Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 16: Taste and see that the Lord is good!

You will have to hang on with me because I am sure this post will get long, but I have to shout His praises!


I woke up today so incredible depressed and lonely.  I had the most despairing ache and longing in my body to go home.  I have never been so homesick in my life!  I was literally sick over it.  I received sweet encouraging emails from close friends and I could not help but be honest that I was not the spiritual giant I was being portrayed as.  Yes, I (and Tyler too) had walked this road of faith, but my flesh was creeping in.  I had to admit that I was ready to give up.  I wrote my friends saying in my flesh I want to tuck my tail between my legs, run as fast as I can home, and leave this place a distant memory.  Please hear me that I would never abandon Valentin and Joey!  But in my flesh and in my human power I was D-O-N-E!  I was at the end of me and all I could do was lay in bed and cry.  From 6:00 am until 3:30 pm through tears and weakness, I cried out to the Lord for strength and endurance.  If I was going to make it here, if I was going to be able to handle being alone and away from my family, God was going to have to carry me.  I poured it all out before Him.  I would cry out to Him, read scripture, listed to podcasts, do my bible study, yet the feeling of loneliness would not go away.  It remained, and the longer the day went on (and it went very slowly) the worse it got.  Was God hearing me?  I was trying so hard not to give into it but all I wanted to do was book the next flight out.  But I kept praying in faith that God would sustain me, I kept believing His word, I kept praying...what else could I do?


On the way to the orphanage I was still so sick to my stomach and I was choking back tears (I didn't want my driver to think who is this crazy lady).  I have been so brokenhearted that I have been unable to really connect with Valentin and the last time I saw him was very discouraging as he seemed to be very uncomfortable and scared around me.  Choking back tears I was praying God please show me how to connect with him.  When we got to the orphanage I had to use the restroom and I knew it was right by Valentin's room so I was hoping to get a peek into his room.  The driver usually makes me wait in the common area for them to bring Valentin out so I had assumed the staff had told him not to let me back in Valentin's room.  Well, when I was done my driver (a new driver who speaks some English) was in Valentin's room so I asked if I could go in.  He said yes.  Now I feel silly for not asking before.  The nannies were shocked to see me back there but they smiled and said hello.  They were changing Valentin's diaper and I could tell that as soon as they noticed me they became more gentle with him and he stopped moaning.  Then the coolest thing happened, Valentin turned to me and smiled at me.  This is so rare!  I know in all the pictures he is smiling but that is because he loved the camera, he vary rarely smiles just for me.  I have to say it again, he smiled at me!  I am going to save it for another post but mixed with the joy of seeing my boy happy to see me, I was hit with the reality of his room.  I will share more about that in another post.


They put new clothes on him and put him in the stroller.  He continued to be excited...this was so wonderful because usually as I sit in the common area I can hear him yelling and crying as they change him and get him ready and in the stroller.  We go down the hall and play some.  He is excited to see the familiar toys I always bring.  Today I brought a surprise...bubbles.  I was not sure how he would like them, but you can see for yourself in the video at the bottom of the post!!!





You all know how badly I want to get him out of that darn stroller.  I want him to start to see that you don't have to be caged or strapped in, there is a big fun world out there full of experiences and opportunities.  I want so badly for him to start making the small steps of freedom and trust so that when we rock his world by taking him out of the crib, in a car, on a train, to an unfamiliar apartment, and on a plane, and too his new home, that he will have built a little trust already so these experiences will not be severely traumatic.  They are going to be anyway but I want to teach him now that I am safe.  He was in such a good mood I thought 'this is my chance' so I went for it.  I unbuckled one side of his harness...no screaming.  The other side...no screaming.  Pulled his arms out...no screaming.



SUCCESS!!!!!!  "You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." Psalm 77:14


He took a few looks around after I put him on the couch and smiled at me.  I could see he was liking this new freedom!!!  He started throwing his ball against the wall behind him and had me chasing it all over the room.  He had me working but I loved it.  All I could do was praise God.  We had wrestled all day through pain and weeping and then He gives me this...




