Okay, it was one year and two days ago. Today.
April 11th, in fact. And Vivienne had settled into our fold so beautifully. I was infrequently, but most definitely, feeling the weight of considering adoption. Again.
The process of watching Vivienne blossom, well… it changed me. When she and I met in the Civil Affairs office I worried if she was all there. The way she nodded her head back and forth and stared blankly away, I’m not gonna lie, I was freaked out.
But a few months home – as she received therapy, gained strength and coordination, found her feet (figuratively and literally) – it became so clear that all that potential that was there, well before joining our family. It was just hidden away. Trapped under the weight of hopelessness.
Our precious, beautiful girl was just waiting for an opportunity. For a chance. For the time to come when she could, at last, let her little light shine.
And after witnessing that sort of miracle, right in front of my very eyes, I just wondered if there was another child out there, that was ours, struggling with the same weight. Needing to be given that same chance.
I wondered if there was a child He was calling us to.
I’ve shared with y’all before, Chris wasn’t too keen on this idea. And really, neither was I. I really didn’t want to start again either. My hands were full and Vivienne was doing wonderfully… why mess with a good thing?
But my heart didn’t get the memo. And it kept reminding me. So I, in turn, would remind Chris.
“Chris, have you thought about it?”
“Okay. Well, if you do think about it, let me know.”
That was about all that was said on the subject. I needed to know that he heard me, and once he acknowledged that he had indeed heard, my conscience felt clear. At least for a little while.
But one day. April 11th.
I distinctly remember that day because that day was the day I read this post. And it spoke to my heart in a way I’ve not often experienced. So, of course, I shared it with Chris.
He read it. And that was it.
We started this adventure then and there. Having absolutely, positively no clue whatsoever what we were in for.
But here we are, one year and two days later, and I am more in awe of Him than ever. I have learned more about who He is through this than at any other time in my life. Because I had to trust Him, cling to Him, like never before. Through the trials we’ve endured over the last year, I realized that all along I’ve had a choice. Either get to really know Him and allow myself to fully trust Him, or turn from Him and go my own way.
And I realized that many times in the past I have gone my own way. Not being able to see the next step clearly, and not believing, or knowing who He is, there always seemed to be just enough fear and doubt swirling to steal my joy and faith in Him. And so, I decided that I should determine what was best for me.
“Thanks, God. ‘Preciate it Big Guy, but I’ll take it from here.”
And that, y’all? Is craziness. And for some reason, I’d never really looked at it that way.
I mean… hmmm, let’s see… should I trust me or the Creator of the Universe? Me or the One who created me? Me or the One who was, is and always will be?
I am so grateful that He opened my eyes to see clearly what it is that I’ve been doing all these years. Trusting Him. But getting scared. Then deciding it’s safer, and easier, to trust myself. And then failing, feeling empty, defeated, and far from Him. And not quite sure why.
And then, as the cherry on the top, often feeling frustrated or angry at Him when things didn’t go “my way”.
Wow… the more He reveals of me, the more I see just how far I have to go. And just how much I need Him every step of the way.
It’s a journey, isn’t it? And I’m so grateful to finally understand who He is well enough to know that He loves me, truly. In spite of my flaws, and failures and infinite shortcomings.
In my yucky, self-seeking, self-serving ways I can go to Him… after all, He loves me not because I am good. Or deserving. Because I am none of those things.
He loves me simply because I am His.
It’s great to look back to see where we’ve been. And where we’ve come. One year and two days ago we began a journey – a journey that isn’t quite over yet, but that has been filled with blessings on the way. Some incredibly difficult times too, but never, ever did He leave my side. This is one journey that has been completely God-inspired and God-lead.
And I’m happy to report that through it all, no feelings of being let down, defeated, or far from Him. Sorrow, yes. Brokenness, yes. But never, ever far from Him.
Finally, I trusted the right One.
But I will bless any man who trusts in Me. I will show My favor to the one who depends on Me. He will be like a tree that is planted near water. It sends out its roots beside a stream. It is not afraid when heat comes. Its leaves are always green. It does not worry when there is no rain. It always bears fruit.
I love reading how this journey for you continues to unfold. You have a big, big heart. Your kids are gorgeous.
I often wonder if I will ever be there. Thank you for sharing. It is so amazing how relaxed Vivi looks now, just beautiful!
There’s just nothing like resting in His will, is there? Thanks for sharing your heart!
Absolutely beautiful Stefanie!!! Thank you!
This post spoke to me in so many ways. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of just how much our Father loves us and longs to hold us in His mighty hand! I have goosebumps just reading it and reflecting in His love.
Just found your blog and love it. You have a beautiful family! I am wondering if you can give me any ideas for cooking and groceries with a big family. We have 6 in our ours and adding 1 0r 2 more and are on a fixed income. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and our blog is http://www.campfunk.blogspot.com
What a beautiful family. Lovely.
Great stuff y’all – all y’all!
hugs – aus and co.
Thanks for sharing, Stephanie! I think maybe you and I have been on a similar journey this last year of learning to really trust the Lord. I wrote down Jer. 17:7-8 in my journal in 2010. What a great verse!
I read a quote the other day that I like and you might like as well: “Fear is the enemy of love.” -St. Augustine
Football & Fried Rice says
Oh, yeah. I have a similar journal entry. I titled it “the part I’d rather leave out” 🙂 It is hard & humbling to admit when we doubt His Enoughness. Or His Greatness. Even we don’t speak it with our mouths, our lives live out the truth of what we believe in our hearts. And, in His Goodness, He leads us through all that junk and yeah, loves us just because we’re His.
Love this post! Thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging me along the way!
Heather Peterson says
Hi Stefanie! I just found your blog and I’ve been going crazy! My heart leaps at the life you are living! It is my heart and desire to adopt as many beautiful angels as God will allow. For now I am living in China and my husband I are fostering a beautiful little girl. We are too young to adopt. But we are anxiously waiting for the day that we can try to make Lily ours. I am absolutely thrilled to have found your blog! I will be a regular visitor!