I am learning so much about what it really means to trust God. I think we often say (even if just to ourselves) that we are trusting God with something, but in reality we are doing all we can to manage a situation on our own. I'm not saying we shouldn't strive to do what we can even as we bring some particular care to the Lord. But really...do we believe that He can take care of it without us? Do we believe that He will? I have found myself really challenged in this area recently. Yoseph, our little son in Ethiopia, was extremely malnourished when he was brought to our agency's care center. He is very, very small, and clearly in need of some special attention. We were made aware of this through a series of reports we received from families who had visited the care center when they traveled to bring their children home. We began to pray, but also to pursue getting some help for him. Within a few weeks the director of our agency was able to get him seen by a doctor at the Embassy in Addis. We were actually concerned that he might have other developmental or medical problems beyond just malnutrition, and the good news is that the doctor feels he is "fine" other than being extremely malnourished (though, as Jim pointed out, there could have been other issues from which God has already healed him as we prayed). It is reported that the care center has put him on a special diet now. Of course, I cannot see this being done. I can't see what they're feeding him, and I can't see how his little body is responding to the nourishment he is receiving. I also can't see whether he and Mihret are being held and loved. I wonder about all of these things often. And yet,believe it or not, I am sleeping just fine at night. Of course, I am desparately longing to get them home. We are praying and asking everyone we know to pray that we will pass court on January 26 so that we can get on a plane and bring them home by March. The thing that gets me through the night, though, is just this: My Father sees Yoseph's face every day. My Father...is looking...at Yoseph's face. Right now. He is seeing Mihret. He is loving them. It is all in His hands. And this peace is spreading (albeit slowly!) to other areas of my "control freakishness" as well. We've had some typical struggles with others of our children lately (the ones who are right here under my roof!) And I can't see inside their hearts, or their little heads, to know how best to work through things sometimes. In fact, sometimes I'm afraid that it's my own parenting that might be wreaking some havoc in those little hearts and heads (though I've prayed for years that God will protect them from my mistakes!) But guess what? He see their faces all the time. He sees inside their hearts and minds. He knows how to heal and grow them when I don't. He is loving them. My prayers for all of my children are becoming so much more real. I don't just spout off prayers for help as I move ahead to look up something in a parenting book (maybe about pre-teens?) or call a friend to ask for advice. It's true...there are lots of inspired writings out there about parenting and all other matters, and I happen to have some very wise friends as well. And I am thankful to God for those resources. But He is my first source of help, of comfort, of strength. The conversations that I have with Him are so much more crucial and valuable than any other conversations. Because He's not only hearing my side of the story! He knows all about it, He cares all about it, and He can do something about it. I just keep coming back to this...He sees their faces. I hope that someday Yoseph and Mihret will truly be able to understand and appreciate all that God has done...not just for them, but through them. We are truly blessed to be allowed by God the privilege of participating in adoption. He has shown us so much more of Himself throught the process, and been so patient to keep contending with me even as I continue asking Him to show me more evidence that He is leading us through this.
But certainly God has heard;
He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
Who has not turned away my prayer
Nor His lovingkindness from me. Psalm 66:19-20
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8
On a lighter note, speaking of seeing their faces, I still can't post them here! If we pass court on January 26, then they will legally be ours in the eyes of the Ethiopian government, and then we can post their pictures. Meanwhile, how about a sneak peek?