DID YOU BELIEVE YOUR FEARS

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

If you starting reading back in the fall, you remember how many times I posted something to the effect of "there is no update" or "what I told you was going to happen just didn't" or definitely maybe I'll have another update in "ten more days, maybe." As we sat at the dinner table tonight, I looked into my husbands eyes and said, "You know we've been living in this for over eight months?" Like really living in it, every morning waking with the hope that this might be the day we get to be a whole family, every evening falling asleep imagining that day might come tomorrow. These last eight months have been laced with fear, with apprehension, with uncertainty, with joy, with hope, and with peace. I know it seems nonsensical, but its the truth. These emotions have been held in tension, challenging us to the core.

After waiting patiently more than six months for our son's promised exit letter, we requested that you join us this past week in asking our government to increase their involvement. We were not disappointed when we found hundreds of friends rise to meet the challenge. You signed an online petition, you signed letters and mailed them to us, you even spent your lunch break calling our senators and representatives. Last week was a whirlwind, and it felt productive to finally do something. The fight pent up for half a year came like a flood, but that week is over. Our objectives were met, Washington knows about our plight and the congressional letter collected over 150 signatures. It will be sent to the president and prime minister asking for resolution to cases like ours in the next few days.

This week has begun in confusion and mayhem. The delegation that the State Department sponsored to assuage the fears regarding the reported mistreatment of adopted children has been cancelled. The reasons are unclear, but it has been suggested that the same immigration department unwilling to issue our exit letter did not allow the delegation to exit the country. Regardless of the reason, the delegation meetings are not happening and we return to the standstill between governments. Once again the children are caught in the middle.

I don't pretend to understand the complexities of diplomacy or politics that have landed us here, I only know that this is about much more than the children. The absurdity of the situation is now obvious to all, it cannot be pinned on an upcoming delegation or progress being made toward a resolution. Things have come to a halt, an impasse until further notice.

As Sam and I settled into our bedtime routine tonight, I pulled a pair of pajamas out of the drawer that were meant for Miles but now fit his younger brother. I tossed the stray stuffed animals into the empty crib that has become storage, it will never hold my son because he is no longer a baby but a boy. We snuggled into the rocker, the one that is big enough for a mama and two boys to finish the night with a story. And in that moment of longing and sadness, I found comfort.

We opened the Jesus Storybook Bible and begin to read. As the story goes, the disciples are being tossed about in a small fishing boat on the raging sea one night while Jesus is napping. I love the way the storyteller summarizes Jesus' response upon waking, "Did you forget who I AM? Did you believe your fears, instead of me?"

As this process seems to continue spiraling out of control, the temptation is to believe Jesus has fallen asleep. That God doesn't see what is happening, for surely if He did, He would intervene. To be quite honest, I'm tired of waiting and feeling let down every time hope dares to raise its elusive head. But then I'm reminded that my fears, though they are real, are not stronger than my God. When I look back at His provision,  I find the strength to trust that He will continue to be I AM, the God who always has been, is, and forever will be. The God who works in impossible situations. The God who redeems things that are broken and destroyed. The God who infuses grace and mercy where they are undeserved. The God who promises restoration and hope to those who trust in Him.

So even if there is no delegation, and even if the letters don't work, and even if the silence across the sea persists, we are not without hope. Just as the glory of Easter is preceded by the darkness of Good Friday, so this night will not last forever. Would you pray with us that God would bring His justice to this world. To our families, to our children, to our friends, to our fellow man. This is not the way its supposed to be. I've always known this, but to be trapped in it? Not as an observer, but as a participant in the uncertainty, my heart gripped with each new development? The fears are loud, they are strong, they are convincing, but I will not forget. Not today, not tomorrow. Though the storm may rage, we will not forget.




HOLD FAST

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tonight I miss you. I just do. I miss the way your hair scratches my cheek when you demand to be swung up into my arms. I miss your slobbery kisses and your bear hugs. I miss the way you hold my hand when we walked circles around the compound. I miss the way your bright eyes pop open with the morning light. I miss watching you jump up and spin around and around whenever music fills the air. I miss cursing the mosquitos and smashing the cockroaches with you. I miss the warm sun and cool relief of the pool.

A few weeks ago your foster family sent me a video of you. It was a video of you skyping with me. So even though we were in a moment together, I got to see if again from a different perspective. There were things I saw through this lens that I didn't see before. Through the poor connection and static I missed the times you called me mommy. I couldn't see how intent you were in reaching for me through the screen. I didn't know your babbling and singing was directed at me.

These days I feel you've likely forgotten me. I'm another face to add to your collection of temporary mamas. But this video was a reminder that my perspective does not see everything. There is more than I know or can conceive. And I'm reminded that this isn't just the story of your adoption. Its the story of our lives. Like Orual in Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, what we see may deceive us. But someday, someday my son, we will see the story without veils. And for that day I long.

Today after our Skype conversation your foster papa called me back and exclaimed, "Holly, the most amazing thing just happened! After you hung up Jephté ran over to the photo of his daddy and started yelling and pointing papa! papa! papa!"

You have not forgotten my son, and we have not forgotten you. Not even for a minute, not even for a second, not even for a breath. We are coming. Hold Fast.


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