If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

My photo
I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Greatest Motion Picture NEVER Made

A few days ago Jack was playing in the playroom peacefully and then all of a sudden I heard him screaming at his brother. You know the kinda scream when your sibling is hitting you with a light saber (that happens frequently around here). So I rushed in there to find Jack inconsolable, not because he was being hit but because Sam had walked across the imaginary pool he was life-guarding in the middle of the room. God forbid.

Jack gets his imagination, and his need for things to go like he imagined, from his mother. I like to refer to my imagination as "motion pictures" that I create in my head. They come complete with color, drama, and all the workings of your favorite film. The only thing is, they rarely turn out like I picture them. This adoption has been an incredible exercise in laying down my motion pictures for God's plans to unfold. In January, I had to lay down the expectation that Ruthie would be younger at referral. Through the spring, I laid down lots of quality films about our travel dates as I moved events, like Sam's birthday party, around to make room for my expectations.

And now, I am going to have to lay down the greatest production I have ever made. It is the one that I have gone to sleep many nights over the last 2 years working out the details of. It involved a little Chinese lady turning a corner holding Ruthie and walking her over to me. I then squatted down to where Jack and Sam were standing behind me and watched as they blew bubbles with her and handed her cookies and M&Ms like the ones we had already mailed her. Jack would pat her back and talk to her sweetly while Sam crossed his eyes and danced in a circle to try and make her laugh. Darn that Swine Flu- Oh excuse me H1N1 or whatever they are calling it now. Either way, it is cutting production of a Gone With the Wind quality film and causing me to leave my boys at home for 2 weeks while I go and get their sister without them.

Back to Jack's thwarted imagery- After taking away his beloved whistle privilege for yelling at his brother, I sat him down and explained to him that I am a lot more concerned about the condition of his heart and his relationship with the reality in front of him than I am with his comfort or fun. And God said to me, "Did you hear that?"


Friday, June 26, 2009

The Mystery of God's Timing

I was thinking today about the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead and how Jesus strategically waited until he was dead to visit.

You see, I still don't understand why we had to wait so much longer than everyone else for our RA/LOA. I know 10 days is a little quick for me to expect God to unveil His entire plan, but I can still wonder. So back to Lazarus..,

Jesus could have healed Lazarus from where he was like He did with the official's son in John 4:49-50 so it wasn't that He was busy doing something else and raising him from the dead was what had to happen since He didn't get there on time. No, He was strategic in his waiting. I have this new appreciation for how Mary and Martha must have felt wondering why on earth Jesus would not do this NOW!

I believe Jesus chose His timing strategically because it was in raising Him from the dead that Christ was most glorified. Also I find it important to note that He also could have raised him from the dead from where He already was, but in going there and comforting Mary and Martha, He showed how much he cared about what they were going through.

I wonder how God is going to be most glorified in our situation. Is He going to perform a miracle and get our TA here by July 3rd so He can be most glorified in the end like He was with raising Lazarus? I have no idea, but I want to know. Like Mary and Martha, I have felt His comfort in the last days and I look forward to seeing how it will all wrap up.

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39"Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." 40Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."


Now I need to go and bathe my dog because I was inspired by my friend Jenn's blog and I made the mistake of mentioning it to Sam (4 year old) who now has a handful of bath toys ready for Max's bath and he is yelling from downstairs that he is "weady to give Max de bath".
Should be fun!

Ginny

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chongqing, China...Houston, Texas. Twin Cities?

I have wondered at times why God moved us to Houston and now I think I know. It was so Ruthie would feel right at home. :)

Seriously, but not too seriously, I have discovered that Chongqing and Houston really have a lot in common. So here it is:

The Top Ten Reasons Chongqing and Houston Should be Considered Twin Cities:

10. They are both port cities. Chongqing has the Yangtze River and the Jialing River. We have the Gulf of Mexico and Clear Lake. I bet it is a toss up as to which one is prettier.

9. Both cities are very hot. Chongqings highs are around 109 and it is known as the 'burning furnace'. The temperature in Houston today was 100 degrees and t-ball practice did indeed feel like a burning furnace. Hmm.

8. Both cities are overpopulated. Houston has 2.2 million and Chongqing has 30 million. OK Chongqing we fold, you win.

7. Both zoos have panda's. This is important to a 2 year old.

6. Both experienced natural disasters in 2008. Chongqing had a large earthquake on May 12th and Houston had hurricane Ike on September 13th. You are actually getting ahead on this one Ruthie because hurricanes come with warnings and mom believes in early evacuation.

