Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stretch Marks

It's the middle of the night here. There's a man vomiting in the hotel room next door. I've not had good luck with these paper thin hotel room walls. I'm wishing I had packed ear plugs.

We actually had a very nice day yesterday. The boys got to swim in the pool and this afternoon we saw "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" with some friends.(You can see in the pic that the Spanish version is called something like "Raining Hamburgers." The boys loved it. (Me, too, even though it was in Spanish.)

But the sweet time I'm having with Daniel is clouded by the stress of trying to get us home. I feel Christmas in Georgia is slipping away. I learned tonight from our attorney that our certifications won't be ready till Wednesday of next week. We'll have two days left to do 2 weeks of the process. We're running out of days before our family court and the US Embassy take Christmas break.

Daniel stops everything a few times a day and says, "Can we pray, pray, pray that we'll be home for Christmas?" And we stop what we're doing. And pray. And pray some more. He's giddy at the thought of waking up Christmas morning at home. I asked him if Christmas was fun at his orphanage. I know that the director and staff work so hard to provide Christmas for more than 450 children. Daniel replied that the gifts are nice but that time only lasts a few minutes. He said the rest of the day was sad because he didn't have a family. He shared that last year was special because he had sweet dorm parents. They provided stockings for the boys and showed a movie and had popcorn. He said that was the happiest Christmas of his life. Then added, "But I know this one will be even better because now I have a family."

There have been many things about this adoption that have stretched me. Sometimes it's good to be stretched beyond your comfort zone. I'm surrendered to God's way, His timing, and His sovereignty like never before. My heart is broken for orphans--I've seen things and loved in ways that I never imagined and I can't go back to my comfortable ignorance.

But there are things that I haven't gotten used to. I can't bear to be away from my children (bio. and adopted). I used to skip the church women's retreat because two nights was too much time away. But I've traveled several times during this adoption--usually for 5 or 6 days. I've been away 8 days so far this time with no end in sight and my heart hurts. I called home tonight and it didn't help to hear them crying on the other end asking when Daniel and I will be home. It makes it harder that it's the Christmas season and I'm not there for their Christmas programs and parties, baking cookies, and singing carols to the top of our lungs together. I don't like stretch marks.

I'm like a pregnant woman who screams for an epidural after the first contraction. There are many families who have been living here since April trying to finish their adoptions. One such family finally brings their son home today!!!! (Congrats to the Lee family!!!) And then there are men and women who serve our country who are away from their families for months and years. And missionaries who answer God's call to serve overseas far from their loved ones. Now those are stretch marks. I have no room to complain.

I was homesick the other night at dinner. I decided to introduce some of the dinner talk with we do at home with Daniel and his buddy Alex (a little guy that I'm also taking care of). First we did our "high" of the day (I didn't want to mention any "lows"). Then I asked the boys to name something that we loved about the other. First Daniel and I shared about Alex, then Alex and I shared about Daniel. Then Daniel piped up: "Now it's your turn, Mama." He had been in a silly mood so I was expecting something funny but he got very serious and sweetly said, "I love you because you're a great mama." Oh, I added some tears to my nachos for sure. Just those simple words helped me go another few days on this journey.

Please continue to "pray, pray, pray" (as Daniel says) for God to work a miracle and bring us home by Christmas. Thanks for your love and support.

More Than Lots,


Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Hang in there Mama! I am a friend of Andrea and this is my husbands account. We adopted our daughter fom Russia 2 years ago. I wanted to let you know after reading your precious post that I know the days get long and hard!! But people are praying for you and your incredible family! May God give you the strength and grace to continue to be the wonderful mommy you need and want to be.

Angie Bowling

Amy : ) said...

Oh, how we're praying for you! You may feel like you're getting stretch marks, but I think of you more as a beautiful flower who's being pruned and as each leaf or petal grows back, the sweet aroma of God's grace is getting stronger and more fragrant. (Not only that, but think of the beauty that is being created in the little flowers (children) around you...

Not many people have (much less take) opportunities like this to moment by moment Trust in the One who controls it all.
Be encouraged. Keep your focus on Him. He knows what each day brings and the challenges you face. Nothing is too difficult for Him and He is accomplishing exactly what He wills best. There are not any courts, judges, documents or vacations that will thwart His plans.
Much Love,
Amy : )
Please let me know if there is anything specific we can do for Brad and your sweet family as they wait too.

David said...

We are praying for you and ALL your family. Ryan and Rachel can't wait to play with Daniel.

Fire Hunt said...

Thank you for coming to my blog. I will be praying for you and your family.

ANDREA said...

Im always praying....and I am praying you are home for Christmas! I love hearing the stories about you and Daniel together, finally! So sad to hear how much Christmas hurt....Kylie said she had Christmas at Casa and she was sad because Mami and Papi werent there. This year she says she's sad because her sister Maria isnt here. Oh how I wish I could heal her heart completely!!! I love you and miss you! Hang in've made it this far...not to much longer!!!

Tracy said...

Praying for you all!!