Monday, February 15, 2016

Christiansen Party of 5. HOME.

Since January 2014, when we started Carver and Macy's adoption, up until February 6, 2015....we've been under the adoption stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and refining process. All of that time but six months, from when we walked off the plane with Carver and Macy, March 2015, until we got Juliet's referral September 10, 2015. That was it. Six months (not even) of feeling "whole". Of breathing 'easy'. Having all of our family members under one roof. Ooooh buddy. Those that have been or are in that process right now, know exactly what I mean. Empty bedrooms waiting to be slept and played in, a table setting not being put out, holidays and birthdays being celebrated without a piece of your heart, etc. (if you're reading this and are in that process right now, and those of you who have been in that process for way longer than we have, endured much more than we have. I'm lifting you up to our Father. Asking Him to sustain you and get you through one more hour, one more day, and to move mountains and provide miracles that you couldn't even have imagined yourself.) 

It. Feels. So. Good. To be TOGETHER. AND DONE.

We can't thank you enough for your support. So many have reached out,  with such encouragement, specific prayers for us, and well wishes! 


As awful as this process can be:
* the constant obsessive email checking
 * how you loathe junk mail giving you false pings of new emails (LEAVE ME ALONE SHUTTERFLY AND CARTWHEEL!) 
* the way your heart drops when your agency number pops up on your phone 
* the way Unidentified numbers pop up on your Ugandan cell phone. "Ah! Is this the embassy?" (Most times you don't want a call from the embassy) 
* the time difference where if things are getting done, you're asleep, and then spend the day awake while nothing gets done because the other side of the world is sleeping
* the looming of fees and the "how" to that?
* safety concern emails from the government about the country you're in 
* after a certain point in the process, things are totally out of your control. Your papers are all turned into the embassy and you're left just waiting and your case is up to one person to make a decision 
* you're away from your family for weeks or months (if your spouse can't take work off. Your kids at home.) 
* you're single parenting in a foreign third-"world country 
* change. Bringing home, 1,2,3 or 9 more into your family is change. Change can be hard. Change can be super awesome. 
* I could go on and on. 

With all that being said, this is now the second time that I have never felt so close, so HELD, so CARED for, by the Lord. I remember coming home with C&M and after a few months thinking, "man, I miss that closeness and desperation of needing Jesus to get me through each moment and minute." (That sounds awful, I know. But it's true.) So then God told us to adopt again. (Whaaaat, Lord?) ;) And so it began again. I am so thankful for what God taught me in these months of being along in a foreign country. Of parenting a child(ren) you've only just met. Who doesn't speak English. Who has experienced extreme trauma and loss. I know God is not done with me. I know God is not done with our family (no I am absolutely not eluding to more children.). I'm asking the Lord to continue to help show me and unpack what He taught me the last few weeks. 

If I can tell you one thing, if you are teetering on a few things, either should you adopt or foster? 
Can I say....DO IT.
IF you're questioning if you can afford the fees, can I tell you, STEP OUT IN FAITH? Can you afford NOT to? 
If you are or have questioned if this whole "God thing", having a relationship (not a religion) with the One who created you, and you're just not sure? He's more than attending or not attending church. Or you have thought He is just 'someone' who you go to when life sucks and you need to rub a lamp for three wishes, but something is bugging you that it's deeper than that? 
You're right, He is more than that. (And he's not a genie. As much as I love Aladdin and Robin Williams.) ;) 

There's more to Him then asking for his blessing and gifts, or questioning Him why bad things happen....I've questioned that too. Ask me. Reach out. Open the Bible, ask Him to show himself to you. Give Him a chance. He loves you so deeply. He gave His only Son for you, for me. What Jesus Christ went through on the cross, so we could have relationship with Him was horrendous compared to the trials I have walked through. That's why I can say "yes". He carries me through if I allow Him to do so. Sometimes He allows us to go through really really hard things. But he's not asking us to walk through them alone. He loves us way too much for that. It's for our good. I can promise you that. 

And it's a joy to live for Him- even through the (really freaking) hard. 

Praying for you today. Rejoicing in what God did for our family. Hoping His glory and His mighty hand is what shines brightly through this. It certainly wasn't anything we did or didn't do, but all Him.

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