Don't tell me that is not a miracle!


The nanny came far too early to get him.  She begins to put him in the stroller and he starts his yelling.  She tries to comfort him which in the past has worked, not today.  So I bend down and start rubbing his back and praying over him.  I tell him I will be back tomorrow and sure enough, he calms down.  I praise you God!


I am so full of joy as we go to see Joey.  I go up to his room (which is really a few rooms - entry with lockers and benches, bathroom, play room, bedroom, and school room) and all the kids are finishing up drying their hair after a bath.  All of them are excited to see me and I get lots of hugs.  These kids are in a much better orphanage but the reality is they are still orphans.  My heart rejoices seeing them but also breaks that on a day here soon I will have to leave them behind.  That's for another post.


Joey sees me and starts squealing with excitement.  We sit down and as usual he is all about the blocks (cubici).  He is all over the place trying to get to the backpack I have in my hand so I have to get a little stern and tell him 'no, wait.'  He is such a good boy, he calms down and I put my arms out and ask for a hug.  He smiles and gives me a big hug.  I would linger in that hug all day but I let go quickly so he can have his backpack...but he stays.  He squeezes harder and them he gives me a spontaneous kiss on my cheek.  Lord, I am so unworthy of this!  Tears come pouring out again.  The nanny gives him some food I think so I can see how he eats.  When he was done he took his dishes, rinsed them off, and put them on the dirty dish tray, all by himself.  I pulled out the bubbles to see if he wanted to play and he grabbed me by the hand and took me into the room where his group was so that they all could play too.  What a kind heart this precious little boy has!!!  Simply amazing!  The kids loved the bubbles and it was such a sweet time to hear all of the kids laughing!








Then we went to play with...you guessed it 'cubici'.




Usually I have to ask him to share, he is very territorial of his toys, but today he starts handing them to me and we play together.  I asked to connect with the kids today...and He answered.


Jesus said to him,“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23


I got back to the apartment completely refreshed by God, with a renewed vigor to complete the work He has laid before us.  I am telling you guys HE IS STILL A GOD OF MIRACLES!  I am so weak and so frail in my flesh but He answered my prayers in a BIG way.  He is not changing my circumstances, I am still here away from my family, but He is changing my heart and the hearts of two precious little boys.  I am still homesick, no doubt, but through faith I asked Him to sustain me and to give me strength to endure, and He is.  I asked Him to supernaturally place trust in the boys' hearts, and He did.  Praise You God!


video




I am happy to report Tyler made it home safely and the kids we so excited to see him!!!  He still hates that he has to leave me here (he is such a great man) but my heart is so happy that he is with the kids.


Can you handle any more of the miraculous today????


Do you remember that before we left I was struggling because my mom was sick and I worried about her emphysema?  Also we had just found out that my Grandma was diagnosed with cancer and had to start radiation while we would be gone?


My mom is feeling much better and has been able to have just enough energy to care for the kids.  We keep praying for complete healing, but sometimes God has other plans.  He has not healed her completely and she has to wear her oxygen most of the time now, but He has sustained her and given her just enough of what she needs.  Most of all, He has given her Himself.  He has given her the opportunity and the great joy to grow in faith through all of the sickness.  I have never met a woman more on fire for the Lord, more in love with Jesus, or more rooted in faith.  I would love it if He healed her completely but I would not trade, and neither would she, the great example of faith!


And as for my Grandma...her mass is GONE!  She has not even finished treatment and IT IS GONE!  They are going to finish treatment and then check her again in a month.


I say it again...miracles!


Some might think I am over sensationalizing everything, and I may have thought that too.  But I am telling you I experienced the deepest loneliness I have ever experienced, to the point of being physically ill.  I am not joking when I say I was done...I mean I was DONE!  I had to put my entire belief system and all my faith on the line and truly trust God.  And He proved VERY quickly and once again, He does not leave or forsake us.


