Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wrestling with God

Laying in bed last night, fully awake and completely unable to tuck my thoughts away, I wrestled with God. I asked for wisdom, for signs, for comfort. I foolishly argued the logic of any of this...like God was going to get into a spitting contest with me, of all people. I got up, I lay back down, I wandered the house. I never did get to sleep...

This morning dawned a new day, my tired eyes feeling gritty, my head foggy as we all tend to get with a lack of sleep. I got up, got moving, got busy. What else is there to do? I had a lunch date with a new friend, someone I don't know really well but who turned out to be God "with skin on" in front of me. I didn't share the current drama of our lives, wanting for a couple of hours to escape it all, to think of other areas of my life that are growing and changing rather than to wallow in what is essentially an ongoing dialogue that has been carried on at one stage or another for the past 10 years of my life. Yea, you'd never know it from this blog but, believe it or not, I actually get tired of adoption talk.

I spoke with our agency rep today, who is so truly honest and straight forward, and very much out of control of this particular situation. We may have discovered a work around, but won't know for certain for a couple of weeks. I know that, regardless, we are close to the point where many of our documents are due to expire. At this stage I hold out no hope for anything.

In the midst of this, I received so many emails and blog comments, and even a few phone calls from those closest. Couldn't bring myself to talk to anyone on the phone though, it seems like emotions are a bit too close to the surface and while I so appreciated hearing caring voices it was impossible to pick up the phone and open up about this. Somehow, in writing, it is easier...less likely to result in tears. I have many emails I have yet to answer, and the few that I did I am afraid contained far less than my usual warmth (or maybe I am assuming I convey warmth in my regular emails!). Thanks for all the care you have shown, for the encouragement you are offering. You have no idea how much it helps.

Then, I sat down while the boys were showering this evening, and grabbed the latest issue of Reader's Digest, the April '09 edition. I had read half of it and set it down a few days ago, and figured I'd finish it off before starting "On the Banks of Plumb Creek" with the boys. There, much to my surprise, within the pages of the magazine I have read since childhood I found words which so closely echoed my own from the past. The book excerpt this month is "We Still Have Love To Give" which is about a family who lost their 15 year old son due to a heart condition, and later ended up adopting 2 children from Vietnam even as they were still working through their grief.

The mom, Pam Cope, says "What would his future be like if we didn't adopt him? Saying no to him meant he'd likely stay at the orphanage for the rest of his childhood, never getting a good education or enough to eat, never knowing that somebody loved him completely. Without us, his future was hopeless."

She then goes on to speak the words that really had me in tears, "And what would my future be like if we didn't adopt him? I wanted to live a life of meaning and grace. Despite all we'd been through, I felt God had led us to Van. We had a choice: to walk through this door and find new meaning in our lives or ignore it and experience tremendous regret.".

"...or ignore it and experience tremendous regret."...there it is, isn't it? If we quit now, even if ultimately we find we are defeated in our efforts to get the girls home, how much regret would I live with the rest of my life? How often would I find myself asking "I wonder what would have happened if we had followed it through to completion...would we have them here today?".

We have no choice, really. As much as I might not want to keep going, as hard as this is and as terribly frustrating and heartbreaking as it is, there is no choice, none at all.

For I am a mom. This is what mom's do. We don't quit, we don't give up on our kids...even if they live 12 time zones away.

So thanks God for all the hard times in my life, for the moments when I was oh-so-weary and never thought I'd make it. There have been many, and I have grown from them, I have learned to pick myself up, dust myself off and trust in You to keep going.

Thanks for the many difficult tasks...on my hands and knees painting handicapped parking signs on the ground at 3:00 AM as rain threatened, and thanks for the bloody fingertips after working 8 hour days in an office then going to detail cars with Dominick until midnight all so we could pay our mortgage our first couple of years here in Montrose. Thanks for working 7 days a week for months on end when we were saving to bring Matthew home. I am grateful for the years of struggle with Josh which taught me much about perseverance. I never imagined I would see any reason to say thanks for the multitude of truly troubling times and sorrow-filled nights which others know little about. I see now how the various trials and challenges created in me a resilience that I might not have otherwise had. Thanks for giving me a mom who stuck by her own child under the most difficult of circumstances long after many would have thrown in the towel...from her I learned as well.

Thank you for nurturing and supportive friends, thank you for the blessing of this family I exist within, thank you for my daughters who wait patiently. Thanks for forgiving my despondence of yesterday...it still lingers and will for quite awhile, I am sure, but slowly it will lift, of that I am also sure.

Thanks for talking to me today in so many ways, through a beloved magazine and even more beloved friends.

I promise I'll keep on going until You slam the door shut, lock it and throw away the key. If You don't want them home, You are capable of stopping it all at anytime, and I will welcome that should You know that this is a mistake for us and our family.

And in the meantime, I'll do what mom's do...I'll keep on fighting for my kids, all of them.

Just don't leave me alone, OK?


Joyce said...

Yes !!!! Im so glad to read your post - with tears in my eyes, Im willing to admit. You have tons more love to give, you are overflowing with it and you give it so readily. And going by past experience - its easier to live with if God closes the door than us. I know its not easy and the mountain is probably high -but one think i needed to remind myself when things were taking too long on our level (and it wasnt half as bad as with you) is that GOd is still higher than any paperwork, govt officials or agencies.

