Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Resting in the Unknown

I am probably a bit of a control-freak (Billy would say more than a bit about some things, like my "laundry system").  So all the unknowns of our life right now are a little unsettling for me.  We have no idea when we'll get a referral, whether it will be for 1 or 2 children, how old they will be, what gender, what kind of special needs (because every adopted child has some special needs of SOME sort), how long we have until we travel, etc.  Then there are many other unknowns regarding our future in missions.  I really struggle with this!

My natural tendency is to try to "figure things out" - as in, maybe if we manipulate X, we will be able to predict Y.  But that's not the way life (at least life following God's lead) works.  Since we finished our adoption paperwork & have just been waiting, I have had to resist the temptation to start new things, things to keep me occupied so the waiting would be easier.  I am resisting those things because I feel like God wants to me to learn a big lesson in being still through this.  In short, I feel He is urging me not to start anything new - just to carry on life as usual.  I sooo want to start new projects constantly (I am a "do-er" in every sense of the word) but that is not God's best for me right now.  And I don't want to miss His best.

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

~ Psalm 46:9-11

Have you had a season like this?  A season of restlessness?  Or a season where God wants to teach you something beautiful through something hard?  Are you in one right now?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Big Gift

Last week, Shep & I went to Wilmington to spend the week with my best friends (since 7th grade!) Julia & Laura.  Julia is a new mom to Charlie (6 wks) & Laura is pregnant with her first baby, Lily.  I went to meet Charlie, see Laura pregnant, and, hopefully, help Julia out a little because those newborn days are tough.  But, you know what?  That trip ended up being a HUGE gift to ME!  You see, I've had this internal push and pull going on for several years now.  I love being a Mom, always knew I would.  And I always imagined I would have several biological children before adopting just one or two.  But over the last year or so, God has really laid the plight of orphans on mine & Billy's hearts.  And that burden I feel has just continued to grow and grow until the thought of having another biological child no longer sits quite right with me.  Yet, I still longed to carry another baby in my womb, to give birth again, to breastfeed, to know him/her from the very beginning.  Well, last week, that all changed.

Last week I was submersed into the wild and wonderful world of The Newborn.  Little Charlie is precious and a very good baby but he still requires round-the-clock feedings, diaper changes, and holding.  And he is still young enough that he has those random crying jags for no apparent reason.  Just 5 days of this wore me out.  And I remembered how incredibly exhausted and sleep-deprived I was with Shep for the first year of his life.  So, as I drove my van away with my happy toddler chattering in the backseat, I began crying - big, surprising happy tears - because I no longer feel the urge to do all that again!  What a relief!  I feel like adoption is something that is needed in this world and it is right for our family - not every family, but our family.  I believe we will adopt as long as God makes a way for us to do so.  And I will be quite content with having carried a babe in my womb just once, given birth just once, and known just one child from the very beginning.

Thank you, Lord, for this gift that still brings tears to my eyes.  It was so unexpected.  But that's just how You are - always full of surprises.

FYI:  I did get pics of Laura but she won't let me post them because they show her cute pregnant belly exposed!

Shep was so proud to hold the baby!
There will always be other people's babies to love on...
                        and Shepherd Wallace Clark will always be my baby!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

6 Month Adoption Update

So we are 6 months into our adoption journey.  Unfortunately, I have very little to update you with!  What I usually tell people these days when they ask is "we could get a call tomorrow or next year.  There's just no telling with international adoption!"  And this is completely true.  We have seen families wait 18 mths & we have seen families wait 1 month for a referral (the call which will let us know about an available child or sibling pair).  It depends on how quickly the Ethiopian gov't processes adoption cases in court, how many children are being referred who fit into our age range (0-3 yrs), and how many families have been waiting longer than us.  So that's the update in a nutshell - sorry it's not more exciting!  Emotionally, we really are doing great - not anxious, not frustrated, just trusting that it will happen when it's supposed to.

HOWEVER, my wonderful brother & sister-in-law Trey & Jen gave me some fabulous adoption-related gifts for my birthday recently, the proceeds of which go to care for Ethiopian orphans:

Ethiopian coffee - Yum...

 The Story of Coffee (a book)

You might even consider popping into AAI's Store yourself - all proceeds go directly to supporting their work with orphans.  You can find all kinds of cool Ethiopian books, traditional dress, coffee, games, toys, & decor at great prices - it's a win-win!  

Tomorrow, Shep & I are off to Wilmington to spend the week with my best friends, Julia, who just gave birth to baby Charlie, and Laura, who is pregnant with baby Lily.  I'll be doing lots of snuggling with Charlie & hopefully get to feel Lily flipping around in her mama's belly!  I'm sure I'll have cute pics to share when I get back!  Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Are You Alive?

Billy & I have been on this amazingly transformative journey over the last year or so.  A combination of a growing disinterest in the American Dream & a growing excitement to go on a new journey with God.  God is calling us to something NEW & we are EXCITED.  We are not being transformed by any book or church or teacher or cult, but by the Living God.  As we have given over more & more of ourselves & our lives to Him, He has shown Himself to be more & more alive & active in our lives.  And we feel more alive than ever!

Have you experienced this?  Do you long for more in life but aren't sure what is missing?  I want more for you, too, & am here if you want to talk...

"We are not disciples of some ancient teacher who has merely left us his teachings.  We are disciples of the living Lord who walks with us and who teaches, nurtures, restores, and empowers us as we go into the world in his name and his power." 
~ Roy Ciampa

Friday, July 2, 2010

Out of the Mouth of My Babe

Shep has recently entered the "language explosion" phase & it is so fun to hear him trying out so many new words!  Here are a few of his favorites:

A-wee! (translation: please spin me in the chair)
Tusty (translation: I'm thirsty)
Quacker (translation: cracker)
I uh ew (translation: I love you)
Aside (translation: I want to go inside/outside, depending on where we are when he says it)
Coo-key (translation: I want a cookie)
Usnack (translation: I want a snack)
Dusta (translation: I want to go downstairs)
Baba (translation: name of his favorite two stuffed animals, a big Pillow Pet sheep & a little one)
Hello! (said with great cheer & pride)
Boob (said while pointing to diaper - translation: I have a poopy in my diaper)
Ouchie or owkie (translation: whoops)
Echo (translation: freckle)


Lord, thank you for this amazing little blessing.  What did I ever do to deserve him?