Monday, August 29, 2011

The beginning of...?

The last year and half of our lives have been quite a journey. We had four young children and God called us very specifically to adopt twin boys from Africa. The journey to Africa to adopt our boys was only the beginning of the rough road that laid ahead. The adjustments our entire family faced felt many times...overwhelming. There were many moments of slipping away where I could not be seen or heard to cry out to God...literally...cry. My plea was consistently..."please help me love them..."

We have come a long way. All of us. We have learned so much. The greatest thing we have learned is that our life is simply not our own. We have made a decision to live an extraordinary life. We are very ordinary people...opening our hearts and lives to 'the least of these'.

In the last few months a few friends have been in the process of adopting from China. We have loved hearing their stories and smiled as we thought of the journey they are on. We have N.E.V.E.R given it a thought for ourselves. Honestly we've never ever considered China as an option for our family. No particular reason...just always thought of Africa. I have said in the last year that we will likely adopt again...domestic...a newborn with a cleft lip/cleft palate. In a few years. Our plans. Our timing. Perfectly organized. Just the way we like it...

In the last few days there have been many striking thoughts throughout the day of a cleft affected child from China. I would QUICKLY dismiss them even verbalizing "NO". We want a newborn from the USA...remember? Moving on! And then I would get an image in my mind at the most random of times...again of a young child with a cleft lip/palate from China. Constantly rejecting it and moving on...insisting to God this must be coming to mind because of friends' pending adoptions.

On this past Sunday it was so strong during church that I said "Ok God...then give it to Dean. Tell him too."

A few things happened that day that caught my attention. One is I was sent a newsletter (that I've been sent for a few years now) from a Chinese Foster Home for Cleft babies. The letter was an update from an American family that adopted from the foster house. Their story really grabbed me. The woman felt very compelled to adopt from China but prayed God would speak to her husband if this really was God's call. That night her husband said he shared with a friend b/c he was unsure of how she would respond...that he felt God was calling their family to adopt from China. She cried as she shared what she had prayed earlier. Now a year later they had this young child named Faith in their family. By the time I had finished reading the letter, I was crying. Crying not out of joy...or sadness. Crying out of fear...and wonder...of what God was doing in me. Was He really calling us to China? I quickly said "ok God. When we achieve these financial goals we are so close to...THEN we'll consider". I could instantly feel His silence. You know when you've fought back with your parent and you see that look...not of anger...but a flat-lip...slightly raised eyebrow look of...sure...whatever you say. And I knew how futile the discussion was. Oh we had a choice. He never ever pushes. I know His way is best. To surrender...or not to surrender...that is the question.

And then there's the discussing this with Dean. He knows first hand how long this journey has been. I sat down and told him exactly what had happened and how I asked God to show him too. I could feel the pull to just crack open the door to God ... but I know how quickly He comes in and starts moving when you hint at surrender. Oh...how many times I've learned...all he wants is my willingness. That's it. He has the plan. He has the means. He has it all laid out. The one and only thing He needs from me...from us...is surrender.

Today on our road trip to Spokane I asked Dean to play a song that he texted me a while ago. He didn't remember anything about the song...but I remember liking it so we played it. We connected a few times, speechless, during the song. God is doing something in our family...oh He's up to something...

The blog is named after this song...here it is:

I Refuse by Josh Wilson.

Sometimes I
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright
When I know they're not

This world needs God
But it's easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on
Like nothing's wrong

But I refuse
'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God

So, if You say move
It's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are
( From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/j/josh-wilson-lyrics/i-refuse-lyrics.html )

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

To stand and watch the weary and lost
Cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back
And try and act like all is well

I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse


~Can we surrender again? Can our heart fully say "I could choose not to move...but I refuse..." Oh God...again? Could we do this again? Now?

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