The reality of what hit me - being on such a high - packing suitcases, making lists, planning for our absence, purchasing plane tickets - to everything halted indefinitely was hard. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it stripped me of some hope. Hope that my boys would ever make it home.
Another Christmas gone by without them celebrating with us. Would it mean another birthday when I couldn't bake them a cake and wrap them presents? Another Easter without matching shirts in our family photo? Another summer where their swimsuits would sit in their closets unused? I've changed all the clothes in their closet 3 times. I don't know how many more times I can do it without admitting myself into an institution. Each time I pack up the old clothes and get out the new ones means another size going up. Growing up without us.
Everything seemed to be coming together. We got our visa and our boys' visas all on the same day. It seemed like a miracle. BUT long ago we had decided there were 2 criteria that needed to happen to make us feel comfortable about traveling. Our agency was in agreement with us. 1. We needed to have our boys' visas in hand and 2. we needed to see movement in families within our agency leaving and coming home WITH their children. We got our visas but the families who had traveled to pick up their kids were still there....8 weeks later! There was a side of me that wanted to convince myself that just because their papers hadn't been granted, I shouldn't assume that our papers wouldn't be granted.
Our agency said to hold out. Within days, we learned that our country declared that all families were under the suspension from September that could last up to 12 months....regardless of paperwork and otherwise noted criteria (which we had met).
Was I glad we had not jumped on the plane? Had not already met and fallen in love with our boys? Had not been put in a place where we would have to return without them? Had not had the added expenses of a trip that would only result in a visit with the boys? YES to all. Does that mean that this news wasn't a huge blow? NO!
As hopeful and positive as I have felt during this roller coaster ride, this news made me realize how very weary I am. Tired of feeling obsessed. Tired of the mountains that turn quickly into valleys. I've been a fighting Mama for so long - since last February - and I'm tired. I want to rest. I want this to be over....with my boys home.
In my bathroom there is a frame. On my kitchen window there is a rock. Both these items have 1 word on them...the same word....REMEMBER.
What's that supposed to mean? It's my reminder that puts all things in perspective. It's the word that takes me back to a study I did years ago in Deuteronomy. The words that God told His people right before they entered the Promise Land. The land that they had longed for, talked about and dreamed about for so long.
REMEMBER Who I am.
REMEMBER I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery with my outstretched hand.
REMEMBER Who I am.
I am the Lord your God and there is no other.
I am your God and there is none like me.
REMEMBER when I fed you, I protected you, I spoke to you.
REMEMBER that I love you, I provide for you, I fought for you.
REMEMBER when I healed you, I forgave you and I adopted you as My own.
And if you will obey me and stay on the right path, REMEMBER I will bless you.
REMEMBER I will give you what you need.
REMEMBER I will fight for you, make you rich, bless you beyond what you can imagine.
REMEMBER I love you, I will care for you, I will be with you, I will protect you.
REMEMBER I go before you.
So then I went to Hebrews 11. The Hebrews Hall of Fame. Where ordinary people do extraordinary things because of their faith. And there I found a gentle reminder that it's not the time for me to rest right now. It's not the time for me to throw in the towel. It's not the time for me to give up. It's the time for me to REMEMBER who it is that we are adopting for. REMEMBER what He has done. REMEMBER what He can do. And REMEMBER that my job is obedience and faith.
God, grant me the faith in You to keep going in this "never-ending" process. During this holiday season of thanksgiving and reflection of the birth of your Son, may I praise you with all that I have for Who you are, what you have done and what you are going to do.