5. Wikipedia described Chongqing as "foggy sometimes, suffers from heavy air pollution". Yep sounds like home.

4. Chongqing has it's own dialect that is different from traditional Mandarin. I think most of the country would say that we in south Texas have our own dialect that is different from traditional English.

3. Chongqing is known for a famous dish called "hot pot". Houston has jails that are full of people arrested for carrying something with a similar name.

2. Both cities worship a tall Chinese basketball player named Yao Ming

1. Both have been/will be the home of one precious orphan girl named Ruthie Mei. Chongqing we win. You lose.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Next Big Thing

Our God Likes to Do Big Things
Our travel coordinator said yesterday that in order to make the July 9th group that our TA would have to arrive by July 3rd. She expressed that this is possible but not likely. I would probably add to that "highly unlikely". I was convicted the other day though by my attitude concerning that date. The God who I am praying to concerning our travel IS the same God who parted the sea. I want to have the kind of faith that moves mountains and parts seas. If God tells me no, I don't want it to be because I didn't ask or believe. So I am praying for a TA by 7/3 not because I am entitled to it by any means, but because God likes to do big things.

Swine Flu is a Big Thing and Getting Bigger
The state department issued a China travel alert yesterday regarding the quarantining of Americans with symptoms of swine flu. The most troubling part was this:
In some instances, children have been separated from their parents because either the parent or the child tested positive for 2009-H1N1 and was placed in quarantine for treatment. This situation presents the possibility of Chinese medical personnel administering medications to minors without first having consulted their parents.

Trent and I need to make a decision regarding if we take our boys or not. I have always pictured them there with us and felt very strongly that we should do this as a family. I saw this trip as being key to the formation of Jack's world view and his ability to make a difference. I really don't want to have to give all that up, but I also don't want my children in a Chinese hospital because some bafoon with swine flu sat beside me on the plane. I really want to hear God on this one. I have no idea how I will survive 2 weeks without my boys or how whoever keeps them will survive 2 weeks with them. :)

The funny moment in this was when I told Jack that he might not be able to go because of swine flu, he said, "But mom I got those Hep A and Hep B shots for China and we really shouldn't waste shots." I had to smile because I couldn't agree more. Man I love that kid.

Ginny

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Fruit of Hard Things

I have been thinking over the past week about how much my relationship with God has changed through this process. I feel like His Word is clearer, His purposes are greater, His presence closer, and His name sweeter. Beth Moore says in her book Believing God,

"I don't know a single person who truly seems to bear the mark of God's presence and power in his or her life who hasn't been asked by God to be obedient in a way that was dramatically painful. A cutting away of sorts is almost always involved in a life moving toward the Promised Land"

I am certainly a believer of that these days and I have more examples. I was at dinner the other night with a few girl friends and we were sharing stories of what God has been teaching us. One of them just went through a very difficult divorce and she survived that time by immersing herself in prayer and scripture. She is a different person, for the better, on the other side of that because of what God has taught her through the process. Another lady there is in a difficult job situation and she spoke of all that God was teaching her. As hard as it is to stay there, her life and other's lives are being changed by God through the staying and she is a better person because of it.

If you had asked me several years ago what I wanted for my life, I would have told you something like healthy kids, a nice enough home, a job I liked that was secure, a healthy marriage, and just to be normal. I have learned though that it is in the trials that our character is formed and our relationship with Christ strengthened. Most of the things that make me who I am today were not easy.

Living in Houston, I sometimes feel like an ant in the colony. I just go from place to place bumping into people on my way to the next stop. I don't want to live like that. I want to live a life that is marked by passion, purpose, and an authentic relationship with a Holy God. I can look back now and say that I am thankful for the long wait for our RA because I think I am a better person because of it.


Here are some pics of Ruthie's completed room. The first picture is Jack helping daddy put together her bed last night.



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nesting Round 3

It seems like every time we get news on Ruthie that moves us forward in the process, I start nesting again. Today we took down the queen size bed in Ruthie's room (formerly the guest room) so we could put together her toddler bed. Jack, being sentimental like his mother, cried because that is the bed where his Grandi reads books to him when she comes in town. It was very sweet. I am getting excited about finishing the project of setting up her room. My house is going to be super clean by the end of the day so if you have ever wanted to visit us, today is the day because there is no telling what it will look like tomorrow. :) Now on to much more important things.

