Friday, October 9, 2009

Samuel: God Heard

I started writing this post yesterday. But instead of getting finished and posted, it sat in the EDIT mode as the morning turned in other directions of a thousand things that came up keeping me from finishing and posting it. But in retrospect I think God just wanted me to be still for a moment and SEE and HEAR the things happening around me. Not to speak ... but to listen. To name just a few, let's see, there was the post on "Not enough money for adoption" and how God provides beyond any measure. And another post from a friend on how her adoption journey has officially STARTED after so much patience and faith in God's direction! And still another post on "Being Careful What You Ask For" and Unfamiliar Grace.

Let me follow that yesterday was one of those dips in the road kinda days when I didn't feel like I was doing a very good job with ALL that I have been blessed with. So badly I would like to make a difference and not just watch from the other side of the computer. But just look at the last 2 sentences ... how many "I's" can be used in so few words? It's not about me ... or shouldn't be and even though I can't SEE the things that God may be doing with my life, I am certain that as I turn to Him and ask what He wants from me ... He will not be disappointed. I just need to be patient and keep turning to Him to know where and what His plans are.

Here's where yesterday's post was going:
(my apologies for its length)

This is not the way it was supposed to happen. According to me (here's where things obviously start to fall apart) I was supposed to mention the idea of adoption to my husband and he was supposed to fall deeply and instantly in love with the idea.

That was 3+ years ago.
So much for instant.
And because we are SO blessed with WONDERFUL boys I was supposed to amazingly be drawn to little girls. In fact that is what seemed to be the spark that lit this fire so many moons ago. But maybe that was just God getting my attention.
God's love is SO much deeper than that. So much deeper than we can comprehend.
After a recent email that I responded to brought that out of my heart and so clearly to my eyes in my very own words of response, it confirms in me that it's not about raising a "girl" ... but that adoption is about a child, not a gender. And of course that seems obvious ... but really searching for motives and agendas and asking God why this path is even here, it was a sort of epiphany for me.

This is not the first time I have been swept away by God's surprise move. In March, when I first came across New Day Foster Home's website that I am certain came after much, much, much deep prayer. I remember searching every nook and cranny of the website. (No, really, I even took the online tour and probably could navigate around the place having not even been there in real life!) So when they posted about their newest children I was excited ... but then I found out that they were "older"--not the cute little babies that everyone just falls in love with. My heart was admittedly not where it should have been ... but in a surprise move by God ... I was SO moved by Elizabeth's story and in such an unexpected way. It stayed with me and I thought of her so often and prayed for her spirit that had been rocked beyond anything I can imagine ... It led to me sharing this passion for orphans with my husband, a wonderful opportunity to bless Carrie at New Day and to also shower some love on Elizabeth and to see God moving and doing so many things. It was an answer to prayer of "Where was He in all the hurt?" AMAZING. My short synopsis there does not accurately relay the awesomeness of it all.

Fast forward through the summer and so much growth on our part as a family. I kept reading about families who would mention that on their journey when they saw that very first picture of their child they just "KNEW" it was their child in the deepest part of their heart ... wow, that always kinda escaped me because as much as I have a heart for the children I saw, it seemed a little different than the deep overwhelming love that I have for my own children. I didn't want to ever view adoption as adopting an orphan ... but adopting my son or daughter. I wasn't sure if this was even a normal thought. Would I ever feel that feeling? Of course I felt so drawn to Elizabeth, but her story has so much more wrapped up with it along with New Day and so many other feelings. I wondered how people ever know. What is this feeling like? I prayed about it ... and figured that since I didn't have this magical "feeling" for any specific child that my role was probably that of an encourager and an advocate for adoption. (Let's pretend that my husband has been swayed by the voice of God and that he is on board with growing our family ... okay? )

That was until I saw a little boy named Samuel.

Funny how his English given name means "God Heard."
I don't know him but his sweet little face makes my heart hurt as deep as it would for any of my other children. How is that for a bold statement?! And it is not a surface love that I have for my children. So I cannot explain how or why I would feel this way about another little person whom I don't know, have never held or really know anything about. But I now know how it can happen. How someone can fall so in love with a little person from afar. Maybe it's falling in love with an idea that has a face to it knowing that in reality they may be so much different than your mental picture of them. And yet you just love. And I think it's the love of the hope and potential that they hold. When you "see" that, you see them so much deeper.

While responding to Operation Giggle I at first thought I could just let God decide who we would sponsor ... well that lasted about one day and I broke down and had to re-email and reveal that I would especially love to have one of three possible children if they were still available. It wasn't that I wouldn't be overjoyed to buy a Christmas present for any and all of the children (if I had the means to do so) ... but I seemed especially excited if I could be matched with one of these children. I wished I could have had the patience to let God choose ... but I couldn't. Then yesterday (Tuesday) with the updated list I noticed the 2 little boys on MY list were on the bigger NOT YET TAKEN list. I felt sick to my stomach with angst about Samuel. Not disappointed that I probably had been matched with one of my very special other choices ... but I really felt so deeply that I was missing out if I didn't sponsor him too. I cannot express how overwhelming this was. SO I re-emailed Sherri again (at this point she's probably throwing darts at my blog photo) and asked that if it wasn't too selfish of me I'd love to have 2 children to sponsor. So I wait to hear what direction my shopping cart will head. Three pounds is the max weight for gifts. That seems so small. But that way I have to focus and streamline and really pray about what this child would love so much. And any time I turn to God ... that's always good.


