As the days pass and we near Gotcha Day, the day the kids walk out of the orphanage forever, I can't help but think of how much their lives are going to change...forever. They will walk out of that orphanage with a new last name. They will receive new birth certificates and passports with our last name. They will become American citizens upon arriving on American soil. Sometimes in the process it's easy to get caught up in all the steps it takes to get to this point that it can almost feel like a business transaction in the day to day. But when I walk the streets of Cherkasy alone to buy snacks to take to the kids at the orphanage caught up in the bustle of this city life, I am completely overcome with awe at how great our God is. It is His grace, and only His grace, that allows me to be here in this very moment.
But by the grace of God, I am what I am...
1 Corinthians 15:10
This is a picture taken in front of the home I grew up in back in Encinitas, California. It was taken just days after Adam and I met for the very first time. We met in Mesa, Arizona and not more than a couple weeks later we loaded up my Honda Civic and drove to San Diego where my parents "had a few friends over." It was pretty much a party and everyone was there to check out this boy I had met on eHarmony. Thankfully, all of Coastline (my church at the time) approved and the rest is, as they say, history.
But my goodness... That was 2004. Less than 10 years later this is my life.
How did we get here? Seriously?
Adam and I knew we wanted to be married...I mean, that was kind of the point of eHarmony. We knew we wanted kids, we even knew we may consider adoption at some point. What we didn't know was the way God would get us here. And I'm so thankful we didn't know because walking in the unknown with faith is kind of fun (this coming from a type A, planner who kind of likes to be in control and doesn't like to take risks).
So often we forget that God is in the business of refining us through EVERY circumstance of our lives. He brought Adam and I here. This story is not ours, it is His. And we know he's not done yet. There's a lot of hard work ahead, but I can look back in the past 10 years (and even longer) and see His faithfulness, see how He showed up even though I was blinded by my own selfishness, pride and sometimes ignorance.
Because I know the Lord shows up, I want to see Him do it again and again. While I don't necessarily want the challenges and leading a comfortable life sounds amazing at times, I know better. I know deep down that's not what I want. I don't want easy. Because if I was okay with that I would miss Him. I remind myself that we experience joy by way of hard. And I get the feeling "hard" is just around the corner. So, then, is joy.