I keep thinking I’ll sit down and write about all the random things spinning around in my head these last few weeks, but it is after all, summer. My kids rightfully remind me that it is a time for swimming and running barefoot through the yard, for picking flowers and working in the garden. It is a time for hammocks and rope-swings, bicycles and boats. But , of course, the path God has brought us to also means it is always the time for adoption and advocacy. So, I’ve found a few quiet moments this morning to share some moments of our summer as a waiting family.
Lemonade for the Least of These
Our agency has had a beautiful vision for what lemonade stands can represent in the lives of orphans. The last two summers they have encouraged kids to get involved in orphan care through lemonade stands. I love this idea, because often as adults we forget that we aren’t the only ones “waiting.” These children of ours are also waiting for a brother or a sister, and this is such an awesome way to let them be a part of adoption and advocacy.
Last year Addy wanted to do a lemonade stand, so with little planning and a lot of passion, she set up shop in my dad’s front yard on the highway. She squeezed lemons all morning, and by the end of the day, she had raised over $100.
This summer, my dear friend Courtney (who always comes up with the best of ideas) asked if we would go together with them and do a lemonade stand at a car dealership her husband owns. We were all in, and began our preparations. We saw God’s hand over every aspect of it. She went to place an ad in the paper, and they asked if they could run it as a cover story instead. As we set up it began to rain, and we stopped, held our children’s hands and prayed that God would be glorified–rain or shine–and the sun came blazing out over our little lemonade stand. We later heard that the radio station had encouraged people to come out. And so many people walked up with a $100 bill and a hug of encouragement.
The kids had a blast working for something so exciting. They had made signs, and they each had “a job” at the lemonade stand. They won’t ever grasp how much $1,600 is, but their efforts will provide many needs in the lives of orphans this year, and for that we are so grateful!
You show me an adopting family, and I will show you a family who wonders during every-single-holiday if it will be their last one without their child.
(“I hope this is the last Christmas as a family of 5…..I wonder if our child will be home by next Thanksgiving……Maybe next Mother’s Day, I will have one more in my arms….ect”)
Fourth of July is no different. As I enjoyed the day with my family, and as we snuggled and squished into NewNaw’s pontoon to watch fireworks over the lake, I wondered, “Will we have our little one home in time to watch these fireworks with us next summer? Will they cling to me in awe and wonder, mixed with a little bit of fear?” I hope.
We don’t wish away this time, or want to fast forward through Addy and Abe and Cora’s lives, but there is always a longing for the one(s) that aren’t with us yet.
We received bittersweet mail last week. As we headed off to the lake for a few days, I had Andy grab the mail on the way down the driveway. There was an unexpected “surprise” awaiting us: A packet of homestudy update papers. Can it already be that time AGAIN?!
This will be our 2nd update (3 times including the original). There are 2 ways of looking at this:
1) Another year has passed, and still no referral.
2) Another year closer to a referral…..maybe THIS will be the last update.
I feel a bit of both. It seems that as soon as you finish a round of paperwork, get it sent off to the state, apostilled, approved, sent to Immigration, approved, and mailed to Bulgaria—it’s time to update again.
The positive side to all of this is that we are starting to see movement again in Bulgaria. It has been a good month of referrals so far for our agency, and there are even people who were registered around and after us that are starting to get referrals, so maybe….MAYBE…..it could be sooner than we expect.
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.