"I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." - John 14:18

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Word No

Not my favorite word, "No". I have never been big on being told what to do. In fact, I was a model student all the way through school...until 9th grade. I was always too shy to speak much in class but began to find myself, and my voice, by my freshman year. The first words I ever spoke against a teacher were as follows "Don't you ever tell me what to do". This didn't go over particularly well with him but, in fairness, he told me to "shutup" which didn't go over particularly well with me. My friend Ryan calls me "anti-establishment" which is probably a pretty fair assessment and yet we find ourselves in the home stretch of an adoption which requires nothing but obedience. And rules. And red tape. And, as we found out again today, plenty of the word "No".

We had applied for a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans...and we were turned down for help. We can still fund raise with Lifesong but they really just open an account for you and people can donate through Lifesong to it so, in that way, it becomes tax deductible for the donor. I do not know yet if we will even bother with this as we already have a separate account open for our adoption funds.

At any rate, I am trying to keep my chin up but this day has been frustrating. My tooth hurts (which probably means I need to go to the dentist, an expense I would rather avoid at this point), we keep getting turned down by organizations that say they have "prayerfully considered" or "been led by the spirit" which makes us feel worse instead of better as the spirit didn't lead them to us. So maybe this keeping my chin up thing isn't going especially well today...sigh. I am just feeling decidedly human today. And decidedly frustrated. And my tooth hurts. And it is hailing outside. Oy.

But the good news is, God has brought us this far and he will help us finish the journey. Our paperwork is complete and the next step is finding out who our new children are! What a miracle to think that, even as I type this, our family is being knitted together across the ocean. One or two of the precious children that we have the privilege of praying for and seeing pictures of (and, oh my word, each one is more beautiful than the next!) has already been chosen to be in our family. Awesome.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Dad

The past couple of weeks have been a mixture of blessings & disappointments, of hope & confusion but, in it all, we have been able to clearly discern the will and the hand of God and we have such a peace that He is at work in our lives.

On February 23, I said goodbye to my dad as he passed away from this life. I didn't know Dad very well, but I liked him - you couldn't help but like him. He was smart and he was funny and he was kind and he was impossibly optimistic. I haven't cried and I hope that doesn't make me seem callous or hard. I just didn't really know him. I met him only a handful of times in my life and I think in order for someone to leave a hole in your life they have to have been a part of your life. A lot of people tell me it will hit me later and perhaps they are right. But, for now, I feel that peace that only God can provide. I know dad is free of the body that imprisoned him. He had been paralyzed since before I was born and over the past decade his body had failed him even more, but he didn't seem to feel sorry for himself and I admire that. I am at peace with what he gave to me. He was not a parent, but I am here because of him and I like myself. In the end, people are just people. They do the best that they can and I believe that Dad did as much as he could. Like anyone, he struggled with demons and weaknesses and, mostly they won, but it doesn't make him bad...it just makes him human. In the end, if I could have chosen another father - one who was present and strong, who worked hard and came to school plays - I wouldn't have. He is a part of me and I am thankful for that. So, thank you, Dad. I am glad you were part of my life. I hope you know that.

On the adoption news front, our dossier is complete! So the next step is being matched with our kiddos! Wow. That makes my heart beat a little faster knowing we are so close to finding out who God has planned to round out the Edwardson-Fitzpatrick clan! We have had some disappointments regarding the adoption - we were turned down for help from the ABBA Fund (an organization that gives no-interest loans to adopting families) but we know that there are other families that must need those funds more than we do and that God has something else planned for us. He revealed a little bit of that yesterday. An old, dear friend in New York called and said she and her husband wanted to pay for our air fare to Uganda! That is a substantial portion of what we are still raising funds for. Also, a family that we have never met sent us a donation so generous that I struggle to find words to capture what it means to us. Praise God for old friends and Praise God for brand new ones!

We have also opened a Just Love Coffee store and we raised $35 there in just one day! You can visit our store here: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/MikeLibby . For every bag of coffee sold they send us $5 - just like that! Wow. If you don't like coffee they have other stuff, too :o) We also raised almost $400 with our Touchdown for Orphans! So we are getting there, slowly but surely and, most importantly, in God's perfect time.

Loving this new adoption song and video from Third Day! What a beautiful reminder that we have all been adopted into God's family.