"My soul wait in silence for God only;
From Him is my salvation. He
only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken."
Waiting. Something I've NEVER been good at. I'm always looking for the quickest way to get something done. The fastest check-out line, the shortest route to my destination. I think there should be tickets given for driving under the speed limit. I absolutely hate stoplights. I think they should all be converted to traffic circles so we could keep moving and not have to sit still. So now that I find myself in a waiting period in my life, with an indefinite end, I have struggled to continue trusting my Good Father.
In the last week we have had numerous people ask us for news about our adoption and I realized it had been over a month since we updated our blog. There is news to report…some discouraging…some that gives a ray of hope…and some that speaks to the refining God is doing in my heart.
When last I wrote we asked you to pray about the possibility of hosting Igor through a different hosting organization. Well, a couple weeks later we found out that because Igor's paperwork is stuck in Lugansk, it was impossible for us to host him with any organization.
Shortly after that, I heard from a family who is also trying to adopt a child from the Lugansk region. We met them at the airport at the winter hosting with NHFC. They were the last ones to receive their referral before Ukraine shut down adoptions in our region. They are also stuck waiting for the unrest to settle down so they can go to their court appointment. Well, Ashley contacted me the last weekend of June and told me that she had gotten permission to visit her hopeful child at camp. She wanted to know if I knew what camp Igor was in. We had been trying to find out exactly where Igor was, but hadn't been able to obtain that information from our facilitator in Ukraine. She told me to send her a picture of Igor and maybe she'd see him at camp. When she found out what orphanage he is from, she didn't think it would be likely for him to be at the same camp as her child. Well, after her first day of visiting, she was being escorted to the gate by a security guard and she passed a boy who looked like Igor. She said his name and he looked at her and smiled. Then she said my name and he got all excited! She sent me a picture of him that she had quickly snapped with the caption, "He's here!!!" When I saw the picture I began to weep, crying, "Oh thank you Jesus! Thank you Thank you Jesus!" To see his precious, smiling face and to know that he was safe and happy relieved such a burden from my heart. Throughout the week of Ashley's visit, she would send us pictures of Igor and the camp grounds. We were able to send emails to her, translated into Russian, for Igor to read. We were able to communicate to him that we had been ready to travel when Ukraine put a hold on adoptions. We were able to tell him how much we love him and that we have not given up. It relieved so many of our worries to find out that the camp was a wonderful facility. There are lots of activities. They go to the Black Sea twice a week. They are well fed and well cared for. Igor seemed very happy. We are praising God for this gift of assurance that He's got Igor in His hand.
While Ashley was there we finally heard back from the facilitator in Ukraine. She shared the name and location of the camp with us. We asked her if it would be possible for me to visit for a week. It looked like this could be arranged so Nastya and her team began to work on getting the paperwork needed for me and another mom to visit our children. We were hoping that this could be arranged for early August. About a week and a half ago we received disappointing news from Nastya. There had been another family visiting the camp who had permission and the official paperwork needed for their visit. Without telling anyone, they took another family with them. This made the camp director very angry. She had a meeting with many of the officials in her area and it has been decided that no more Americans will be allowed to visit camp, for any reason. And so, another door felt like it was being slammed in our face. No adopting…no hosting…no visiting. On the day I heard this news I took it well, knowing it had been a bit of a long shot. But last week I could feel some of my old doubts and questions festering in my heart. I know God is my Good Father, but this didn't seem like a way a Good Father should treat His child. I reminded God that last fall I had come to the point where I had completely surrendered this dream of adoption to Him. I had laid it at His feet, believing that He had said no and that I needed to focus on the work before me that He had called me to. I had given it up. HE was the one that brought all of this back into my life. HE was the one who moved Jim's heart for adoption. HE was the one who began this process all back up again when I had laid it at His feet. And now what was He doing? Nothing! (as far as my finite eyes could see)
Ahh…but that is so far from the truth. He has been working all throughout the last 3 years. Perhaps we don't have the child we long to have, the one who already feels like ours. But some greater things are occurring as we Wait on God. I came to realize this summer that without this trial I would not have come to know God in the way I know Him now. This struggle has refined my faith. It has revealed to me more of the depths of God. It has taught me more about His faithfulness, His sovereignty, and yes, His goodness. It has reminded me that a Good father disciplines his children. A Good father wants to see His children grow and mature and He will use pain in our lives to build that maturity and endurance. I have been reading "Knowing God" by J I Packer and I want to share a quote from him,
"'Wait on the Lord' is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for
God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way
to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide
us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue
to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come."
"Sooner or later, God's guidance, which brings us out of darkness into light,
will also bring us out of light into darkness.
It is part of the way of the cross."
"Wait on the Lord." I can't tell you how many times God has been hammering that message into my head in the last three years. I have been studying the book of Exodus lately and been challenged by the truths there. As I read about God's calling of Moses, how He promised to equip Moses to lead His people to freedom, how He promised that He would work wonders and free His children I was struck by Moses' frustrations and accusations in Exodus 5:22-23. Moses told Pharaoh everything God told him to say, and did all the signs God told him to do and what happened? The Israelites bondage got harsher, more severe, unbearable. I love Moses' candor with God…"Why did you ever send me?? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak your name, he has done harm to this people and you have not delivered Your people AT ALL!"
Exactly how I had been feeling towards God…"Why did you call us to begin this adoption? Ever since we began you have closed one door after another and you have not delivered this child to us AT ALL!"
As I reread the plagues and how God continued to harden Pharaoh's heart these phrases kept jumping out at me…
"The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD….
But indeed I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth…
that you may know that the earth is the LORD's….
I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the LORD."
God was not in a hurry to free the Israelites. God was not concerned about how quickly they could get to the promised land. He WAS concerned about the glory of His name. He had a lot to teach His people about His power, His provision, His protection…and that would require 10 plagues and the long way around the wilderness.
So for now we wait. We trust that God will finish what He started, because He promises in His word that He does. Will that finished product be another sweet boy added to the Jacobs' household? We don't know. Will the finished product be stronger faith, deeper love for God? Most assuredly. But what else it will entail….we will have to wait and see.
We are so very thankful for those who partner with us regularly in praying for Igor. Please continue to lift him up. We did hear from Nastya a few weeks ago, that because Eastern Ukraine continues to be volatile, the orphans will most likely be permanently transferred to Odessa for the school year. At that time they will have to move their paperwork. When the paperwork is moved, we can request another SDA appointment and begin our adoption again. The moving of the paperwork, as I said in a previous blog, will require many signatures and approvals and could be a long process. We ask that you pray with us for the paperwork to be safely (you notice I did not say 'quickly'…even though I wanted to) moved, so that all of these waiting children can be united with their forever families. We don't expect to hear anymore about this process until the beginning of September.