We found out the other group leaves July 9th. I think it would take a parting the sea miracle for us to make that group. However, the travel coordinator did say that if the TA's arrived earlier, they could bump our July 30th departure up one week sooner. I am praying for that.

PRAY FOR BABY GEORGIA
My friend Shannon received her RA the same day as us and was hoping to travel in our group. Her daughter has a very serious heart condition and needs to get here quick to have surgery 2 days after they arrive back in the states. Yesterday, Fed Ex LOST HER RA! This is very serious because now China may have to issue her a new one which could take months and every day this child has to wait is another day that she is getting sicker. Shannon has been told that she will have to carry oxygen with her to China. Her blog is in the column on the right and is "Throwing Our Arms Open Wide". God must have big plans for that little girl because Satan is working over time to keep her from coming home.

FAMILY QUARANTINED
One of the other families on the China Adopt Blog we are a part of was quarantined in China the other day because someone on their plane had the flu. They are traveling with 3 kids and have to stay in their hotel for a week. This seriously makes me reconsider taking the boys, especially if China starts quarantining more people. Their blog is http://raisingdevils.com
She plans to blog all week from quarantine so that could be interesting to follow.

Thanks again for reading this. I am off now to paint the brand new toddler bed we bought because it is more of a cream color than white like the other furniture. It gives me another way to spend this nervous energy I have right now.

Blessings
Ginny

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Movin' Along with Some New Things to Pray For

First, let me say THANK YOU SARA FOR MY NEW HEADER! Isn't it great to have friends with cool skills who don't mind using those skills to bless their friends? Sara you rock!

We received our first set of travel planning documents today. They gave us the projected travel dates of July 30-Aug 12th. I was a little dissapointed because I was hoping we would travel a a week or 2 earlier than that. Jack starts school the week after we would get back and so that could be crazy and would not give him much time with her before he is gone most of the day. Trips go about about every 2 weeks so there is probably a group leaving around the 15th of July. I am praying that our TA comes quick enough for us to jump in with that group even if it is at the last minute. I figure it is my turn to have my paperwork arrive early. :)

You can also pray for the financial numbers. This trip is obviously going to be very expensive and taking the boys with us makes it more. Things like the price of our plane tickets, hotel, etc could fluctuate enough to make a big difference in cost. We are also trying to see if skipping the Beijing touring could save us a lot. Please pray that we are pleasantly surprised by how low these final numbers are.

Thanks again for walking this road with us.
Ginny
Officially the mom of Ruthie now!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Here...And Gone + Adoption Lingo 101



Ruthie's RA arrived today to Trent's office around 9:30 and it was signed and back in the mail to our agency by 1:00. Woohoo!!!

So I realize that I have thoroughly confused some of you with adoption lingo and for that I am so sorry. Let me try and make it right with a little adoption 101 here:

Paperchasing/ Paper pregnancy- the 6 month process of gathering your paperwork to adopt. This process recently got longer because of new Hague immigration requirements. I am not sure how long it takes now.

LID= Log in date. The date China officially files your paperwork. You are matched in the healthy route via your LID. 1/31/08 for us

EA- Electronic Acceptance. This is the initial agreement to adopt this child. This step is also referred to the LOI for "letter of intent". This is when no one else can view this child. 1/14/09 for us

PA- Pre-Approval. This means that the CCAA (China center for adoption affairs) has started the process of pulling your paperwork to be processed for this child. This usually takes 2-4 weeks from EA. It took 8 weeks for us for no apparent reason. 3/12/09 for us

RA- Referral Approval. This is also called the LOA for "letter of acceptance". This means that you have officially been approved for this child. This is the most unpredictable wait as we have unfortunately experienced. 6/15/09 for us

TA- Travel Approval. This is what we are waiting on next!!!! Our agency will now send our signed RA back to China and they will start processing our TA. This is basically an issue of immigration as I understand it. very soon for us????

There are 2 forms of immigration status right now- pre-Hague and Hague. We are pre-Hague which is really good because our estimated wait time is 2-6 weeks with the average being 3-4 weeks. Those folks who are Hague are being told anything from 8-15 weeks. This is because of all of the extra steps involved for them. I feel so sorry for those families just because there is a lot of uncertainty for them and a lot of extra paperwork. You can pray that process becomes smoother.