"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:29–31)  This passage was almost so familiar to me I forgot just how powerful it was...until today.  This means EVERYTHING to me today!


I know some don't believe in miracles anymore and I am not trying to go the other extreme and say everything is all miracles either, but if I had lost my faith that God could do wondrous things I would have lost my hope.  And I could not survive here without hope!  Maybe you need a little hope today.  Let's keep believing God!

30 comments:

  1. oh my gosh Jamie, I am literally sitting here crying after reading this. God is great!! You and your family are in my prayers continually. We love you and are here for you.

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  2. Holly SchoepplerMay 3, 2012 at 5:38 AM

    Jamie, I'm so enjoying your posts and appreciate your honesty. What a great and wonderful way for God to answer your prayers! You concluded with one of my very favorite verses. I'll continue to uphold you in prayer.

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  3. Praising God with you today! He is faithful!

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  4. OH JAMIE - TO SEE HIM OUT OF THAT STROLLER.... THAT JUST FREAKING MADE MY DAY!! I am so grateful that the Lord blessed you with that gift. I know how precious precious it was! You are so wrapped in prayer and support. Please don't hesitate to holler for help.... ADOPTION IS HARD and being in a country alone and lonely.... GOODNESS ME if anyone thinks you are weak and frail and shouldn't express terror and doubt IS NUTS!! You just keep on keeping on... one step forward every day knowing that GOD HAS THIS AND HE HAS YOU AND HE HAS RAISED UP AN ARMY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE PRAYING YOU THROUGH.

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  5. So, so happy to hear of your wonderful day with your boys!

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  6. I was weeping as I read this. Your loneliness was palpable, yet GOD is BIGGER!!! Praise him for the strides your sons have made!!!! He ALWAYS shows up when we surrender to him. Somehow, some way!!! So incredibly happy for you!!! Prayers continue for your journey. (((HUGS))) to you from RI!!

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  7. I am crying. You are right, I needed hope today. God bless you for sharing so openly. Rejoicing with you on a great day with both of your boys!

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  8. I have been so worried about you and have been checking hourly for a new post ... and then this. This wonderful, uplifting post. Praise God!

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  9. So sorry to hear about your loneliness but it is wonderful to hear how God has sustained you through the children you saving. Glad to hear the day ended so well. Bring on the miracles!

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  10. What an honest and amazing post! So excited for the progress! God is good! :-))))

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  11. I've been reading and not commenting. I should probably change that as you need encouragement! So wonderful to hear how the Lord lifted you up! I felt so sorry for you sick and alone yesterday. I cannot imagine.
    Valentin has The. Best. Laugh. EVER!!!!! Mercy that was a great video!!! Your boys are precious, precious. I know it's awful being so far from home for so long, but oh how much it's going to help to be bonded with them before the trauma of taking them home. Well, for Joey it may just be an exciting adventure, but it will be harder for Valentin. But if he already knows you and can be comforted by you...that is just what he will need. The Lord is good. Praise God about your mom and Grandma and your husband being home safely!!!

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  12. Oh Jamie! I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see Valentin out of the stroller and sitting on the couch. He looks so happy! So glad you received the assurances and comfort you needed during this difficult time.

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  13. Your faith truly inspires me. It would mean a lot to me if you would pray for me when you have a moment. I am looking at adopting a little girl from Russia but am waiting on information about her and her availability. I need strength in my heart to see this through (I am doing it alone) and she needs a momma - if not me, than someone else.
    Thank you so much.

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  14. What a wonderful reward for you to have those times with Valentin and Joey! I'm so glad you got to get Valentin out of the stroller. You are on a journey together--two journeys, with the two boys, that will intersect soon!

