Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Do I Want?

I cannot believe I'll be leaving for China in THREE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! My stomach is doing flip-flops and at times I feel as though I cannot breathe. Have I mentioned I'm terrified of flying? Oh, yes! TERR-I-FIIIIIIIIIIIED!! I've flown into and out of thirteen different airports. Once, I took two Tylenol PM when the flight began. Ordinarily, those little suckers KNOCK ME OUT. Not.so.much when I'm in flight. When we landed, after not even blinking while on the plane, I laid down in the airport and fell asleep. Ben had to practically drag me down the concourse. I keep imagining various and sundry disasters occurring. I have a vivid imagination. I searched "fear of flying" on the web, read a good article written by a flight attendant and then resolved to NEVER trust another flight attendant. What was helpful about recommending airdisasters.com????

I have moments of ease, too. Moments where I am not freaked totally out. Those come out of that place in my soul that KNOWS who holds my life, and that airplane, in His hand. He is the one that has orchestrated this entire adoption, brought new friends into my life and given me a beautiful little boy to bring home and love. Jesus did not give me a spirit of fear. Please pray for me as I embark on this trip. I have always told my children that when things get crazy, Jesus expects us--His people--to be the standard in the storm, the place where others can look to find comfort and guidance. Pray for me that I may bring comfort and guidance to those who do not know my Jesus.

Even as I typed that paragraph above, part of me whispered, "Don't write it. You don't really WANT to have to be the standard in chaos because that will mean that---duh--you are involved in something chaotic." Friends, that's just plain stupid. For starters, writing it does not make it so. Look at L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology if you need an example. Secondly, how can I presume to be able to force God's hand. I don't have my finger on the Lord's action button. If I did, there would be a lot of just plain old weird things in this world and you would have me to thank for them. What it comes down to is this, "What do I want?" Do I want to follow the Lord and seek His will at all costs??? If I answer that with complete honesty I can say, "Yes, sometimes." Because, the truth is, I have some pretty major things going on in my life and I'm pretty set on how I want them to end up. I'm not a "whatever happens, happens" kind of girl. So, when I'm praying for my eldest child and I say, "Break his heart, Lord. Turn him around and create in him the undeniable, gut-wrenching need for you that leads him to rely on your holiness and faithfulness and bring him back into our family as an active participant", am I cringing just a little because I'm afraid of the actions the Lord may take in order to give me the desire of my heart. Again, in all honesty, the answer to that question is, "Yes, and I'm sorry, Lord." I think this flawed thinking comes from my human inclination to control and manipulate and deceive (myself, mostly) and in forgetting (or choosing to ignore) the fact that God is not like me. I am created in His image. He is the Master. I'm just the clay. So to think that the clay can determine, by its composition or pliability the creation of the Master's hands is ignorant and egotistical. I know I'm in good company consider: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David....You get the picture. God was in control without those men "helping him out or believing that they could, in any way, control God's hand. Submission does not require fear. It does require trust and faith and love for God who wants only the best for me and for my children. So the question, then, is really do I trust and love and faith in the God who has brought me to this place. The answer is, "Yes." With fear and trepidation, sometimes, with tiny baby steps, often, and always with a praying heart---I trust Jesus.

I was going to write, in this blog entry, about my inability to pray for God's will for Patrick's physical heart. Two recently adopted children have gone to be with the Lord this week. I cannot imagine the grief their parents feel. My mind refuses to think about the possibility that Patrick will not survive his childhood. My heart goes to that scary place frequently, though. I was going to blog about my inability to accept that God may allow my son to die. As though, not praying for God's will would somehow protect my son. But, Dear Friends, My God, the one who has known Patrick from the time he was knit together in his birth-mother's womb and my heart, has had a purpose for my tiny boy. He, the God of Heaven and Earth, wants only good things for me and for my sons. Why then, would I be afraid to trust Him in asking for His will in Patrick's life. God knows my heart. I thank Him for that. He wants to give me the desires of my heart in accordance with His will in Christ Jesus. So, what do I want? I want to trust Him more. I want to raise my children to follow Him and love Him and be willing to give-up everything to follow Him. Jesus has already paid the price for my life, for Patrick's life and for your life, too. My Lord has proven Himself to me time and time again. He has paid the ransom for my sons. Help me, Lord Jesus, to trust you more.

