Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To My Readers

I got an email a bit ago that said, "Hi! You'll probably never remember this email, since you're in the whirlwind of pre-departure packing/scrambling to get stuff done and pretty soon you'll be parenting a baby girl, but I had to write and say Good Luck!"

The email went on to say she found our blog the day we had to turn down our referral of Ellie. WOW. What a hard day that was and what a time to find our blog. I remember that day like it was yesterday. God surely had a bigger plan than I did though and He managed to turn, what we had viewed from a human standpoint, into something much bigger than us. We are so glad that He did.

But, her email sparked some thoughts that I wanted to take time to write about (and I have NO time so this is truly an indulgence).

"You'll probably never remember this email." But, I will. Each time I get an email from those I don't know and from those I do that make a comment on my blog, it spurs me on to continue to share the pieces of our lives that I share with you. I've had many ask me why I lay all the details of my life out on the internet each day, and truly, it feels like my calling at this point in life. I'm not sure why God wants me to write this stuff. I'm honestly not sure most days why God allows me the blessings He does or why He puts me in the situations in my life that He does. He obviously has more faith in my abilities than I ever would. I would have never thought we would endure for three years to bring Ellie home. I would have never thought it would involve a failed adoption, three countries, and the large amount of money it has cost. All of us in this family, Josh included, has put everything in our lives on the line during this process and God has rewarded us with the blessing of a daughter and sister.

And, now, just two days prior to leaving to go pick up Ellie, each email, each kind word, each hug whether in person or via email or as a comment from the blog, touches my life immensely. It is balm to a very tired body right now.

At church tonight, our children's minister gave me a packet of letters. Each is addressed for a day during my trip for me to open so that I will have encouragement while I am away from all that is comforting and normal and while I am literally in a foreign land. As I was thinking of that kindness, I was reminded that as Christians, we are foreigners here on this earth. This is not our home. We shouldn't be comfortable here. It should feel wrong -- somehow off, as if we are waiting to get back to home. Brother Michael's encouraging words could be compared to the words that God gave us in the Bible -- words to comfort and encourage us and help us during our time away from home. The encouragement and support is lost if we don't read them, though. Here's a photo of my encouragement notes. Thank you so much for them, for the time you spent writing them, for the thoughts contained in them. I will read my first one on Day 1 - Travel Day -- just as it is noted.

The writer continued to mention that she and her husband were in the process of adopting from Kyrgyzstan as well and that blogs have really encouraged them during their wait.

I remember reading blogs of the ones who came before me -- religiously poring over them for all the details of how it would be and I vowed that I would share everything I could when it was my time. I will be honest. I have not shared all I could. There is so much more that I've wanted to share about our process, but felt I couldn't. I suppose I did compromise some of my desires to be fully open in order to make sure things proceeded as they needed to in order to get my daughter home. Walk into international adoption expecting the unexpected. Don't expect it to all go smoothly. It might, but chances are it won't. Don't be willing to compromise your integrity and your beliefs for the process. Research and form relationships (off yahoo lists or boards or wherever) to stay informed with what is really going on in the community where you intend to adopt. Knowledge is power. Relationships are also very important during this process. Be willing to help others -- you will always be re-paid one-hundred-fold times over when you least expect it. Know that you truly do owe something to those that follow you and that your actions, comments and behaviors will affect more than just you and your adoption. Learn what battles truly are important ones and which ones are best to just let go.

And, above all, keep writing and leaving comments. It is such a blessing to read kind words from others. I will remember them and cherish them.


Suzanne said...

What a beautifully written and touching post. My wish for you is a wonderful trip filled with joy and amazement as you fall totally in love with your daughter. Savor every minute!

Suzanne ( in FL)

Rachel said...

I had a friend over last night who follows a lot of my blog friends. She was asking about you and if you had Ellie yet. I told her you were leaving this week and she was surpised it was taking so long! I was able to share what's going on over there right now and ask for prayers.

Good luck with everything...can't wait for that little girl to be in your arms once again!

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LaLa said...

What an awesome post. The letter idea is wonderful..what a treasure : )

I can't wait to meet her someday at a playdate!!!

Pamela said...

Yet another inspiring post from one of my favorite bloggers. All the best to you as you prepare to bring Ellie home. I'll be following every step of the way. And, more importantly, my prayers will be with you each and every day.



Carol M said...

Hi Maria, I started reading your blog when you went over on Trip 1 to meet Ellie. What followed broke my heart, but also must have been the Lord's way of preparing me for what my daughter and son in law experienced. HOWEVER in God's time all of our prayers (yours and ours) have been answered. I will be praying for your safe travel, and and a lifetime of joyful memories with your new daughter. I can't wait for your posts from Kyrgyzstan!

Bridget said...

What a great post. You have been such an inspiration to me. I don't know if I will be able to get through this process - so much is unknown. I really treasure your blog. It gives me hope.

Happy and safe travels -