Tara Anderson said...

I'm so glad I got to read this post. Your "teaser" yesterday was driving me crazy! LOL! :)

It is amazing how God allows some of the children to grip our hearts more than others...I don't think I will ever understand it. What I DO know, however, is that each child who grips our heart...boy or girl, older or younger...does so because it is part of God's plan to shape us into the people He has chosen us to be.

Last night after Andrew came home from class...yes, at 10pm...we were looking over Info Packs and I just started BAWLING! He gave me his "I love you so much even though I don't get you sometimes"'s actually a very sweet look...and I said to him, "I've been dreaming of this since High School, and now my dreams are coming true!" Then I added, "YOU are making my dreams come true!" and I threw my arms around his neck and cried all over him! I KNOW the feeling of waiting on your man...not getting that "instant" reaction that you desire...but trust in God's timing. He's got it all under control!

Love ya!

Gretchen said...

Oh Valerie,

My heart is right there with you. I can see God moving in your life. He does give us the desires of our hearts.

I too have had to wait on my husband to be moved by God for almost all of our children. We have learned that in our marriage God puts it on my heart first, I tell my hubby and when the time is right (picked by God) my wonderful husband tells me that it indeed is time.

Hang in there. And don't discount what your heart is telling you. Also, realize that you are not waiting on your husband to come around (that is too much pressure for our men). You are waiting on God's perfect timing.

Football & Fried Rice said...

I love how Gretchen said that you are NOT waiting on your husband!! It isn't HIS Time yet! That really does make the situation easier to bear, and God knows that!! He also already knows WHEN. You have such a wise prayer life, I can't wait to see what God reveals to you through your faithfulness!

The Sanders Family said...

Valerie, thank you so much for being so very vulnerable on this blog post. Waiting on God and desiring His will above your own are things that are very evident in your life. And those are attributes to be praised!

I also loved how Gretchen explained God's timing through her husband. I have had very similar experiences where God has revealed a direction to me to spend time in prayer over it, and then later revealed it to Jason when the time is right. And vice versa, through Jason, then to me. But we've always been able to look back and see God's timing through it all, even when it doesn't make sense at the time.

God has a perfect plan for your precious family that He will reveal in His perfect timing. Isn't it awesome to think that He loves us so much that He takes us through all these experiences in life to mold us into His image. That is AWESOME!

I was just thinking of that old Petra song today, "I waited for the Lord on High, I waited and He heard my cry." He does hear the cries of His children, both those children needing the love of a mom and dad AND those 'children' longing to be that mom and dad!

I continue to pray for you and the direction the Lord wants to take your family. Love you my sister in Christ! Angie :)

TanyaLea said...

Okay, I have GOT to be the biggest cry baby on this side of the Blogosphere!! Another email, followed by amazing 'commenters' that should've come with a "TANYA ~GRAB SOME KLEENEX!"warning ...i'm such-a sap!

Valerie, you have the most beautiful, generous and giving heart, and I fully trust that God is laying the groundwork for His plans for your future. The connections are no accident, and they have a real place in your story. I'm speaking in part out of experience, and I know I will continue to see my own story and God's place in all of it even more as time goes by. But it's really amazing how He works, and how the fruits of the Spirit are cultivated (whether we like it or not) while we wait for His revelations in our lives. God is SO faithful and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. So continue to make your requests known to Him (afterall, we have not because we ask not) and I know that He will lead the way! I bet you just LOVED the video post on the NewDay blog today!! (o;

There is so much wisdom and heart and well-spoken words within the other comments here, that I will refrain from repeating them. But know that the love you have given is sent back in return, and we are lifting you up in prayer and asking God to continue to show both you and your hubby the way He would like you to go, and in His perfect timing. I've SO been in your shoes... which reminds me that I SO need to finish composing my draft of our story to Khloe and share it privately via email with those of you who have asked. It's another testimony of how God works things out in His timing!!

Have a blessed weekend, dear friend! <><

Love you,

“…knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
(~James 1:3-4)

Michele said...

Oh Valerie. I can't add more than what the others have said. I agree with them all wholeheartedly.

Fact of the matter - God's heart is for the orphan. He will open doors you could never imagine. I know, I've been there.

Remember what Gretchen said - you are waiting on God. His timing is perfect. Hugs!

I know how you feel though about Samuel. I felt (feel) that way about Madeline. I was crushed (selfishly) when I learned that she had been matched. I think I had convinced myself that God was going to give her to me. I am glad she has her family. And I know my daughter is still waiting for us. Anyway, this isn't about me. Sorry. Just know you are not alone.

Stefanie said...

I love this!!
Isn't God amazing, the way He reveals things? Sometimes in just a tiny peek and other times He gives you a long look??
Can't wait to see His plan revealed in your family :)

The family

The family