This afternoon I’m doldrum-filled and restless. This coming week is important. On Tuesday our girls will get their welcome bags from us, so that finally they will see our faces and begin to imagine themselves with us. This coming week also our paperwork will probably be submitted for approval by the Ethiopian Children’s Commission. Hopefully we will pass quickly, so we can go on to Ethiopian court. Once we pass court, the girls are ours. For real. For good.

I alternate between pricing airfare in August, and trying to shake an uneasiness, a fear something will go wrong. This morning a few minutes apart I read this, and heard this., Instead of feeling strengthened, I felt weak — afraid the message had come to prepare my heart for adversity.

The odd thing is that I feel totally ready for adversity after the girls come home. I do not expect it to be easy to help them settle in and I long for the chance to begin that work. Whether I am well-prepared or fool-hardy I cannot tell. But for this moment I do not fear that challenge.

No, the thing I fear now is not being allowed to bring our girls home. Right or wrong, they feel like mine in my heart. And yet I am so aware that it is not done yet. That still doors could close between us. Doors that could stop us from ever meeting. The cord connecting us now feels fragile as glass. And though intellectually I know that God knows what is right for our family and that He’ll steer us right, I fear He might choose to divert us down a path I do not want to take.

John and I have prayed that if this path is not meant for our family that the door would close. But now I feel I’m too far down that path to endure a change of plans. I want to snatch back that prayer. My heart is with these children. Slamming that door now would shatter the fragile piece of my heart that is already stretching across miles and oceans.

And so I sit here. Weak. Faith-poor. Always conscious of the two who are missing from our home. Longing for news that all is well, that we’ve made it to the next step. That they are ours forever.

Oh, how I wish I could be strong.

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  1. i can imagine the feelings of fragility. thanks for letting us see into this personal aspect of the adoption journey. ((hugs))my prayers are with you.

  2. I think about the girls, and how much they need to be in the protective loving care of a family. I’m sure it is Gods will they come home. He sets the orphans in families! I can imagine it will not be an easy process to adjust to a new home, but nothing in their lives have been easy…they are strong and beautiful, and they are going to be together. They are blessed to have a mom who already loves them. I think once they see the photos of their new family, they will also love you! I hope you can travel right away, before the court closes. I really believe it will be Ok; they have your name on them!

  3. The love you and John have for them already, and the welcome awaiting them when they come home is the important thing to keep focussing on, Mary. The fear that things could go wrong is so natural and real, but God’s plans are never wrong. My daily reading yesterday was about God not promising us a crystal ball to see into the future, but promising to provide a light to illuminate our next step. So keep that in mind. Just the next step. I am sending you a big hug through cyberspace too.

  4. I can’t seem to find the right words to express how this post makes me feel, but your honesty and vulnerability has stirred some sleeping ‘thing’ in my heart. I pray that God’s will for this adoption is to go smoothly.

  5. Martina Fahrner says:

    You have the luxury and the curse to know what is going on with your girl… for a lot of us China adopters there is just sitting tight and waiting… and you have a year to think about what a Chinese official might find in your dossier.
    A week in the context of your entire life is not long and you can’t worry today about what you might have to do tomorrow… take out your little ones and get them ice cream or tickle them – smiles is the best thing for feeling low like this!
    Oh …and cherish your dreams about having your girls home with you!

  6. Dawn in OR says:

    You heart loves your new daughters like a mom should. They deserve this kind of love. And that also includes a fear of losing them. God knows we are but dust and imperfect… but your love for your daughters is perfect. Because it is from Him.
    I was just in your place feeling the same emotions and fears waiting for our daughter,Carissa, from China. Now she is home and I hold in my heart a worry over her special need (okay, a fear) that some how “something” will go wrong and she will get sick and I will loose her.
    We desire a telegram or a road map on what is before us from God… so we can avoid that pit falls and danger ahead. That is what good parents do… take care of their children and love them. And keep them safe. But our faith and our childrens faith can not be built that way. We go thru it all and come out on the other side knowing in the middle of the fear and the unknown God was there working out His plan and our faith was growing and later we could see it all clearer.
    bless you and john for your love and for your hearts for your new daughters. And God will bless…

  7. Dear Friend….as always, my thoughts and prayers are not only with you, but daily sent as protection for your girls in Ethiopia.

