Wednesday, August 12, 2015

thankful

Finally, some good news to pass along. We received word from our agency that our Child Finder Interview with the Embassy in Kinshasa--which took three tries--went well yesterday! Praise the Lord!

Seriously, praising the Lord over here.

We haven't heard from the Embassy regarding the status of our investigation yet, but we are hopeful this means we passed and our paperwork was approved, meaning Clementine will be visa-(or at least visa interview-) ready. Holding our breath a bit here, but we are hopeful.

On the DRC adoption crisis front, we had a conference call yesterday with Assistant Secretary of Consular Affairs Michelle Bond, who traveled to DRC last week to meet with key leaders in the adoption sector over there. I can't necessarily say that her meetings went swimmingly, BUT the picture that was painted on Monday afternoon seemed fairly more negative than Tuesday's conference call information made the situation seem. Yes, it is not a great situation, but Bond has a great handle on the climate and politics at play in DRC, and it was nice to hear of her dedication to our kids who are stuck there, despite the many hurdles to be crossed.

Overall, the situation is not great, and there continues to be conflicting information and many negative attitudes that hamper adoption progress in DRC. We HOPE and PRAY that their adoption commission actually meets this Friday and officially approves cases to get Exit Letters and GET KIDS HOME. We are not holding our breath on this, as we have done before, but our greatest desire is to see kids come home to families.

Along the lines of good news and continual prayers, I must tell you that my prayers have shifted significantly in the last few weeks. I've been completing the One Thousand Gifts Devotional. by Ann Voskamp, and something finally clicked the other day: True thankfulness in prayer. Yes, I have generally said thank you to God when I begin my prayers..."Thank you for this, thank you for that...blah blah blah," but it has been half-hearted and overly general, at best.

I have even been making a list of things I'm thankful for (currently at 170 things), but in my haste I have not actually stopped to specifically thank God for those things. How silly and ridiculous of me. As if writing words in the back of a book are enough to convey my gratitude to God for His lavishing of gifts upon me.

Voskamp reminded me, though, of this:

"In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." -- Philippians 4:6

I often forget thanksgiving in all of my moaning and groaning to God.

Voskamp also reminded me that, when Daniel was thrown into a den of scary blood-thirsty lions, he "got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before" (Daniel 6:10).

He was in a pit, possibly a pit of despair like the one in which I often find myself regarding this adoption, but he gave thanks to God just as he had done before.

We have plenty to thank Him for--including Sweet Clementine's giggles and Brad's time with her and Baby O who still refuses to make her appearance, and Genuine Brody who loves so freely and Sassy Brecken who gave hugs and high fives and long conversations to absolute strangers today--and I am now seeing the importance of gratitude in my daily walk down this long road.

I am thankful, even for this hard thing. In this ugly, detestable, unjust, disheartening, pain of waiting in adoption, I can see the beauty of moms and dads fighting with every ounce for their children because of God's great love for them. That's a beautiful thing.

And yet, even more beautiful than the fight of moms and dads, is the knowledge that, while we are fighting an uphill battle, the battle truly belongs to the Lord. This has always been clear and known to us, but it is now something that we cannot take for granted. It is His battle. And He is the one who makes all things beautiful.