We have been hussling. Being that Duane and I are both throwers and don't like to keep anything that we know we aren't going to be using, we wonder how we have a daughter that keeps everything! It also happens to be the daughter that will be sharing her room with two other girls. Needless to say, we have been doing a LOT of throwing out and have filled the garbage. May I also add that she isn't my most organized child, and puts anything anywhere ... surprised to say, it has taken me four full days to go through her room!
My parents are coming next week too. We are always excited this time of year, for it is the time they come here and we get them all to ourselves. But my house is totally not ready!
My carpets are going to be cleaned on Friday...a totally welcomed gift! But may I remind you of all that needs to be done, in order for that cleaning? I think I have decided to take everything out of my one daugher's room because of the lack of cleanliness.
We received a call yesterday that it looks like our new additions will not be joining us for Christmas. We are a bit sad, because everyone should be home for Christmas. However, when I see all the details I would like done before a new chaos enters our home this is a welcomed gift.
It appears we need to take a class, have first-aid and CPR, and get more fingerprints done ... then they can come. So in the midst of craziness in our home, we have more to do to bring these kids in. And we will do it, because God is our strength.
I confess I'm a detailed person, and I guard my heart like most. When I do completely surrender everything to God I find a new enjoyment in life. BUT there always seems to be some point I start asking questions through a panic state and then try to work out the details.
I'm at that point.
What I didn't mention yesterday was the time table of everything. I'm on vacation for a week. I will also only have one week to get ready: organizing rooms, setting up beds and Christmas shop. It can be done - but it's going to take a lot of effort.
During my time of preparing, planning and working out details, I heard my doubt question "What if this doesn't work out, and these kids don't stay?".
First, I remembered sitting in my pastor's office seeking his counsel. His advise for me was to learn to recognize this voice and cast it off. So that is what I did. And then I turned that very question back to God.
You know what He told me? "To love His children and He'll take care of the details."
So that is what I'll do. I don't know the outcome, and I don't know what the details look like but I do know that I can love as He continues to love me.
When I vision these new additions in our home ... I know that our schedules will be more than full, the dinner table will be full, the house will be full and the car will be at it's maximum capacity ... and our hearts will be overfilled with love. We look forward to following this adventure we are on.
Today was a bad morning...extremly bad. I didn't have a nice thing to say to anyone, I'm ashamed to say. The girls seem not to be making wise choices. There is always one day like this when one parent is away. I'm exhausted, as I am trying to do all the day to day stuff as well as getting ready to make my get-a-way. The stress of it all isn't becoming on me this morning. This just isn't a good morning.
Apparently the phone rang, because there is a message.
It's our social worker.
Apparently there are some children in the Colorado system who are in need of permanent home as of yesterday.
After consulting Duane - I called.
I can't explain the knowing we have that these kids belong with us, but there is that knowing. So many things have simply worked out. Too many things I was hearing and sensing....all making sense now that it is exposed.
God's timing is perfect. As we weren't excited about the timing of Duane's trip, but find that this is to be a perfect gift to be able to get restored and energized as we try to juggle a new transition in our home.
We have let go, and we can finally breathe again. We have allowed God's leadership on this journey once again.
We casted our net. We caught more than our fill, for God has abundantly filled it.
We are standing up to this calling, and I am doing it scared - but the odd thing is - I have found an over abundance of peace that fill both of us instead.
And as for our evidence of our double portion ...we are going from three kids to six. Yes, that's right...three more kids are coming into our home!
This is the craziest ride we've been on with God. But we're enjoying the ride!
We received an email from our social worker that said "Karen, I never get calls about children waiting in the foster care system. The call came to me at my agency in __. It was just so weird and out of the blue. Very interesting!"
Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.
There has been an awesome out pouring of God on our church these past couple of years. We have been privileged to hear so many healings, so many encounters of God and many, many miracles - and all unique and different from the one before. Our family has each experienced God's healing ourselves at different times and in different areas. We are grateful.
