Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trusting the Lord with open hands

The stories of Abraham and Hannah have been on my mind many times. So too have been the last days of Jesus. And Job. And the disciples leaving their lives and following Jesus.

When I first began reading Attaching in Adoption, the acknowledgments Deborah D. Gray wrote got my attention. Her last line is:

"I have come to acknowledge myself as am attachment-disordered child of a loving God, slow to trust and confused between life and God, in spite of evidence of love."

As I read the book, and her subsequent book Nurturing Adoptions, that stuck with me. I would pause and reflect on a situation she was describing and think about how it mirrored my relationship with the Lord.

And then, when it was our time to be parents, my eyes were opened in a way I never thought possible. I saw God's mighty power and love and mercy poured out on us those 11 days. It was miraculous. I realized that I responded to God the same way the children responded to us. I loved them; I desperately wanted them to see that was why we intervened. Their agony pierced me to the very depths. And I saw my own life reflected in them, played out before my eyes. Me, pushing God away, not able to trust. Not able to surrender. Not able to relinquish control to a Perfect Lord.

Never in all my thoughts did I think I would be in the same situation as Hannah. Here she was, a woman longing to have children. Her distress was evident. And then she made a promise to God to give her child to Him. He allowed her to conceive, she was a mother to her child for a time, and then she took him to Eli to honor her promise. She surrendered him. She held him with open hands. She knew that, though she cared for him as a mother, he was the Lord's. Through Samuel, David was anointed. And through the line of David, our Savior came.

The Savior that has held me in all my days of bitter anger crying out to Him, my contemplating turning my back on Him because I just couldn't stand the pain of following Him anymore. And through it all, He is Lord. Through it all, His glory and mercy and power have proven to be true. He has the words of eternal life.

2No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no dRock like our God....
8He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s,
and he has set the world in order.
1 Samuel 2:2,8

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My sweet neighbor

When we came back from Colombia, it was REALLY hard to play with our neighbor kids. On our little extended cul-de-sac, there are 11 kids under 12. They all knew we were going to Colombia to adopt 4 children, and were quite intrigued by it. So when we came back and pulled into the driveway, we'd occasionally see their little heads tilting sideways trying to get a look at our children...that they didn't know weren't there. My sister had told them all that we were coming back, but had been unable to adopt the carinitos.

But as kids are, they still came over to knock on our door, showed up when the garage door was open, ran over when we'd get home from somewhere; they pretty much wouldn't let up on us. Sometimes it was brutal, sometimes it made me cry when I thought "there should have been 4 more little ones in my front yard." Sometimes we just had to send the kids home. Some days I was downright mad at God that these kids were around...all the time.

So the weeks went by, the months went by, and it got colder. Most of the kids play inside during the winter; except our next door neighbors. Niña comes over quite often. Sometimes we make cookies, sometimes we play Candyland. On Saturday, she wanted to make a snowman.

We were in our front hall putting on gloves and scarves and hats and mittens and boots and coats, and as I was tying her scarf she said, "It's sad that your daughter couldn't be here, cause she'd be really having lots of fun with us."

There's something about addressing the hurt head on, wrapped in tenderness, that does something for my heart. I struggle with knowing that I was a mother, not in the way I thought I'd be, but for a time. But since most people don't want to bring up the carinitos for fear of causing us pain, it actually does the opposite; I feel like they've been forgotten. Now I know that's not true, but every time Nina says something about the carinitos, I am grateful. Very sad, but grateful. Thankful that the Lord, in is Wisdom, had brought Niña into our lives.