Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Nightstand

So there I was working the concession stand at my son's baseball game tonight. Ninety-plus degrees out ... with a sweaty and kinda antsy 4-year old at my side ... poison-ivy on the top of one leg (thanks to my generous husband who continuously is baffled when he gets poison-ivy after cutting wood in the tree-line. I never fail to get it too even though this time around I was WAY sick on the couch with a head cold/throat/cough thing going on and was no where near the trees. Wouldn't you know that when I recovered from that I STILL ended up getting it off his laundry AND the steering wheel of the truck. grrrrrrr) There really is no hope for me. I am simply terribly allergic to the stuff.

ANYWAY, there I was serving up hot pretzels, hot dogs  and walking tacos tonight ... when someone commented on liking my shirt.

Huh. I forgot what I was even wearing.

I glanced down to notice it was the "Never Alone--John 14:18" shirt that was sold for Elizabeth's adoption on BlessingsAHundredFold (and also most recently given away for a fund-raiser for Tabitha and Lydia (from ND, see the sidebar) medical costs. (And yes, I won a second one in that give-away, woo-whooo!) I continued to get the lady's change for her taco and she seemed to be a willing listener so I thought I'd throw out there that it was for a fund-raiser for an adoption...
I don't know how many times I've kicked myself for not furthering a conversation about adoption when the opportunity really was so there. And who knows how God might plan to use even the smallest seed that is planted.
Wow ... and this time it was not a wasted moment. I'm not sure why exactly, but it seems like it was something so much more for this gal. And she seemed so moved by it all. And as she said, "It is SO important to be reminded of that  isn't it?! ("I will not leave you as orphans.")
All this over a walking taco exchange. ha!

I know I've been quiet lately on the blog front. So much is going on with the kids home from school for the summer ... lots of sports practices to attend ... quite a few self-imposed deadlines and not really feeling like I have anything important to say. Or, maybe it's just I'm letting it all steep for awhile until it comes to a full brew. The thing though ... is that there is never a full-brew because there is always new stuff being added into the mix.

The fact of the matter is ... it's hard to be on this side of adoption and not really being in the journey itself. There are no milestone markers. There are no real end-points. There are no shared celebrations within the family. Or photos to look forward to or children that will soon be brought home and loved on. And really ... lots of times my family is so not on board with any of it!
They get jealous as bizarre as that sounds.
It'd be a whole lot easier to just throw in the towel, sit on the sidelines and just say, "Hey, it's not where I've been called apparently. And really what difference could I possibly make?"

But ... it's just not that easy.

Just when I lay it all down, about to give it all up and take step back ... I'm reminded that it's not all about me and there is something that spurs me forward despite my disappointed, worn-out, pouting self.
Why should there be a prize or a goal that has my name on it. And shouldn't my kids and husband benefit abundantly and eternally when it finally clicks for them that I have NO LESS love for them in giving some of my prayers to cover over others. In fact, it IS my deep love for them that is the source of my concern over these children without parents. Love is such a crazy thing--it grows exponentially when shared ... it isn't like a bag of popcorn that only has so much in it and when it's gone, it's gone. I guess that's because Love is of God ... and there really is nothing like it in all the world.
It's indescribable.
It's deep.
It's so basic ... and yet so extravagant.
Even my flawed, short-sighted, attempt at love.

So this week I did something that I have wanted to do for so long.
But was always a bit afraid to do.
I put a picture up on my nightstand to remind me to pray for someone specific.
To add another one to my heart, until her family comes forward.
Sure I've done this before ... but it was a print-out more for me to see and quietly tucked away to remind only me ... and never this close to "the family."
But this time?
Yup, in it's very own gold frame. Right next to the other deep loves of my life.
Because until she has a mother of her own ... I will pray over her like I do my own children.
I will.
Not because she is "mine" or my "promise" or my future ...
But because it is so basic ...
and yet so extravagant ...
And because with every prayer lifted up and every day that she grows near my bedside, she will be entwined into this mother's heart ... just like every child should be.
She is on my nightstand ... and I am on the "Night Stand" with her in prayer ... standing in the gap until it is filled by a plan that God has had in motion from the beginning of time.
And yes, my heart will certainly break when she joins her forever family ... but it will be a good-break ... just as it should when someone has been well loved.


Tara Anderson said...

Valerie, I love you and the heart God has given you for the orphan! You have been a priceless gift to me on both of our adoption journeys...and the rest of the time, too! :)

Anonymous said...

Love the post Val ... I wore that same shirt this week and had someone say ... like your shirt!

The Sanders Family said...

I too love your heart as I've told you time and time again. That kind of love IS only from the Lord, and only because He first loved us. And it's our job to share it! You do that so very well, my friend. I continue to pray for you on your adoption journey and whatever the Lord makes of it. Because His plan is perfect, I know it will give you satisfaction. Hugs to you!!!

Kristi said...

"But because it is so basic ...
and yet so extravagant ..."

Yes. Amen sister. What love you are pouring out for this little one. When you hear of her family finding her, let me know and I'll rejoice with you!

Randy and Rita Rippee said...

Valerie, what a beautiful heart you have!! You continue to amaze me with all the love you have in your heart for orphans! You played such a big part in raising funds for our adoption and we could never find words enough to thank you. Another child has a loving, forever family and you played a large part in that. A vessel of gold you are! And oh how He is using you to fulfill His plans and purposes. What a blessing you are to many an orphan and their forever families!!

Girly Girl Mommy said...

What a beautiful post- a reminder my heart needed to hear. It can indeed be difficult on "this side"- and there are times I feel like I am making no difference at all. I had pictures all over my home, but they often broke my heart- and not in a good way, but for selfish me when things didn't go the way I had hoped. But it's not at all about me. I think I need to print out a new picture and join you.

Tami said...

Oh dear Valerie...I continue to stand in awe of the heart God has given you. This post is simply beautiful. You are truly a blessing to so many children, and so many families on this journey. Hugs!!!! I stand with YOU in prayer on your journey...where ever it may lead. God is good!

Jenn said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful post! You know I understand where you are!! Praying for the beauty on your nightstand!!

The family

The family