We wonder why we have to wait at the #1 spot for a toddler girl for months only to see no toddler girls get referred. And then this past week, one of the families ahead of us on the overall waiting list changed their parameters to include toddlers girls. This results in our moving from #1 to #2 on the toddler girl list after being #1 for months.
We know the number of orphaned toddler girls in Ethiopia is unimaginable. We know our agency and associated orphanage in Addis are doing everything within their abilities to help the most needy orphans reach a family and a home. And we also know that our little girl is sleeping another night in an orphanage without a mom or dad to hold her, care for her, provide for her. She remains a body in an institution, being cared for as best as they can, yet still in an institution.
So with these thoughts I think about our Peaches. Who is taking care of her? Who is feeding her each day? Who holds her at night when she is afraid? Who picks her up when she falls down? Who protects her from other kids? Who tells her that Jesus is with her? We have been told that the orphanage is filled with people who really do care about the kiddos and that the conditions are not horrible considering they are in a third world country. But, even so, the kids need a family, they need a mom and dad, they need the love and permanence that only comes through adoption.
The recently enacted two-trip policy for Ethiopian adoptions was instituted to help prevent adoptions from going bad. Additional layers of protection have also been enacted in Ethiopia with the same purpose. This has resulted in a major slow-down of the whole process. It has resulted in children and families waiting longer, enduring more obstacles, paying more money to be united. Is this a good thing? There are many, many families who are painfully in the midst of the dark time of the waiting list. We know many of these families through our own agency's listserv. They are a group of loving, Godly, encouraging, determined people. They will all become amazing parents. I wish it could happen more quickly for each of them.
As I have walked the narrow line between impatience and introspection, I realize that I am very good at seeing things from my own point of view. That is what gives way so easily to complaining. Complaining really is our internal way of trying to convince the world of the things aren't happening the way we would like. That things would be better if I were in control. It is during these times that God's Spirit speaks to my heart and reminds me who is in control, and that His purposes are perfect.
"Hello, I Love You." The book is about the author's adventures through two different adoptions from Ukraine. He candidly shares his thoughts and feelings through much transparency about the inefficiences and deficiencies of the country of Ukraine and the unpredictability of an international adoption. He is also wrestled by God's Spirit of his own complaining and his own lack of pause under God's sovereign plan. Here is an excerpt from the book as he is writing in Kiev on their second adoption from that country - each time having to spend more than a month in-country (from page 143):
Kristin and I (mostly I) have been feeling convicted about something of late, and that is our propensity toward complaining. I complain a lot here. A lot of that complaining finds its way onto the page and results in good writing, of the laugh-getting variety. But that doesn't make it right.
I've felt increasingly convicted that complaining is essentially a rejection of God, who is sovereign and sends every circumstance into our lives and intends it for our good (Romans 8:28). I've always said that one of the drawbacks of Reformed theology (which I love) is that it doesn't leave you anyone to be mad at. So when I pace the apartment and rant, I'm pacing the apartment and ranting at God, and suggesting that what He's given is somehow insufficient.
When I rant about the dirty sidewalks, or complain that I'm not at home in my comfortable house, I'm doubting God's provision. I'm disappointed in myself that this contentment lesson has been so hard to learn, but I'm thankful that He sent me Numbers 11 this morning, and pray that He will forgive me for this besetting sin.
So there it is. A summary of the importance of allowing my impatience and complaining to fall at the feet of Jesus. To know that He is the one who is taking care of Peaches tonight. Her life this very moment rests within His care. He is actively caring for her right now in a greater capacity than my feeble attempts ever will accomplish.
Thank You God for Your conviction of my heart and Your care for Peaches.