Friday, April 29, 2016

15 Months Waiting

Hey! Thanks for stopping by today. First a little update. March 16 we found out that we received a grant from the JSC Foundation! This is a sizable grant, and they have asked us not to share the amount because they are a private foundation. But we feel so honored to have been chosen to receive it. In March also we had a fundraiser at Chick-Fil-A that my students set up for us, it was great. TONS of my kids showed up to help and to eat. We had face painting and we served people and talked to people about adoption. We still don't have the official numbers but from my calculations (ha!) we made $200 in donations and $3-400 in selling food. I'll let you know when we get official numbers, but wow that truly exceeded my expectations. The week before our fundraiser I prayed that we would bring in $300 and God really showed up.

As of yesterday we have been waiting for 15 months. WOW that is a long time. Well, it's not but it feels SO LONG!

It's hard waiting for something that you don't know when it will come. This waiting has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've never waited this long for something, especially when there's not an end in sight. I have, of course, waited for things before. I waited and prayed almost 6 months between deciding to leave my job at VSDB and getting my paperwork to start my job I have now, and God showed up in big ways to make that happen. We've prayed and waited to hear God give us an answer through many decisions. But this is a hard one. This is one I haven't heard an answer from God except "wait." And it has been hard to feel like God is coming through for us. Many days it feels like God is not showing up. Now- of course I KNOW this is not true, God is always working in the background even if we can't see Him. I'm glad that God is big enough to take my questions and my doubt, and that I'm not alone in this. David questions God's presence and plan multiple times through the Psalms, and he always goes back to remembering that God is holy, perfect, and always there and worthy of praise. The wait has taught me that it is okay to be honest with God, to not always trust my feelings, and 10,000 other things - if you want to talk to me about what I've learned let's do it! I feel like above all it is forcing me to trust that God's got this and that He will show up in a big way when the time is right and I CANNOT WAIT to share that story with you. Of course we hope and pray our baby comes sooner rather than later, but above all we pray for God's will to be done above our own. My mom always says, "If you don't know what to pray, pray for God's will to be done." And she is so right, that prayer never fails. So, I will wait on and trust in the Lord to fulfill His promises to me, even when I don't feel Him, even when I feel lost, even when I feel like there is no hope, because He is Holy. 

Psalm 22:1-3 My God, my God why have You abandoned me? Why are You so far away when I groan for help? Everyday I call to You, my God, but You do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. Yet You are holy. 

1 Peter 1: 6 - So be truly glad, there is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

"Comparison is the thief of joy." Google tells me that Theodore Roosevelt said that. He was a wise man to come up with that saying. Lately, that statement runs very true for me. It is so hard not to compare what I have (or my perceived lack of what I have) to what others have.

"Why did they get a baby - they've only been waiting 2 months?"
"It's not fair that they got pregnant and we can't."
"No, you don't understand the longing I feel, you've only waited (insert a number of months less than the number we've been waiting)."
"It's not fair that our book has been seen 8 times, and every time is a no, when (insert random person I probably don't know) got their baby after (insert number less than 8) views."
"Why does God come through for everyone else?" (and what did I do for God to not give me a baby?)
"I can't believe she is complaining about being pregnant, at least she can have a baby and all I have is my name on a waiting list, an empty nursery, and $20,000 of debt."

These are the UGLY thoughts lies that have been crashing around in my head. Now, they aren't all "lies," I do know of people in the same state, with the same agency who only waited 2 months and 3 months. I do know people who have gotten pregnant. BUT what I tell myself is that it isn't "fair." And that's not really true. In my bubble, in my perspective, it's not fair. But, who am I to decide what someone else deserves, or what happens to them, it is not always a matter of fair. These are all me comparing what I have to someone else in regards to our baby and our adoption.

I think at any stage of life we can compare what we are going through with someone else. Someone else's marriage, job, socioeconomic status, etc. So this (hopefully) is not just something I struggle with, please tell me I'm not alone in playing the comparison game. (actually I wish I was - I wish no one else had to struggle with this, but it is always nice to not be alone in something).

