I am encouraged and amazed by this thought today - just as we do not know the plans He has for us, there are children, literally on the other side of the world, who are waiting (who probably do not even know there is something better out there for them) that do not know that God has already set in motion a plan for them - HIS plan - to give them hope and a future - in this life and the next!!!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Posted by Joe & Sarah McDaniel at 11:51 AM
Monday, June 22, 2009
Wow, as I'm typing this it seems hard to believe that June is already almost done! I say that with amazement that it's only actually been 3 months since we officially started the adoption process. And I say it, honestly, with a bit of sadness and disappointment today as we're in somewhat of an unexpected delay and standstill in the process right now. I know these seeming road blocks are "par for the course" and something that inevitably comes in every stage of life, not just adoption, but I don't think that makes it any less painful. I don't know whether it's because of his "maleness" or because he is older and more mature than I am (Joe assures me it's the second reason ;o) ) but he is able to take all of this a bit more objectively than I am! And I'm thankful for his steadiness, or I'd be a basket case!
In Proverbs 13:12 it says "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Obviously I couldn't describe it any better than God does here - things like this just make your heart sick. I have full faith and confidence in my Heavenly Father's soverienty, grace, and love for us and our children . . . but that doesn't mean there's not momentary disappointment when our desires don't match up to His plans - even if it's just the "when" and not the "what" of His plans.
The great thing is the second part of the verse, "but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." We know further in Psalm 37:4 that if we "Delight yourself in the LORD,and he will give you the desires of your heart." Not meaning that God will give us whatever we desire - but by His grace, as we lay our desires and burdens at His feet, He mercifully molds and shapes our desires to be what He wants for us! What a tremendous hope and comfort that is!
So, as I mentioned in the last update or two, we're still waiting on our home study to be completed. It took longer to even get started than it seemed it should and has already taken longer than they estimated it would (even with us having our completed paperwork to them almost 2 months ago now), with it now looking like another few weeks until we'll have our completed home study in hand and be able to move ahead.
We're praying, obviously, that God will move things ahead quickly, but also that I won't be so anxious to move out of this hard spot that I try to manage things on my own - that's a nice way of saying that I pray I won't be manipulative ;o) I pray, as God tells us in the book of James, that He will give me the strength to "consider it all joy" in every circumstance and choose to endure - to remain under - this weight to learn what He has for me . . . I know there will likely be many more of these times ahead in the adoption process, and inevitably in life in general!
On a somewhat lighter note, I just finished, and Joe is finishing up, reading an EXCELLENT book called "Adopted for Life" by Russell Moore - I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone, whether you are considering adoption or not. This is not a book with the purpose to convince anyone to adopt, nor a "how to" book on adoption. It is a Biblical look at God's plan of adoption.
Posted by Joe & Sarah McDaniel at 4:20 PM
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
We finished up our school year on May 22, but it feels like we're just now starting summer break - it has been crazy busy! The last few weeks have been spent with getting ready for a huge yard sale, in addition to the regular business of our house.
Our yard sale was this past Friday and Saturday, and it was HUGE!! Several people donated items for our sale, and we are so thankful. There was so much stuff that it took us over 3 hours to set up Friday a.m., and there were still items we forgot to put out. Our sale went well Friday, and we were exhausted . . . then after dinner Friday night Madie's ear started hurting so we got to spend some time in immediate care that night. Turned out she had a double ear infection - poor girl!! Saturday, to our surprise, was an extremely slow day. By the end of the day I was feeling pretty worn out and discouraged and not wanting to talk about possible plans of doing it all again this weekend ;o) Early on as we planned this sale, I knew we had enough funds in the bank to pay our next "step", which is the last 1/2 of the home study cost. Then following that is the immigration form that I mentioned in the previous post. I thought it would be good if we made enough to cover that cost. So, as I was sitting on the couch Sat. evening feeling exhausted and a bit dejected and Joe was counting up what we had made off our sales, I was amazed when Joe told me how much we had made - it was just around $10 more than we need to pay for our immigration form! God is so good to us!!
So we were planning to do the yard sale again this week, starting a little earlier on Thurs. instead of Friday. Even though our sales were good, we still had at least 3/4 of our "inventory" left to sell. We decided we'd list a bunch of stuff on Craigslist and whatever was left we'd try to sell at the yard sale. We ended up getting a great response on some of the items we posted, so we decided not to go ahead with the second weekend of the sale. The plan is to continue to try to sell stuff on Craigslist and then possibly have another yard sale in the fall . . . don't really want to think about that right now ;o)
We also had our last meeting for our home study yesterday. I was so excited to finally have this last meeting. She told us at our first meeting (which took them a month to even schedule to begin with) that she estimated the home study to take about 7 weeks, which is already on the long side as far as home studies go, she said depending on how quickly we get our paperwork done. Well, I thought that was a good sign because by the time we had our first meeting, we had already given her all of our paperwork, even the recommendations from our references, and the only other paperwork she gave us, two weeks later on a Friday, we had completed and returned to her by the following Monday. But by the time we finally were able to schedule this last meeting, it's already been six weeks since we started, and she said it will be about 2-3 weeks until we have our completed homestudy. The amazing thing to me was that after the last few weeks of insane business, I was worn out, and the frustration and disappointment in hearing this news would normally have put me close to tears, if not over the waterfall! But God gave me a true peace in my heart that in no way came from me - I may be self-deceived in many ways, but I think I know myself at least well enough to know that peace is not my typical reaction to these type of situations! I know people were praying for us, and what a true blessing to know the peace of God that passes all comprehension, and to truly feel God's strength through my weakness!!
Okay, sorry for the long update ;o) We were also able over these last several days to get a handful of forms completed, notarized and approved for our dossier. As far as timeline, we're waiting now on the home study to be done (I'm still praying she'll get done more quickly than she estimated ;o) ). As I said in the last update, once we have that in hand, that will set a lot of other gears in motion.
One more thing - probably more than a month ago I requested prayer regarding how we should word our application letter in regard to requesting 2 siblings - should we only request siblings and then possibly wait longer, or should we request a single child if siblings aren't available? Again, we know that God is sovereign in all of this, but we had to put something on paper! We decided to just request siblings. And this is the thought that God used to bring peace to my heart on Tuesday - assuming He brings us through this whole process to completion of adoption, He has the children for us and will have them ready for us and us for them, all in His time! What a blessing to be able to rest and hope in confidence in our Father!
My mind is still a little fried from the last few weeks, so I'm sorry for the long post and that there's probably parts that won't make sense ;o) If you've gotten to this point, thanks for taking the time to read and be updated on what's going on in our adoption process!
Posted by Joe & Sarah McDaniel at 5:06 PM
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Have you not known? Have you not heard?The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Posted by Joe & Sarah McDaniel at 3:37 PM