packing list

Our official TA arrived Friday, and we have been assigned to travel group 1596. Another family from that travel group is leaving on July 7th, which is NINE days from today. NINE. DAYS!!!!!

We won't know until today or tomorrow whether our consulate appointment will allow us to leave the seventh, or whether we will get bumped back another week.

This weekend I rummaged through several suggested packing lists. I never would have thought that some of these supplies were necessary, so I'm thankful that other parents who have "been there, done that" took the time to help the rest of us. Still, I'm nervous. I've heard that there's nothing like walking into a Chinese Wal-Mart desperately needing "Product X", and finding that every sign is in another language, and that most of the products are foreign. How do you prepare for a plethora of possible needs, in luggage under 45 pounds?

I can already tell that this adventure will make me more compassionate to visiting internationals and to people who are illiterate. Being able to read/speak the language of those around you is such a massive blessing.

We still don't know who will travel. I feel like I have been in almost constant prayer for months about this, but it remains incredibly difficult to know how to make this decision. We really need the Lord to show us what would bring Him the most glory.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 16:6.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.


Over and again in my life, God has used this verse to show me that His limitations are trustworthy. And I know that this will prove true again. But where should we place our feet? I still don't know. Do we follow the pulling of our heart in faith? Or do follow the pulling of our minds in stewardship? What does obedience look like in this situation?

Yesterday Bobby and I wrestled with some numbers and decided again that he would go alone. Honestly, I was sad, but I tried to choose contentment because of Psalm 16:6. The Lord has just revealed Himself too many times throughout this process for me to doubt Him now.

When I woke up this morning, though, I felt restless. I'm still not sure we found the right solution. It's just a very confusing time.

We have been offered a place to stay in one private orphanage in Beijing, and we have been invited to visit another. I really want our birth kids to see these places, so that the needs there can simmer inside them. American teenagers can become so self-absorbed. I want my kids to understand the magnitude of the world's needs and feel personally connected to them.

Another confusing factor... our growing hearts for Asia. It's the strangest thing. Lately when I run into people with Asian faces, I feel an ache in my chest. I want to know them. I want to spend time with them. It's hard to describe. I feel the same way about Asian art and music. It's sort of like there is a little string sewn into the edge of my heart, and it's just pulling me toward something. It's almost like the feeling you get when you see something really beautiful and you want to go touch it. Or like that sadness you feel when you've lost something you've loved.

I don't know if that's a calling or not. I don't know what it means about our lives or this trip. I do have a strong imagination, and I don't want to assign feelings to God that are originating in my mind. (I have done that in the past.) But I can't seem to shake it, either. And I think that part of the reason I want to take the kids is to test those waters. What does it 'feel like' to parent three kids in Asia for a few days? How does that resonate with the ache inside me? What do WE look like THERE?

Prayers for wisdom would be really great. If my pediatric books sell, we would go. And it would be reasonable to hear back from the hospital this week. Or, if God wants us to just step out in faith, we are willing to do that, too. But we'd just like some sort of confirmation that this is a move of faith and not a move of self-determination. One of my biggest fears is the temptation of masking my own desires with God's name. I want to follow Him, not use Him to get my own wants met. So thanks for praying that we would be humble, honest, obedient, and protected from temptation.

Despite all of this confusion, I want to take time to simply be thankful. Our son will be home soon. We will be able to show him a blue sky for the first time in his life. He will see grassy fields where he can run. We will go to the library and learn about the big world waiting for him. He will snuggle up for a bedtime story and evening prayers. He will be in a room full of people singing God's praise for the first time in his life. I'm absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude for that. We love you, Moses!!

Carey  – (June 28, 2010 at 6:32 PM)  

I will say.. I will NEVER forget every SENSE I felt when I visited in Germany and Switzerland... I STUDIED german in high school AND college. I would have even considered myself fairly familiar with the language, though I hadn't studied it for four or five years....

There is NOTHING like being somewhere surrounded by people and things that you have NO understanding for and no ability to communicate with. The Frankfurt airport... I'll never forget a detail about that -- the FIRST time I was hit with it.

It created within me an EXTREME compassion for those who immigrate to this country and persevere. How utterly terrifying!

You are right -- to read and be able to communicate. What a blessing we all take for granted.

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About This Blog

Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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