July 3, 2012
We are excited to share a new announcement….;)
June 2, 2010
This blog has been a difficult one to write. So difficult that I couldn’t write it on Monday, and I even struggle to find the words to write today. But, it is one that must be written.
This blog began over two years ago, when we began to follow the whisper of God towards international adoption. Little did we know what was in store for us for the following two years.
Little did we know that countless people would find our tiny space on the world wide web and join in our journey.
Little did we know that the lifeline that this blog brought to us was a gift from God that we could have never anticipated.
Words of encouragement and prayers, financial giving, humor, advice, wisdom, tears, smiles were poured over us week after week in response to our story. I would walk down the halls of church and someone would say, “I read your blog…I’m waiting with you.” Or, “I think I’m more frustrated over all of this waiting than you are.”
I’ve met friends from all over the world through this blog, friends who have gone before us on this adoption road and people who are coming behind.
Every Monday, amidst all of the ups and downs and twists and turns of the international adoption process, I would know that I had a blog to write. It was a tool that brought me back each week to the heart of God, it forced me to sit and be still and be reminded of who He is and how He has led us down this road.
Some weeks, the blogs were full of pain, pain that couldn’t be summed up in words. I remember there were weeks that as I was typing, tears would be streaming down my face, sometimes in frustration and anger, sometimes in weariness of waiting.
When the silent weeks and months would go by of not hearing anything or when we found out that our region had been changed and we were back to square one…those were the weeks when I felt like raising the white flag, of giving up. It felt too hard. The pain was too much.
But, then I would remember all of the people who were standing behind us, holding up our arms, praying on our behalf when I didn’t have the words, encouraging us with the light of His Truth when all we could see was a dark hole of waiting and unanswered questions.
There were some weeks where I felt like I had nothing to say. How many times can you say, “still waiting”? But even in those stagnet times of seeming nothingness, we would find encouragement and hope in the words of those who were walking this journey with us.
And of course, there were the blogs that were so fun and amazing and surreal to write. The blog about seeing Dima’s face for the first time, the blog about our time in Russia and meeting our precious son. I would write those blogs as tears would stream down my face, only this time, it was tears of joy and gratitutde, of unbelief in His goodness to us.
My prayer is that I will never forget the times of waiting. Those were some of the darkest times of my life, but they are also some of the times where I have never felt closer to God. I have never needed Him more. I have never needed to be convinced of His goodness more than I did in those years of waiting.
Often times we hear people say, “God is good because He gave you a child. God is good because I got the job I wanted. God is good because (fill in your own blank).”
But, God brought me to the very hard truth to be able to say God is good. Period. He is good because He is good. He is not good because He gave me something I wanted. He’s not good because of outward circumstances.Even in the midst of deep, dark, nagging pain, I came to the place where I could say God is good. I am grateful that God didn’t just give me when I want when I wanted it. If He had, I think I would be likely to have taken some sort of credit for how He brought us to Dima.
And so it is with a reflective, joy-filled heart to say that this blog has officially come to an end. Not because I have nothing more to say. Not because the journey is over. In fact, in many ways, our journey of adoption has just begun as we navigate through what it looks like to parent our almost 3 year old in this new world.
But, it just feels right to allow this blog to come to an end. I would love to stay connected with you who have followed our journey, you who have become our friends, you who will always have a place in the story of our family’s life. Feel free to email me or find me on facebook.
Thank you for walking by our side through this story that God has written in our lives. I have never been more convinced of the need for honesty in our relationships that I have been over these last few years.
Many times people will say, “I can’t believe how vulnerable you are on your blog.” I always respond by saying, “I have to be.” May that continue to be true in my life with my relationshps. That honesty is a must for growing deeper with friends. That honesty is a must for growing deeper with God.
As we trudge through true pain with each other, we also get to the other side where we experience true joy with each other. Thank you for weeping as we wept and rejoicing as we rejoiced.
Until next adoption 🙂 love, Steve and Kate
May 17, 2010
As I was sitting around a table with friends today and our kids playing downstairs in the basement, a bad feeling started to stir in my chest. You know the kind, where things just don’t feel right.
