Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Empty & Filled

I feel very emptied right now. I have been thinking a lot about adoption and speaking to a few different people and still feel like I've gotten nowhere. I know that this process is going to be me continually being emptied of myself, but I didn't think I would feel that SO SOON. I have tears multiple times a day when I either think of how confused I feel, or when I think about our child, wherever he/she is and how badly I want to hold him/her. This baby may not even be born yet! I am so thankful to have Andrew to hold in my arms, but often times I am reminded when I look at him about how helpless he is and how much I want to protect our newest little one. I am continually reminded that the Lord's arms are much more supportive and strong that mine are. His plans are good and no power can overturn them, where as my plans are faulty and powerless. I praying to rest in His sovereignty and love.
I spent all last evening reading the blog of someone that I knew from growing up overseas. Her family spent the past 1 1/2 years in the adoption journey. ( she has tagged adoption posts and those were the ones that I read) The roller-coaster that my heart rode last night was exhausting. I felt sorrow and hope all at the same time. I was feeling low last night as I went to bed. My mind would not forget the story of the Noll family this morning when I woke up.
I have known for a long time that moment by moment surrender is something that I need to be living but in my "easy" "comfortable" life it is far too easy to not live that way. Something in the last couple of weeks that I have realized is that starting down the road of adoption is no longer going to allow me to live in self reliance AT ALL! I need God's words that HE spoke to drowned my heart. I need to be literally ON MY KNEES in prayer for my heart, HIS will, our current family and the little one(s?) who will be added to it.
This morning as I could not shake the heaviness in my heart for things that are on the Lord's heart I knew that I needed to not focus on anything else other than scripture. Matthew is at school and Andrew is napping. Thank you Jesus for time alone to meditate.

Psalm 3:3-6

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory and the One who lifts my head. 

I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. 

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. 

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.

I continue to breathe only because the Lord sustains me. He sustains me not for my comfort or purposes, but for HIS glory. If HIS will is for our family to expand by adoption HE will give me strength, wisdom, and guidance in that. I am continually left awestruck at how people survive this world without Jesus. I cannot imagine living with out hope. Thank you Lord for saving me.

Please partner with us in prayer:

  • That the Lord would bring into our path the proper people to talk to

  • That Adam and I would both be committed to fervent prayer regarding adoption

  • That the Lord would keep the addition to our family safely in the palm of His hand

  • That anxiety and fear would be far from our hearts (especially mine!)

The two countries that I am looking into are Ethiopia and Uganda. I had the HUGE privilege of spending time with part of a family from Uganda a week ago. This little boy is here for life saving heart surgery. Our church has partnered with Samaritans Purse to host them. The lady in charge asked me if I would be able to spend sometime with these two one day so the host home could get some work done. I was SO excited and SO nervous!

I was told that the mother, Anna, spoke English, but I was not sure how well. I grew up in a foreign country and am used to English spoken differently that in America, but didn't know what to expect. Her son Enimi has not yet had his surgery. 

I went to pick them up in Orange Park. Matthew was in school for the morning and Andrew and I were ready to entertain! As soon as we got there Anna wanted to hold Andrew and love on him. Enimi gave me his sweet smile and a hug and I was hooked! 

We spent all day together and my heart was filled! I am so grateful for the perspective that Anna shared with me, not even on purpose, about so many things I viewed in a non God glorifying way.

I had many feelings about America on the day we hung out. I felt thankful, overwhelmed, disgusted, and embarrassed. 

Anna made mention on our way home as we drove down the construction part of I-295 that she wished they could "take one of those home." I asked, "a tractor?" She said no, "a road." She asked me if we drove everywhere we went. I told her yes. She asked if we ever walked. I said no because things were too spread out. As soon as those words were leaving my mouth I was embarrassed. Things are not too spread out. We are too lazy and busy to be able to walk places!  If there were not so much demand on each day we would be able to take the time to walk to the grocery store, or to church. And besides, its hot here in Florida right?! Well I'm sure this woman from Uganda would give me a pass with that excuse! Ridiculous. 

When we got to our house she immediately complimented me on what a nice home we have. I often and unhappy with the decoration etc. that I am wanting to do more with. I have a mansion compared to her mud hut with no running water or electricity. She looked out our back window and asked what the retention pond was. I told her it was to help with flooding here because it rains so much. Not a problem she has ever encountered. The amount of water that surrounds us is so much more than she has ever seen in her life! I thought to myself- get it together Allison! Crawl out of your self pity hole and be grateful for the abundant blessings God has given you. There was not a twinge of jealousy in anything she said, and yet jealousy often fills my heart. Why do I think I deserve any more than the exact portion God has given me?! Because I am selfish and entitled. Ugh. What an ugly mirror I was looking into.

Anna was amazed that my children each slept in their own room and NOT with me. I knew this was a strange thing for Americans to do, but I was reminded of how much space we have been given, thanks to Adams family, and how much more I could use it for!!

She asked if I was lonely being at home all day without any one else living here with us. I said yes, sometimes I am. I was thankful for her view on community. They live life with one another, not just moments of it.

She shared with me about her family, she has 5 children. She lost one child, 2 days after she was born. They do not know why. I was overwhelmed with sadness for her. She also has Enimi who would surely die without his heart surgery. I said, "I am SO sorry Anna. That is very sad." She said, "It is ok. These things happen. God is in control." WHAT?! There was not a hint of bitterness or anger in her words! I am not sure I would be able to respond with such understanding of God if I were to encounter those situations. I was so thankful to see it through her eyes for that moment. It was great to experience encouragement from a fellow sister in Christ who lives so far away. Even though we did not share many things in common- we did share the most important thing!

We got to bake some banana bread together and eat macaroni and cheese and blueberry muffins for lunch. Enimi commented on how sweet the muffins were! I thought to myself- some of the desserts I make would blow your mind if you think this is sweet! Haha.

Enimi feel asleep on my couch and was so sweet to watch! I have always known that Uganda was a place in need. A professor from college took many trips there and I heard a lot from him. Of course recently Kony has been in the news. There are so many orphans from war, or medical issues. Meeting this sweet spirited little boy made my heart ache even more for this country full of little ones like him that do not having loving parents like he does.

So I am continually emptied and filled by the Lord. I am thankful that He has equipped me for what He has called me to. He is gracious to me.