We are of course praying for a speedy TA! We will travel with the next travel group after our TA is received and travel groups go out about every 2 weeks. We could travel with just a couple days notice.

Hope that helps clear up the jargon for you guys. COME ON TA!!!!





Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peace, M&Ms, and a Box of Animal Cookies

Today has been a nice day to just not worry. We received a tracking number for our RA/LOA and it should be here tomorrow for us to sign and then overnight back to our agency. They are planning on sending it to China on Friday. The next step is to wait for our TA, but we can talk about that later.

So last night I was putting together a package to mail to Ruthie that contained a photo album of her new family, M&Ms, animal cookies, and bubbles. My plan is to have the boys then give her animal cookies and M&Ms when they first meet her and we will also bring along more bubbles to our Gotcha meeting. I am hoping this will help her connect with us if she can remember the package and then recognize the items again. We will see.

So when I was sitting in bed stuffing the package, my blue bracelet broke and the beads went all over the floor. I put on that bracelet several weeks ago as a reminder to put the master before the mission and I have not taken it off since then. Trent laughed when it broke at the irony of the timing. It may have been coincidence, but I like to think it was God telling me that I succeeded. A friend of mine says "Coincidence is the hand of God in the midst of time". That works for me.


A friend of mine made this and sent it to me. I so need to get her to help me make a new header for the blog because she has some serious skills in this area. Hint hint Sara... The picture of Ruthie walking cracks me up because she looks so mad. No doubt I will see that face again- probably when the M&Ms and Animal Crackers run out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

WHAT A DAY!

OUR RA IS HERE!!!

So my day looked something like this...

11:00 saw that people were posting on china adopt talk that RAs were coming in. Emailed a few people and fired up the itunes praise music

12:45 got an email from my agency that they received 4 RAs and ours was NOT one of them. I was crushed. Then the song from Kari Jobe, Be Still My Soul, started to play over my computer. The lyrics say, "wait patiently on the Lord. Be still my soul be still." I cried and had a little talk with God about how I was not ready to hear that. I was still exercising my right to be MAD!

1:00 I called a person in my agency whose name was given to me this weekend to discuss what we needed to do next and let her hear how disappointed I was. Sat back down at my computer and the lyrics from Mandisa, "He'll do and He'll use whatever He wants to.. to tell us I LOVE YOU. His ways are higher. His ways are better. " God and I chatted again about how I was not appreciating his timing here.

1:30-2:00 Cried all the way to work, turned off my radio when KSBJ talked about the importance of trusting God, and then told God that I did not turn my back on him when I was 9 and he took my mom and I didn't even get angry when we found out that Jack was losing the muscle in his legs, but this is really hard and more than He has asked of me and I just can't do this anymore but I won't walk away from Him.

3:30 Trent called on my cell and said Leah just called and our RA was received by ANOTHER AGENCY! What is up with that? So they are Fed Exing it to us and we should have it by Wednesday! I have NO IDEA why God let this day happen like this.

I hope you like the pics of Ruthie. The ones on the far left are her referral pictures from a year ago. The one on the far right was sent to us about a month ago. Thanks for hanging in there with us. I need to re-title this blog "My Bipolar Adoption".

Addendum: It is 2:30 am right now and I cannot sleep. I still feel nauseated from the emotional roller coaster of this day. I figure I have covered crazy, emotionaly unstable, nesting, and weight gain so why not nausea to go ahead and make this adoption feel like a pregnancy.

I was just thinking about how present God has been through all of this. A friend of mine tells a story about a bird that followed her from room to room and would tap on her window. This experience has felt a little like that with God. No matter where I went, He was constantly there chasing after me and tapping on the window of my heart to get my attention. That he would love me that much amazes me.

I better try and get some sleep. Sam is having a pulpotomy on a tooth tomorrow so he is going to need me to be well rested. Fat chance.

Not Sure What to Title This

RA's arrived today and again we got the email that ours was not in the batch. This is increasingly concerning to us. I am not sure what to say except that we are trying to decide what steps we need to take to advocate for this child whether she is ours or not.

Thank you for your prayers.
Ginny

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Party Just Got Raided

So it hit me today and I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was crying while driving to a wedding thinking about how it may some day be necessary to back out of this process if it appears that this delay is God's way of telling us that Wen Mei is not ours. I reached over and turned on my radio and of course the lyrics of "While I am Waiting" came through my speakers.

