Wednesday, November 21, 2012

these days...

I would like to think that in the next three months, I will be able to daily check everything off my "to-do" list and get everything done, and then life can get a bit more complicated when the boys come home. But life is not that simple. The last few weeks in South Asia have been somewhat insane. The biggest festival of the year, Diwali was last week... and the fire crackers are STILL going off. (They really love the loud ones that shake the windows.) I would plan to get together with friends, but it would have to be postponed because of Diwali and needing family time. Then there was a political party founder/leader who died and the whole city enforced mourning that lasted for two days. There was no food shops open! If you had not stocked up, you could not feed your family! (thankfully I have somewhat of a hoarding issue when it comes to my kitchen... not really, but we were fine) They even blocked the movie channels on the TV, no taxis were on the roads. It was the most eerie quiet I have ever heard in this loud city of constant motion. And again, people planned on coming over, but the lack of transportation made it impossible. Church was even cancelled. You know its for real if they do that!

So here I am. I woke up with a bad crick in my neck and can hardly turn to the left. But I want to check things off my list. I want to be used by the lord. I have my long (and unattainable) list that in my imagination I can get done on a day before I have the boys home.... but I have to remember that I live in South Asia. And things don't go on MY timeline. I can plan stuff, but it does not mean it will work out. I can try to get Christmas decorations, but they don't put them out in stores until the week before Christmas (And I heard Wal-mart had them out before November!) I did make stockings, which were really easy and quite fulfilling! I had the dilemma of writing "Sarah" or "Mommy". I went with Sarah since that is still my main identity, and it will be three or four years before the boys can read them and by then we will make new stockings and I can write Mommy on it then if I want. They look better in person, but made with ALL south asian materials... Thankful for a good textile market!

And with thinking how to get things done, I have to come to the realization again that my worth and identity is not based on my check list or really my performance on anything, but it lies only in the grace given me by my father. He can use this simple, yet willing girl with a muscle spasm and because it will be obvious that I could not have done it on my own. He will get the glory instead of me. and that's what I really want. I want Him to tell me what to write on my "to-do" list and to let me know its ok if I don't get it accomplished in one day.

We are still waiting on a letter to finalize our court for our adoption. The fact that it has taken over 20 days is rough. We really are hoping that today is the day. Every "bing" on the computer, Ryan and I check to see if its the email that we are waiting for... Other people have gotten there letter, so we know it is coming which is comforting. We just trust that God already knows the time that we will bring our boys into our home... They already fill our days with joy and love. We watch videos of them over and over! I want to trust not only IN him, but TRUST HIM! I found a quote on pinterest that was exactly what I needed.

I had some new photos from some who were just at our boys care center... and it was the FIRST time I have seen Josiah smile for anyone other than US.... It made my day! When I left him there after loving on him and giving him undivided attention for 10 days (and this little guy LOVES attention! He is 100% extroverted!) He looked at me as I put him back in his crib where almost all of his life has happened and I know, he's too little to really think this, but I he gave me a look that was questioning... Like, he wondered why his nanny was back, and he was here instead of with me and daddy and his new brother. He had been "talking" and laughing and constantly making noise, but there, he was silent and laid there sucking his favorite two fingers. I know. Its a stretch. But I felt extra sad leaving him there. But seeing that he did smile again made my heart soar! I KNOW the nannies love them... They cried when I took them with me for 10 days! And they cried more at seeing me leave them without them then even I did at that moment. SO thankful for love like that.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the next step

I really don't want to write this, but I know its necessary. Just in case you don't know how Ethiopian adoption works these days, it takes two trips to get your little ones home, so we did our first trip, fell in LOVE with our little men, and now we are home. In an empty-ish house. waiting. and waiting. LONGING for the day we are a forever family, but this is the long, hard, dry season. or maybe its a snowy winter. its for sure not the summer sun where everything is perfect. and its not the rain where we feel blessings pouring. But I KNOW that God does not want me to wallow in my sadness of leaving the boys. I can't help but think about them everyday. ache to be with them. to see their expressive faces once again, knowing they save their best smiles for momma. I want to be able to move deeper in my love for my Jesus, but also my babies. I know that Jesus loves my babies even more than I do... he created them before I knew who they were and they are so precious to him... and the more I fall in love with Jesus, the more I fall in love with my boys. but somewhere in my deepest heart, i feel bitterness trying to root. It says how unfair this process is, and how I have a right to be mad at the policies, or the people that have done wrong to make a more through process and two trips necessary, and even at God for not letting it work out quicker. but i want to fight that bitterness so it will not root in me! I don't want to be bitter at Ethiopia... it gave me the two most beautiful babies! And the wrongs people have done (unethical practices: i.e. baby "buying" or trafficking and abuse) these are a part of our world because its no longer eden.... we live in a fallen world and there no escaping it. and most of all, I don't want to be bitter at God. He did not create us to live in resentment or anger or bitterness. He wants us to walk in JOY and LOVE and PEACE...

its not natural for a momma to have to leave her babies across the world... its not natural for a daddy to have not control over the protection and provision of his little men. its hard. no candy coating it. but here we are. and what to do? give it back to the only one who is in control and holding our little men when we can't. and He will make sure they are protected and provided for even better than we can.