So for me, the longer we wait, the easier it is to see the negative and not the joy. The easier it is to compare my situation to someone else's, when  I don't know all the details (not that knowing the details makes a difference). And the harder I have to look to see God's blessings and to make sure I focus on truth and on joy.

Here are some truths that I know:
Everyone's situation is different, maybe they struggled with something else, or maybe they just needed a baby sooner. Or maybe that baby has issues that I am not prepared to deal with. And, obviously that baby was not meant to be mine.

Everyone has their own struggles. Infertility is one of mine, and usually I'm okay with it. Without infertility I would not be on the road to adoption, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

Everyone feels the adoption wait differently. It's hard. No matter how long you've waited. And I know that it is true that we will wait the right amount of time.

The right family will pick us at the right time.

Our baby will come at the right time in the right way.

God comes through on His promises and He promises us a lot. He is my constant and my joy. Keeping my eyes on Him and His plan for me prevents me from comparing my situation to others. And keeps me full of joy. And nothing I ever do could change His plan for me and change the good things that He has had planned for me and my family since before there was time. I cannot compare what He has given me to what He has given others. God blesses and loves us all equally and He gives all of us what is best.

The best thing to do when these feelings creep in (or crash in) is to acknowledge that they are there, that they are probably lies (or at least that they don't bring joy), focus on what does bring joy and pray for joy, peace, and love for the person you are comparing yourself too. Plus, remind yourself that everyone's struggle is different. And above all CHOOSE JOY.

There is true and real victory for me in Jesus through my pain, and He has shown up and will continue to show up in miraculous ways that glorify Him and not me. In this there is joy. Real joy.

My life is about Him, not about me. He is worth my worship, my struggle, and my praise.

Proverbs 16:3-4 - Commit your actions to the Lord, and Your plans will succeed, the Lord has made everything for His own purposes...

Proverbs 3:6 - Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take

Philippians 4:4 - Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!

James 1:2 - Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way consider it an opportunity for great joy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

God is Good

Happy April! Even though I saw flurries this morning it is still April and spring! I love spring because everything is new again. But I hate allergies - they are killing me today. In March we had 1 profile view and as of March 28 we have been waiting 14 months. Our social worker says we should be encouraged by this. That our book is so active. Most people don't have a very active book when they've only been waiting 14 months. So that is good. But it is hard to remember to be encouraged, and to not look at the "no's" as something discouraging. But, we do our best to view them as something positive and keep our minds on God's plan for us and the positives of our situation, because there are a lot :).

There's Penelope with our board. She was scared of it so this is as good as it got. March was an interesting month. One thing that happened was that we were contacted on social media by an expectant mother who liked our blog and thought we were genuine. We tried to hook her up with our agency, which she was interested in and then there was some miscommunication between her and the agency and us, and I'm not sure where she stands now. And that's okay, she is allowed to feel however she wants. We just hope the best for her and that she finds the support she needs regardless of her decision and regardless if she finds an agency or not. Please be praying for her and her pregnancy. 
The last week of March was also spring break for me, which was awesome to have a break from school. I got to see some of my best friends, my family, and get out of town for a while all of which was really good. 

This month I want to blog about the idea that God is good. This is something that is so true all the time. No matter what life brings God is good. Adam and I were talking and we noticed something. When good things happen in life people always say "God blessed me with this, God is good." And that is true, very true. But often people do not say God is good and that God blessed us with something in the midst of a struggle. I think we need to remember even more in our struggling and suffering that God is good. God often blesses us in the midst of struggle, and sometimes we can look back and see how a struggle is a blessing. I believe at this point I can say I have been blessed with infertility - as this made our decision to adopt so much easier and will ultimately be part of why we get our child and have the family we have. We can say that through the wait God is good, not because of circumstances but because He is God and that is part of His character. God works everything for His good because He is good. When we suffer God is still good. When people die, God is still good, when the worst possible things in life happen, when we look at the world around us and all the bad things that happen, we can still say God is good. SO - even though we've waited for over a year, even though we have been told many "no's," even though we have no idea when our baby is coming, God is still good. And God will be JUST as good when we get matched, when our baby comes home, and when we finalize our adoption. God is always good. 

Psalm 107:1 - Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.