I've started this post in my head 100 times Had I written it on Tuesday night it would have been full of doom and gloom. By Thursday it would have been looking up a little and as I sit tonight with a quiet house it is maybe a mix of both but full of praise for our heavenly father whose mercies (and patience) are new each day.
Sometime in the last couple of months I decided to change my prayer. I felt convicted that my prayers for this season of life were very selfish in nature. I began to pray that all of this would be for His glory. No matter how long it takes, no matter the ups and downs I want God to be glorified. I want others hearts to be moved for the orphans. I want it to be for His glory.
Like most things those are easy prayers when things are going well. And things have gone remarkably well and smooth for us. We have fallen within all normal time frames despite the whole computer issue in China. A home study takes 2-4 months. Ours took 3 1/2. USCIS approval takes 30-60 days. Ours took right at 45. Authenticating documents takes about 3 weeks. Ours took 3 weeks to the day. LID should take 2-4 weeks from DTC. Ours took 18 days. We've had no reason to complain. No reason to be anxious.
Except I keep looking at the picture of a precious girl whose clothes don't fit. Whose picture has been taken over the course of year in the same room every time. Does she ever get to go outside?! Who needs physical therapy, who needs someone to tuck her in. Who needs to know that Jesus loves her.
All for His glory. All in His time. I prayed those prayers through tears this week. And I felt selfish about that. So many have waited so very much longer than we have. But I felt every second of the 42 days we have waited so far. I wept when no word came that we had moved to the next step. I wept again when it didn't come on Tuesday and I knew it would be another week.
We are very much still within all expected time frames, even if it weren't for weird new computers we would still be within normal limits. It doesn't feel normal though. It doesn't feel normal to have 3 children and only be able to hold 2. It doesn't feel normal to check the clock several times each day to see what time it is China so I know what she is doing. Do you know what the weather is in Suixi, China? I do. It's 91 degrees and partly cloudy.
Several of the people who have been on our exact time frame moved on this week. They went to the next step. We fell behind a week. And I was very sad about that. That's the only word. Sad. And anxious. And to be honest, alone.
Adoption is a language all it's own. It's hard to explain the steps, the waiting. It's just hard to explain. And at times it feel lonely.
And that's when God spoke. Again. To remind me- again-that He knows all about what's happening.
There have been several times when I have cried out to God for my Sarah. One day early in the summer I was desperately praying for someone to hold her, to touch her, to pay her some attention. And that very night I received unexpected pictures from someone in our agency who was visiting the orphanage. And it wasn't just pictures of Sarah. It was pictures of someone holding Sarah. Smiling at her. Playing with her. It was a clear answer from the Lord. He has shown me over and over that He is with her, protecting her, making a way for her.
This week though, He spoke for me. He reminded me that while He certainly knows where Sarah is, He knows where I am too. He knows that this week was the hardest so far. He knows I felt lonely and He knew exactly what I needed.
Someone I only know through a Facebook page unexpectedly sent me a message that I was on her heart and she was praying for me. She has waited so much longer than me and yet she was unselfishly praying for me. A college roommate sent me a message that she was praying for me. On Wednesday night when I felt very alone in my worry the Lord put a friend in front of me that knows exactly what it feels like. The way only someone who has been there knows. This weekend I met two ladies I had only heard about that live not far from me who have children from China. I got to meet one lady's beautiful Chinese daughters.
I got to have a conversation with the grandmother of a friend who recently brought home a daughter from China. I heard all about how she was doing. I loved hearing about it all. And then she said this to me:
"I am praying everyday for Sarah. And I know that no matter how long it takes, that your influence over life began the moment everyone started praying for her. She is so prayed over and God is already working in her life because of these prayers."
Balm to my weary soul.
God knows Sarah. And I was so reminded this week that God knows me too. I am his child. When one of my children has a heartache, no matter how big they are, I pull them on my lap and let them weep. They are safe there. That's what the Lord did for me this week. I sat at His feet and wept. And he let me sit there and soothed me with the promises of word and the prayers of words and hugs of sweet friends.
I am not going to lie to you. I want that LOA and I want it bad. I am holding my breath to see if we have moved to the next step. I am also praying All for His Glory. I am resting in his promises and sitting at His feet. He is growing me and stretching me like so many before me.
And I am so thankful for new mercies each day.