  8. Admitting weakness is strength.

    Thinking of you and your family –

  9. I’m praying for you and your family. I can’t imagine what that must feel like, but I hope that it all works out for the very, very best.

  10. (It seems that WordPress just ate my comment. Here’s hoping I don’t post twice.)

    Friend, let’s do lunch! It sounds like we would be good company for one another.

    After loosing the kids we thought we were going to get and enduring an extra three weeks of waiting for our fingerprints, I feel as if I know what you fear. I too feel that my heart is stretched and oh, so fragile. I also SO know what you are saying about being ready for adversity after the kids get home . . . it’s just getting to that point!

    Praying for you . . .

  11. Thanks for being so “real” with us. That’s what keeps me coming back here…

  12. Through our weaknesses we receive strenght. The Lord is my strenght and my shield. I will pray for Him to continue to give you strength as you wait. Soon, you will have whatever it is you are to have and it will be grand. I worried for weeks waiting to hear news about Nafkot and now she is ours. Maybe, just Maybe you will be travelling around the same time as me – mid-July. You never know, God works miracles. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about your court date. It will be soon enough and in perfect timing. Blessings and peace to you my dear sister in Christ.

  13. Thanks for sharing, Mary! It wouldn’t be faith if there wasn’t an element of “risk” involved!!! The beautiful thing, as you know, is that when we take these “risks” we can trust assured there’s no “risk” involved because ALL we do is in HIS hands! He makes NO mistakes, and knows all things – He has ordained ALL of our days! Praise the LORD!!! So, that to say…..I’d be RIGHT where you are! : ) Though we know these truths….we are tempted to not believe them. I don’t know what the Lord has for you and these girls…..I HOPE it’s that He will bring them home to you!!!!! But more than that, sister, I trust He has His best for you and them! You are stepping out and trusting the Lord to bring these girls into your family….what a testimony you have ALREADY been to ALL your readers!!! The Lord is using you, Mary!!! May He be glorified!!!

  14. Hugs to you Mary!!!!!

  15. Thinking about you. Remember, we are always stronger than we think we are.

  16. Christine Blackler says:

    I keep this on our fridge in huge bold letters. Blessings!!

    “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.

    Jerimiah 29:11

    Christine, mom to a 2 yr old from Ethiopia

  17. Your post made me cry. It was so honest and raw my heart truly breaks for you. I will be praying your girls are home with you soon.


  18. I pray that His will is for you to have the girls. I remember praying a similiar prayer long ago when I wanted so much to keep my baby girl(foster). I prayed that if it was His will for her to leave us, that I could have the strength to endure it. Of course you know the first part didn’t happen. I had to believe it was his plan for her to go back to her natural mother. When we found her again two years ago and found out about her life, I started to question God but I still had to trust that he knew what was best.
    I feel for you and pray all goes well.
    Mama Bear

  19. Mary, you have such of way of articulating EXACTLY what I am feeling.

    carol waiting for Masene (4) and Safiya (2) at Layla

  20. I understand these thoughts that you have described so well here. This one is especially familiar: “Instead of feeling strengthened, I felt weak — afraid the message had come to prepare my heart for adversity.” I’ve done major battle with this kind of thing in the past year. And the, “Although I know that God… I fear…” place, too.

    Yes, God often graciously and quietly prepares our hearts for things to come. We usually see it most clearly in the rear-view mirror. *But the enemy of all of God’s good plans can also be right in there counterfeiting, twisting and exploiting, and sending arrows right into those most tender spots in our mothering hearts.* That spirit of fear and dread are not from God; He’s your Father who loves you and His “perfect love casts out fear.” He has made it so wonderfully clear, in so many details, that He is IN this whole thing! No matter what may happen, it’s going to be OK. It is. He may not be “safe, but He’s good”. Even if there are things that we would not choose on the path, He’s in it. Trust. Rest.

    (All of this meant as a gigantic, written hug of encouragement– not a sermon, as if you didn’t know these things!)

    with hugs and prayers,

  21. Multi-taskingmom says:

    Mary your words made me cry, I can feel your fear. They are your daughters my friend – hang on they WILL come home to you! I read your first posts about adopting again and then about the girls (your newest daughters) with such excitment and emotion. They are yours. Look back at all that has happened to bring you this far, there can be no doubt that it is His plan for them to come home to you.

    Huge hugs to you,