Big hugs and hopefully a good sleep for your tonight.

Michele said...

Thank you for your blog, it gives us hope. You are in our prays. You help me to get though the hard times that we are facing also. To see your faith makes me happy & thing I can do it.

Lori said...

Well, as I sit now in tears...I'm glad that you heard (and read) what God wants you to know.

The older I get, the more easily I can recognize situations that were TRULY nightmares to me at the time showing me SOMETHING...whether it was patience, or faith, or learning how to take God's word for an answer...something.

Those girls ARE yours. One day, they will see all you've gone through for them chronicled in this and you'll know that this too, passed....

Victoria said...

My heart breaks for you and it is hard to keep focused on HIM when the storm is waging around you and your boat seems as if it will capsize.
Trust - Trust in HIS perfect plan.
It is easy for people to say "count your blessings with the 3 sons you have." "These girls are older and may bring to much heartache into your home." Both of these are true statements, but doesn't the Bible teach to "Fear Not"... If God is calling you to bring these girls or other children home then HE also will give you the strength.
There is a family in Texas who have 4 biological children, a 7 year old from Russia and a 13 & 15 year old from Kazakhstan. The to from KZ will be here 2 years come May. The 7 year old from Russia has been here over 6 years. Her issues are huge and the two from KZ have added many of traumatic days to their lives, but they have also brought joy. The 15 yr old has some major anger issues added to the mix, BUT what would happen to these children if they were still in KZ. How would they grow up and be able to function?
It is so hard to keep focused on HIM and stepping out of faith when "friends" and "well meaning" people are telling you "you are crazy" or worst that God couldn't be calling you to adopt. There are some horror stories out there, but what about all the success stories that aren't heard. What about the life these children wouldn't have if they had been left in the orphanage. The percentage of children that die once they leave an orphanage from suicide, drug overdose, abuse, etc is close to 50 %.. Do people understand the cost of sitting back and doing nothing out of fear that their lives may be disrupted in a big way. The long term commitment is enormous but the results are life giving in most cases.
Be encouraged my friend. Don't give up. I am praying for your sweet girls and for your family. My heart always burst with joy each family I know who take the plunge and bring an orphan into their heart and home.
If you want you can send me an email with the girls town and orphanage and I'll see if I can visit them once I'm in Kazakhstan. It is a large country and I'll be in Taraz in the southern central part, but I will see what I can do if that is helpful to you.
I will keep you all in my prayers.
His mercies, grace and peace to you and your family.

Victoria said...

Hi Cindy:
I am about to jump off a cliff but I do know who will catch me, no matter what..
Interlink only works in Shimkent and Taraz in south central Kazakhstan. Team members do go up to Astana at various time during the year to connect with other workers in the country. I was afraid your girls would be far away. I will pray that some how or some way I will have the opportunity to travel up north. My email is vcharbonneau@interlinkresources.org or kazakhvictoria@gmail.com. Feel free to contact me on either email address if there is something I can do to help.. Know I will continue to pray for your precious family and your girls still in KZ.
Be encouraged HE will not forsake you.
Following HIS call isn't always "sane" looking to the rest of the world, but HE will carry us through the storm and give us joy beyond our wildest imagination in the mist of the heartache. My heart fills with joy each time I hear of a child being brought home to a forever family even if there are many challenges the children are so much better off than if they had stayed where they were.
My love to you and your family

Victoria said...

OH, Cindy I forgot..
A great book is "How am I Smart" by Dr. Kathy Kock out of Texas. She has a ministry called Celebrate Kids and has amazing insights on kids and how God created us each different. Seeing how each child is smart in different areas and how to bring out those natural smarts and increase the weaker ones is something she is able to put into practical words. She has a website to read more. I think it is a very helpful books for all parents but especially parents with children who have faces so many challenges before they are ever brought home. I have given an numbers of them as gift because I believe so much in them.
His mercies, grace and peace to you and your family.

Kristy said...

Love your posts Cindy, sorry this is all happening to you.

Ive been thinking of posting for days, but finally getting time for a quick one.

I just finished a book called "Knowing Gods Will" by M. Blaine Smith. Absolutely loved the book, written by a Presbyterian minister. Its a great guide - things are cut and dry to figure out as you well know right now. But I thought the book was helpful in giving some guidelines to help make decisions. The book was written in the 1970's and updated in the 1990's. I got it from the library and read the 70's version and got a lot out of it, so much so that I ordered a copy online.

Anonymous said...

Instead of thinking about RAD and what these children could do to your family; why don't you just focus on what your family can do for the girls.

Your family can do a lot to make life better for these girls. Right?
They are nice girls and they need a break. You are the only ones in the world trying to help them right now.

Maybe they will be a perfect fit and be the forever daughters you dream of, but maybe they will be children that have been through too much, they are not exactly all together any more; you can give them time, safety, space, education, care so they can pull themselves together and be the best they can be.

I love to read about the Silcock's

They have adopted all those problem boys and just aim for giving them the best shot at life possible. Maybe they will never get over the low IQ, the RAD, the special need, the FAS and the PTSD; but that family will love them as much as possible and encourage them to make the best of what they can be.

Bob; Carrie DeLille said...

Wow, you ARE James 1:2 So hard to see the joy when we are IN the trial though, isn't it? God will close the doors where doors need to be closed.