Thursday, December 15, 2011

Comfort and Joy

It's been a very difficult week. We received news on Tuesday that Jude had been in the hospital recently for a week-long stay due to respiratory illness.

Never before have we felt such despair over the suffering of our little boy. To picture that sweet baby boy in the hospital without a mommy or even a familiar care-giver is like ripping my heart out with your bare hands and stomping all over it. It's a good thing you didn't see me that day (except for the few poor souls who did), because I was a mess. I mean, I can't even fathom driving away from the hospital if Evan, Claire, or Sophie were there for even 10 minutes, let alone 7 days. NO WAY, NO HOW. We happen to love this little boy so immensely that we'd give up our life right this minute for him. We've been fighting for 2 solid years for the life of this child and it is NO SMALL DEAL to hear that he's sick and hospitalized. It's NO SMALL DEAL that orphans, like Jude, are sick EVERY DAY without a mommy to comfort them, here and all over this planet.

One of my closest friends called and prayed with me, covering Jude and all his doctors, care-givers, etc, special protection and healing. If not for her, I would have been curled up in a corner somewhere until Jason came home. One of the scriptures she passed along was so powerful in my heart that day and forever more. Here's what it says:

Isaiah 43: 1-7 (emphasis via Wendy....merely to point out what stuck out to me)

Now this is what the Lord says- the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel-- "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name and you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you. For I Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior, give Egypt as a ransom for you, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and I love you, I will give people in exchange for you and nations instead of your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I WILL BRING YOUR DESCENDANTS FROM THE EAST and gather YOU FROM THE WEST. I will say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Do not hold them back! BRING MY SONS FROM FAR AWAY and My daughters from the ENDS OF THE EARTH--everyone called by My name and created for My glory. I have formed him; indeed, I have made him.

***This is all about the restoration of Israel. It is down-right comforting to hear what God says about restoration and a new day. Go read the rest of the chapter when you catch a minute. I also especially love verses 16-21 about God doing something new.

We are thankful for the moments of joy that sneak in and surprise us. We are thankful for the rich blessing of our children and their ability to make it all better. We are thankful for our marriage, in which we both have a best friend and someone who's always "on our side." Praise God. We don't deserve it.

Here are just a few of the moments of joy that have managed to sneak into our lives lately (disclaimer---pics taken with my phone, so not the best quality):

Gotta take a break while baking cookies~

Can she fool you?

Baking cookies with Mama Cookie, using Grandma's old cookie cutters

Merry Christmas and many blessings of comfort and joy to you and your family this year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Work on Me

I cannot believe we are still waiting. I'm overwhelmed by the fact that we were given a referral for a sweet 4 month old baby boy so many months ago. It has been 6 months since we accepted the referral for Jude, and here we are today, one life-changing trip and a whole lot of tears, later.

I could lie to you all and tell you it's all okay. I will say that the good days outweigh the bad, but there are days, like today, that I have trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It seems like our turn is never going to come. I read about and watch other families pass court and travel to bring their babies home, and I'm exceedingly happy for those precious children. I know it's out of our hands and that God can make all things good and that His timing is perfect and IT'S NOT ABOUT ME! I just have to rely on positive self-talk most days.

This is all stirring inside me today, because we were once again contacted by our home-study agency with a reminder that our home study ONCE AGAIN is going to expire in 2 months. There is a good likelihood that we will have to renew, to the tune of $400+, more fingerprints, more home-visits, and paperwork. We are still figuring out our specific case, but I remember getting the same reminder a year ago and being not-so-happy about it.

It's on the minds of our children, too. This morning, we were driving Evan to school, all 6 of us (me, 3 of my children, +2 boys I take care of). It is not a quiet ride, to say the least. Sophie piped up and said, "Mom, we should get Jude a little shirt for Christmas." I told her that was a great idea. We decided he could open it when he comes home, regardless of when. She continued, "Yeah, and we should get him a train, and a ball, and a school, and a bird, and the moon, and a road, and a sidewalk to the school, and a car." It made me smile. She wants to give him the world. Me, too.

I remember reading this prayer from another friend's Facebook page a while back, and it seems so fitting to my life.

"Lord, work on me in the waiting. Prepare me. Strip me of my agenda. Shatter my plans into a million pieces."

So, that's my prayer today. And tomorrow. And the next day.