Monday, January 31, 2011

The Peace That Transcends Understanding

Over the last few days, my heart has become lighter and lighter as we've begun final preparations for our trip.  A couple of people mentioned this weekend that I seem to be very excited now...and it's true...I am.  This despite the lessened odds of our passing court on the 11th.  Without going into the boring details, our agency advised us on Thursday that, due to some brand spanking new requirements of the Ethiopian Ministry (one of the consenting bodies to our adoption), one of the documents that our agency prepares on our behalf and has notarized in Ottawa, may need to be updated (again! though it been updated as recently as the past month!) before consent to our adoption will be granted.  It's detailed and complicated and no one's's entirely due to the new ministry requirement.

Whatever, my heart keeps saying, even though it should be plummeting into the depths of despair at the prospect of not passing court first time 'round.  After all, so much rides on whether we pass court on the first date: whether we're able to travel to the children's birth region; whether we're able to meet with members of their bio family; whether we're able to meet privately with the children after court and give them our small gifts.

But the thing is, it's going to be ok.  Maybe not on February 11th, but it's going to be ok.  As desperately as I want to pass court while we're there, as much as I want to hear the judge grant us the right to parent these beautiful children, as devastated as I'll feel if we don't pass on the first's going to be ok.

Here are two thoughts to consider:

1.  God is in control.  As a friend wisely said to me on Friday morning, He already knew that this wrinkle was going to materialize, and He's already got it figured out.  Nothing can happen that is counter to His will.  So I can relax.

2.  God is in control.  If we don't pass court while we're there, there is no doubt that Geoff and I will be very disappointed...crushed may not be too strong a word for that emotion.  It will change the trajectory of our trip, and have a number of implications for our second, pick-up trip.  But you know what?  We'll deal with it and get over the disappointment, or at least reconcile ourselves to it, and we will prepare ourselves for a longer wait until we get through court.  I have a deep and abiding sense of peace that we will pass court...whether it's the first time or not.  God gave us the vision for these children; he will be faithful.

If I want to be a person of faith, then I need to choose to live my faith now.  Now, when it matters.  It won't mean lot if I say this stuff after we pass court.  It's easy (well, easier), afterwards, to say that I believed God would be faithful to the plan I believe He gave us for our family.  I want to go out on a fragile limb of faith and say now that I believe God has a plan for our family and that it was He who provided this vision for our family.  I choose to rest in the knowledge and belief that He will see it through to completion.

So bring on our court date.  I'm ready for whatever happens.  Either we celebrate together, or we pick each other off the floor, give each other a dusting off, and move forward.  Let's get this show on the road.


  1. I will be there for you my friend on the 11th in the same way that you were there for me last November. See you in Ethiopia. xxx

  2. Ruth, I have gone through all of those emotions, too. I'm a planner and this likelihood of us not passing court didn't go according to my plan. But my mom gave me the same advice...God knew about this and wasn't surprised. I choose to trust Him, even though I know this first court outcome may not be how I want it to be. I'm glad we're going through the same things at the same time - it helps a lot!

    See you in Ethiopia!

  3. Beautifully written post. I hope your first court date is successful even with the new requirements!

  4. I'm going to step out here a bit and say that through the adoption journey I learned something that challenged my theology. I came to realize that I believe God is NOT in control. He's not, but He has the power that He could be if He chose to be and He will take that control one day again. I believe that God has given all us humans free choice and so we make choices that often are not according to His way. Yes, He knows the outcome before it happens (He's still God) and He can intervene despite our actions and people's choices, but bad things can happen to good people. Two of my children became orphans at one point in their lives- this alone is enough to show me that God was not in control nor was He fixing everything the way we humans want- that would mean we were in control of God. And we aren't puppets just going through a life. And as I struggled more and more with this, I've come to find peace in knowing that He is not in control, but that He can be and one day will take it back again. And, as we converse with Him, he can still make things happen that we ask for if He chooses. Not sure if I'm clear on here, but it's something to think about.
    And so, as I've come to believe, God is not in control, but He is Love and Truth and just and full of grace. He is big and He does move and answers our prayers. And He will carry you as you go to Ethiopia and He will hold you and your children through whatever the earthly judge rules. And many of us have joined in prayer asking God that the judge will find favor and that God will move and miraculously help all the needed docs to be there and updated as needed.
    Continue to rest in His peace and trust. I don't type this to make you doubt or lose trust... just wanted to share something that shook me and then also brought me comfort.

