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Archive for March, 2013

God’s timing is so masterfully perfect.  Beautiful.  Remarkable, even.  This weekend we are entering into the season of Easter, where death and life and rebirth intertwine themselves to form the ultimate redemptive story.  Today we remember the sacrifice of love and obedience: Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins.  And as I’m standing on a ladder in my garage (soon to be playroom), scraping the popcorn sprayed ceiling to make it all smooth and ready to paint, I remember that day.  I thank God for sending Jesus and what that means for me now in my present circumstances.  I picture Jesus on the cross, blood dripping from his head pierced by the crown of thorns, his face swollen from having his beard torn out, his wrists pulsating as blood exits his punctured skin.  I am humbled.  I am grateful.  I am reminded.  My life swirls in an ocean of uncertainly but when I picture the cross and all that it represents, I find peace.  Deep peace.  Peace that reminds me Who is in control and has a plan and keeps the BIG picture in mind.  I think about the One who precisely organizes our lives so that every story touches not just one life, but many.  And I think about my kids and their future and how possibly this same redemption that I’ve experienced can work its way deeply into their hearts and into the hearts of their future family.

These are the things I think of while white powder falls from the ceiling and I get covered in a mess of wet putty.  This is where my mind works the best.  My body moves and my mind is free to wander where it wills.  Today is settled on the cross and I’m so glad it did. 

As I’m wiping my brow with my purple sleeve getting ready to spray a second layer of water to the ceiling, my phone rings and for a moment my heart stops beating.  I know who is calling.  I grab the phone with my sticky hand and hear the words I was both dreading and longing to hear.  The family said yes.  They want the kids.  They want to pursue adoption.

Today as I remember the death of Jesus I am faced with this wonderfully painful news.  There is life for these kids.  There is a future.  My heart may feel the sting of letting them go, but in the end, there is the Resurrection.  In the end, Love wins.  I have gotten to love and hold and mold these kids for almost a year.  Now it’s time to let them go.  To give them up.  To relinquish control.  Control that, ironically enough, was never actually mine to have.  These kids belong to the Father who was willing to send His Son for their souls.  I have built a foundation for them by the grace of God, and He now will continue to build these lives for His purpose.

Tonight when I actually have time to think about this for real, and not just in between the moments of cleaning house and running errands, I will cry.  I will allow myself an evening of sadness and loss.  I will weep because I love them and will miss them terribly and weep because I want them to be whole.  It’s Good Friday.  Today we remember death and sacrifice.  But then I will dry off my tears, prepare to help them process this new change, help them pack up their belongings, and send them off with my love.  Because Easter comes.  Because Jesus came.  And because He lives, so will I.

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Waiting on Forever

I’m looking around my living room cluttered with legos and cars and bookbags.  There is an empty GoodNites Pull-Up box and pieces of paper listing the Rules to Sweet Pea’s newest club: Buttons and Beads Best Friends Forever (BBBFF).  Coats need to be hung up, a basket of socks needs to be matched with their mates, and a coloring book resides on top of the TV where it has been since last week.  This is my life.  My beautiful, sweet, chaotic life.  A picture of my sweetheart stares at me from the wall, her hair barely reaching her shoulders and her bangs cut so short the stubs stick straight out from her scalp.  Her blue eyes reach mine and I wonder if somehow I’ve made the wrong decision.  I wonder if those blue eyes will ever forgive me for what I’ve done.  And my stomach churns inside with all the mixed up feelings of my heart.  I sat in my cold garage and looked at my unpainted walls that are supposed to some day be a play room for my two kids and I just sob.  I sob because they may never get to play in it.  I sob because the emptiness and unfinished work so adequately reflects how I’m feeling and I’m not sure I’m ready to let go.

Tonight I had the hour long conversation I had been dreading.  The couple considering becoming Half Pint and Little Buddy’s forever family asked me questions and picked my brain and looked for reassurance for what they were now pursuing.  I couldn’t help myself.  I told them how wonderful these two kids are.  I told them how smart and talented they are and how very far they’ve come in the last year.  They told me about their hobbies, how they like to cook out and travel and be active.  They have a nice house in a nice neighborhood with nice neighbor kids.  And a woods to play in.  Wouldn’t the kids just love to play in the woods?  They have a therapist lined up and a school picked out and a life waiting to be filled with the laughter of two kids.  The problem is that these kids aren’t necessarily the laughing type.  They’re not the “hang out with strangers” or roam the neighborhood type.  They are the kids that once you commit to them your word shrinks in.  Cookouts become frozen dinners.  Block parties become wrestling matches indoors.  And community becomes the people enclosed in the four walls of the house.  They have good intentions, but they don’t get it.  And worse of all, they have a house and school and dogs…but they do not have Jesus.

