Sunday, December 31, 2017

A journey in 2017

THIS was the year...THE year that I KNEW we would bring home our baby girl. The year is over, and she is not with us yet...but GOD led us along the way.

Let me start at the beginning...

Our paperwork entered Colombia in January 2017. (YES, the MOUNTAINS of paperwork!) My strategy to bring this sweetie home was to BUST-IT. I mean, if I got a set of papers to complete, I attempted to complete it within 48 hours. With VERY few exceptions, ALL the papers, tests, studies, research, books, questions, applications, photos, and various what-nots were completed on our end in JUST. TWO. DAYS. 

SOOOOOO....2017 was a CRAZY year of me prioritizing adoption stuff and interrupting my regular routines. In hindsight, this didn't HAVE to happen, but I FELT like it would speed up our process. Through this year of waiting.....hurrying around.....and waiting more, God has give me SO. MUCH. GRACE (along with my kids and husband!)

Many days in 2017, I was annoyed, angry and impatient with my kids, husband, students and co-workers. Besides the regular stress of life, I put on myself this 2 day limit thing. Many days, I snapped or yelled because I was frustrated with an obstacle in our adoption's way.

If you saw me in 2017 in person, you PROBABLY heard about a hiccup, delay or snag in the process. Please forgive me if I was calloused. Our journey this year was heartbreaking at times.

Well, some people have reflected on the year TODAY or this weekend, but I've been reflecting SINCE SEPTEMBER 26. Yes, that was the day we got a call about our Colombian daughter (name to be shared when we can!).  In the early days of our match and in October, I reflected on our life as a family of four and dreamed of her joining us. I reflected on the possible medical and emotional obstacles we might have to overcome as she joins our family. I dreamed of the homecoming and enjoyed the task of travel details, packing lists, and planning for Christmas super early.

Our days crawled as additional details and paperwork stalled in the process. We waited, and waited and waited. Shoot, we are STILL waiting! The great news is that THROUGH the waiting God gave us glimpses of hope, joy and peace.

In November, I was DONE Christmas shopping for teachers, family and friends. I relaxed into Thanksgiving, knowing that we hoped to travel "soon." We stayed at home and had a small Thanksgiving with the boys. It was amazing. We slept in (until 8am! woop) and watched the parade, bought a turkey from our fav meat place, and made a couple sides. 

In December, I was SO ready that we said "NO" to nearly everything. Can we travel ____? No. Are we available to do ___? No.  Can we attend ____? No, we really don't know our schedule, and we hope to be out of the country.

Our adoption journey has been isolating and lonely at times, and so I tensed up at saying "No" to everything. It wasn't that I didn't want to plan things three weeks in advance, but I REALLY didn't know where in the world we would be located. God really blessed us, though.

Our December was OH. SO. PEACEFUL. Of course, you might have read how I cried when I wrapped all these excellent (and a few extra) gifts for the boys. BEING here for Christmas was great. The boys loved shopping for each other, wrapping gifts, making cookies for neighbors and, of course, UNWRAPPING presents on Christmas Day. I LEANED in to knowing that God HAS this. My two day hustle rule was thrown out the window, and I saw the adoption through my kids' eyes. It was beautiful. 

God constantly showed us that we were on the right path, that HE is leading as we discern His will in our lives and he BLESSED us...immensely. We leaned MORE on God, we grew closer as a family who is led by God, and we build others up in their waiting.  I love this part of the "Oceans" song by Hillsong.
     Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
     Let me walk upon the waters
     Wherever You would call me
     Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
     And my faith will be made stronger
    In the presence of my Savior

We are walking upon the waters and wandering with God by our side. We are waiting and patiently listening for whispers of His will in our life journey. Many times throughout 2017, I had a false idea of when the adoption would be "over." I really thought my worries, fretting and hiccups would be done when: our paperwork was reviewed and approved, when we received HER sweet name, or when we received our immigration approval. 

In reality, our journey is EVER ongoing! When she arrives, we have love and bonding, medical appointments, and--you know it--MORE paperwork. We have language obstacles, learning opportunities and medical issues to explore. Our adoption of our sweet Colombian girl has and will ALWAYS impact our life and journey as parents and I am SO. VERY. THANKFUL!

Oh goodness, thank you for reading, praying, journeying, caring, loving and listening to our family as we walk in God's will to adopt this babe. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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