Thursday, July 25, 2013

Adoption and Redemption

We have been home a week and a half and so far things are going well.  I will not get into the details of Rosie's past because that is her testimony to tell.  I will tell you how adopting a teen is different.  First of all she is very independent and capable which makes it a bit easier to help her adapt.  She really is a remarkable kid.  She has been through so much in her 13 years but she is still so full of hope and thankfulness.  She has a tender heart towards children and really seems to have connect with Zeke.  She seems to enjoy having older children in the house to play with.  I can't imagine how overwhelming this must be, new language, new friends, new family, new foods, new culture.  She is able to keep in contact with friends in Bulgaria through facebook.  This is good for her because with so much change she still has a lot of the familiar.  I have told her a lot that time will make things easier.  She has her sad moments and even some angry moments, but most of the time she is good natured and smiley.  She loves to give me giant hugs.  Last night she looked for Dad to give a hug good night.  We are currently working on learning some English.  This will be a slower process than I had anticipated.  We are doing lots of gesturing and google translate has been a lifesaver!  I think the hardest part is conveying how we do things normally and what our morals are.  When it comes to clothes, music, videos she is used to things we do not allow.  A friend said it perfectly when she said you spend years protecting your kids from the world, then you invite the world into your home.  She is very understanding and listens and we are lenient for now on what she is doing.  It is much more of a give and take process with a teen than it is with a much younger child.

 What God has taught me through all of these adoptions is redemption is always uncomfortable.  For the child getting used to being accepted into a whole new way of life.  Its very uncomfortable at first.  They don't want to offend, but as a child they do not always know how to act, think and feel.  They can not shut off their past when they walk through the door.  Their is a way they have done everything, a world they have experienced, sin that has hurt or entangled them.  You see the desire as they adjust to do things well.  You see them watch those who have been here longer and with a jealous desire sometimes they wish to be that far.  You see those who have been here longer see how far they have come as a new child enters our home.  It gives them a tremendous sense of belonging to see that over time they have morphed into a true part of the family.  That all those moments they had felt like they had messed up, done it wrong, upset a parent or sibling, felt unlovable nothing had changed and through that they became a solid member of our family. It wasn't easy, nothing is especially when we talk about a situation that starts off with a child being given up for adoption.

 It is like that with salvation.  I first watch Christians as they went into God's house.  I had this jealous desire to be part of it, though at the time I did not fully understand.  After I first became a Christian I wanted to do so well and please God, I wanted to do it perfectly.  But like our children, I couldn't just leave my personality, sin, past, habits at the door.  I messed up over and over.  Many times I wondered if God would give up on me, if the church would roll their eyes at me.  Yet just as I promised my children time has a funny way of changing perspective.  I started realizing I knew more than I though, I started seeing God redeem me despite my mistakes and failures.  I watched God take me from a spiritual orphan to a child of His own.  Every year that passes I have more and more to look back on and see how God has changed me over and over despite my best efforts to thwart it!  It is always uncomfortable to change, but in the end I am closer to being who God made me to be.  So if you are in an uncomfortable spot, don't fret, God will work despite us!  We are adopted and redeemed.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

She is home!

Sunday afternoon Rosie came home forever.  Randy and Alex made the trip to bring her home.  They had a good trip.  No bags got lost, no one was ill, God was all over it.  Rosie was waiting excitedly at the orphanage.  I waited with anticipation as we decided that since she was shy and easily overwhelmed to meet them at home with the kids instead of an airport party.  I first went out and she gave a me a big hug and a kiss.  She then came in and met all the kids and everyone was so nervous and excited.  She has got along with all of the children so far.  She seems much more comfortable when they are around.  She likes to play UNO with them and even teaches the younger kids how to play.  So far it has been very smooth.  She really is a good kids.  Perhaps this is the honeymoon period for the moment, but she has been in our care for 8 days and so far she is happy.  Last night she even put herself to bed early!  I think that jet lag has hit!  Its a new adventure with a teenager, learning how to teach her how our house runs while also giving her the freedom a teenager needs.  Thank you to everyone who has prayed for her and for us.  Please don't stop :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Open the tent

Many years ago when I first thought of becoming a mother I had a dream to have a large family.  When my oldest was born, I was in bliss, it was everything my heart hoped for.  Then in December of 1999 I had a miscarriage and was devastated.  I prayed for God to let that child stay.  Then I was blessed the following year with our second child.  Then the doctor told me that I should not have any more children.  My dreams seemed like they would never be fulfilled as I had thought.  Five years passed where I tried so hard to give up the dream, I begged God to take the desire for more children from my heart.  I wanted a new dream, something I saw as attainable.  Then we set out to adopt our first time and time after time we were passed over by birthmothers.  I started to think I was cursed that maybe I wasn't a great mother and that God was punishing me by leaving that desire in my heart and yet making it impossible to fulfill.  One day in my quiet time the Lord led me to this passage in Isaiah 54:

1 "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD. 2 "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. 4 "Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. 5 For your Maker is your husband-- the LORD Almighty is his name-- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. 6 The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit-- a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God. 7 "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer

After I read this I felt like the Lord was spurring me to wait on his timing and that my time of waiting was going to come to an end.   I cried as I read it and told the Lord if you will fill my tent I will open it wide.  Shortly after that we adopted 2 of our girls, the following year we had 3 more come home. Now again we are making room for our 8th child.  Tomorrow she walks out of the orphanage forever into her family.  We walk from a family of 9 to a family of 10.  So anyone who can't quell that unattainable thought in their mind, hold fast.  God does not disappoint!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Final countdown to coming home!

In 3 short days we will begin the journey to bring Rosie home forever.  I have had the awesome pleasure to talk to her over facebook the past few days and I realized just how much she is my girl already in my heart.  With the time difference I know that she is on in the morning, so I race downstairs to see if she is on.  Whenever Randy travels I always leave all communication lines open and waiting and I wait by them in case he needs me.  I have left facebook open all these days all days, just in case she needs me.  I was able to facebook chat with her (google translating every message), make pancakes from scratch and start laundry all before 8.......I felt like Supermom this morning ;)!  No matter what I am doing if I hear her message me I drop it and run and hang on her every word until I see 4ao, which I have learned means "chow" in which I resume my previous activities.  Each of my children have a special song that struck me as just for them, and this song from Christy Nockels is Rosie's song.  I think after 13 years of waiting on a momma, its time :)