Friday, July 28, 2017

What Can We Do?

Many of you have walked with us through adoptive journeys before.  You know we circle our wagons once coming home.  Though I have several posts to write in order for you to hear the complete story, my heart is tired right now.

There IS joy.  I look at our precious girls and am so thankful.  God is good.  THAT does NOT change.

Not only is it the end of three weeks with our precious girls in country (who are learning what love and family are, not sleeping, and full of life and spunk), but we are also heart heavy at the loss of Jack and the pain his family faces.

There is overwhelming celebration and overwhelming sadness all mixed together.  One does not diminish the other...it just is.

We come home this Sunday. (WOO HOO!!! WE ARE ALMOST THERE!!!)

Several have asked what they can do as we work on finding our new normal and "circle" our wagons.  They've also asked what our needs are.

We have learned (in thankfulness) what our village means to our family in these times.  I have become very truthful when people ask.

Here are a few things that people have done in the past (through our jet lag and finding our new normal).  These things have helped, and I'm posting here to answer those who have asked what they can do.

People have....
*Brought meals
*Taken our kids where they need to go as we wade through appointments
*Brought groceries or just basic provisions (toilet paper, paper towels, something for the other kids)
*Brought their teens over to help babysit as we have waded through medical things
*Called or texted and saying, "Hey, we are at _______, is there anything we can pick up?"
*A close friend showed up and helped clean
*MOST IMPORTANTLY people continued to pray.  This journey is still in the beginning stages.  Our girls don't know what family is as of yet.  We are still caretakers in their thoughts.  I will explain more below.

It's not just our family either.  This hasn't been a vacation for my travel buddy Amy.  I think sometimes people forget that.  She has had the disrupted sleep and juggling two toddlers as well. She has kept me afloat and done the not fun chores (while I tended to our new daughters). Her family has had to try to figure out how to get things done that need to as well.  SHE will be exhausted...physically and emotionally (ask those who have traveled with us in the past and then multiply it by two...smile).  There is a lot to process.  I'm taking liberties here.  I'm not sharing this with her until after it's published.  Some of the above would truly bless her family as well.

Again, I'm sharing this for people who have asked.  I haven't had time to sit down and write people individually.  Right now the girls finally conked out for a much needed nap.  This is the most straight forward way to do it.

For those that have been there for our families....and to our husbands and children (very MUCH including adult children)...thank you!  Thank you for the prayers and standing up for us and with us.

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For those that don't know, attachment is a long road.  It's not instant.  We are still working on attachment with Timothy...and aspects of it with other children.

Imagine your spouse (or parent) packs your bag, puts it by the front door and the next day some strangers show up.  They don't speak your language, look nothing like you, and smell nothing like you.  You are told they are your new family and packed off to see no one you knew again.  How long would it take you to attach to them and come to grips with the fact they are permanent? It's something to think about.

 Add to that (for Grace and Hope) the lack of being in a family.  It would be like someone handing you an apple, but you had never heard of fruit ever.  You would have no concept of what it is, what it does, or that it's food.  They have NO concept of what a mother and father are.  It's a journey.  The experts say it can often take twice the amount of time OUT of the orphanage to fully attach that they spent in it.

Thomas and I will be the only ones to feed, diaper, bathe, dress, and care for Grace and Hope (though the kids will love on and play with them of course).  For awhile, depending on the girls, only we will hold them for a bit (AFTER the airport).  We HAVE to do everything we possibly can for them to see us as different than everyone else.  It is NOT an easy road.  Their friendliness and wanting someone other than us to hold them is NOT a sign of attachment (and felt safety).  It's exactly the opposite.  We have studied attachment (with professionals) for years.  This is absolute truth.   We need to see some stranger fear.  THAT is a good sign.  It shows they view us as different.  Right now everyone is a possible caretaker in their minds.

Please know that we WANT you to be able to hold and love on them...OH YES.  You are their village!  It just takes a bit of time.

After the airport welcome things really begin!  (Please PM me or email if you'd like to know when that is!)

For two to four weeks (most likely) we will ONLY go to doctor's appointments for the girls.  Part of this is protection as well.  Hope has heart issues and we need to find out EXACTLY what they are and how their immune systems are functioning.  Things, such as illness, can create a higher level of danger for Hope.

Well, I'm seriously struggling to keep my eyes open (at only 3 pm our time).   Please keep praying for our families and for Amy, John, and the boys (Nick and Sam)...and all those friends and families that are mourning.  I've placed prayer requests below.  Thank you friends!!!!

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:3-6

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THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU THAT HAVE PRAYED US THIS FAR!!!!

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Please pray friends...

Immanent:
*THAT GOD IS GLORIFIED THROUGH OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS.
*Please pray for John and Amy, Jack's parents.  Please also pray for Nick and Sam (his brothers).  This is beyond painful.  They are broken and shattered.
*Please pray Grace and Hope sleep well on the plane (and we are able to as well).  Please pray this 15 hour flight goes quickly and the girls have no issues.  PLEASE PRAY THERE ARE NO TRAVEL ISSUES OR WITH OUR HOTEL.
PLEASE PRAY GRACE AND HOPE SLEEP CONSISTENTLY with NO FEAR.  We REALLY need sleep!
*For Hope to learn to suck/drink quickly.
*For my eyes, they started itching and when that went away they started feeling swollen (and 
*That Hope's heart condition shows NO issues. 
*For Hope~Glory and Grace~Victory: Their lives have been rocked.  
*Please pray there is no lost luggage or issues with luggage (and IF possible, my one missing piece of clothing is found.  The laundry may have lost it and I brought very little in the way of MY clothes).
*  Please also pray there are NO health issues period during our trip...NONE AND WE GET SOME SLEEP.
*Please pray for our kids and families hearts (ours too) and safety (we all come back together safely).  This is the hard part, leaving them.  Peace that passes understanding is a good thing.
*Please pray for Tom, Elizabeth, and Alessandra that they find joy, new friends, and a beautiful rhythm in their new duty station.
*Please pray blessing on Ivan's new job (my son-in-love) and that they find a new normal in this.  It's a gift from God.


PLEASE PRAY FOR THE FOLLOWING TWELVE PRAYER REQUESTS AS WELL.

1. THAT GOD IS GLORIFIED IN EVERY STEP OF THIS ADOPTION (MOST IMPORTANT TODAY AND EVERY DAY).

2.  I feel a deep need to have everyone join us in prayer for the attachment of our girls.  Please pray they have NO attachment issues and attach to us as a family very quickly.  We pray that GRACE and HOPE have NO issues with attachment...NONE (that God prepares them as well).

3.  We ask for prayers also that Grace and Hope become good sleepers.  Sleep deprivation is kicking us right now.

4. PLEASE pray protection against ALL of satan's schemes.  He's been messing with our family and with Amy and her family.  PLEASE pray a strong concrete, cement, gold, silver (smile) wall between our lives and his schemes.  Please pray for "more than enough" in every aspect of our lives right now, that we may take a breath.

5. Please pray for Thomas and I's anxiety/stress.  Life is keeping us going a million miles an hour and peace that passes understanding would be very very welcome!  (Prayers for physical strength as well for both of us)

6. PLEASE PRAY THERE ARE NO ISSUES IN TRAVEL OR HOTEL.

 7. That God uses us/speaks through us while we are there, see what we need to see and doing what we need to do.

8. For Timothy's complete healing...and that he has walking and running in his future (smile).  That his pain is minimal AND that he doesn't need a LONG trip to Philly like they are talking about in September.


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