Sunday, August 29, 2010

One Year Ago....

Exactly one year ago we were in agony - literal agony! We knew we needed to travel SOON to go and get Jada or everything in our adoption file would need to be renewed - we were looking at thousands of dollars to renew all of that but if God would move mountains, that would all be forgotten and we could go and get Jada. He did it - we had only a few days notice, but He put it all in place and with just a few days to pack and get everyone in order, we were off.

I have been thinking on that a lot lately - this time last year I was wondering what God was going to do. I was worried about a little girl that had so many "unknowns" to her. I was fearful to leave our four children and travel all the way around the world YET AGAIN to add to our already-busy family. I remember it well - all of the unknowns and fears. And yet, I'd do it again tomorrow if God called me. Has it been easy? Wow - if you read my blog at all, you'll know we've had HUGE hurdles - beginning with my lovely blood clot that formed while in China!! But God has worked in it all - and I pray it's only to bring glory to Him.

What I think on most though is the little girl that I easily could have never gotten to know. The day we got to meet Jada for the first time I remember saying to Joe, "There is nothing in there - she's an empty shell." She didn't talk, she didn't look at us - it was scary. I prayed and asked God for ANYTHING - any sign to tell us to take her home - little did I know that Joe was praying the same thing - and we both felt He showed us nothing. We felt alone - scared - worried - I can hardly put it into words. We felt we had clearly followed His path and yet at the end was a little girl that was so empty that she was almost frightening to us. (This coming from someone that has seen ALL kinds of kids - I have worked with kids for over 20 years - but I had never seen anything like this.) I remember the day we took her back to the government office to sign the papers and we had another family there from the U.S. that was giving their little girl back and saying they could not take her. They were beside themselves - it literally hurt them to say no, but her needs were so far beyond what they could care for that they felt they had to give her back - they could not take her home. My heart broke for them - what horrible pain - and yet, a part of me totally understood - I, too, was given a little girl that seemed FAR WORSE than what I had envisioned. I remember that part of me that thought - it would just be easier right now to say No, and head back home - empty-handed and sad, and yet with far less to worry about.

BUT I am SO glad God intervened - He gave us no reason to NOT take her home - that is what we kept coming back to. We had been called, this little one needed a home, and we could do that. I kept looking for a glimmer in her eye - anything to show that she was "there" - that she was ok. Now, almost a year later, we have seen it. We have seen her "glimmer", there is a little girl in there that only needed to be let out to live. A little girl that makes funny jokes even with very limited speech. A little girl that amazes us with her zest for life after all she has been through. A little girl that is far more resilient than her own mom could ever be! She has taught me so much - about myself, about life, and about God. I am glad God never gives up on me - just like we have never given up on her. I am glad He brought us on this journey to watch our little blossom unfold and bloom. All I can say is "Thank you God, for what you've called us to. Amazing."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Never Underestimate....

I don't think there is even an appropriate intro for this video. Just watch and absorb.

Monday, August 09, 2010

My Better Half

I spend a lot of time at our local hospital - Jada is seen there at least 3 times a week - and that makes for a lot of "waiting time" for mom. Today I saw a dear couple come in - they were also waiting for therapy - it was for the wife. I would say they were in their 80's and I am guessing the wife had had a stroke. Her husband just kept singing her praises - how far she had come, and was even reminiscing with one of the therapists back to when they started therapy - how she couldn't do much at all then. But what got me was after the therapist left, he was talking to her, and she was so confused - she didn't recognize her therapist's name even - and yet he felt she had really come so far. He was so patient with her, so loving and kept encouraging her. I am sure she is a lot of work for him - I see them often in passing when I am there for therapy visits, so I know he stays busy running her for visits. I am sure he didn't plan on this happening to them, and I'm sure he doesn't love it. It isn't how he had hoped to spend those "glory years" with his love. But it made me think - I need to go home tonight and MAKE SURE I tell my husband how much I appreciate him. We just never know what tomorrow holds.

I felt guilty after seeing them - I spend WAY TOO much time focused on the daily frustrations and not as much time on the big picture. It just made me want to encourage others to do the same - we have friends that are choosing divorce over trying to work it out. That is hard - it is hard to see them go through it, it is hard to watch their kids see Mom and Dad split apart - it's hard on so many levels. We have to focus on the positives - are there going to be rough spots - oh man, probably a ton!! Don't ask my kids - they will tell you that Dad and Mom argue often. I was humiliated the day Chloe asked for prayer in Sunday School because Mom and Dad were mad at each other. But what a great eye-opener that was for me. Things were hard at home, we were struggling, but we CAN work through that - we have to make it work.

My parents joke that they were worried that Joe and I may not even get married the night before our wedding day - we are both very strong willed - both first borns - ugh, we have many strikes against us habitating peacefully!! But I wouldn't trade my husband - I am truly blessed. And I am choosing to focus on that - even when I want to feel sorry for myself for having to live with a man with such HORRIBLE habits! (Said in jest!!) Take time to focus on those positive traits - I had a very wise female friend that told me, "Becky, get the notebook out - remember and tell yourself WHY you love this man God gave you." She was absolutely right - I did not marry a perfect man (good thing or he'd be done with me for sure!!!) but I married an amazing one!!

He puts up with my lack of cooking skills - let's face it - that is huge. He comes home from work and often cooks dinner for us - now that might be so that he can eat something that is edible, but hey, he does it. He send me an email every Friday with a menu plan and fun ideas for the weekend. Do you know what that shows? (Well, it could show that he just plain hopes to eat that weekend!!) It shows that he is thinking about us and cares for us. He takes time to plan for us - so that his family knows they are thought of and cared for.

This same man has a spreadsheet - he has kept it for years now, and lists on it ideas for birthdays/Christmas for each child and myself - and not only that, he lists what we ended up purchasing so we have something to compare to for next year. That is a gift- a Dad that cares and takes the time to make his family a priority. He knows my love language - VERA BRADLEY - just kidding, I'll take computer/tech items as well!! :) While I say that in jest - I am really not kidding - he takes the time to KNOW me, he knows that when Mother's Day rolls around - if he brings me a Vera Gift Bag, that will make my day!! The last time he brought one home, he said, "I know you didn't have a summer pattern so I found one for you." WOW - that means a lot! I'm not all that savvy when it comes to fashion, but he took the time to even scope out "summer styles" - how kind is that!?!? Or the camera lens he bought for a holiday - that spoke volumes to me - he knows I enjoy that and would savor that gift. And although the gifts are fun - it's FAR more than that - it's the time and thought behind them that means the most to me.

I could go on and on - he wouldn't like it - but I could. Joe is a gift - I need to realize that more often. After watching this dear couple today, it reminded me that really our time together is SO short - I am grateful for the gift God has given me in my husband. If you needed to hear this reminder today - it's ok, I've been there many days!! But take some time and focus on those positives - they ARE there and you only have to choose to find them.
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
~Deuteronomy 24:19

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