My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Saturday, September 20, 2014

That We May...listen (2 of 7)

(This is post 2 of 7)
#1 is here

For Lucas's sake, I inquired in the Fall of 2011 (just months after he was home), as much as I could about "the boy" because he was such a close friend.  We began to see how important he was to Lucas.   Our inquiries were primarily to find out any information we could for Lucas to know how his buddy was doing.

The only real information I found was his paperwork from the orphanage was currently being updated.  On the Chinese side of this equation, the preparation of paperwork comes from the orphanage and other sources and is quite an undertaking.  Not every child in an orphanage is simply made available for adoption.  The system isn't set up that way.  So this preparation on their side was necessary before anything could possibly be considered.  Then his name would be added to The List of special needs kids available and be accessible by an adoption agency. This "list" currently contains over 1,000 kids by the way with varying degrees of needs.

Our intention was to at least advocate for him to find a family.  That basically means we would share as much of his information as we could and bring attention to him on various groups and lists we were on and hopefully someone would step up to adopt him...(you can see where this is going right?)
Since his paperwork was in transition it really wasn't even technically possible for anyone to do anything to pursue advocating for him or considering him for adoption.  It was basically inaccessible.

We let that issue lay.
But, Lucas had such sweet memories of his friend, so he continued to pray for him.

In the meantime, Margaret still had these 2 precious children on her heart, having seen them personally, face to face, in summer of 2010 when her family visited the orphanage. (see previous post). She wanted to bring "the boy" here to have surgery on his foot.  She was trying to jump through hoops to make that happen.  We prayed some more for him.  She was advocating for them again on a Yahoo group I was on telling the group how precious they were.  But, again, the paperwork was in transition and nobody was stepping forward to bring home two 8-9 year olds.

Then, in May of 2012, as Lucas's prayers for his friend increased, I tried to explain to him some things about adoption that can be challenging like the paperwork, the time, the details and of course unfortunately the costs.

Without flinching, he walked over to his own bank, and handed me a dollar.  
This dollar.

He offered it to me to help pay for the cost of the adoption.  He was beginning to go there already.  Believing God would bring his friend into our family and pleading his case and need.
Of course all I could see was the inadequacy of One Dollar for the thousands it would take.
(little did I know how God was about to show His adequacy and provision)
I knew what our bank account looked like. It seemed a barrier at the time.
So I just told him to pray. again.
Is this where I admit,  that I told him to pray just so I wouldn't have to tell him "it's not happening honey." So sorry to have to admit that. Or is the 'joke' on me? Apparently, God's Sovereignty and plans cannot be thwarted by my inadequacies or the limitations I attempt to put on circumstances or Him.

My faithful, believing, prayer warrior of a son was at it with full force and not ceasing his prayers.  Who had the issue here?

As I reflect upon that precious boy's first offering, I see the trust and faith it required to lay that dollar down.  I see his innocent heart, broken for his friend, still in a place where he didn't have a family.
I see my own doubt and fears.
He did not see money as a barrier in his precious innocence.
He saw it as an investment.
He was being the most Generous he could.
It reminds me of the story of the Widow's Mite in the Bible.
It's not the size of the gift we give, but the heart with which we give it.  Do we fully Trust God or not?

For some reason I felt led to set that dollar aside--
in an envelope
in my underwear drawer.

It wasn't until 6 months later, in November of 2012, that I got an email from Margaret saying she now knew "the boy's" paperwork was prepared and "ready".  Lucas had been in our family for about a year and a half at that point.
I was still not "ready".
Peter was still not "ready" to even entertain the thought.
But, God was already working on opening things up.

It's important to note a few other things along the way.
2012 and into 2013 was a crazy year for us. We rode some challenging waves in our family, and I know God needed us to be available for our oldest son at that time.  Let alone Lucas.
But, nothing is wasted in God's economy.
Not time, not circumstances, not money, nothing--
When I look back at this journey and write it like this, I'm tempted to get lost in all the things we may have missed along the way.  But, God uses ALL of it to work out his plans.

