Thursday, September 26, 2013

Desert Days

Well, hello there blogosphere.  It's been awhile.  It is time, I guess, to get back to it.  If you could see my unpublished list of blog posts, you would know that I've tried (several times) to write, over the past couple of months.  There have been many half completed attempts, some now deleted, some sitting half finished and unpublished.  I just couldn't do it, I couldn't finish.  I couldn't do it because the very simple and honest truth is that I have been sad.  Is it ok to admit that here?  I hope so.  Sometimes it is easier to admit that you are struggling in retrospect.  After you've conquered it and moved on, to say "hey, I was struggling there, but good news!  I'm better now!"  Maybe I was waiting for that time to come, or maybe I was just operating under the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" principle.  I don't know.  But either way, I'm working to write now in the hopes that organizing some of this on paper( screen?) will organize it in my head as well.

Our adoption these days is at a standstill.  To recap, we received referrals last November for two little boys, an infant and a 2 year old.  We lost the referral for the infant in May.  Our adoption of the two-year-old little boy is sadly stuck.  He is in need of a document from the local courts.  It is a document that they have repeatedly promised to release "next week", but so far have not done so.  He is from a particularly difficult region, where these documents are hard to come by.  And while we wait on the courts to process this document, he sits and waits in an orphanage, as far as we know, unaware of us or how desperately we want him.  This is frustrating, and infuriating, and heartbreaking.  The Ethiopian courts are currently closed for the rainy season.  They are expected to reopen in early October.   We realized this week that all our immigration paperwork on the US side will expire again in February, and that unless things begin to move fairly quickly, we will likely need to redo our paperwork/fingerprinting...again.  Sigh.  We have been sad, and frustrated, and feeling very much alone.  We've spent more than our fair share of time asking "why?".  I am on a ferris wheel of emotion that cycles between angry and sad and hopeful and resolved.  Then back to angry and they cycle begins once again.  I'm starting to realize that's just par for the course at this point, and working to find appropriate channels to funnel the negative emotions through when it is their time to come.

The good news is that in the midst of these dark desert days, there have actually been many moments of grace, and hope, and sparks of pure joy.  At times it has been hard to see them through the lens of sadness that darkens and distorts the vibrance of life.  But they have most definitely been there.  And these are the moments in these dry days of waiting that must be amplified.  Because in the silence, in the waiting, still we can know You are good.  So in that spirit, here are a few of the highlights of the past several months:

You might remember the twin teenage girls that lived with us this summer.  They had graduated from foster care and were in need of a home and some help finding jobs and permanent housing.   They spent their summer in our home, working toward these goals.  I'm so happy to report that the girls now have their own apartment.  They have held jobs these past three months and are working hard to build a home for the baby that one of them is about to give birth to.  (Any day now!!)  They have come so far.  We are crazy proud of them.  They still have many challenges ahead, but I'm confident that they will find their way.  It is truly exciting to see how God is moving in their lives.  They are family now, we love them.  We had lunch today at the restaurant where they work.  We overheard one of the twins tell another waitress "I'll take that table.  That's my family."  We love that.  And we feel so honored to be a part of their lives.
Here is a proud mama moment of the girls with their keys to their very first apartment on lease-signing day:

Shortly after we moved the girls into their apartment we went to visit family in New Jersey.  We had an amazing time.  Jena had missed her cousins like crazy, and the three of them were inseperable throughout the trip.  We had the best EVER Ethiopian food in Montclair (Mesob) and saw the sights in NYC.

We took a little road trip down to Guthrie, Oklahoma to meet up with my brother, Josh, and his wife, Anna, to attend the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover.  It was an amazing outdoor music festival in a hayfield in the small town of Guthrie.  (While Guthrie has a population of 10,000, there were 30,000 in attendance for GOTR, so the town was pretty much over-run with indie-loving music fanatics.)  Like most outdoor music festivals, attendance was a bit of an adventure in and of itself, with a sprinkling of some really great bands mixed in to add to the fun.  Anna and I are lovers of indie, so this concert was right up our alley.

The Stopover was headlined by one of my favorite bands, Mumford & Sons.  Their album, Babel, came out about the same time that we received our referrals last November.  On it was a song entitled "I will wait".  Yeah.  Can you think of a more appropriate adoption theme song for us?  Jena loves a good kitchen dance party to this song.  We have listened to and belted out this song on many occasions during the past 10 months.  We've sung it happy, we've sung it sad.  I've sung it alone in the car through gritted teeth and tears.  And on this night we got to sing it live with the band.

I will wait 

I will wait for you

Here's a sad, shaky little clip of it.  Ignore the "Woo's!"  I'm blaming those entirely on Anna.  :)

This past weekend we were able to attend an Ethiopian New Year Celebration here in Wichita.  They held it downtown at the beautiful Exploration Place.  We had a great time with some very kind Ethiopian families, and many of the families from our local Ethiopia adoption group.  They had a fashion show of Ethiopian clothing, traditional Ethiopian dancers, and delicious Ethiopian food.  It was really great, and really hard all at the same time.  I hadn't forseen how difficult it would be to be the only adoptive family there that was still in process.  While it was so fun to watch all those little Ethiopians running around, I have to admit that it was also painful.  We want our children home.  There were some tearful moments in the bathroom.  But there were also joyful moments, and in the end I'm glad we went.

So to finish out my long overdue blog post, I'd like to leave you with a song.  It is a song by Mumford & Sons called, The Ghosts that We Knew, that we had the pleasure of hearing live in Guthrie.  (You might need to be on a pc to view the video below).  This song is very personal to me.  It has been one of the most honest prayers of my broken heart these long months of waiting.   In those moments where the future seems uncertain, and the clouds of doubt and darkness threaten to block out the joy, there is this:  He has promised that We will be alright.  And we will, all of us, be alright...

So give me hope in the darkness, that I will see the light
Cause Oh it gave me such a fright.
And I will hold, as long as you like
Just promise me we'll be alright