Just Look...

Just Look...

Friday, June 9, 2017

This Amazing Grace

Many people have asked how I am feeling right now. As we prepare to board our final flight to complete our family, I don't feel at all the way I expected to. The days leading up to this moment have found me nervous, excited, and joyful. This may change once we are at the final moment before meeting, but all day today I have felt nothing but the most unearthly calm. If you know me at all, you know that has to have been a Heavenly Calm because I can get anxious faster than the best of them and over NOTHING. ;)

 I am eager and so excited to see their faces in person, hug their necks and hold their hands, hear their voices, but I feel a peace unlike anything else I have experienced. We have known these names and faces for only 308 days today. And it feels like we have been waiting on them forever. But you know? Maybe we have. I know I have been waiting on them for 26 years, since I knew I was going to adopt at 12 years old. I had Emma at 25 and Kelsey at 27, so I guess I waited on them 25 and 27 years. 

I've tried to document everything as we have gone along and a few things I have purposely left unpublished for now, but it feels surreal and somehow simultaneously like the most natural thing in the world to be 3.5 hours away from Manila. I've imagined the coming moments for months and now they are about to be reality. I have tried to keep my expectations open because unrealistic (and unmet) expectations are the key to most disappointment. Emma and Kelsey's births both had elements of unrealistic and unmet expectations (especially Emma's) because I had already mapped out exactly how it would go and both had complications and hiccups and special plans that had to be abandoned in the moment. But both births, the one that ended with a million interventions I didn't want and the one that ended with a baby on the pediatric floor with an IV in her head..... both resulted in the most incredible memories and daughters and family I can imagine.

 I remember on my wedding day, trying to record every moment in my head because I hear so many people say that when they look back later, it was all a blur. I'm trying to go into this fourth huge life event with my hands open instead of holding onto the ways I think things should look and with my mind and heart poised to record all of the special moments that we will want to cherish forever. 

The biggest thing that we want to make clear is that God is so much bigger than every deadline, every piece of paper, every letter of reference, every dollar, every interaction, every governing body meeting, every Skype call, every moment..... I have believed in Him and loved Him as long as I can remember, but I have never had to depend on Him as fully as I have in the past 308 days. I have never had to trust completely in Him with a blind faith like I have these past ten months. 

On the days in the past weeks when I have been overcome with nerves about whether or not I am enough for this future, He sent so many specific words. The two I remember most clearly: 1. John Garrod saying to those who came to camp last Sunday night, "If you're wondering if you're enough, the answer is no. You aren't. HE is enough. And it's only when you come to the end of you that you can fully rest in Him." 2. Lance Colkmire saying on that same night, also in regard to camp but God said it to me in this context through him, "Don't worry about having what it takes. God knows how to love the orphan and He's going to use you to do it." WOW. 
So thank You, God, for all you've done to get us to this point and all You are going to do in the rest of our lives. You are enough.
As we move into these final minutes, this song keeps playing in my head:
"This Is Amazing Grace" by Phil Wickham

[Verse 1:]
Who breaks the power of sin and darkness?
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You laid down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You've done for me

[Verse 2:]
Who brings our chaos back into order?
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice,
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

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