Closing in on a Year

March 31, 2009

I’m sitting here writing today in our living room, in front of our big beautiful window looking outside at the green grass and blue sky. The birds are singing, I hear kids laughing and talking as they walk home from the school that is across the street from our house. All are beautiful reminders that spring is beginning to make it’s appearance here in Akron, OH.

Although it feels like just yesterday, it has actually been almost a year since we were sitting in this same living on a beautiful spring day, making a DVD to share with our friends and family about our decision to adopt a little one from Russia. It’s hard to believe that it has already been close to a year.

There are so many changes from a year ago to today.  A year ago, international adoption was just an idea, today God has turned the idea into a reality.

A year ago, the thought of raising $40,000 was insurmountable; today, God has given us more than we could have asked or imagined and we are now close to our goal.

A year ago, we thought that waiting this long was impossible, today God has given us the strength as we wait upon the Lord.

A year ago, words like “dossier” and “referrals” were new and unfamiliar; today, they are a part of our daily vocabulary.

A year ago, I was excited by the thought of family members and a few friends being a part of this journey; today, I am completely overwhelmed at the hundreds of people who have outpoured their love and support for this journey.

A year ago, we sensed God was leading us to a little one in Russia; today we are convinced God is leading us to a little one in Russia.

It’s amazing what God can do in a year. I am in awe of how He has refined and shaped our hearts through the pain of waiting, through the ups and downs of the unknown, through the fears of threats to the future of our adoption.  Although we don’t now what the weeks and months and even the next year will bring us, I feel more certain than ever that God will give us exactly what we need as He continues to lead us on this journey.

All that to say, as time goes by, it also means facing the reality that a lot of our paperwork is going to expire. The first expirations will happen in May, with another following in July and then more in the fall. It will cost us some more to authenticate and mail the updated documents. This is just the reality of the wait.

Thank you for journeying with us. Thanks for not giving up on supporting us, praying for us and staying updated even during the mundane moments of waiting. We are so grateful for such amazing friends and family!

Updates:

  • We have not heard anything from our agency regarding the team of people who travelled to Russia.
  • We will soon begin the process of updating our expired paperwork for our dossier

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that God will continue to strengthen our hearts as we wait
  • Pray for our little one – that he/she would somehow begin to know our love for them
  • Pray for wisdom for all that are involved in this adoption – from our agency, to the facilitators in Russia, to the judges and local Russian officials

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

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This past week Steve and I went on a retreat with the pastors and their wives from our church. We went to a beautiful state park and just enjoyed nature and each other.

It was really neat because the senior pastor and his wife are retiring after 25 years. They spent some time sharing about what they’ve learned over the past 25 years and what I was reminded of, especially by his wife, was the idea of finding the good in all of life – in all of the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the exciting times and the slow times.

Not just finding good in a fake way, not just the plastered smile and cliche answers when life is tough, but more of the idea of being able to grieve and be grateful at the same time. To hold pain and joy in the same heart. To realize that hurt and fear drive me to God in a way that nothing else can. There is beauty there. There is intimacy there. There is hope there. There is trust there.

So our update this week is more waiting. We haven’t heard anything from our agency which is good because it means that the process is moving. We also know that in one day everything can change and life will move from waiting to full-speed craziness in a day’s time. Then we’ll be wishing for the slow times 🙂

Thanks for waiting with us. We wish we could tell you more. But we are so grateful to know we have such a support network of people who are by our sides through this journey!

Updates:

  • Waiting, waiting, waiting 🙂

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for our little one – that he or she would be loved and touched and cuddled and sung to
  • Pray for the group who is in Russia right now from our agency making contacts and finding out information

Until next Monday, love, Steve and Kate

The God Who Sees

March 17, 2009

Last week, Steve and I were getting a little frustrated with the amount of information we had been receiving from our agency. We were feeling like there were some questions that we had that weren’t getting answered, and we just started feeling nervous about how our adoption was going.