I asked Him this morning, "what do you want to do with me during this time? I know its not for me to just sit back and sadly just wait until our next trip and THEN life can begin again..." and I just knew that there is so much that He wants me to learn and grow deeper with Him in. Since the beginning of this process, I knew it was NOT about growing our family, but about me and HIM growing closer to together. And its not been easy. And i don't see it getting easier. But its so sweet. I love how Jesus doesn't give us what we ask for... at least in the way that we expect him to... I asked for a baby, and for 2 1/2 years, his answer seemed to be no. and it was hard. bitterness tried to root then too! And out of HIS grace, we NOW have 2 boys! The cutest EVER! and I would have never met them if God had given me my first request... and there would be two more orphans with out a family. and in the rest of the process I need to continue to trust that just like He has had His hand on everything... He will continue to have His hand on everything. I was just drinking my coffee and a song came into my head, "All this pain, i wonder if i'll ever find my way. i wonder if my life could really change at all...." "you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust, you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us." "all around hope is springing up from this old ground, out of chaos life is being found in me"

I want the Lord to make me into a beautiful thing... for HIS glory and to make this waiting not just something we look back on and wish we had done some things differently... or how we could have done so much more... I want there to be hope springing up in the dry ground of life around us. and I want to be useful and not just waiting. but some times, just taking the next step out the door takes all the strength that I have. this is good... its when sarah ends that the Lord begins... and somedays i run out of me sooner than others. But we try to take one more step again... and then again...

We don't want the rainbolt house to ever be a depressing place... we want people to come in and feel the spirit of the Lord there. So even while we wait... and celebrate the next few holidays without these cute faces with us... we want it to be filled with Joy, Hope, and the expectancy of what the next few months hold and what the Lord can do with us while we wait!

Monday, November 5, 2012

the moment

The long overdue blogpost... We made it too Ethiopia... and we are with our babies... and life could not be better!

Our trip was/is filled with perfect moments... and I so rarely use that word, it feels weird, but there is nothing else that describes it... perfectly.
We went to Starbucks in India (the first one!) and it was so fun to get the perfect vanilla latte. Then we finished up our packing and hoped we had all we needed for ourselves and our babies and headed to the airport.
We sat there and waited, almost giddy, until our flight left late at night. We slept on the way, knowing when we arrived at 8am and went to our babies they were not going to be very understanding of our sleep deprivation!

As we flew near to the city, it all of a sudden hit me, "you are about to be a mom... and meet the precious treasures that God entrusts us with!" The music started playing some classical lullabies and as we got closer, the mountains and a green domed Orthodox church comes into view, and it took my breath away. I was shrugging back tears so no one would think me crazy, but I just knew I was walking  in the presence of the Lord. He had guided us to this point and we were so amazed. We got off the plane, found our luggage and headed the short trip to the guesthouse and then the care center.

We knocked on the gate and the nanny who answered was our boys nanny, Aberesh, and we knew her name and it shocked her so much she almost cried! We were so thankful for those who had taken pictures of her and our babies before so we knew her name. She is a special lady who pretty much gives her life to take care of orphans until their families come. It has to take a calling to do that. We walked into a big room with lots of babies and other nannies, but we knew our boys were in the next room. We waited while they got them ready... and we walked in.... there are no words to describe what we were going through at this moment. We saw Daniel first... his little face is very distinctive! Ryan got to hold him first and we were both on the verge of tears at this point. Within a few glances, Daniel smiled at Ryan and our heart both melted, we were head over heals in love with him. Then I looked around the room and I saw my handsome Josiah looking back at me. I jumped over and picked him up amazed at the Faithfulness of my Father to orchestrate such a perfect moment just for us. We were the only family at the care center that day and after taking a few pictures, we found out what formula to buy and went on our way, babies in tow. Their nannies almost cried watching them leave, even though it would only be for 10 days. They invest in these babies and its hard to see them go.

At the guest house, we started to know our boys and see what makes them smile and how and when they like their bottles. It was not until almost bed time that we heard the most precious sound, their laughter! Daniel and I were sitting together and I rubbed noses with him and he started to laugh. It was just a minute until his whole body was shaking he was so tickled! Josiah also loves his "Eskimo kisses" and this momma's heart was beyond full!

I know what it means now when it says of Mary, "She treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" Luke 2:19. I can only imagine what the next few months of waiting will hold, but I know that I will be pondering the treasures of my boys. I want to use even the hard days to give all the glory to God, and I think Mary had the same mindset. I think she knew that Jesus' life would not be easy or perfect and she knew that she needed to not take any moment for granted. I will share my list, maybe on a day that I need to remember the boys and their sweet mannerisms... but for now PRESENTING: