DETAILS. There are still a number of details that have to be figured out, taken care of, and nailed down in the next 33 days, but the good news is that we're both detail people, so this isn't as stressful to us as it might be to some. However, at times we have a tendency to be a little overly sure that we have it all figured out, so our prayer request would be that God would remind us to look to Him for our plans, rather than relying on our own wisdom. Yes, we have to physically book the car rental, but God can lead us to the right one (just as he did on the airline tickets and the condo). Pray that we are smart enough to listen, and obedient enough to lay aside our own plans for His better ones.
Earlier this week, we heard from the in-country adoption team (consisting of our lawyer, her assistant, and the kid's social worker) that the kids were "ready for our meeting" in 38 days. Glad to hear they aren't dreading it! We are so grateful for the work that the team has been doing with the kids to get them ready, especially the social worker who has been so faithful to meet with them and send us ideas for the letters we have been writing to the kids. Please continue to pray for the children and the workers, that they would have God-given wisdom, and that the kids would continue to grow in their enthusiasm for this life changing plan.
Speaking of life changing plans, how's your perspective? Have you ever realized that you might need a perspective adjustment? One morning this week, Peter and I had just finished praying before he left for work, and I made a comment about getting something done "before our lives are turned upside down." It's a statement I've made countless times, because if you bring 5 children into your life after 16 years of easy living and last-minute meals, it does rather seem like your life is spinning a bit. But this time when it rolled off my tongue, my wise husband looked at me and said, "Have you ever thought that maybe they aren't turning our lives upside down, but are actually turning our lives right side up? Maybe we've been upside down all this time and didn't even know it." Bless him for saying it, because NO, I haven't.
I've always looked at this whole process as something God led us to, something He wanted us to do, something He was using to break us out of our comfort zone and use to help us grow, something we were (initially) reluctantly obeying, but even when my excitement about the process grew, I still never looked at bringing so much change into our home as making something right that was previously broken. I don't know what made him say it, but I'm grateful that he did.
Begging your indulgence this week, but building on the above story, I have a little soapbox to stand on, so if you don't like those kinds of things, I suggest you look away now.
You've probably all seen the summer Facebook posts with statements like, "School can't start soon enough! Where's the wine?" and "Just 12 more days before we can send the kids off to school!" Every time I see something along those lines in my feed, I cringe. I fully realize that there are those of you who will say that since I am not yet a parent, I cannot identify with how they are feeling as a parent. And yes, that is true to a certain extent, however, I do know what it was like to be the child they are talking about.
This desire to see the kids go back to school isn't new, and I remember hearing the parents of my friends say similar things when they didn't think the kids were listening (trust me, we were always listening!). I also remember my mother piping up to say, "Not me! I LOVE having them home for the summer and am always sorry when school starts, and so glad when they come home in the afternoon." People usually stopped talking then and moved on to another topic, but her public response always made me feel loved, rather than in the way.
You know that I'm an introvert - this isn't something I try to hide. And you know that as married INTJs, we value our privacy, our alone time, and our tidy, logic-driven life. However, as a parent, I don't ever want our children to feel like they made our life worse. That they turned our world upside down - in a negative way. That our life before them was so much better, or that we're sorry we told God "yes" to this adventure. I want them to know, as my parents demonstrated to their children, that God used them to turn our lives right side up. And #iamthankful.
P.S. If you're reading this and you are one of those parents counting the days and popping open the wine bottle, why not begin praying about it instead? Ask God to show you how you can bless your children and encourage them in those days before they start a new school year. As someone who grew up with two parents who always made time for their kids, I can tell you that feeling wanted and loved is one of the best investments you can ever make in your child's life.