By this time, Lucas-the-prayer-warrior was intensifying his prayers even more.  Peter and I were overwhelmed with the prospect of the implications of his prayers.  We weren't really voluntarily open to the idea.

"Are we going back to China?"
We'd say that, choke a little, then ignore the thought.
(noble huh?)
The thought was currently a bit overwhelming.  Both of us were on the same hesitant page.

We only saw barriers like: cost, emotional upheaval, starting over with "crazy" like we had with Lucas at the beginning, stepping out in faith again, wanting to settle in to a calmer life not adding more chaos, fear.

To be honest I'm not sure we were listening 100% to what God might have in store.  Both of us were scared and I would say tired.  Yet, we felt a tug.  And God was not letting it rest.  He was using this time to stir us.  It was not wasted time.  But, sometimes I do ask myself if we were disobedient in not moving more quickly and letting these "babies" sit there for an additional 3+ years.  To me it seems like we must have been missing something.  But, now I don't believe that.  I think God was there the entire time watching it unfold and teaching us important things.  It was not wasted time.  And even though it seems like it would have been better for them to be out of there sooner, I look back now and realize God had all the details worked out.

Lucas gave us a window into the life he had in China and compared it what he currently had in being in a family.  His prayers were powerful and turned into a plea for the salvation of his friend.  He loves Jesus.  And he wanted his friend to know him too.

In February of 2013, I got an email that said "the boy's" file had been prepared but was "missing".  We think this meant his file was likely allocated to a particular adoption agency for a few months but we had no way of knowing or tracking where it was or if it would ever turn up again.  Looking back, it was almost as if God "froze" the option in it's tracks.

We could now honestly say to Lucas.
"We can't do this right now"
Confession time:
It was a slight relief.
It sort of took it off the table for a while.
However, I began to feel some things that caught me off guard.  I began to wonder what was going to happen to him and how sad it would be to completely lose track of him.  Partially for Lucas's sake, but my mama instincts were rising to the surface.  "Did we lose our chance?"

But, Mr. Prayer Warrior didn't stop.

In February (2013), our personal challenges increased even more as my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  I lived in Georgia, while she and the rest of my family were in Wisconsin/Illinois.  I felt like I needed to be there for my mom and my siblings to ride this next crazy rollercoaster.  My husband was beyond amazing and supportive as I flew back and forth spending sometimes a week at a time working with my siblings to walk mom through her journey to Jesus.

Again, "life" occupied my time and energy.  What if we had gone sooner and I would not have been able to be there with mom?

She died May 6, 2013.
That whole season of life was crazy.  That summer and even Fall were a bit of a blur as we grieved and recovered from a rapid loss.

Can I just say an illness like my mom had and her rapid decline (3 months from dx to death) and then dealing with the aftermath and grieving is just simply exhausting?  I really don't think I realized how exhausting it was until we got through 2013.  I still miss her deeply.  Losing a mom is really rough.  And adding "more" to that, could have been overwhelming.

In the midst of that however, I got an interesting email

April 29, 2013.

(This also happened to be our  6 year old son Jacob's "Heaven Date" (2004).)

And one week before mom died.

"Hi Haidi, (spelled that way by the writer of the email)

How are you! I hope this mail will find you well.

(We) found (the boy) on the shared list .... 

You can ...locate his file now.


What was happening?

We had talked to Lucas about the possibility that we may never know where his friend had gone, because it was possible someone else had adopted him or we wouldn't be able to find his file.

But, no. 

God had just taken it off the table for a season while mom was sick.
Now she was gone.
Now he was available again.
How can that Not be God?

God heals.

And when He does, he opens our eyes to things we don't expect.
Once again He showed us life is unpredictable and we need to live our lives with purpose...His Purpose in mind.
He calls us to always be open
And it's a privilege to take the next steps.

My mom was an extremely generous woman.  And she was kind in leaving something to all of us.  Some of our personal financial struggles were finding answers.  And God was clearing a path for us.  

Stay tuned for more "crazy" we're just getting started...

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing perspective. It has mad me cry this afternoon. Sometimes it is so hard to see God in the difficult times.