Friday, May 29, 2015

Story time continues....

Handsome and I would have told you in no uncertain terms that we did not believe in the "health, wealth, and prosperity" gospel.  But it is amazing how much untruth can slip into the Christian culture, even if you are convinced that it is not the truth.....

As I was saying, after much wrestling and prayer (I probably didn't emphasize that struggle enough) Handsome and I began our first international adoption.  We assumed that everyone would be as excited as we were - and in many cases, that was true.  My sister-in-law organized a HUGE garage sale and God miraculously provided $2000 through people's purchases and gifts at the garage sale.  People everywhere were a little stunned but excited for us.  Well, almost everywhere.... 

We did have a group of people very important to us disagree very strongly with us.  A lot of hurtful things were said and we were crushed.  It sent us into panic mode for a bit until we started to really look into what they were saying - most was not the truth and it did not line up with Scripture - but oh, how it hurt.  About this time, I heard Jeremy Camp's song "Walk by Faith" for the first time.  My immediate thought was, "This man has walked through the fire to be able to sing that way."  If you do not know his story, you should look it up.  He has quickly become my all time favorite artist.  Much, much truth spoken there.

This "trial" seemed so heavy at the time - and it was to our fledgling "faith wings".  We loved these people.  It hurt to be out of sync with them.  God - once again - in His grace, used this for His purposes.  The weight of my heartache drove me to begin reading my Bible, really reading my Bible - not just "skimming" the surface.  As is always the case, the truth of His Word began to change and complete me.  However, I was not finding the promises I thought were there.  Yes, He absolutely promised that He is Sovereign - that nothing is out of His Hand - but He didn't ever promise that everything would be "okay".  In fact, looking at the apostles, they suffered and struggled - were beaten, mocked, scorned - and yet, they remained joyful.  This set of tiny alarm bells for me.  But everywhere around us, the people we loved and trusted were telling us that God would bless us for what we were doing - that He would not allow bad things to happen.  I truly developed a hunger for His Word, but there just seemed to be such a disconnect between what I was reading and what we were being told....we had never seen anyone "walk the fire"....so where was the truth?

As this was going on, I saw the picture of a sibling set in Russia.  There names were Tatiana and Denis.  They had the saddest picture - two faces that should have beaming and beautiful - were racked with the ravages of life in an orphanage.  Honestly, I don' t remember anymore what drew me to them in the first place, but I could not get them off of my mind.  Were we supposed to adopt them too?  It became an all out obsession.  Poor Handsome - he probably got so very tired of me talking about them and wrestling with this.   I was so immature in my faith - but so passionate about these kids.  I was sure that God would just provide for it.  I couldn't figure out how we could get the twins and then hop on a plane and spend 2 weeks in Russia to get them - especially since Handsome was still saying that he would not fly, but it didn't matter.  I wanted to save those kids. 

Finally, in frustration one day, I prayed out of the blue, "Lord, if we are supposed to adopt them, send some money in the mail today."  I don't even know where that thought came from!  We had never received money in the mail before.  As soon as the prayer crossed my lips, I ran out to the mailbox - and there was a check for $300!  I was so stunned and excited!  I quickly called Handsome - he didn't know what to say.  It was an obvious answer to prayer - but what?  Really?  The obsession continued in full force that day.  I started buying clothes at garage sales for the twins and for Tatiana and Denis.  At another point, I prayed if we were supposed to get them, there would be bunkbeds for sale at the next garage sale - and there was!  They were more than I could spend, but it seemed to be another answer to prayer.  As I continued to sell things on ebay, I began to save the money toward their adoption.  Handsome just didn't know what to say....

Our Guatemalan adoption went through very, very quickly  7 months from the time I saw their picture, it was time to get on an airplane to get them.  It was just 2 weeks past their first birthday.  We would have "virtual triplets" with Smiley only being 2 1/2 months older than the twins.  We had 3 highchairs, 3 carseats, and a closet full of special things that I had made for my boys.  I was so excited!

About this time, my little world was rocked again.  After being convinced that Tatiana and Denis were my children, I found out that another couple was beginning their adoption.  What?  Hadn't God answered my prayers?  Hadn't He said they were mine?  How could that happen?  I was simply crushed.  My faith crumbled.  What did it mean?  Handsome suggested that maybe I was simply supposed to pray for them - not adopt them.  But that was not what I had prayed about when I wanted a "sign".  I broken-heartedly decided to donate the money that I had saved to the family that was adopting them.  When I did so, I was given a message by the couple that they had been praying that if they were supposed to go forward with the adoption, that exact amount would be donated to their account.  Okay, that soothed my broken heart a little bit - but not much.  As I was crying over this, a new thought entered my mind - a little girl would be joining our family.  What?  Where did that come from?  I had no idea - but I was convinced enough that I went out and bought fabric for her blankie.   Handsome was probably ready to bang his head against the wall.  Then right before we left, we saw a little picture of a tiny girl in Guatemala that had bruises all over her body.  Was this her?  Was this our daughter?  We were both so moved by her picture....Handsome was even willing to consider going back for her.

What a tumultuous few weeks!  As I was flying all over the place emotionally, Handsome felt that he did need to be the one to go with me to Guatemala.  I was so excited!  We would go together to get our newest sons...and maybe have a better idea of what God was saying about the little girl?

Emotional chaos - that is the best description at the time.  Our fledgling faith wings were shaking under the weight - but we were so excited!  We were full of faith - but unfortunately, it was not faith in the truth of His Word - it was faith in what we believed  was in His Word.

Ugh.  Even though I know now what God was doing at the time, it hurts to relive this time.  So full of hope - but so full of false truth.  So excited - but we had no idea what was coming....

Time to get the kiddos up....the story will continue soon.

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