Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Strength for Today, Hope for Tomorrow

     I am a little embarrassed when I look back and see that my last blog post was almost a month ago.  I could make an excuse and say I've been busy (which is partially true), but in reality I was just not in the mood to write.  All writers experience writer's block at some point or another, and I think in life we can also experience blocks.  Maybe it's depression.  Maybe it's fear.  Maybe it's just fatigue from our journey.  Whatever the case, we all have our days and/or weeks that are more difficult to get through.
     A few weeks ago, I experienced one of those times.  I was feeling pretty down about our long wait to adopt a baby.  I was trying hard to stay postive and hopeful, but just wasn't feeling it.  I sent up a simple prayer that God would send me a sign that He still cared and that our prayers for a baby would be answered.  By the next morning, He had sent me six!  They were little things that may not have meant much to someone else, but they definitely spoke loud and clear to me.  Before I forget them, I thought I would write them down and share them with you.  Hopefully they will encourage you (and remind me) to keep on hoping and believing. 
     The first sign I received was a phone call from our Pastor's wife.  She called to update me on a young woman who had stayed with them a while back.  She is pregnant and at the time was considering adoption.  Since then she has moved to another state and is staying with family.  We have no idea if she is still considering adoption or would be interested in us (although that would be wonderful), but that was not why it encouraged me.  It was encouraging because it reminded me what great friends and family we have.  So many are laboring with us through this journey.  They (YOU) pray for us, pass along our letters, share our links on facebook and lift us up when we are down.  
     I saw the second sign while shopping at Kohl's.  They have a fundraiser going on for a children's charity.  One of the books they had on display caught my attention because it is one of my favorites, On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman.  When I saw the book, I felt a whisper in my heart say hang on, you will get to write your baby's story.  I love to write and have often shared with Jim my desire to write a story about our baby's birth and adoption and all the love surrounding it.  Of course we bought the book and a cute plush polar bear to go with it.   
     After Kohl's we went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse.  We were seated in the booth next to my third sign, a cute, adorable and very active baby.  All through dinner, he kept turning around and smiling at me.  I would smile back or play peek-a-boo and he would gurgle and smile some more.  He also kept trying to hand me the lid to his baby food and later his cheerios.  I think his dad was worried that he was bothering us, but each smile seemed to make my heart a little lighter.   Before we left, two more babies were seated across from us and I could only shake my head and think, "Ok God, I get the message."  But He wasn't done yet.
     The next morning I was on the computer and received two signs.  First, when I was on facebook, I saw that the IAC (our agency) had published one of my blogs, Living in a Glass House:  Being Open in Our Open Adoption Journey.  In the blog I talk about how being open is sometimes hard because it means we have to be vulnerable.  We are inviting people to join us in our journey, not know how long the path is.  It's scary, but it will be worth it in the end when we get to celebrate with all of our friends and family.  As I re-read the blog I had written months before, it encouraged me to keep believing and to not give up hope. Second, I read an email from my friend Cindy that she and her kids had prayed for us that morning.  This was yet another reminder that we are not on this journey alone.  Our families live out of state.  Brian and Cindy and their kids have truly become our family here in California.  We always know that their door and hearts are open to us.  I am overwhelmed with thankfulness when I think of them and others God has placed in our lives. 
     Later that afternoon, I received the final sign.  It was a thank you card from our friends Patrick and Aubrey.  They recently had their fourth baby and I had sent them a quilt I made for their new baby boy.  God has used these friends over and over to encourage both Jim and I during our adoption journey.  It's funny because whenever I start feeling the "baby" blues, a card or email from Aubrey almost always arrives within a few days with just the words I need to hear.  She lives across the country, but her words are like a big hug for my soul. 
     Six signs.  God could have sent one.  He didn't have to send any.  But His love and faithfulness never cease to amaze me.  It reminds me of one of my favorite hymns, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."  There is a line that says, "strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow."  This is a day by day, sometimes minute by minute, journey.  Sometimes I forget that.  I get tired and worry that I won't have the faith and strength to finish the journey.  But I don't have to have strength for tomorrow, I only need strength for today.   God has promised that He will give me that strength when I ask Him.  Not only that, but He gives me hope for a bright future as well.