Can we say it again? Praise God, from whom ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!
You remember last week, right? A wonderful family was finally able to complete their excrutiatingly long adoption process and bring home their twin daughters from Kazakhstan. Oh how sweet that was! (IS!) I was beyond moved to finally see their entire family together, at last!
There was just one thing still missing.
My sister, her husband and their four children were still waiting to bring home their precious one from Africa. Still waiting for the referral photo. Still waiting to hear ANY information that might lead them to believe that this will happen anytime in the future, let alone daring to wish for it to be in the near future. Still waiting... waiting... waiting.
For those of us that have adopted, we all remember the wait, right? Just awful. Plain and simple. It's totally out of your control. You can do nothing! Your part is over. The paperwork is turned in. Now you wait. You can't call anyone and ask 'when' because no one knows. You can't ask why this person got a referral before us when we submitted our stuff first, because no one knows WHY they got a referral out of order. No one knows why NO ONE has gotten a referral in MONTHS when there are so many families ready and waiting and so many children sitting in orpahages getting older. No one knows why this policy has changed again, for the 3rd time in 6 months. You just wait. Tick tock. Tick tock.
But then, one unsuspecting Monday, it all changes!
You get a call.
You gather around the computer and open the attachment, ready to see a picture of your newest wonderful blessing.
And what do you see??
You see the most incredible picture you've EVER seen in your life!!
A picture of a gorgeous little girl AND the cutest little boy you have ever seen!!
A referral for a BOY and a GIRL!!
Can you believe it??
It is so amazing!
I love them already and I haven't even seen them or touched them yet! I never got a referral photo of Maia - it doesn't work that way in Kazakhstan - so I met her in person first. I didn't understand, to be honest, falling in love with a person through a picture. It's just not possible, I thought. I mean, it's not real until you see them, hold them, touch them. Boy - was I wrong!
Love at first sight! Or, insta-love! No doubt. I fell hook, line and sinker and am ready to spoil my newest niece and nephew! Oh, but now we wait for the court date. We wait for travel dates. More waiting.
But wait, there's more...
If you call right now... you too can get on a plane THIS WEEK and head for Africa to get your children. No need to wait a month or six weeks - you can come NOW. That's right, pack your bags for a life changing trip to Africa.
All you have to do is get three weeks time off for your husband with less than one weeks notice (when there are only two of you in the office and the other one is supposed to be on vacation next week.) Make arrangements for your youngest child to stay with someone while you are away for three weeks. Pack for yourself, your husband, and your three oldest children, who are all going to Africa. Coordinate with you Mom (who is also traveling with you) and make sure you all pack what you need for all SIX of you on the way there and all EIGHT of you on the way home. Make sure there is somewhere, anywhere, set up for the newest blessings to sleep upon arriving at home. Make sure you have a car large enough to transport everyone (since you do not at this point) Buy something for the newest blessingS to wear once they are placed in your care. (Do this by converting centimeter measurements of their feet, and length, etc. and try to compare that to sizes at Target. Take ruler with you, if necessary to see if foot will fit in shoe. Take snacks and toys for three oldest children to keep them entertained on the LONG flight(s) as well as wondering what the new blessings might be wanting to play with for their long flight home.
Let me be the first to say what many are thinking - I do NOT envy my sister this week, at all!! As much as I would love to be the one traveling for additional blessings, this week BEFORE travel is stressful - and that's being kind. It is like the 'labor' part of the pregnancy (without the epidural). Not to be envied in the least. The time of the whole experience no one really talks about to those that haven't yet experienced it, because if you knew ahead of time what went in to this week, you may decide not to go through with it. No - as exciting as the incredible news was to recieve on Monday - and the even more exciting part about leaving THIS WEEK - that brought about its own insanity that wasn't expected.
What keeps you going are the pictures you have! (in this case) What keeps you going is knowing that in less than a week - you will have met your blessings and held them and loved on them. What keeps you going is knowing that the wait is finally coming to an end. Just a few more days of 'pushing' and you are all through!
So push through dear sister. You've almost crossed that finish line! Much like the marathon you once ran - just make it to that finish line!! (Then you can collapse, so to speak.) Then you can snuggle up, as a family of EIGHT and reap the rewards of a race well-run.
What was once Planned Long Ago... we can now:
PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1.