So tonight I sob.  It is so desperately hard to think of letting the kids go at all, but letting them go to a family who isn’t going to answer their questions about Jesus and Heaven or the devil, a family who won’t tuck them in and pray with them for silly things like the power to stay on or the picture frames to not fall off the walls, a family who won’t play Chris Tomlin for the umpteenth time in the car or tell them how much Jesus loves them and how incredibly special God made them, who won’t read the Bible to them or lead them to Christ…it’s just too much for my heart to handle.  Did God not carefully read my Want Ad?  I could’ve done without them reading Snuggle Puppy, but to go without reading the Bible?!  Seriously?  

As midnight approaches and I sit up waiting for this to all make sense, I’m trying really hard to trust God and believe in faith that He is good and loving and sovereign.  I know He’s the One who has been painting this beautiful picture so far, so why do I worry that He is now going to stop working and hand the painting off, half finished, to someone else?  He won’t.  He can’t.  He’s God.  Good, loving, sovereign God.  I worry too much about what I can’t control.  The family hasn’t even said “yes” yet and I’m in full panic mode.  Breathe, Shelly.  Breathe.  The God who has so evidently carried these precious souls will not let them, in the end, be destroyed.  He loves them too much.  In fact, He loves them more than I do.

So I stop sobbing and I called their Aunt (the one who could no longer adopt them) and we talked and prayed and quoted scripture to each other until that achy place in my heart started to feel a little less achy.  I have no idea what the next month will hold.  But you better believe in the meantime I’m going to give the kids every ounce of Jesus I can muster up.  I’m going to throw the best Hannah Montana birthday party for Sweet Pea (in Jesus’ name) and bring them to the beach (in Jesus’ name) and finish that ridiculous playroom (please, in Jesus’ name).  And then when the time comes to release them and let them go on to their new forever, I’m begging God to fill all three of us with incredible peace.  

For His sake.

And for mine.

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Help Wanted

I was supposed to get a phone call tonight from a potential adoptive family, but as I returned from Home Group and checked my messages, the only thing I had missed was my sister asking to borrow a pair of shoes.  Part of me was relieved, the other part of me wishes they would just call so I could feel better about this potential placement.  After the adoption fell through and I turned down my chance at being these two kiddos forever mommy, we have just been sitting around playing this waiting game.  Adoption is a whole other beast and it has left me ever the more thankful that God is the one in charge and not me.  It’s like looking through a catalog of potential families trying to make the best decision you can off of very little information.  My adoptions worker is great and I know she’s working hard to find the best possible family for these two kids but it is so hard to trust what I can’t see or control.  

I have submitted my version of a “Help Wanted” ad to God and although I’m sure He’s smiling up in Heaven because my little finite mind has no idea what the big picture is, I’m hoping somehow He will take into consideration the things I have requested on behalf of these two kids I love with all my heart.  If I could post the job description on God’s celestial bulletin board, it would look something like this:

WANTED:

A hip, energetic young couple passionate about providing a loving and stable environment to two beautiful kids.  Applicants must possess a strong and growing relationship with Jesus and must live a life in daily submission to His will.  He and she must be willing to go the extra mile, serve without being served, and must remain committed to the kids for life.  Duties include (but are not limited to) racing the kids to see who can ready first in the morning, playing countless games of Uno, deciphering the writings of a six year old, mopping up gallons of water after bath time, perfecting making car sounds with your mouth, turning a frozen dinner into a gourmet meal, purchasing Hannah Montana party supplies, hugging and kissing every stuffed animal before bedtime, listening to Kid’s Praise music instead of the latest pop station, watching Disney movies over and over again, pretending to be a tickle monster or a lion trainer or a kitty, reading Snuggle Puppy and making up a tune to the words in the book, hosting random dance parties in the living room, answering a hundred “why” questions each day (sometimes each hour), convincing someone half your size that they like vegetables, knowing where every toy and piece of clothing is at every given moment, and praying each night that the power will stay on and the dog will be safe.  You will be working closely with teachers and counselors and social workers while feeling like you’re the only one who really understands your child so be prepared to be a courageous advocate.  You must be willing to be teacher, counselor, doctor, chef, taxi driver, house keeper, laundry washer, policeman, and friend.  Applicants for his valued position must note that the job is unpredictable from day to day and must be willing to adjust schedules at a moment’s notice.  This is a 24/7 job working with two emotionally and behaviorally therapeutic kids.  Applicants must understand the special needs of the individual child and show daily compassion.  The job is hard but the pay is worth the work.  Compensation includes snuggle time, bear hugs and butterfly kisses.  

Now accepting applications.

 

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