I will move ahead,
bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

Funny thing is that I wasn't crazy encouraged but instead was kind of frustrated because I am really growing weary in this waiting thing and when you are in the middle of a good pity party you aren't always ready for God to crash it with truth. I felt like saying, "Thanks God for the message to press on but couldn't you have played the song about relief being just around the corner?"

So resolved to continue my pity party, I sent emails (invitations) to adoption friends about how I was finally reaching my end and I think we might have to just hear this silence as God's will and move on.

Finally, when the pity party was getting old and the guests seemed to be leaving, I sat down tonight and picked up my Believing God book for the 1st time in days and funny enough the chapter was entitled "Believing God Can Sanctify Your Mouth". In it Beth writes,

"If you and I want to abide and flourish in our Promised Lands, we're going to have to get rid of some bad reporting, faithless talking, and negative grumbling"

OUCH! But what is a good pity party without a little negative grumbling?? Looks like God and Beth just raided my party and now it is time to step back into reality and back to praying for God to move mountains. Does that mean I have to give back the Margarita Machine? :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

LESSONS ON PATIENCE

2 Cor 4:1
Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

Clearly we did not get our RA call today or you would be hearing sounds of rejoicing and seeing precious pictures of our sweet Ruthie flashing all over this page. Thank you so much for praying with us.  I don't know why God is telling us "not yet" but I trust His ways are perfect.  

I heard a message at family camp on patience and I am reviewing the notes now.  I will share the key points with you in case you need hear to them too.

3 Contrasts that Motivate Us to March On:  

1. The contrast between our weakness and the sufficiency of God. 
2 Cor 4:7-9
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

2 Cor 12:9
9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

2. The contrast between the Inner man and the Outer man
2 Cor 4:16 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

3. The contrast between momentary affliction and eternal glory
2 Cor 4: 17
17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

It is so interesting to look at this in light of what Paul is referring to as his "momentary affliction". 
2 Cor 11:23-25
23Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,

IF THIS IS WHAT PAUL REFERS TO AS "MOMENTARY AFFLICTION",  HOW GREAT MUST BE THE GLORY!

2 Cor 4: 17
17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 
AMEN.

Please Pray for us Today

We were matched with Ruthie on January 14th. Based on average wait times, our RA should have arrived in April. Clearly it didn't and then swine flu hit and everything was delayed. Swine flu delays cleared up in early May but still our RA did not arrive. Finally after much prodding, our agency agreed to check on our paperwork to make sure that nothing was wrong. Several weeks ago they said that the CCAA indicated that our paperwork was complete. Based on their estimation they felt it could arrive back any day then to as late as the 2nd week of June.

Well this is the last day of the 2nd week of June and we still have NOTHING. There is a website called China Adopt Talk that is a group composed of thousands of adopting parents. They have a chart of people's wait times. Other than 1 family that had something seriously wrong with their paperwork in November, we have been waiting longer than ALL OF THEM. The next group of people waithing for their paperwork were matched in MARCH!

This is such a hard position to be in because if we try to go through other means to check on our paperwork, we have been told that it could backfire on us, but we feel like just another number with our agency and sometimes they don't even return our calls. I am sure this is because they have nothing to tell us.

Please pray for us today that our paperwork would arrive and that if it doesn't we will handle the dissapointment ok and know what to do next.

Psalm 33:18-19 (New International Version)

18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Day in the Wait

This wait is starting to become more real to my boys.  I am sure they sense my frustration but they are also starting to ask more questions and talk about Ruthie more.  

The other day we were at a swim party and Sam walked up to a mom holding a little boy and asked how old he was.  When she said "two" he replied, "I have a sister who is 2!!".  It brought tears to my eyes to hear him talk about her like she was just around the corner. 

Yesterday afternoon the phone rang and Jack jumped and said, "Are they calling so we can go get Ruthie?".  It was a call from Virginia (where my agency is) but was someone wanting me to extend my car warranty.  UGH!

A friend of mine who was holding the "longest wait for a TA" record got a call that she got her TA today.  I am so happy for her.   She is also with my agency which only feeds my conspiracy theory mind into wondering if there is something I am not being told.  The hard part is that we have been warned not to take other measures to look into the delay because it could upset the Chinese and they could delay us further.  So how then do I advocate for my child?  

So today I find encouragement in this verse:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

Monday, June 8, 2009

Never Alone


When you consider adoption you cannot possibly fathom the range of emotions that await you if you choose to proceed.  I remember Trent and I talking one day several years ago about how easy this process was going to be since we already have 2 wonderful kids.  Ha!

