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Friday, July 6, 2012

Who you ARE

This is a picture of baby Beatrice when we transferred her from one hospital to another.  I can only imagine what her transfer from earth to heaven was like.  The sound of angels singing, the warmth of the smile of Christ, the never before seen colors......and baby Beatrice has a new name.  Knowing God it's probably something ridiculously cool like:  Mighty Valiant Princess Who Brings Healing to the Nations and Restores the Fatherless to their Rightful Place of Honor at the King's Table of Love and Light.  And maybe Jesus has a fun nickname for that and Holy Spirit made up a song to sing it out.

Sebastian's name means "worthy of respect based on noble character."  He has really been amazing here.  His middle name is David and like him he has the heart of a passionate worshipper and is full of mercy and grace for people.

After the funeral we left the city for a couple days for a quieter pace and because there is nothing we can do right now on the adoption paperwork/appointments front.  Some battles are not ours to fight, so rather than beat our head against a wall......

Why not do it the Ugandan way and beat a drum on your head?  We can dance on the chains of our circumstance!  July 5th was Venezuela'a Independence Day so if you prefer Venezuelan Dancing you can watch it here and see that while politics is still an area of future strength for the country......dancing is one of our specialties. 

Above is a man I love who knows how to color outside the lines of culture and religion.  He is my husband's great Uncle Harold and he never had children of his own.   He is a professional concert pianist who lived in NYC until recently when he came to Iowa to have family help care for him.  He just celebrated his 90th birthday.  He was kicked out of a restaurant in the South during segregation for sitting with black friends.  He saw the Berlin Wall go UP!  He was living in central park when the World Trade Centers were attacked.  

I got a phone call from Brad that he was moved to hospice and I started crying because I wanted to be there.  We were supposed to fly home July 6th.  Now it is looking like up to 2 more weeks in Uganda.  (if you really want to bless Brad, feel free to contribute to Esther's adoption fund.  I know he feels the responsibility of the extra expenses that add up with ticket changes, in country stay, etc.)

But you can tell the size of a person's identity by the size of the problem it takes to discourage them.  I know right now Sebastian, Esther, and I are here for such a time as this.  Confidence can look like arrogance to those not yet secure about who they are in Jesus, but I really know in my spiritual DNA that I was made for this.  We will go home, I will hold my other 13 babies soon and not just Skype them....but for this moment we are supposed to be here in Uganda.

Over the course of my life God has revealed to me who I am and what I am about.  When I was in junior high I decided to volunteer at a home for abused and neglected children run out of a woman's home who had what seemed to be a zillion little kids running around.  I had no idea what I was doing with these little ones who were obviously traumatized, but God started planting seeds and teaching me things.

And Christ hunted me down in college and my first Christian friend, who ended up being my maid of honor and best friend, was a black young woman who taught me so much.  And I got really used to being the only white girl in a crowd.  And I could tell a hundred more stories of how God used seemingly unrelated strands of my life to continuously weave together the next scene. 

I remember being a young mom and fearing that my only identity for the rest of my life was going to be breastfeeder and diaper changer.  And I wondered why all the older moms I knew were so nostalgic for these days of sleepless nights and endless tasks.  I have enjoyed each baby more and more though as I have learned to trust the rhythm of my life to my great God who wrote the song of my life before the foundation of the world.  I can enjoy the mundane, the insane, the mountain top, the valley, etc. because I know it all comes filtered through the hands of LOVE from a Father who adores me. 

So above is a picture of how God knit together a bossy first-born girl who loved to dance but then she had a lot of babies and had to take a break from dancing.  But then her babies grew and grew and lo and behold.....many of them loved to dance.  So she sat them all down and bossed them around....and sold them on her vision of a worship dance.  See how creative God is?!

I also know what I am not.....but why choose to define ourselves by that when my God is the great I AM? For example, I was getting so distracted trying to read an article someone sent me entitled, "Focused Leadership" that I couldn't even finish it.

And I actually lost my money pouch that also had my photo ID and debit card and all my Ugandan shillings in a huge crowd of people when I went to get drinks for the many spirited toddler boys I was trying to corral.  Faith is the refusal to panic though and several minutes later I actually found it laying in the dirt a couple blocks from where we were.  That was miraculous and just one example of how God has my backside and is able to work with my "areas of future strength."

So I don't bother praying that my kids will be more "balanced" anymore.  Usually being a genius in one area is combined with a gaping hole in another!  I pray God will bring them the opposite spouse and surround them with a few key friends that have a different body of Christ part to fill in their gaps.  That drives my educational philosophy with the children too.  Go with their strengths and not their weaknesses.  Let them succeed and define them by who they ARE and not what they lack. 

Off to enjoy the journey as I am confident God has an appointed time for us to fly home!  


Desiree said...

this is beautiful. praying for you as you stay in Uganda.

Debbie said...

This post brought me to tears. I so needed to read this. I am now going to focus on being comfortable w/me. And, praise the Lord for my and my children's strengths and let Him work on the "areas of future strength". Oh, how I needed this!

Anonymous said...

words can not define the beauty and inspiration in this piece. carry on my friend, you truely are living God's plan, there is no greater journey.

Sandi said...

I want to thank you. I happened upon your blog. Tonight as I sit in the empty room that I felt was meant for my adopted child I started to feel yearning & a little sorrow. I originally felt in my heart that we would adopt a special needs child from Asia. Instead we felt lead to sponsor a child in Zambia & to use all of our adoption money to help other adoptive families & families in need. Seeing you write of your dream of Esther & her beautiful story reminded me of the days when I was told I couldn't have children. Through prayer alone I became pregnant after dreaming that I would have a son named Joshua. I also saw 2 boys at my table. I believed in the power of PRAYER even when others said to give up hope after 3 years of trying without drugs or IVF. We were blessed against all medical odds with 2 miracle boys who are now 6 & 8-(they look just like the boys in my dream). At 20 weeks exactly I went into preterm labor. I contracted hundreds of times per day for 4 months, more per hour than any doctor had ever seen & yet I did not miscarry. We had God on our side, the God who confounds the unbelievers, the God who throws mountains into the sea if we BELIEVE. Thank you for reminding me that God always provides if we WAIT on HIM. I will be praying for you DAY and NIGHT & for miraculous healing for Esther. I believe in my heart that she is going to knock your socks off with her progress & prove that medicine is not an exact science when she EXCEEDS ALL EXPECTATIONS! She will show everyone that she is a living testament of FAITH & the POWER of prayer. The Lord will move mountains for Esther!