Living Faith

Noah was surrounded by people who wanted to dissaude and detract him from following God's call in his life. Noah acted in faith to God's call even though what he was called to do went against common sense and the "rules". Noah ran his race with the intent to win. He did not worry about public opinion. We can look at Noah's life for guidance when it seems we are the only ones walking a certain path; running an only course. We are not alone in our faith. God will always be there to guide and help through life's many storms and trials. An active and living faith can at times require actions that may seem new and uncomfortable, but the rewards are eternal.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Out with the Old and in with the New?

For those who have visited my blog a few times in the past, you know of how my husband and I so desperately sought to bring home two children from the same classroom of our most recently adopted daughter, Chloe.  Chloe was and continues to be a survivor.  During and after her adoption we were told stories of how she refused to smile, how sick she was in the orphanage and the amount of money spent on her frequent hospital visits while living in the orphanage.  The director of her orphanage was a beautiful and loving woman who did everything in her power to take care of her.  She, the director, had an adopted child of her own who also worked in the orphanage.  Chloe was blessed to be in this orphanage not only because of the director but also because of three special friends she had there with her.  One of those friends was adopted just a month after Chloe came home but the two others wait.  Wait for what?  We do not know.  These children are stuck in the system.  Did we turn our backs on them? No, we fought for them and although it did not turn out the way we wanted it to their lives are better now because we did fight.  We continue to pray.  We receive updates on them and cherish every picture and bit of information we can get.  We talk of them frequently in our home.  Although they are not physically with our family they are in our hearts and we will always love them.  Chloe has the opportunity to visit them when we return to China in February.  I go back and forth in my mind weighing what is best for the boys as well as Chloe knowing that they are "family" and a significant part of each others story.  A story that needs to be embraced and not forgotten, "the old".  Do you throw the old away and start over again with the new?  I do not think so.  In my Trust Based Relational Intervention studies, Karyn Purvis taught us to be a blank slate for our children's stories.  We do not make up a story for them hoping it will make the past better or less painful.  We allow the children to tell us how they remember or even what they want to make believe about their past.  As we accept their rendition of the story it slowly changes into the real experience of what they endured as they are able to process it and accept in with the love, trust and security we have given them by listening.  Only listening and doing nothing else like correcting, fixing or negating.  So do I throw out the old? No, I pray and ask God to help me trust in Him to heal the heart of this little miracle we have.  

Going backwards a little bit and also repeating some information in a previous blog, when we came home with Chloe, all I could do was think of her friends left behind.  When you adopt and you get to visit the orphanage it changes you.  To me, I was not rescuing one child.  I was leaving behind an orphanage full of children who were losing hope with each "friend" they saw leave, never to return. How do you reconcile that?  Well thankfully I allowed God , after some time of fighting him to show me how. It all started with my pastor.  On Palm Sunday after having Chloe home for 6 months and still fighting to join her friends with our family, I went forward in church to ask for prayer for these boys.  My prayer request was to adopt these boys, Noah and Rhys.  After all, ever since I had gotten home every Christian radio station I listened to was preaching on Noah!  This must be a sign that he and Rhys were suppose to be part of our family.  I will never ever forget the pastor's response to my request.  As we held hands and he prayed for me, He asked God if it was His will for these boys to be adopted that it be so.  I was livid!!!! God tells us He will place the lonely in families.  God fights for the orphans!!!!  I could not believe the words coming out of this tall strong Texan's mouth.  Had he not studied his Bible?  Little did I know!  In the days to come, a non-profit in the orphanage started a tutoring program for our two boys and the 5 other children stuck in the same situation as them.  They, at the moment, do not have a hope of being adopted but they do now have tutors and loving people coming into the orphanage to mentor them.  The old is not thrown out, it is rejoiced in.  And what of the new?

I believe if we had been successful in bringing home these boys, less children would be reached through me by the grace of God.  Because God said, "No", I was open to other ways that I could help children from the birth country of my two precious daughters.  This search took many twists and turns that led to the opportunity of  leading  two teams to China, training under Dr. David Cross and Dr. Karyn Purvis, meeting Dr. Bruce Perry and talking to him of traumatized children one on one, and in the next couple of months I will return to Ft. Worth, Texas, to receive training in how to hold camps for adopted children and their parents as well as conducting camps in orphanages for the children and their care providers. A camp for  children with histories of abuse or abandonment that has caused them to isolate themselves due to failed trust.  These children often remained closed and alone while their parents and care givers watch helplessly. 

God has truly been merciful to me.  As I wait to see what God has next, I am thrilled at the opportunity to parent our newest son who will be 10 years old when he joins our family hopefully by the end of summer 2014.  We will continue to celebrate in the new and as we support and cherish the past.  I look forward to sharing how God continues to work in our lives and will give Him the glory for everything we have and do not have.  I am what I am because He has been there in the old and in the new for me.  Shaping me and forming me into what He needs to accomplish the goals He set for me before I was ever formed in my mother's womb.  I am a child of His and I am thankful for all the children He has chosen for me to come in contact with.  I ask for your prayers as we navigate the new and uncertain as we also continue to celebrate the old that continues to unfold from the pasts of our children's lives.  The stories they have shared and will share as we journey together this side of heaven.

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