Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A word to my sisters and brothers adopting from Ethiopia who may be depressed and or/pulling out their hair

I hate this wait. I hate the roller coaster we've been on lately. I hate not knowing if I'll have a baby by Christmas or maybe Easter or maybe next Christmas.

But I think it is a little easier on me because I planned my wedding when I was 12. I have a notebook where I wrote out fake wedding announcements, and all through high school I carried wedding dresses torn out from Bride's Magazine in my wallet - ugly 80s wedding dresses with many, many beads and poofy shoulders and those weird headbands that had dangly things down their cheeks.

My senior year of college, I looked at my roommate and said, "We have three months left to get our MRS's! Ready, set, go!!" I spent my 20s trying desperately to wrangle a guy into marrying me. Many guys. It never worked, and I was very disappointed. When I was 32 - ten years late for that MRS - I was dating a guy I was just sure was Mr. Right, but was so frustrated that we just couldn't seem to help driving each other crazy. But then my best friend looked at me and said, "Break up with him and marry me." And I did. And it was the BEST decision of my life - and the reason it was so good is because I DIDN'T MAKE IT. God grabbed him and dropped him smack dab in my lap like a ton of bricks leaving me completely out of the planning process because he knew I'd completely screw it all up if he clued me in to his plans.

We got married, and three weeks later I was pregnant. Not really planned, not that quick. The first night my son slept through the night, we got pregnant again. NOT. PLANNED. Seven months after she was born, I was pregnant again. OPPOSITE OF PLANNED. Still look at that child and can't figure out how she got here. Number four was planned, by me, not my husband. ;) When that baby was born, my oldest was three and a half years old. Only a crazy woman would plan to have four children in three years. Only a crazy God.

I had planned to adopt from China since back when I still carried ugly wedding dresses in my wallet. Then we decided to do foster care. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd have an African kid calling me 'Mom.' And I certainly never thought that I'd have an African daughter calling Walker 'Dad.'

God has taken my life, shaken it upside down and any way he wanted to in the last eight years, and it's good. It's really good. It couldn't be any better. And it's because he is sovereign, which means he is in charge of the fall (or pull) of every single hair on my head and my kids' heads and the sweet head of my invisible daughter who is in a country I was called to adopt from before I could even locate it on a map.

I know we are going to get a child from Ethiopia, and I know that God chose that baby for us before he laid the foundations of the world. And MOWA and Gladney and judges and investigations are gnats compared to my God. They canNOT thwart his plans. God's plans are un-thwartable.

My plan was to have her home by now. My plan was wrong.

My plan was to be married by 22. Oh, hallelujah, I was wrong on that one too. (And my 2002 wedding dress was gorgeous btw.)

My plan was to have my children spaced like a normal person. I look at my four precious crazy children - and I'm so glad I was wrong.

None of this is a shock to God, none of this is making him go, "Crap! I meant for them to have those babies by now, golly gee whiz, wish MOWA would hurry up!" Nope. His clock is still running right on time.

I can't play the "what if I'd gone with another agency" game, because that's not possible, because my daughter is with Gladney.

The same Lord who set the stars in the sky and calls them by name, who knitted us and our babies together in the womb, and who has numbered every day of our lives on earth and the day of our deaths and every day of our children's lives - that God has not left his throne because of some politics in Ethiopia. He is Lord over Ethiopia. He is Lord over my child's adoption. And I am not.

He already had on his holy calendar what day she would come home, and he has not crossed it out and moved it around. Nothing has changed in his plan.

And sometimes his plan is hard. But it's always good.

 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Acts 17:24-28

50 comments:

  1. I feel a hearty Southern Baptist "AMEN!" rising up from the depths of my soul.

    It's frustrating. But trusting God means doing exactly what you described: believing God (ahem) is good even when all visual evidence is to the contrary.

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  2. What a beautifully written post. I feel like you wrote it just for me (did you? LOL!). Thank you for sharing.

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  3. I am not adopting, but sometimes I want to pull out my hair and be depressed anyway. This moved me. You always move me, Missy. Thank you.

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  4. Right on, Missy, right on. How I wish I could sit down with you and tell you the story of our adoption, with everything crazy going on in our lives and the death of our first Ethiopian daughter just weeks before she was to be home... God's timing and ways were PERFECT, as only HE knew to plan, and he confirmed it in so many ways. And yes! Your son or daughter-- not just some Ethiopian child who happens to be at the right point of the process at the same point you are when everything's straightened out, but the child God planned for from the beginning, the one for whom He provided YOUR specific family -- will be with you in God's perfect timing.
    Sometimes people ask "Why Ethiopia?" (When we adopted, it was pre-Anjelina Jolie, and rare.) For all of the reasoned or impassioned answers I could give, it may sound flippant, but here's the very best and most accurate answer I can give: Why Ethiopia? Because that's where our daughter was, of course!

