Not for a moment…

I cannot believe that in less that 2 days we will be in Belize with our son, Eric. It’s hard to believe that it’s finally time to go. It seems like it has taken forever… yet the time to go and get him is coming so fast.  Does that even make sense?? Probably not. I’ve been thinking about this whole adoption journey. It’s been a crazy ride… and real life will just be starting when the paperwork is done.

I’m freaking out a bit… in the best way. My teenage son is coming home soon and I am beyond pumped… and scared. What if I do something wrong? How do I be a mom? What is all this going to look like? Did I pray for him enough? Did I pray the best way… with the best words? Did I journal enough? Is the house clean enough? Are we too weird? Will he like it here? Will he feel welcomed and loved and comfortable? Will we laugh a lot? Will he like my cooking? What will he do the first time I burp? Hopefully he just giggles. I know some of these questions are a bit ridiculous… but they are all swarming in my head.

Looking back over the whole adoption adventure, I know one thing is true… God never left or failed us. And He is not going to. I love music… it says things better than I could. One of the songs that I have played out is “Not for a Moment” by Meredith Andrews and Vertical Church. It’s one of those songs that I’ve had to sing… sometimes to remind myself that He really is faithful… other times I sang it as a plea, asking that He wouldn’t leave us… and other times as praise because it was apparent He was right there with us. Here’s the bridge of the song:

And every step, every breath you are there
Every tear, every cry, every prayer
In my hurt, at my worst
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it’s hard
You will never leave me
After all… 

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

(Here’s the whole song… you should listen to it – Not For A Moment)

From the very beginning of this journey… July 2012… the Lord has shown up and shown off.

409664_10100146418922306_1682787924_nThis picture was taken the week we met Eric on a mission trip to Belize. We knew the first day we met him at the orphanage that he was going to be our son.  I don’t really know how to explain how we knew… we just knew that we already loved him and wanted him. As soon as we got home, we figured out how we could pursue adopting Eric… and then we did it. It’s been a wild ride.

The first hurdle was making sure we COULD adopt Eric. Was he “available” to be adopted? Had his parents given up all rights? Did others in his family want to adopt him? …after those questions were answered, there was one more issue – age. In Belize at least one of the parents has to be 12 years older than the child. I was 24… Eric was 12. If Eric would have turned 13 before I turned 25… all bets were off. After waiting an extremely long week for an answer… we were cleared with a month to spare.

The Lord raised over $25,000 in 5 months! NUTS! We sold clocks… we worked our butts off… but that’s a lot of money in a little bit of time. People believed in what we were doing… and the Lord provided. People had/have crazy favor on us… which blows my mind… and we never struggled or worried about a single payment. We have raised even more since then for more payments and the remainder of our travel money. Seriously… has rocked our world how everything has been provided.

Through all of our fear and doubts… especially mine… there has just been grace. Grace from the Lord. Grace from friends. Friends/family willing and committed to pray. Seriously… there have been times in the last year and a half that I literally thought I was going crazy… having a panic attack… and just wanted to crawl in the closet until it was all over. The fact that our teenage boy was in Belize… without a momma and daddy to get him ice cream or tuck him in… we just wanted him with us so bad. There were days that I just felt so frazzled, discouraged, and fearful I didn’t know what to do… BUT GOD always had grace. He was always teaching. Even in the dark and when I felt like He was so far away… He was guiding us and loving on my heart in ways only He can.

We’ve made some changes in life – jobs, locations, and more… He’s laid it out perfectly. As my mom-in-law has said and dreamed… He has made for us and our family a “WELL MANICURED PATH.” I have to share this… hopefully she won’t mind. My mom-in-law sent us all an email in August about a dream she had. Tons was/is going on in our family. Adoption, missions, bro and sis moving to Africa, jobs, etc.  This is what she dreamed:

I was walking along an old country road with nothing else in site (Hint: no lawnmowers); it was a beautiful, sunny day; the grass was waist high and a beautiful green. As I walked along, the grass was falling/cutting as I walked…perfectly. The path was about 2 feet wide and stayed about 2 feet in front of me as I walked; it was so peaceful and beautiful.

The only words that came to my mind were “WELL MANICURED PATH” – over and over again. So, what do I do, just cry…I knew God gave me those words for a reason.

WELL – He does everything well…the only way He knows how is WELL!

MANICURED – Like grooming…a well manicured/groomed head of hair or dog getting ready for a dog show – Everything has to be perfect – The hair is layered so it falls completely into place and has a perfect line.

PATH – It was straight, not too far ahead, not too far to the right of me to keep in line with the road so that I could walk leisurely, without fretting or trying to catch up or fall behind.

Sometimes when my heart would get crazy and frustrated because the timing wasn’t up to me, I would just remind myself of this… WELL MANICURED PATH. And despite my fear and doubt… here we are. He has laid out everything out. He has made sure everything would play out perfectly. He has made sure the path was well manicured and ready for us to walk through… trusting He would move mountains if need be.

Our marriage is stronger than ever. My prayer life and faith is anchored more than I ever imagined. Our trust and joy in Jesus has grown. Our hair probably has more gray hair than normal 26-year olds (I probably caused Jacob’s… oops). We are not afraid to ask God questions… and are willing to hear His answers and follow. He is good. He cannot fail. Regardless of how many times I doubt and question Him and want Him to do as I wish… He has grace and mercy and allows me to see glimpses of who He truly is.

I am more than excited to start posting pictures of our family with Eric included. I’m so excited to be his mom… in live and living color. I am terrified too… I’ve never been a mom to a teenage boy! I don’t have it under control… but I know who does. I don’t have all the answers… so it’s a good thing we don’t have to do this alone. I am inadequate and not a Super Mom… but God made the universe so He can probably fill in where I lack.

So… here’s to going to Belize this week! I can’t wait for you to meet Eric… he’s awesome!!

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