Thursday, January 30, 2014


My heart aches again.  The same ache I felt that August day that I said goodbye to Kate for the first time and put her on a plane back to Ukraine.  That ache, though it never fully went away, has been resurrected, and now multiplied.  Now there are two children who have found a way into my heart.

Goodbye Ukraine

When that Ukraine International Airlines flight began its ascent over the city of Kyiv, I felt my heart torn in two again.  Stepping foot outside their country reminds me that I have to let go again.  I hate that I had to say goodbye to Max and Kate.  I hate that in many ways my coming, because I had to also leave, caused more pain in their lives.  But I rejoice in the fact that the pain has its roots in joy.  The joy of sharing time and space together, of bonding over foosball and jumprope.  So I pray this joy will outweigh the pain.  And I pray for continued hope for Kate and Max as they wait.

I want to give them a date that we will be back for them, to give them some idea of when they will have family, but I can’t.  I know this is out of my hands and while I think it could be as early as April, what if it’s not?  What if the social unrest the country is experiencing escalates and begins affecting adoptions?  What if there are delays for reasons I cannot anticipate?  I long for the day that Adam and I can say, “On this day we are coming for you…no more goodbyes this time.”

I think this is harder for Kate because she’s had the hope of a family now for several months more than Max has.  She knows what she’s missing.  Knows what she wants to go back to.  He has an idea of what it will be like because he had a wonderful host family, but he doesn’t know what it will be like with our family.  There’s a bit of a blessing in not knowing what you don’t know.  Kate has slept in the bed that is hers, worn clothes purchases just for her and hanging in her closet, enjoyed time with Grandma and Grandpa and friends.  He hasn’t experienced those things with us yet.  What faith it takes at 10 years old to commit to a family.  It seems so risky, but I don’t know what it would be like to have nothing to lose. 

Sometimes when we are together I find myself wrestling with the lie, “This can’t be that special for them.  I mean, we’re just playing checkers or listening to Baby Bumblebee for the forty-fifth time (Kate's absolute favorite song).”  At times the lies are fierce.  Causing me to doubt that they would want us.  I’m nobody special and there are so many things I don’t do well.  Wouldn’t they rather have a mom that’s more fun?  More creative?  More outgoing?

And then, in His infinite goodness, the Lord taps me on the shoulders reminding me of His grace.  And His grace finds me and keeps me.

“Your great grace, such grace…. It’s there on the mountaintop, there in the every day and the mundane.  There in the sorrow and the dancing…. So I’m breathing in your grace.  I’m breathing out your praise….Your grace finds me.”

I cling tightly to this great grace. His grace is my safety, my security, my refuge and really it’s all I have.  More importantly, it’s all I need.  This isn’t about me or Adam.  It’s not about my performance as a mom.  It’s not about me measuring up because I won’t.  It’s about me showing up.  Me, in His strength and grace, being there when He calls.  Not looking at a situation and thinking, “But I can’t…”  No, it’s seeing a situation in the light of His abundant mercy and His sufficiency for me.

I don’t know what our future will look like.  I do know it will be a shared road of joy and pain, of trials and healing.  It would be so easy to walk away because who wants to choose these challenges, but more than the challenge I want to know God’s redemption and faithfulness every step of the way.

I pray for their hearts.  I prayed that they would find rest last night as they went to sleep.  I prayed that when they awakened this morning their hearts would be full of peace.  I pray that God would hold them tight when I cannot, that He would fill their hearts with His love, His grace.

And I pray for Ukraine.

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