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  5. Amen, amen, amen. Thank you, Missy. I needed this tonight. My favorite line? "God has not crossed out the date and moved it around." PRAISE HIM!

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  6. That was hands down the best blog post I've ever read!! We've been home 10 months with our son... The referral took way longer than "planned" to come but it was just the right God time! Love your faith!

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  7. goodness gracious, i needed to hear this. tonight I spent a portion of RUF thinking about MY plan for dating in the coming years. and you know what the campus minister was preaching on? Acts 17:16-34.
    thanks for reminding me that the most wonderful plans I have in my head are no match for what is in store for me.

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  8. Hannah, God is on you girl.

    And I married an RUF boy. Although I am pretty sure if I knew him back then I would have thought he was waaaaay too dorky to date, much less marry ;)

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  9. All I can say is same story, different country . . . and blessedly, same God. We just reached the 18-month mark on the waiting list for our daughter in India, and I am reminding myself of these truths daily.
    A great big hug to you,
    Nancy

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  10. Awesome post. Amazingly true and such a constant challenge to remember when we let our own visions of our plans get in the way.

    I'll keep praying for your daughter and her arrival, when ever that may be.

    Oh and I'll throw one or two in for you to remember this post and all your wisdom within it. :)

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  11. A friend sent me this, and I read and wanted to cry. It's like you looked inside of me and write right to my heart. It is so hard to wait. But it is so wonderful to TRUST. :)

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  12. Exactly what I needed to hear. We are in the waiting period. Written in ink on God's calendar and penciled into mine a thousand times. I needed this reassurance that His will will never be thwarted and my children are well on their way to my arms while already at rest in His.

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  13. Great post! It is amazing when things all fall into place and 'we' didn't make it happen.

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  14. Thanks Missy! I needed to hear that today as I wait.

    and my plans have been much changed and thwarted as well for God's sovereign (and better in the end) plans. It's so hard to remember that in the middle of it though.

    I can be just like an Israelite complaining about the manna. :)

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  15. what a comfort to serve the God with the PERFECT plan!! praying for you as you wait. I'm reading Orphanology right now and the other day I read a section called "Orphan care is warfare"- it was a great reminder that it isn't just about waiting for MOWA or an agency, etc- this is a SPIRITUAL battle!! keep putting on that armor :)
    I'm doing a giveaway on my blog of our awesome Africa adoption t-shirts!!! check it out :)
    camelotcrier.blogspot.com

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  16. Amen and Amen!!! We really haven't stressed about all the changes in ET. Somehow people keep finding out about it, though, and asking us how we are doing with the wait. Our answer is ... 'We wait.' Is there really any other choice? Great post!!

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  17. LOVE this! Thanks for the encouragement! So true...God's plans are perfect and cannot be thwarted! He knows that day our daughter will be in our arms!!!

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  18. Beautifully put! Praying for you on this journey.

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  19. LOVE this. God's plans ARE un-thwartable!

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  20. Waiting is hard, but your grace and peace in the waiting is beautiful. And resting in God's perfect timing is glorious.

    I know I had times in my life that I kicked and screamed and asked, "Why not now?! Why must I wait?" But eventually it all made sense.

    Thankfully I can look back at that and remember it now, and I know it is best, even when it doesn't make sense to my earthly mind. Thankfully God is in charge with His eternal love and His seeing outside of time and space.

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  21. "And sometimes his plan is hard. But it's always good."

    Amen! I know this to be true.

    Thinking of you, friend!

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  22. We're adopting from Uganda and Lesotho, not Ethiopia, but this spoke so much to my heart. Thank you for this.

    And I know my God's plans are so much better than mine! I planned on never getting married and never having kids. Yet somehow He brought me the best husband and two little girls. Now I just need to wait on his timing to bring home my three little boys. But He is faithful. He will bring them home.

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  23. Not to sound like a broken record, but this was exactly what I needed to hear today - thank you for your words of encouragement.
    My husband and I are adopting domestically, but that doesn't change the fact that waiting is hard. I definitely thought that we would have a baby home in time for Christmas and without-a-doubt, in time for Easter; but both have come & gone and we're still awaiting the arrival of our first child.
    "My plan was to have her home by now. My plan was wrong."
    It's been 12 months now & I've watched friends get pregnant and welcome babies into their homes; I continue to watch friends get pregnant and even though I know better, sometimes it feels like God has forgotten us.
    So, thank you for your words, because sometimes we all need a little reminding that "...sometimes His plan is hard. But it's always good".

