The Journey Home

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

3 months already?

I want to begin this post by thanking everyone for their prayers, encouragement, and support during and after our adoption of Biruk Abigail Travis.  We are so grateful to be a part of a community of believers who actively love us like you do.  I love that the Lord has broadened our friendships to include those attending at least 10 different churches since He called us to adopt.  It's a small taste of what we will experience together in heaven, and it feels good and right.

I would like to fill you in on how Biruk is adjusting to our family.  I meant to do this every so often to keep you updated, but the first 2 months were difficult in that we dealt with unexpected illnesses in both Biruk and I.  I am so thankful that we are feeling better, and also thankful for what the Lord taught us through that difficult time.  Aaron and I both said that we never would have chosen what He gave to us, but we are not sorry.  He drew us together as a couple and made us stronger, our family as a whole learned that we really do need each other, and the Lord showed us yet again that we cannot live this life without Him.  At all.  He is teaching us how to slow down, how to live fully in each moment and be fully present, how to serve one another better and perhaps most importantly, that we must cease living life so isolated.  These are huge lessons for us and we are trying hard to be Mary's and sit at the Master's feet soaking Him and His words all into our minds, bodies, hearts.  

I believe that the timing of these lessons has everything to do with our adoption.  I have had people tell me, "Well, you've got 4 kids already...what's one more??"  One more child to love.  One more child to disciple.  One more child to teach.  One more child to teach me.  One more child to disciple me.  One more child to love me.  One more is a huge thing.  A good thing.  A hard thing.  A beautiful thing.  Adoption has been the clearest earthly picture that God has given to me of redemption.  I get it so much better now.  Redemption is costly; it is messy; the weeks and even months and sometimes years following it can feel uncertain, strange, new, full of adventure with ups, downs, and hairpin curves.  Our adoption has felt much like this; much like what I imagine my heavenly Father has felt since the day He redeemed me.  It is one of the greatest gifts He has ever, ever given to us, this real-life picture of redemption.  I understand His love for me so much better now.  I treasure His patience with me so much more than I ever have before.  Some people think the crazy thought that we have somehow rescued this little girl.  No, it is the other way around.  The Lord is using her to rescue us.  I hope you don't misunderstand me when I say that.  I hope you hear my heart.  Only Christ can save us and it is only by Him that we can be free from sin and spend our lifetime with Him on earth and eternity with Him in heaven.  I know, however, that He oftentimes uses people to draw us into closer relationship with Him and shows us where we are not thinking or behaving rightly.  He uses them to help us "work out our salvation with fear and trembling."  And oh, am I so glad that He decided to use those closest to me to do that.

I am thrilled to report that Biruk Abigail is adjusting beautifully.  She is learning English at an alarmingly fast rate, she sleeps and eats like a champ, she is loving and loveable, she is difficult and incorrigible, she is learning to share and learning to allow family members to love and help her, she gives the best hugs this side of the Mississippi, and she feels like she has always been ours.  We are doing the hard job of living together as a family, and wouldn't have it any other way.