Friday, June 6, 2008

So Much Support

We want to thank you so much for the kind words of support. I can't tell you how encouraging you've been and how much you have helped us. There have been several things we've gotten that have struck such a chord for us.

Our friend Renna sent us a piece written by a friend of hers that said, "So may I ask this question of you, “Who is in charge of your life?” While you may just blurt out that God is. Take a step back and evaluate the truth. When you are mad, do you consider God’s Ways? When you are happy, do you thank God? When you are broken and sad, do you praise Him for His presence and strength?" We want everyone to know that God is in charge of our lives and while we were down, we know that ultimately our lives are His and we are willing to go and do what He bids us to do and that sometimes those things will cause us some pain.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave your nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" Deuteronomy 31:8

Our friend Hilary directed us to a website for Proverbs 31 ministries on Deep Grief. In it, the writer says, "But sometimes a loss cuts into your heart so viciously that it forever redefines who you are and how you think. It’s what I call “deep grief.” The kind that strains against everything you've ever believed. So much so you wonder how the promises that seemed so real on those thin Bible pages yesterday, could possibly stand up under the weight of enormous sadness today." Yesterday was that kind of day today. However, even in our grief, today has been better. The writer goes on to talk about how to recover and says, "It takes prayer. It takes making the decision to stop asking for answers and start asking for perspective." We may never understand what this was about, but we are ok with that.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11

We received our Purpose Driven Life devotional today and enjoyed sharing it as a family. God uses this devotional to provide comfort to me on a regular basis and I was not surprised to read today's topic was on Resisting Discouragement. Rick Warren writes:

There are many things that work to keep us from completing our life-missions. Over the years, I have debated whether the worst enemy is procrastination or discouragement. If Satan can’t get us to put off our life missions, then he’ll try to get us to quit altogether.

If you’re discouraged, don’t give up without a fight. Nothing worthwhile ever happens without endurance and energy.

When an artist starts to create a sculpture, he has to keep chipping away. He does not hit the chisel with the hammer once, and suddenly all the excess stone falls away revealing a beautiful masterpiece. He keeps hitting it and hitting it, chipping away at the stone.

And that’s true of life, too: Nothing really worthwhile ever comes easy in life. You keep hitting it and going after it, and little-by-little your life becomes a masterpiece of God’s grace.

The fact is, great people are really just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination. Great people don’t know how to quit.

So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Galatians 6:9

I want our family to be that kind of GREAT -- Great in God. The kind who know that this journey is worthwhile and that God is creating a masterpiece and is chiseling at it day by day. NOTHING WORTHWHILE EVER COMES EASY. She will be so worthwhile (because she surely has not been easy to come by).

Our agency and in-country staff have assured us they are looking for us a referral. We do not anticipate receiving that referral before we leave the country. That's ok too. We think we'll either get a referral this week or not until the second week of July when the in-country staff return from their trips out of country. Either way, it's fine -- it's more waiting, but we've become an excellent family of "waiters".

In the meantime, our hearts stay with a little baby in this country that our hearts will always love. We hope that our input (and we will continue that on her behalf once we return stateside) can help her get the care she needs and that a family who walks into her life more prepared than we were to handle her condition might find it in their hearts to be her forever family. We will pray for her and ask you to remember her in your prayers as well.

Thank you to those who have sent email, left comments, listened to us sob on the phone (well, you know, via Skype), prayed with us, lifted us up in prayer and for our friends Elizabeth and Bill here in country who have offered to do anything we needed during this time. Thank you to our parents who have cried with us and worried about us, our pastor who has prayed with us from across the world, for our Sunday school teachers who offer such words of comfort that make us feel so loved, for "The Girls" who have formed a network of support for me that I have felt thousands of miles from them. I know, without any words, of their love and prayers. Iris literally just let me cry which is what I needed. I hope that none of you are ever in such a place, but if you are, we hope that we can be as supportive to you as you have been to us. I suspect all of this will make the day we bring our daughter home even more precious and special to all of us.

This experience has reminded us of the blessing of having friends. It reminds me of the verses in Ecclessiastes 4:9-10 that says:
Two are better than one
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Blessings to each of you. Thank you for helping us up.
Kevin, Maria and Josh


lauren said...

Dear Maria & family,
My heart is so heavy for you right now knowing the hard decisions you've had to make. You don't know me, but I'm in your yahoo group & I just wanted to let you know I am praying for God's comfort & peace for you and your family during this difficult time.
Lauren Smith

Lisa B and Family said...

God bless you Maria! Your faith and strength are a gift. But by the grace of God, any one of us PAPs could be in your shoes. But honestly, I don't know if many of us could handle the weight of it with the grace and courage that you have.
I have been thinking in particular about Josh and how difficult and confusing all of this must be for him. But I rest assured that he can clearly see the remarkable woman he has for a mother. Your demonstration of faith in this journey from joy and gratitude to pain and acceptance will be a light for him in his life.
You may have lost the gift of having this child in your lives, but you have not lost your dream.
God bless you and I hope you can close your eyes and feel the love and support that we are all sending out to you over the miles!
Lisa B

Drew and Rita said...

We hope that time heals your pain.

Lori said...

Maria, a few weeks ago you shared some comforting words with me. I know nothing but the hand of God can comfort you, but I did want to leave you some words for you and your family. You are all so lifted in prayer.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you asthe world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit

As for this sweet little girl and her future, remember....

Psalm 22:24
For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Hilary Marquis said...


You are such an wonderful witness at this moment. I know that you ar broken and lack the courage to go on...but you're choosing to lean on the Lord and to draw from His strength. He will sustain you, He will guide your path, and He will never leave your side. Footprints...We will keep praying for God's plan to unfold quickly, so that everyone might see His glory.

janiece said...

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you gain strength from family, friends and God. I pray that you will feel God guide through this journey.