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  24. Oh Missy this applies to so much more than adoption. I waited seven years to have a baby and every month I would look at that flow and think, "why God, why are you doing this to me, I'm ready now," and he would pat me on the back and smile and say, "but I'm not." And He was so, so right.God's perfect timing is a beautiful thing.

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  25. This was SO beautiful. And true. God has his own plans and every time we try to do it "our way" it just gets screwed up. We've got to let Him take control and how us His way!

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  26. Very well said Missy. BTW, I've been following your blog for weeks now and just now realized that you're the Missy I sat next to at the Blue Nile last August at the GFA meeting! Hello again!

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  27. Oh thank you for this post!!! I was so cranky after the conference call.... all night.... when I got your yahoo email... I read it to my husband and laughed all the way through it. Words I needed to hear and it changed my mood. I shall print it out, tape it on the refrigerator and read it everyday until we bring our Little Man home! Your words were/are surely a blessing during this desert! ha!

    Oh! and btw - I did make for sure that I was well on my way to that MRS and engaged by April of my senior year of college! And 18 years later... still going strong and never dreamed we'd be adopting from Ethiopia! ha! God let me have one of my plans.... but he threw me for a loop with His other! But it sure is fun to follow His plans! Amen!

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  28. Well, this is proof that God uses blogs for His Glory. THANKS!!!! I had a good old cry last night with Jesus and my husband. God reminded us that nothing surprises Him. Good to know that others are still seeing this through. Well, hearing my daughter now, "mommy I poopy "
    ..guess naptime is over!

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  29. Amen my friend! Thanks for always keeping your head when I want to lose mine! :)

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  30. Amen! Our God is Greater! Amen!

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  31. I seriously needed to hear this today. I've been in desperate need of some encouragement. We have just started our paperchase in this crazy adoption world and I feel so alone. I feel defeated and forgotten. But, He hasn't forgotten us!!

    Thank you for this.

    Lindsey
    almcrock.blogspot.com

    P.S. I'm a new follower! Come follow our journey, too! :D

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  32. This is good...you know God's word always works, ya know? Thanks for the reminder today and I love your crazy story!

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  33. 1) I can vouch that your 2002 wedding dress was curdy b/c I stalk you and saw it on youtube. (And that makes us real friends, now doesn't it?)

    2) I can vouch that God's plans are WAY BETTER than our plans. I did NOT find that out on youtube.

    3) I can attest that His plan IS HARD. REALLY HARD sometimes, but it's always good. Amen, Hallelujah!

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  34. Crap. "curdy" is suppose to say "PURDY." STUPID AUTO CORRECT. What the crap does "curdy" mean anyway?

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  35. Amen! Sometimes we just have to cling to this truth with everything we have b/c it just feels so much like we have dreamed up a better plan (if He would just really consider it thoroughly :) But how awesome that He has given us His truth through His word and we can know, KNOW, that His plans are good, even when they don't feel that way.

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  36. Thanks so much for your post. Right after hearing that our papers needed a silly 'time of day' and thus post-poned our getting an embassy date again, I needed to read and be reminded about the Lord's sovereignty.

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  38. I love reading your posts because I see the Isaiah BSF study laced all through them..."God's plans cannot be thwarted." Your posts are always so cleverly written...I have enjoyed reading about your sweet family :)

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  39. i needed this too!
    I wrote this today:

    http://brickerfamilyblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/yes.html

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  40. That's beautiful. I'm sharing this.

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  41. I love this post today. Sweet reminder of God's sovereignty that I needed to hear today... esp in light of stupid things people have said to me this week.

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  42. This is exactly what I needed to read today. We're also adopting from Ethiopia. DTE 8/27 for a girl 0 - 9 months. Thank you for writing this and making me feel so much better this evening. : ) (And I loved the Ton of Bricks post too!)

    Brandy Wade
    www.ourethiopiandaughter.weebly.com

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  43. I can hear a whole lot of AMENS with this post, Missygirl! It's a good one!

    God is especially good when it hurts. Not sure why that is, but I've been feeling his goodness in some hurt places lately. As long as we don't shut him oit and try to go it alone, he is all over. Those hurt places, those waiting oalces and those unexpected places...doing GOOD and bringing GLORY!

    Love your heart,
    Linsey

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  44. Great post. I can also tell you that when you see your child's face and hear her story...then it will all come together. You will know the exact reason for the wait. God is preparing your child and your heart. Praying for you during your time of wait.
    Hugs,
    Amy

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  45. Thank you for writing this post. God knows I need this wisdom! We are not adopting right now but want to soon We have a lot of debt that we are trying to get rid of so I am working full time to help get rid of it and it is really hard. All I want to do is be at home with my daughter and have more kids and adopt kids and I can get frustrated too easily and ask God why it does not happen faster. I have to let it go and know that God has it under control which is actually reassuring because He knows better than me!

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