  5. Praying His will be done, and your heart be rejoicing!!!!

    Will be storming the gates of heaven on your behalf!

  6. Thanks everyone, for your comments and for your prayers and well wishes - they are much appreciated. And Naomi, Anita, I'm looking forward to meeting you shortly!

    Ramona, I wanted to thank you for the thoughtfulness of what you wrote. I will be thinking about your words...'cause I do love to philosophize and stew on things! It sounds like this has been heavy on your mind at certain times, including during the adoption process. My immediate first thought upon reading your words was to fully agree with your comment about how we aren't just puppets going about our life; and how God doesn't just fix everything the way we want it just because we ask. I am often frustrated when I hear people praying for things and then growing angry when God "doesn't answer" them (in the way that they wanted). In a way this is why I posted what I posted, BEFORE an expression of faith that, regardless of our Feb.11 outcome, I choose to believe in God's ultimate sovereignty over our lives...which is maybe where you somewhat disagree.
    My next not-thought-through reaction was to think that, if God can choose whether or not to intervene, does not belief imply the further belief that he IS ultimately in control?? If he weren't in control, he's had no choice about whether to intervene, and our prayers would be for naught...wouldn't they be? What am I missing here? I'd be so interested to have a conversation with you about this -it's utterly fascinating to me, and I'd love to know how you might reconcile a God who is not in control with a God who can choose to intervene/not. Perhaps you're saying that he is chooses NOT to be controlling of how events play out, but that he is open to intervention at times upon hearing our prayers and requests, and knowing the desires of our hearts.
    When I think about the losses that our Ethiopian-born children have experienced, I do wonder at times about God's sense of justice. It brings up the age-old question for me...why would God allow these things to happen? I'm not sure I'll ever have an answer that will be 'good enough' for my children.

    Oh my goodness, I've essentially written another blog post here - my apologies. Ramona, I am so appreciative of your writing - thank you for taking a risk and posting it. I will be continuing to think about your words...probably in bed tonight!



  7. Ruth- I think what I'm saying is that I don't have the whole picture yet...and am still wrestling with this and how this all works...and how does one ever come to fully understand the mysterious ways of God? (I've had an interesting conversation about this with our children's pastor at our church. I'd love to sit down and chat with you sometime! I had a lovely visit with your Mom at PVMB church and would love to visit with you one day.)But do know that I do believe that God is sovereign. And we do need to hold on in faith and trust.

    He could very well be in control even though He is choosing not to be in control so we can have free will to make choices (good or bad).... ;-) I think that is key. I believe our God has the power/ability to be in control... but know He has allowed us to make choices... Maybe I should never have unloaded my thoughts here.. think I'll try to make a blog post and see if it sounds more clear.

    I love your declaration to trust God in whatever the outcome of court is. And oh how I want to see these children officially become part of your family- not just your heart! And God is big- let's watch Him move (hmm... so maybe He's more in control then I thought if I believe He can miraculously intervene ;-))!

  8. Hi again Ramona!
    For the record, I'm SO GLAD that you posted some of your thoughts here. Given what you said in addition, I actually think we're not that far apart in our thinking (though I'm also ok if we don't agree on things!).

    I'd still love an invite to your blog, if you think of it...I'd love to follow!!

    BLessings, Ramona


  9. :-)
    I'm off to send you an invite- it's
    I'm rather slow at updating, but if you're in need of reading material, I did blog through our wait to bring our kids home...