Call it your gut, call it mother’s instinct, I call it the Holy Spirit. It feels like a gentle stirring that gets your attention and doesn’t let go.
From the beginning, I didn’t feel good about Dima being downstairs with a handful of other young kids. But, I was in that internal struggle of “should I do what all the other moms are doing so I don’t look like the weird, overprotective one? Or do I follow my instinct and go against the flow?”
I decided to stay with my friends and hope that all would be well downstairs. Things seemed to be going great for a while. I started to relax and enjoy my time when little messengers began to come upstairs to fill me in on all the bad stuff Dima was doing.
I finally went downstairs to go get him. It was pretty obvious that he wasn’t mixing well with the other kids. It was nearing naptime, so I said goodbye to my friends and came home.
As I was driving down the highway with tears in my eyes, I looked into the backseat only to see my little man staring at me through the rearview mirror. He gave me a sheepish little smile and I started to think about the reality of his life.
The only context he has of unsupervised playtime was from the orphanage, where “survival of the fittest” was the motto. If you want a toy, grab it. If someone has what you want, do what it takes to get it from them. If you are mad, hit.
Although we have been working on these things with Dima, I realized today how quickly he can revert back to his old way of living once supervision is taken away. And I realized how quickly I can revert back to my old ways of living when I am not connected to the Holy Spirit.
Being a people pleaser by nature, all I wanted was for these friends (who I know love me no matter what my parenting looks like) to think I was “super mom”. I wanted them to think that Dima was ready to just be let loose.
I so quickly reverted back to my old, people pleasing way of living, instead of being connected to the Spirit inside me, who was prompting me to go downstairs much sooner than I did. I chose pride over wisdom. I chose what I wanted in the moment over what was best for Dima.
At this point in DIma’s life, he still needs to be constantly reminded of what “new life” looks like. Just because he has a new family and lives in a new world, doesn’t mean he knows how to live in it. We not only have to teach new life, we have to unteach old life, which is all that he knows, it is what he is comfortable with.
That takes time and patience and grace beyond what I can muster up in my own strength. And I am reminded of a God who is constantly having to teach new life to me, as He offers patience and grace that flows freely out of His unrelenting love for me.
Until next Monday,
Kate and Steve
May 10, 2010
I never thought that I would spend my first mothers day as a mommy, standing up in front of thousands of people, sharing the deepest parts of my heart and story.
Our church has been going through a series called, “The Generous Life”, and last week, our pastor talked about how generosity is borne out of an encounter with a generous God and how generosity has nothing to do with what you have.
As he was speaking, my heart was just overwhelmed, thinking back over this adoption journey with the generosity we have encountered.
The generosity of God…giving us a little boy who is far greater than we could have ever asked or imagined.
The generoisty of people…hundreds of encounters with those who gave to us from their hearts, to bring new life to a child.
So, after the service last Sunday, I wrote our pastor an email expressing how grateful I am for the generosity of people from our church in my life. He wrote back and said, “I think you should share your story on Sunday…on Mother’s Day.”
If you know me, you know that I enjoy writing for people (hence, the blog). I enjoy singing in front of people too. But talking in front of people…and not just talking, but sharing the depths of my heart? My back gets sweaty just thinking about it.
But, I was reminded that this story is not my story. It is God’s story..a far greater story than I could have ever written for myself. I thought about how difficult mother’s day is for so many people and the opportunity to share in the pain of the day, along with the hope of this day, was something that excited me.
So, I said “ok, I will share.”
So on my first mother’s day, God gave me a beautiful, redemptive gift. A barren woman sharing about being a mom.
A woman who normally spends mother’s day with tears in her eyes in a church bathroom is standing on stage sharing her story.
I am grateful for the gift of a son, I am grateful for the gift of a story that God has written in my life, I am grateful for God’s deep grace.
- Dima continues to check out very healthy with doctors
- there are a few minor, correctable issues and a few more tests still to be done
- one of those tests is an EKG for our little guy. Pray that there is nothing serious with his little heart
Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve.