Thursday, December 18, 2014

Though it linger... wait for it.

Who am I that the Lord of all creation might choose to speak to me?
Who am I that the God of Heaven and of Earth might hear my cry and answer me?

Lately, I have struggled to keep walking forward in this adoption.
I am more than weary...
Literally... physically... emotionally... mentally... 
I have been struggling.
My closest friends surround me, support me and pray for me.
I seriously could not do this without the love and support of others!

I have been wrestling with God.

I have been crying out to Him.

WHEN will this adoption EVER happen?!? 
WHY do you stand silently by and allow governments and corruption to keep innocent children from forever families?
Where are you? 

Then this morning... It was as if He looked down at the earth and chose to speak to me.

I sat down for my morning Bible Study. I didn't really have anything in particular I wanted to read so I decided to read the L3 (our church's reading plan). 
The first option in the L3 is Revelation... ehh.. I will just skip that today. I'm not feeling it.
Option number 2 is Habakkuk. 
Sure. Why not? 

Habakkuk 1 begins with Habakkuk praying to the Lord a prayer that is very familiar to me.

"How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?"

Habakkuk thinks that the LORD is merely standing by, passively, and allowing wickedness to prevail.

God's response:
"Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. 
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."

I was intrigued.

Habakkuk thought God was silently standing by.
But He wasn't.
Instead, He was working "behind the scenes" to create something amazing.

Most days I feel like Habakkuk. I feel like God is silent in our adoption journey.
Instead, could it be that He is actively crafting together something that I would not believe even if I was told? 
(of course the answer to this is YES, but that is so hard to see in the day to day struggle)

God proceeds to give Habakkuk a revelation of His plan.

Habakkuk responds with a few more questions.

Then the next few verses jumped off the page at me.

"Then the LORD replied:
Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come and will not delay.

What will certainly come and not delay?
The revelation that God had given to Habakkuk.

God gave Lee and I a revelation about adoption in November 2010.
That is what we wait on.
Of course we wait for a child, but our heart of hearts waits to see the fulfillment of what the Lord spoke into our lives. 
So much of my most recent struggle in this adoption journey is focused on God and not Malachi.
Sure I love Malachi and cannot wait to see him.
However, more importantly than receiving a child... I long to taste the faithfulness of the Lord. I long to see the fulfillment of His promise

The words "though it linger, wait for it" were both encouraging and discouraging.
I am encouraged because it is Truth spoken directly to me. I renews my Spirit and reminds me that ONE DAY He will fulfill His promise.
It discourages me because... it lingers... and I must continue to wait.
He didn't tell me that it would happen swiftly like I wish He would have.

A sweet friend of mine who is also in the adoption process made a comment the other day that really stuck in my head. This particular friend is just as (or probably more) weary as me.
With tears in her eyes she said, "If I had to choose the short route or the long route in His presence... I would never want to choose the short route."

In essence, she was saying that she would never want to choose the shortest route of a journey and miss out on the presence of the Lord. She would rather journey the harder, longer route just to be in the presence of the Lord for longer.

That is NOT an easy comment to make. 

So I have chewed on it for a few weeks. I am praying that in my weariness that I don't miss out on His presence. I don't want to become bitter. I want to become more like Him.

A lady asked me a question the other day (innocently and sweetly). She said, "I don't mean this to sound weird but I simply have to ask you... Do you think you will be able to love your adopted child like you do your biological children?"

I proceeded to explain that in my heart there seriously is no difference in how I feel about Malachi, Miller or Chip. I explained that you fall in love with your children while you are pregnant with them... and I have been "paper pregnant" with Malachi for... umm... 3 years!" She understood and appreciated my explanation.

I looked away from her for a moment. We both paused in the silence.

I slowly looked back up at her and said, "I honestly don't think that I will ever be able to look at Malachi and not think about the Lord."

I pictured my brown son standing in the room next to us.

And when I saw him... I thought about Jesus.

Exciting news on the adoption front!
In the last 2 weeks there have been at least 3 baby boy referrals go out so we have moved up a few spots!! 
We are thankful to have seen so much movement in the past 2 months. We pray that referrals continue to go out, and we also pray that children can get the necessary paperwork to COME HOME!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

5.5K for the 5K!!

Your support through our 5K fundraiser has literally left us speechless.
The 5K just sort of "fell into our laps" as a fundraiser and we didn't really know what to expect.
You responded to God's nudge to give and we are eternally grateful!


So far we have received approximately
and counting...
That DOES NOT include the $3,000 match that Colonial Heights is giving us!
So with the match, we have raised approximately
I seriously cannot believe that I just typed that number!
and counting...

I keep saying "and counting" because we have had several people come forward in the last few days asking if they could still give.
YES! The answer is YES!
8,500 is a lot of money, but we still have a good bit of money to raise!

One of the most amazing blessings of the 5K was an answer to a specific prayer that I prayed. 
I remember praying..
"God, I know You will provide financially, but I ask even more that you would show Lee and I that we are not alone in this journey. Adoption can be a lonely and weary journey, so could you just bring forth people to come around and support us?"

I remember thinking, "if we could get 30 people to stand up and sponsor us... That would encourage me so much." 

I sit here typing this today as I am writing over 87 thank you notes!!! 

Yes.... At least 87 people sponsored us...  
That is not counting the family members of the sponsors! That is simply counting how many donations we received!! 

So if we are counting "people" we could easily double or triple that number! 

Our hearts are full. Our words of gratitude fall short. 

Thank you.

Here are some photos from the race! 
It was a cold, brisk, beautiful morning. 
Colonial Heights Baptist Church did an AMAZING job on the race! It was almost surreal to be surrounded by so many people coming together for orphans... Which is always on the forefront of mine and Lee's heart.

warming up

The Blackburn Family before the race. The boys were freezing!
Our handprints

Sweet team of runners! A few runners weren't pictured in this photo.
Thank you Megan Stewart, Nicole Hand, Danielle Stewart, Stephanie Kitchens, Ben Kitchens, Chasity Bounds, Will & Alicia Mattern, Courtney Anders and Jennifer Crane for raising money for us and for volunteering to run!!

My sweetest friend, Megan Manuel. We have been journeying together for years! Immensely thankful for her friendship!
Lee and Will did a great job of pushing the 4 kiddos the majority of the race... or I mean... pretty much the ENTIRE race.
"Team Blackburn" after the race! Such a sweet day!

Lee and I said "we know we have some sweet, sweet friends when they will get up early on a Saturday morning to run in below freezing weather to support us!
This sweet boy is READY for his brother to come home!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support!!