God has truly revealed Himself to us throughout this process. People always ask "If there are so many kids who need families why do they make it so hard? so expensive? such a long process?" Honestly, sometimes I wonder the same thing when we are having to jump through hoops over and over again. A lot of it is for the safety of the children but a lot of it seems excessive (ie. Pet Vaccination Records). But I will tell you that if we hadn't had this year's experience (or the total 18 months we've been on this ride) of totally relying, trusting, questioning, pleading, praying, praising, wondering, submitting and so much more, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Just as His word says in James 1: "2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."
This period of waiting has been one of transformation but I know that our journey has just begun. Our son has already taught us so much and we don't even know who he is yet. I praise God for how He has continued to give us the strength and perseverance only He can give when we are feeling worn and weary. Over the past two weeks I have had one encouragement after another. God's word through my BSF lesson & sermon on God saying "Not Yet, text from Evening of Spiritual Harmony songs, a song sent to me by my sweet friend Ashley called "While I'm Waiting" and an article posted on our listserv entitled "God's Will for your Wait" by Paul Tripp. If you are reading this and going through a waiting period (waiting for a baby through pregnancy or adoption, for a job, for a answer, for direction, for recovery of an addiction or sickness, etc.) YOU need to click on the above links! They were a great encouragement to me and I know they will be to you as well.
Now on to how we celebrated our one year =) Now that we are in the teens the girls and I made a paper chain to help us count down. We have always written our number on a dry erase plate in the kitchen but this will be a better visual for the girls and they can actively participate by tearing off links as we get closer. Here they are showing off the chain that is now hanging in their bedroom.
Neil and I met for a little lunch date =) I bought us a little present and had Neil open it. It's a really great adoption memory book that we can start filling out while we are waiting! It's called "My Family, My Journey: A Baby Book for Adoptive Families" by Zoe Francesca and I really like it a lot! It has a lot of the elements of a life book that I've read about and researched.
We had a nice quick lunch between work and picking up the girls. Of course we couldn't get away without a quick pic =)
Thank you to EVERYONE who has been a wonderful support and sharing our excitement as we get closer and closer. Although we are moving up, we still aren't expecting "the call" until probably March or April which means hopefully having him home sometime during the summer. So we still have awhile as we continue to anticipate him being home. It is much more exciting though because I've really resisted any nesting or "getting ready" urges to avoid getting my hopes up too soon. I'm now looking at the empty nursery and thinking it might be time to start changing things around =)