How are you doing? What’s it like?
Those are the two most predominant questions we have been asked over the last 3 weeks. So, while giving you an update on our status (yes, we’re alive, but barely) I’m going to try answer those questions. We’ve also been keeping track of what’s happening day-to-day but those posts will come at a later date.
We’ve been here one day shy of 3 weeks. While it’s hard to believe it’s been that long, it also feels like we’ve been here a couple days shy of a decade. During this time we were required to take the kids back to the orphanage for a follow up visit (yes it was as bad as you can imagine), we have been to the hospital 3 times for sickness, we have visited the embassy doctor to get vaccinations to be cleared for our U.S. arrival (yes that was also horrible), we have gone to 2 movies (a perfectly peaceful 4 hours), we have celebrated Karen’s 13th birthday, we have walked dozens of miles to abate boredom, we have visited the McDonalds play area for 2 hours at a time. In general, we do whatever we can to survive.
That’s a short list of what we’ve been doing. I’m sure it’s tempting to think we’re on a vacation or that this is a joyful and awesome time for our family. Now hear me when I say this, UMMMMMM, NO! This is about as peaceful, exciting, and joyful as being in a submerged cage 100 ft below the surface of the ocean off the coast of South Africa amidst a gam of Great Whites.
Are we excited to add to our family? Unequivocally, yes! Have we changed our minds about adopting 3 beautiful children? Unequivocally, no!
Here’s what I’m saying…Being in a foreign country, living with 3 little humans who have no idea what it means to be a family, love one another, share, or not fight, living in an apartment about the size of Old Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, waiting for what seems like a never-ending judicial process…ALL of this takes its toll. The word “trapped” comes to mind.
IT’S HARD! IT FEELS LIKE IT’S NEVER GOING TO END.
The day-to day process of doing what we’re doing is like trying to herd a hundred rabbits who have lighted fire starters attached to them across a sun scorched prairie without creating an inferno. You get the picture? We manage chaos.
Feel sorry for us? Don’t. That’s not the purpose of this blog. We just want you to know how we really feel. While we wait at least another 3 weeks, we want you to pray heartily for us. Scripture sets the pattern for us in that we can be honest in our pain. So here we are, honest as we could be. Though we can be honest, we don’t have to writhe in our pain. Though we are weak, we have hope. We have strength. When we are weak, we are our strongest. We are beginning to come to the end of our own strength and we look to something greater.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
Therein we find our strength. Every day we ask God to pour his grace on us, to give us strength that we don’t have, And he does. We have to remind ourselves that what we are experiencing is not God punishing us or just making life miserable for us. Jesus has already taken care of that. Jesus willingly stepped in to take our punishment. Our struggle, our suffering, points us toward and reminds us of what Jesus experienced when God the Father turned his back on Jesus. Jesus stood in the darkness of the Father’s wrath so that we could experience the light of his presence.
When the days get long, when we feel lonely, when the darkness seems to close in and we feel like we’re swimming with the sharks, we look to the cross. Because of Jesus, we can be sure that God the Father will give us strength to endure the day. He will not delay. He will not turn his back on us. He is our strength and our shield. In Him our heart trusts.
P.S. This blog in no way reflects our experience with our agency or any gov’t officials. Gladney has been great and Colombia is a beautiful place.