Part of it, I’m sure, is just the general uneasiness and fears during this waiting period. We had gone weeks and weeks without hearing anything regarding our progress. But, I do think some of the frustration was because some legitimate questions weren’t being answered. New thoughts began to surface in our minds. Thoughts like: what would it look like to change agencies at this point? Or change countries?

We were so torn over these thoughts because we knew God had led us here and protected us so far through this journey. We have trusted Him every step of the way and now all of these questions and doubts started to seep in our minds. As Steve and I were discussing options and our fears, my phone rang. I mean literally at the exact moment of our deepest desperation, my phone rang. I answered it and it was a woman from a different adoption agency, one we had looked into months ago when we were just beginning the process.

It was a 6 month follow-up call and she was just wondering how we were doing. I told her that we had decided to go with a different agency and we were moving forward. Then she asked if I had any questions in general about how Russian adoptions were going. We proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation about some of the fears and questions I was having with our agency.

She said she wanted to speak to me “off the record” and basically answered all of my questions. She said the worst thing that we could do right now is change agencies, and she over and over again affirmed our decision. This woman had zero to gain from the conversation. I consider her to be one of the many blessings that we have encountered and will continue to encounter along the way.

Isn’t God so good? He knows just how much we can handle…just how much we can be pressed before His comfort intervenes through words and confirmations. He is the God who sees. He see me, my pain, my limits. And He knows just when to step in and bring peace to my soul. I am so amazed at how God continues to show Himself and His love to me through His Word and through people.

We still have some questions that need to be answered. But, that’s just all that they are. Questions that need answers. And we are trusting that our agency is working hard to get some of those questions answered. They are sending a team out to Russia this week to meet with some of the facilitators in Russia. We are praying that through this trip, there will be much clarity and wisdom gained. Thanks for journeying with us. For waiting with us during the quiet times.

Updates:

  • Waiting, waiting and more waiting☺

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the team from our agency who will be traveling to Russia – for wisdom, clarity and insight
  • Pray for us as we wait and trust in God through this process
  • Pray for our little one – that he/she will be loved, touched, sung to and hugged often
  • Pray for the caretakers – for patience and compassion

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

Waiting Room

March 10, 2009

I don’t have many words right now…Just this song that has been going through my head by Shane and Shane.

i will run when i cannot walk
i will sing when there is no song
i will pray when there is no prayer
i will listen when i cannot hear

sitting in the waiting room of silence
waiting for that still soft voice i know
offering my words up to the rooftop to Your heart
trusting that this closet’s where You are

Lord i know if i change my mind
You will change my heart in time
Sovereign Lord this time’s from You
so i sit in the waiting room of silence
cause its all about You

i will fight when i cannot feel
i will trust when You don’t seem real
i will tell when i cannot speak
i will step when i cannot see

That’s where we continue to sit…in the waiting room. I love the line “Sovereign Lord, this time’s from you.” He is the all-knowing God who knows our story from beginning to end. He has led us to this waiting room and this time of waiting is from Him.

But sometimes I feel like I have no more waiting left in me.

So I am trying to see the beauty of what happens when I get to the end of myself. Because that is when God is most evident in my life – when He supplies me with the strength, the faith, the hope, and the peace that could not possibly come from my own heart.

He quiets me with His love.

Also, we received something cool in the mail today: a beautiful handmade baby blanket from our friend Karen King. It is so perfect – the yellow in the blanket is the exact color of our walls! The other colors are the same as the Russian flag.

blanket

We are so thankful. God continues to remind us of His faithfulness, provision and comfort through people. We rest and find strength from your encouragement and support.

Updates:

  • we received word that referrals in Russia have slowed down significantly
  • we still don’t know the exact date we were registered – when we do find out, it will hopefully give us a a better idea of how much longer we have to wait
  • a team from our agency will be going to Russia next week to get more information on the progress of adoptions

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for this team that is going to Russia – that they would get answers and provide us and other families with more clarity
  • Pray for strength for us as we wait – that we would draw closer to God and to each other through all the waiting
  • Pray for our little one – that God would lead us to him/her quickly

Thank you for all your support! We wish we had more to share. Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve.