Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In the wake of many changes: Letting God be God...

These last several weeks have been a doozie for us here in mid-west Iowa...when the enemy comes calling, I'd like to say I'm always prepared for it, but many times I am blindsided by it. It is never an expected visit...and it's usually not a short one.

A co-worker and friend of mine passed away unexpectedly in the beginning of March. Another friend of mine is up against substantial battles in her life. In my personal life, on March 8th the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA)-which deals directly with adoptions cases within the country-decided to reduce the number of cases it reviews and processes each day by up to 90%. There is still a lot of ups, downs and uncertainties with this at this time.

To say that these things have not affected me would be dishonest at best. In fact, the despair readily took hold of me as each of these events was added upon the other in that 48 hour period. Many questions regarding our adoption immediately began to surface in my brain.

Does this mean that the country will shut down and we won't be able to adopt from Ethiopia? Does this mean that wait times will substantially increase like they have in other countries? (The wait time for bringing a healthy child in China back home was 4 years as I last heard it.)

Not surprisingly my husband says he has peace about this bugs the snot out of me that he can feel that way sometimes and I don't. :) However the peace did not take long in coming. That following Sunday, during my pastor's sermon, God reassured me of His hand in the details of every path and to refocus my perspective. I love it when He does this...and boy am I ashamed to admit how often I need it.

If you are interested in hearing my pastor's sermon (which is likely to sound much better than my pastor's paraphrased quotes and statements below), follow this link:

He started the sermon with a 1962 clip of JFK talking about choosing to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is HARD. 7 years later Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

Our pastor's message was this: DO HARD THINGS - Any great thing is accomplished through great difficulty.

5 types of hard things:
  1. things outside your comfort zone - taking risk in order to grow
  2. things that go beyond what's expected/required - going the extra mile
  3. things too big to accomplish alone - dreaming and daring big with other people involved
  4. things that don't earn an immediate payoff - be faithful, choosing integrity even if you don't see the payoff immediately
  5. things that go against the cultural norm - taking a stand and choosing what is right over what is popular or commonly accepted as okay
The basic gist of the message was this: KEEP ON - God tells us don't be afraid...I've got your back and I'm with you. It's going to be hard but there are still many people that you are going to impact through this journey and I am going to use you, so I will protect you. KEEP ON.

He said that we live in a culture of low expectations that tell us we can't do it. We've been told again and again we can't do it, so just give up and give in. THIS is a lie. We CAN do it.

I would definitely say that I have a strong resemblance to Peter in the Bible where he goes out to Jesus, walking on the water. Maybe you have a strong resemblance to him too. Just as Peter experienced in his story...the wind, the muck, the mire and the waves we face in life seek to overpower freeze us in fear until we sink into despair. We, like Peter, become distracted by the obstacles and the fear that rises up because of the obstacles, rather than focus on the path that God has set us on.

This is where I found myself in church on Sunday after all the events I had experienced that week. Pastor Quintin reminded me that we are not exempt from fact, we are guaranteed hardships. Challenges are normal but the help is abnormal. If we think we can't do it, that's false. God has a bigger plan. God does not say "I know the plans you have for you...he says I know the plans I have for you."

I needed this reminder that Sunday in March...that He DOES have a plan, and His plan is NOT my plan. He WILL come to our aid.

Pastor Quintin closed by saying: "God's will. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else."

Thanks Lord for that reminder and reassurance.


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About this blog

Welcome to our blog! Thanks for dropping by and visiting us! This blog was created for those of you who wish to follow along with us in our journey as we answer God's call to adoption. Ultimately it is our opportunity to rise up and do what we can to fulfill and make known to others the mandate of James 1:27 - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep onself from being polluted by the world."

About Us

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We are a mid-west married couple of 9 years, striving to care for the 147 million orphans around the world!

Our Adoption Timeline

11/28/11 - We are back to waiting for a new referral
11/22/11 - We receive word from our caseworker that we have lost our referral
9/21/11 - Referral paperwork and international ped review completed and sent!
9/4/11 - We receive our referral! A precious 6 yr old boy!
6/27/11 - We have finally arrived to the waitlist!
6/17/11 - re-doing some documents for the dossier
6/8/11 - Sent dossier off to our agency for review
6/4/11 - Our FDL FINALLY ARRIVES! Yahoo!
5/24/11 - We get word from our Case Manager that we may submit our dossier without our FDL! Yea!
3/30/11 - USCIS fingerprint appointments for Dept. of Homeland Security

2/9/11 - Notarized homestudy rec'd and re-mailed to AGCI!
1/7/11 - We close on the sale of our house in NW Iowa
11/30/10 - 3rd and final homestudy visit, dossier paperwork completed
11/24/10 - house back in NW Iowa finally goes on the market for sale
10/26/10 - 2nd homestudy visit
10/15/10 - Eric is finally able to secure his company transfer and relocate himself as well
9/30/10 - After securing living arrangements post-relocation, we have our first homestudy visit
8/17/10 - We receive notification that some paperwork families will be transferring caseworkers...we are transferred to Toni!
8/17/10 - Nic relocates to central Iowa to begin new teaching position the following day...a move is in the works...adoption paperwork, education and homestudy arrangements put on hold
8/13/10 - Nic rec'd call from a friend to interview for a last-minute teacher opening in central Iowa
6/7/10 - First paperwork call with our caseworker, Brandi; we begin the adoption education and dossier paperwork process
5/15/10 - Mailed orientation packet documents and first payment
4/13/10 - AGCI adoption orientation packet rec'd in mail
4/8/10 - AGCI international adoption application as part of the Ethiopia program approved!
3/16/10 - Official adoption application submitted to AGCI with initial fee
11/01/09 - Pre-application submitted to AGCI
10/27/09 - Request for more information on international adoption received by our (now) agency, All God's Children International

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