Hey don't forget to visit our online auction. It started today and will run through the 7th of Feburary, my birthday actually, so maybe you should get me a gift off the auction :) (just kidding).
so click on the link and shop for Simon's adoption. Please spread the word.
Okay, here is my blog for today, please be forewarned this is extremely griefy. If you don't want to cry, don't read any further. (warning to family members and perhaps to mothers who have lost children, anyone who has lost anyone)
The Lord gives His people strength, the Lord blesses them with peace. Ps 29:11
I was introduced to John Mark McMillion by a friend of mine who showed me his song, "how he loves us" because in the original recording John cries at the end. He wrote the song in response to the loss of a close friend of his. I found this fact both comforting and terribly disturbing...because I went through a traumatic loss of a loved one and I didn't turn to the Lord and write a song about how much he "loves us". My words to the Lord were mostly ones of anger, and betrayal, I questioned the why and the how could you? It wasn't until last week that a friend of mine told me that there were many more verses to that song that were never put out because they were just verses where John Mark was trying to get his feelings out to the Lord about his loss. I felt much better after I heard that, yes, this artist is a human, and I am perhaps not such a horrible person.
This morning I had a close friend tell me she was trying to be strong, trying to not break down because she knew that was what she was "supposed to do as a believer". It saddens me that we think that way sometimes. Just because we believe in Jesus, doesn't mean that we are not subject to the pain and loss of this world. It also doesn't mean that when faced with the pain and the loss we can't break down. I reminded her about David, who in his Psalms is very free to say, "where the heck are you God? Why have you left me? There are people after me, trying to kill me, why are you silent?" (Anna's paraphrase) That sounds like someone going through something to me. :)
When we were trying to commit to Simon, my husband and I were really struggling. We were struggling through adopting a child that might bring severe heartache into our lives and into the lives of our family members that had already been through too much. Yes, he could bring joy but he could also bring loss. But in reality loving anyone in your life will end in loss. That is a hard truth. You can believe in heaven and still, when you lose someone you love, it is hard. It is too painful.
The thing about Heaven is, it is far away. Yes, yes there are those verses about the kingdom of God being right here, but there is a pretty big veil between us and those who are not on this earth anymore. Bulgaria is far away. I am waiting for permission to go there, to meet my son. Then I will leave him behind....only to come home and wait again. These waiting periods seem so long. But in reality they aren't THAT long. I know that at some point this year I will see Simon and hopefully at some point this year I will bring him home, Lord willing. But, some mothers don't know when they will see their children again. I have been thinking about myself as a mother, as a mother of a child who is so far away, but then I think about the mothers who are even farther from their children, whose children are beyond the veil of what we can see. I am so sorry. I can only imagine your pain and even this imagination hurts me, deeply. I hope that I never have to live on this earth without either of my sons....but the reality is, it doesn't matter that I believe in Jesus, this is something that I might have to face. It is not the death that I am afraid of, it is the loss, it is the separation.
On this day, 3 years ago, my husband's family and I waited in the hospital. We had been waiting in the hospital for days, since the 21st of January actually. At this point we had been through 2 surgeries. We had been through many nights, hoping that David would wake up, many nights of them slowing down his sedation to "wake him up" but then deciding not to because he was too agitated. We had spent days waiting for a stint to come and then watched it fail. I don't remember everything exactly. Just mostly the feelings. The feeling of disbelief that this was happening. The tiredness, the sadness, the fear, the helplessness, the frustrations, the days and nights of 12 plus people living in a waiting room. Puzzles, games, books, totes packed full of snacks, food being delivered to us, taking turns sitting in his room, being told to turn the Sigur Ros down because it was "stimulating" David, reading the notes of those on the day-watch, trying to stay positive while others felt defeated. Filling his walls with posters of some of his favorite people with encouraging sayings, like, Eddie Vedder saying, "I can't find a better man". Then, 3 years ago, 7 days from now, one day after my birthday, on February 8th, David died. We did have a few days with him, a few days when they had him up and around. Enough time to tell him that I was pregnant with a boy, but not "enough time" to say our goodbyes. There is never enough time here on earth to be with those you love.
This is why I have told people that I don't know how this whole adoption will turn out, because we serve a "scary" God. Some don't like me saying that, some don't like to hear that I trust him but it doesn't mean that I trust him to do what I think is best. He is beyond what I can understand, He allows things that I wouldn't, He answers no when you think His answer would be yes. LIke, "please God let my son live". This is not to say that He isn't good. But good isn't always safe and it doesn't mean that it won't hurt. God has provided so much for this adoption. I am amazed at what He has done. But there is a part of me that knows, this is HIS thing, He is saving children in this orphanage for His glory. And I, little old me, don't have any idea what that looks like. I have no guarantees...I have hope, I have peace, and I can have comfort in the Lord. I know the Lord will provide for us, what we need. But I have NO IDEA what how this will turn out.
This week has been hard, we have been praying for many surgeries and procedures. I have been haunted by memories by past grief mingling with new grief. Because the closer I get, the harder it is for me to keep my growing love for Simon distant. After we sent our paperwork, we realized things seem much more "real" now. If I was to compare it to a pregnancy, it seems like I am starting to show and the baby is kicking. Yes, this is real, there is really a life growing in me, there is no turning back. Or for me now, yes, this is real, I am really going to go to Bulgaria to meet....my son.
I don't know how to end this post, to give you hope, I can't tell you there won't be suffering in your world. But take heart, Jesus overcame the world. There is life after death, and loss. You will learn to breath again...it will be really hard at first....but it will come. And somewhere behind the veil, your loved one is waiting, with all the answers to your why questions, with all the healing you prayed for and with all the understanding of Jesus and his power and love. (Sometimes we want to switch them spots don't we?) But while we wait here....we will do our best to love others, to help them heal and to inspire those around us to live lives that make a difference.
We miss you David, but we are trying to live like you did, taking full advantage of everyday, to spend time with people, to always help others and to live so cheaply we can be in semi-retirement in our 30s. Because who the heck cares if we drive nice cars and live in fancy houses if we don't have time to spend with our family?
We love you still.