption. Real, ugly, beautiful and raw. Please, join me and let's become one voice struggling together and holding each other up as we walk this journey. Together, let's find peace in the middle of this storm.

Comment below if you are close to bringing someone home or recently have!