When our senior pastor retired, and our new pastor stepped up to the role, the double portion (like Elijah to Elisha) was passed to the new pastor, who in turn did not keep it to himself but yet shared it with each person in the congregation. As he prayed over each person - young and old, we all sought something - I sought the gift of prophesy and a deeper belonging with God. It was my heart's cry to be exactly where God wanted me, and I longed to see His favor.
I can't say I have seen tangible evidence of my double portion. Yet peace remains. And favor upon me rests. But I do confess I'd like to see tangible evidence.
Beth Moore read the above verse during our study. Something stirred within me. Will I finally see the evidence I have longed for? Only time will tell.
Duane and I continue to see things differently. He believes a child is coming here locally and I still believe he/she is coming from Africa. However, I question if my belief is because my heart is still in Africa and it's just too wrapped up in the passion for this continent.
I have contacted social workers about kids in our American system, only to receive letters of rejections because we aren't the best matched family - at least by what the paperwork shows them.
As I continued to look into these foster-adopt kids, my heart breaks for them. All these kids are in the system because of somesort of abuse, neglect or parents choosing drugs and alcohol over their own. My heart went out to them. But may I remind you, that I have three girls that I must protect. Through all these rejection letters, and the evidence why we aren't the best matched family I have become very scared. My heart is full of compassion for these kids, but fear of the after affects of what these kids have gone through just keep me more than an arm's length away.
"Do it scared!" is what I am reminded - and more than once.
I remember a specific lesson in my Beth Moore study. We were studying Our Inheritance - how we are heirs of God and co-heirs of Christ. She said that we must press through fear to possess our land of promise (which is what God's calling on our lives). She also states that there will always be a river of fear seperating us from that promised land. The calling we have is something we're afraid of. She challenged us to press through that fear - do it scared! It is through the process of pressing on, fear will be removed.
The list goes on why all these kids are in the foster system - all the reasons that scared me. Please tell me this isn't my calling! I reminded God - "do You remember my heart for Africa that you gave me?" I know the kids there have issues too, such as abandonment and neglect - but "please God don't call me somewhere else!"
However, the evidence shows us the bottom line - emails of rejections keep coming in. Not only are we continually rejected, but continue to see the many many labels our society puts on these kids. These labels just cause me to second guess our pursuit for adoption.
We keep hitting closed doors - this journey we are on, just seems pointless.
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the discipes did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"
"No," they answered.
He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
John 21 1-6
During the same time God was asking me to let go, I continued seeking God for answers to some pretty tough questions. I had been wondering why I must carry this burden for adoption and even wondered if my desire for adoption was simply mine or if it was God's. And beyond all these questions I looked at all this paperwork we have invested in and pleaded with God "please don't let it go to waste".
"Cast your net", God said to me.
I didn't understand this command God was telling me. Did I hear Him right? If so, what does it mean? And so I have been "camping out" on this passage, and the scriptures that follow for the past couple of weeks. I was seeking what God was trying to tell me.
Through much prayer and process of letting go, we "casted our net" by simply telling every contact we had (that has to do with adoption) about our journey and that we are paper ready.I appreciate our church and the pastors there. As I sought counsel from one of our pastors, God showed up.
I remember my pastor telling me that he believed we weren't going to spend one more dime for our adoption. My spirit stirred. But my mind couldnt' grasp it. I remained in confusion. However, no matter what state my mind was in, my pastor confimed something in my heart: that adoption was the heart of God's and He has given us this burden.
We were currently casting our net looking into Colorado foster/adopt kids, other state foster/adopt kids, Ethiopia and Ugandan children. These were all our connections. and we were lost as to the direction we were to go.
Eithiopia was the most promising in my eyes - as our home study agency were extremly supportive and willing to give us grants. We continued to run into closed doors with the Colorado and other state foster/adopt kids. Duane sensed we were to seek here and I believed Africa was still our direction.
I continued to ponder the passages in John, and what stood out to me is that the net was so full they couldn't bring it into the boat. There was more than enough.
As we were decorating and making preparations on Thanksgiving weekend, I had a knowing in my spirit: there was going to be a rush for whaterver child comes into our home - whether it's Elijah or another. It just didn't make sense...