I can now say after 2 years and many tears that this has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done and we don't even have her yet.  The last few months have been marked by a sense of great loneliness as Trent and I process things very differently.  He is what you call a crockpot.  He ponders something at a low temperature and then turns up  the heat at the last minute just as it is coming to fruition.  I am a high intensity microwave that can emotionally ascend to something at the push of a button.   This has made it hard for him to understand my response to the waiting process.  Likewise,  I cannot expect others around me to understand my feelings if I could not have even anticipated them myself.  So I often find myself in a group activity thinking about this child but not feeling free to discuss it because I know others don't understand.  

This is where the adoption community has been incredible.  I love reading their concerns, frustrations, and fears because they validate my own as normal.   As much as following their journeys has helped me in this wait, so has turning my eyes to God.  When we are surrounded with friends and family to chat with regarding our concerns, we are less likely to turn to Christ to meet our needs.  This journey has been an incredible process reminding me of who has the plan for my life and who will not only bring it to completion but will also walk every step of the journey with me. 

One of the messages at family camp was on why we suffer from 2 Cor 1:3-11.  
I think it is applicable to much more than waiting on an adoption. Be encouraged

2 Cor 1:3-11. 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our[a] behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

3 Reasons Why We Suffer from 2 Cor 1:3-11
1. To Comfort Others- v. 3-4   This is not just in the same affliction but in any affliction.  We are better comforters when we have suffered and been comforted
2. To Trust Ourselves Less and God More- v 8-10  This is the most difficult for me to walk in, but in this situation I have no plan B to fall back on which forces me to trust God. 
3. To Praise God if we get Deliverance- v.10.  Because you prayed, God delivered, and now we turn our  face to Him in praise.  I am looking forward to this day. 

In know several of you face suffering from fertility issues to financial issues.  Let's turn our faces to God together as wait for His deliverance. 



Saturday, June 6, 2009

Home


I am back from Family Camp.   As always, it was a refreshing time of spiritual growth in the midst of family bonding.  I learned a lot and I am still trying to process it all so I can hopefully share it with you soon.  

From what I understand, our agency did not receive any RAs this week.  This is a little odd because they tend to come at least every two weeks and this last Thursday was a 2 week mark.  When we did not receive a call on Thursday I really hoped and somewhat expected to receive one Friday.  Friday afternoon I went on a cattle round up and did not have my phone on me.  I was really hoping Leah, my family coordinator, would call then just so I could call her back and say,  
"Sorry I missed your call Leah, I was rounding up the cattle".  I bet she has never heard that one before.  

While I am processing the lessons of family camp, I will leave you with one cool thing I heard this week.  This dear Chinese nanny I met told me that "I love you" in Chinese sounds like "What I need".  How great is that?  
Yes Ruthie that is what you need and God willing I will bring it to you very soon.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sludge

Wednesday is a "free day" at family camp so Trent and I snuck away to a Starbucks so we could see pictures of Naomi getting Lydia Hope.

Family camp is always such an interesting experience that really can't be described fully in words. Now in our 3rd year, I am beginning to see a trend emerging. It seems like in the first few days that God really burdens me for all the sludge in my life. Those things about myself and my family that are unhealthy become extra annoying and evident. I was pondering this trend on Monday and thought of course it is like that because Pine Cove is such a God centered place that there is no room for our sins in His presence. I know this cleansing is good for us and it helps me to leave there a better mother and wife. This year it feels a little more painful than usual. Perhaps I have more sludge.

As I was thinking about that de-sludging I wondered what it says about my environment and my priorities that this muck does not burden me more at home. I wonder, after all this, that if when we are not intensly burdened by our sludge we should question the active presence of God in our everyday lives. Ouch.

2 fun other notes:
1. We got to Tyler and a different week of camp expecting to meet all new families and found that there are 3 families here that we know from college and one that used to live down the street from us. These families are now spread out across several states but ended up here on the same week. What a small world.

2. One family we did not know brought with them their nanny who just arrived here from CHINA!! She is a young christian lady who became a believer in a small church there and then was given the opportunity to come to the states to live with this family for a year. She was amazed that we would adopt from China and didn't even know that people here did that. She speaks Mandarin and is going to translate a letter to Ruthie's orphanage for me to send with our next package. Meeting her has been a highlight.

Have a great remainder of your week. I am off to de-sludging

Ginny

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