Not a day goes by where I don't think about them constantly.
Wondering what they are up to, how they have changed, what they are dreaming about.
And wondering if they even remember us?
It's been more than 5 months since a brother and sister on the other side of the world became "our children" in our hearts. More than 5 months since we have held them and hugged them and loved on them. More than 5 months since our life was forever changed.
And I miss them.
I ache to hold them again. To laugh and be silly with them. To look into their eyes and see their pain and their joy all intertwined. To hear their sweet voices singing and to watch their small hands as they draw pictures for me. To play and run and jump and feel like a child again when I am with them. To sit back and watch them giddy over savoring a bottle of coke again. I long to be there to walk with them around the compound and have them show me how many vegetables their garden has now and how many apples are on the trees. To see them beaming with pride because they helped plant those trees.
I want to witness them interacting with Austin, Jensen, Nathan and Elliana. To teach them about the Lord and about the world and how things work and anything else they are curious about. To wipe away tears and hold them when they are hurt or scared or angry. I want to grieve with them when they are sad and rejoice with them when they are happy. I want to be the first one to tell them good morning and the last one to kiss them goodnight. To eat soup with them when they are sick and ice-cream when they are well! To pray with them about anything and point them to Jesus in everything. I want to CELEBRATE their birthdays with them on their actual birthday- not lumped together once a year with 60 other kids!
To communicate with them with few words but lots and lots of love.
And I want to witness the incredible joy on my husband's face again as we experience it all together.
In other words: I want to be their mom.
About a week ago I got a wonderful surprise in my email. Some friends were in Ethiopia for their adoption court date and they stopped by the orphanage that N and M are at. Not only were they able to visit and interact with all the kids there, they got to take a few pictures of our kids together and then sent them to us! I cried when I saw this picture- they are so beautiful and they have grown SO much since we were with them! Look at their beautiful smiles. Some day you will be able to see the whole picture- it is gorgeous!
She said that many of the kids were asking about us and if they knew their friends "Randy and Candy!" I guess they at least remember us- that's a good sign. :)
Although we of course wish we could be there ourselves, it is so wonderful to know that there are others who have been able to love on them for us. We were also able to send a few pictures and letters with a team who is there right now, so I am anxious to hear what the kids' response to those were too.
This is our friend Nick from Starved4Hope who was on the trip with us in September. It is amazing to see this picture of him with our M- taken only 2 weeks ago! She is such a sweet girl.
This process has been one of the most emotional and difficult things we have ever been through. Every day seems to have a new twist or piece of information that either gets us really excited or really depressed. It is nothing like Elliana's adoption process, which looking back I can't even believe that I thought that was even a little bit hard! I cannot go into detail, but I can say that it is still FULL of unknowns and IF we are able to continue, we are looking at many many more months of waiting- most likely another year. I am going to be honest here- that's a hard one to swallow. A year and a half after meeting our kids- they MIGHT be able to join our family. Yikes.
And this is the reason why I have been digging deeper into the Word than ever before. Because if I only look at my circumstances- I am going to be all over the place and not grounded anywhere. I have got to find a way to get off this up and down roller coaster of emotions and back into the reality of what is TRUE. God's word is the ONLY thing that I know to be true and He is the only one who never changes. I cannot let my circumstances define me- WHO I am in Christ is what defines me. Is HE enough?
The Lord knows my heart and my desire to be N and M's mommy, but in the end it is His glory that matters most. TO KNOW HIM AND TO MAKE HIM KNOWN. That is my purpose. What I live for.
If this adoption never happens and everything falls apart... is HE still enough?
Oh Lord, that is my prayer. May I never be satisfied with anyone or anything else.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.