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  15. Praise God! I know, being there in the moment, it may not seem that you are connecting at times with sweet Valentin, but, I am telling you, I see a noticeable difference - almost a sparkle- in his eyes in the videos now. You are doing amazing things for him:)

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  16. Praise the Lord, who hears, who cares, who lifts us up for the sake of His good name. Thank you for this beautiful post.

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  17. Amen! Amen! Amen!!! Praise GOD!! So happy for you today!! Yeah!

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  18. That is so awesome! I am so happy for you!!

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  19. You go girl!!! Keep the praises flowing!!!!!

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  20. How amazing and wonderful! One of my daughters was in a laying room and it took her months to trust me. She never smiled the entire time I was there. So glad your prayers were answered! You are doing an awesome job being there all by yourself. The boys are precious!

    Catherine
    wronginalltherightways-travcat.blogspot.com

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  21. I have seen miracles with my own eyes and this is another one that I can add to that list. While it was a miracle that God answered the prayers today when you needed that lift. The changes in Valentin and the miracle that is happening is because of you. You are his mommy and are proving to him that you will not abandon him just like God did not abandon you today. Both of your boys are beautiful and I can't wait to see the first day your get to have them together and the first day you bring them home. Both these boys have such potential you can hear it in their laughter and see it in their smiles. I am so looking forwards to watching these boys heal with you and your family.

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  22. So happy for you! The laughter is priceless!!

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  23. Your account of your day just bubbles over - not only with Valentin's joy, but with your own reassurance and renewed strength, which reminds me so much of my cousins' favorite Bible verse during their lengthy adoption: "I can do all things through God, who strengthens me". Your experience with your boys illustrates that so clearly and sharply.

    And wow, look at Valentin! Out of that stroller, joyously infectious giggles, great fun with the light-up ball, understanding and demonstrating cause and effect, using both hands to grasp, together and individually - so much is in this one video. There's such expression and light in his face now...

    Joey is another cutie-pie - does he know he's going to both have and be a brother shortly? I am so thankful he's in one of the better places and is well-cared for.

    I hope and will pray that the hope and reassurance you received today will remain with you and sustain you through your remaining time in country, as well as during your homeward journey and for the days at home ahead. Thanks so much for sharing this remarkable day with your followers and readers.

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from EE

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  24. AMAZING!!! Praise God.

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  25. Praise His name!!! I have been reading and have never commented. Well, I just can't not comment today! FABULOUS update! Love seeing your little man out of his stroller. His laughing over the bubbles is such a sweet sound.
    So thankful for your testimony to answered prayer!

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  26. He lets us get to the complete end of ourselves to see that ultimately He is the all-sufficient one and we need no-one else and nothing else but Him. And, He comes through. Remember how He fed the 5,000 + women & children with only 5 loaves and 2 fish when there was no-where else to turn for food? His wonders are true today as they were then, as He never changes. I rejoiced in how the Lord provided abundant grace for you and the boys today when you were at the end of your own strength. He is SO GOOD! I can hardly wait to see how the story unfolds and your boys are finally and home and safe. You and Tyler are amazing!

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  27. oh, friend. I Love reading your blog and your journey...the good, the hard, the super hard, the blessing, the miracles--all of it! I see Luke in your sons. I see true joy in all these trials. I'm praying for you all the time everyday. I'm just so thankful for you and Tyler's obedience and love for our Savior and for his children. Love you. -Janna

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  28. wow. i think that laughter is the best thing i've ever heard. thank you for sticking this out. i hope that you have other adopting americans you can spend time with in your area(?) seems like the distraction of some socializing could greatly appease a little of the isolation(?) i imagine there must be some way to network that...

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  29. finally got around to watching the video today...it is amazing how completely different he (valetin) is in your presence. i think your intuitions are probably right about the sedatives and hopefully once the nannies "trust" you a bit more they might give you more info about what exactly he is taking. i was amazed to see him transferring between hands - great sign! thank you for sharing your journey!

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  30. All I can say is WOW we serve an awesome God!!!! You give a little and in return He blesses you until your cup runneth over!!!

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