Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 123

Day 123 of waiting (really, God?) - Psalm 123

I lift my eyes to you,
    O God, enthroned in heaven.

Today I feel like Hannah who wept bitterly (yes... the Bible says "bitterly") before the Lord (1 Samuel 1:10), pleading for her son.  This wait has been excruciating, filled with moments of
frustration and even intense fear when we had no news on his physical condition. It is already very clear to us that Benjamin Lilu belongs to the Lord... he is evidence of God's providence and glory... his miraculous life can't be chalked up to "fate" or "luck"... it is God's hand at work in his life, even to the point of saving it.  Every adoption starts with brokenness.  It begins with a tragedy.  To add to that the physical anguish that Benjamin has lived through in his short 5 1/2 years... well, it's almost unbearable.  The wonder of it all is that we get the opportunity to see God's redemptive work in his life.  We even get to participate in it.  Nevertheless, my prayer today is "O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help!" (borrowing from Psalm 141 - oh, dear Lord... please do not let us get to Psalm 141!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Look To The Mountains...

This adoption journey has been a roller coaster of sorts... which, now that I think of it, is pretty much like our other adoptions, just all on different tracks.  Highs that can carry us for days.  Lows that temporarily paralyze us.  Twists and turns that can either thrill or alarm.  A few times we've gone up that slow steep track getting ready for the next racing plummet.  It's hurry up and wait.  It's double-checking.  It's paper cuts from all the forms.  Staring at the face of a stranger we will call "son".  We fasten our harnesses and hang on.  The comfort we have in all of this is that this ride, as daunting as it may be, will NEVER jump the track.

When we started this process I was determined to set a record for the fastest Waiting Child adoption ever.  I know, surprises you all.  I combed websites, filled out paperwork, gathered documents, attended our required online training sessions, read our required books... all at record speed.  We informed our agency on March 14, 2013 of our intentions to adopt Benjamin Lilu.  On June 26th all of our paperwork was sent to China (home study, initial immigration approval) all notarized, certified and authenticated.  We expected that we would possibly travel in October based on current time lines and our approved medical expedite with immigration.  After not hearing any updates for weeks, our agency was finally informed that our paperwork had been "misplaced" and hadn't even been logged into the system until August 13th.  Then several weeks later expecting to hear we had approval, we received a request for more documents.

With our most recent delay I was encouraged by another adoptive mom to read the Psalm that corresponded with the number of days we had been waiting.  So, I counted back to June 26th and started digging into the Psalms.

Today was Day 121.

Today I read Psalm 121.

Psalm 121

I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

I have heard this Psalm since I was a little girl but reading it again today I was taken back to the moment when this Psalm came to life for me.

I was 20 years old and house managing for a production of "Diary of Anne Frank".  I will never forget hearing my friend, Carmen Beauxbeaux, as Mrs. Frank reciting Psalm 121 as the Franks and fellow attic-mates celebrated  Hanukkah.  Night after night I heard these words spoken in the context of one of the most abhorrent moments in human history.  Carmen spoke them strong and clear, infusing Mrs. Frank with a quiet confidence in her God.

As the memory washed over me I was overwhelmed by my lack of faith.  I have trouble trusting God in every area of my life.  Yet for one to speak the words of Psalm 121 in the face of annihilation... well, it seems impossible.

Oh me of little faith.  Forces me to my knees.  Destroys me. Brings me to Mark 9:24 as I say along with the father begging for healing for his son, "Lord, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”