Please pray for me as I journey to bring Patrick home. Please pray for my little girls who are already anxious about their mama leaving (even though their fun daddy is staying at home with them) and please pray for God's healing hand on Patrick's heart. He is able.

May the Peace that Passes Understanding be Yours in Christ Jesus,

Oh, I won't be taking a computer to China, so this is probably my last blog entry until Patrick and I get back.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Standard Fee Monster

Despite the American Consulate being closed for almost an entire week, we got our consulate appointment exactly when I thought we would. I will leave OKC on June 14, 2013, at 5:20 pm and land at LAX at 6:20 (time zones :-). Then I have approximately 6 hours to find my gate because I don't leave LAX for Guangzhou until 11:30PM. As directionally challenged as I am, even I can find the gate given that amount of time. Besides that, I'm a woman--I'LL ASK FOR DIRECTIONS!!!

I'll land in Guangzhou at 5:20AM on June 16, 2013, and Gotcha Day will take place at 2:30PM the following day. Oh, Sweet Jesus!!!! I am so excited to hold Patrick in my arms and put my praying lips onto that tiny chest holding such a fragile little heart. I can barely stand it. This time last year, I thought Patrick was lost to us forever. We are so miraculously blessed. Our appointment at the American Consulate is on June 25, 2013, and we leave Guangzhou for LAX at 9:30PM on June 26, 2013. We'll spend the night of the 27th in LA and then be home sweet home at 1:30PM on June 28th!!!! Patrick's first cardiologist appointment for an EKG and echocardiogram is already scheduled for July 2, 2013 at 3:15. I'm as prepared, I think, as I can be.

Now, my agency is not inexpensive. I should know this being as this is our third adoption through them. I guess I should have had an heightened awareness regarding expenses, too, since we went into this adoption virtually BROKE. God has provided every cent from all different kinds of places through this entire process.

Why then did I freak out when I saw a "standard fee" of almost $1,700.00 on my invoice for in-country costs? Ummmmm....because I am a control freak and I totally freak out when I realize that all that control I've been loving is nothing but a sham. A BIG OL' SHAM!!! I was expecting in-country costs, ie: hotel, tours and guide fees to be about 2K. Well, thanks to the "standard fee" it's $4,003.00. Frankly, we don't have it. My last paycheck was $1,800.00. All of that is going toward these in-country costs. We are selling my car (a 2002 Mercury) for whatever we can get for it and the proceeds of that will go toward the adoption as well.

If you follow me on Facebook, you will know that "someone" will not be driving Mama's car because "someone" has been rebellious, belligerent and made vastly stupid decisions, despite Godly counsel. So, the car that was intended for stupid is now being sold to pay the ransom for redemption. Ashes to Roses, I say.

The plane tickets have been bought and I have enough money in savings to pay for the provincial fees, medical, TB test and visa along with the guide's tip of $150 and the driver's tip of $50. I also have spending and eating money as well as some back-up money in case the provincial fees go up suddenly. That happened in Nanjing last September.

It just seems like satan has really gone on the attack when I'm at my weakest. But, come-on, what did I expect? Moxie's major surgery is today, our weather has been horrific here in OKC, "someone" has had his mama in tears most of this week and I'm looking at taking my diabetic self across the world alone to bring Patrick home with money I don't have. All of that is of no consequence until I take my eyes off of Jesus and focus them on the problems I think I have. That is sinful. These are not MY problems. These are opportunities to rely more on Jesus. To trust Jesus more. To praise him MORE. I have no more right to claim control of these problems than I have right to claim credit for my salvation.

Today has been hard. Moxie was in horrible, and needless, pain because the hospital dropped the ball on pain management. It is never easy to lay your baby down and walk away. I know I'm about to experience that again, with Patrick. My entire life has been, I believe, training for this moment--Patrick's adoption and heart surgery. Help me Lord Jesus to keep my eyes on you.

God Bless You and Keep You. May His Face Shine Upon You and Give You Peace.
In Him,