It was a really weird day. I felt happy and irritable. Even though I was trying to get it all done in an orderly manner, I was assaulted again by that feeling of unworthiness. In the end, I squeaked in just before the arrival of the Fed Ex pickup in two different Kinko's. I sent the big documents off and realized that I had left out the passport photos(which are hideous by the way), so we moved forward and issued another package(yes it was frustrating..).
Later on, we ran into friends and I so wanted to connect with them, but felt a barrier. What it was I don't know? The truth is that without these gals, it would never have been possible.
Now after all these months of working toward sending off the dossier to China, I feel a big hole. I have been straining toward that goal since August and met with obstacle after obstacle and sometimes just dropped exhausted into the chair or bed. There were a lot of tears. I gave up a lot of times. My (two) Fed Ex receipt(s) is a victory.
Once it was over, a few minutes elation gave way to a pervasive exhaustion and then a sense of sadness and worry. Now it is out there... Will we come to the day? Will we ever bring him home? Do I have what it takes to conquer the "next leg of the race?*"
We never really know why God does things the way He does them. Sometimes we come to understand, after the fact, why He did them. Frequently, His way seems difficult or less than direct. See, the agency said we could tell Isaiah we are his family when we are certain we have the money. When is that? When agency fees are paid? When every nickel of travel and in-country is in the bank? For some people, they have the money right up front. For others, they get a huge gift at the eleventh hour. And every experience in between.
I think I may have covered before, that my husband's firm has managed to survive the last several months due to the willingness of the team to accept a variety of creative means of maximizing resources in a shrinking economy(read pay cuts). In July, we lost $1K/month. It was to last one month. It went nine. Why didn't we give up? We couldn't. Does this make any sense? No. Madison knew. A handful of friends knew. If anyone thought we were crazy for continuing, they didn't say so. We certainly could have had the discussion. It felt crazy. And lonely.
I am a different person than I was at the beginning. The reason why? In the end of February, I had all I could take of pushing forward in the illogical face of money. I had all I could take of freezing my @#$ off in an old house during a cold winter in Knoxville(similarly to a cold day in hell, it is pretty rare). I had all I could take of fighting my daughters for every daily responsiblity in school, chores and personal hygeine. I had all I could take of the ever present hiding between husbands and wives that was initiated by Adam and Eve in the Garden.** And so much more.
I have had a problem with trusting God. Like a kid learning to swim who won't let go of the edge of the pool. But, that day, I threw my head back and my arms open and said:
"Okay. I trust You. Take it all. Kill me. I am tired of 'my way'. I am tired of struggle. I am tired. Whatever Your will. Whatever You want. However You say."
I started to be able to keep moving when I was exhausted. I haven't slept on my own at night in ten years. I slept. No drugs. No waking. Things that would have scared me before didn't bother me, because I was able to wait and see. What? Yeah. I wasn't so busy solving a problem I didn't have that I couldn't live today(for the most part). So very different than before.
I think this may be the way of adoption. A little reverence before tackling the next mountain is not completely out of place. I think. Eyes on the prize.
Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self control in all things...I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.***
The prize is perseverance. In adoption, every ethical worker starts with, "There are no guarantees, hello, my name is..." I am so honored that He has ordained that we would come this far. I desperately long to receive His promises which are many, but the first one I must receive is His heart toward me when His way is different than I would choose, but shorter to making us what He designed us to be.
Please vote for this photo of Superboy at Parenting BY Dummies starting @6 a.m. on May 17.
*quote from The Amazing Race. I think the parallels are obvious.
**note to self: If they were hiding from God and I am hiding from Mickey: am I putting him in the wrong place in my life.
***I Corinthians 9:24-27