Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things getting fixed...

Well, things are slowly but surely getting fixed. Cable guys are mailing us a new box, then coming out for service. The Internet guys are coming too. The cars are fixed and I believe I have found a dishwasher I like for a fairly reasonable price. So, things are coming together. There really is only one major disaster left. The paperwork. I still have heard nothing, but hopefully it too will follow the rest of our disasters this week and be fixed.

On a different note, today I was treated to a comment made by Jack, my 15 year old, that absolutely made my month. We were driving along, having just left Starbucks on our way to Best Buy to fix some of the disasters. "Mom?" he said. "Hmmm?" I answered. "I wish I could go back to the orphanage." I asked him why. He went on to explain his desire to track down the woman who selected him out of all the babies there to be adopted by us. He said only this,"I would THANK her!" to have this child who has blessed me in countless ways be so grateful to be part of our family touched me in a way I cannot describe. It reminded me once again, that this process however frustrating, and difficult at times has the greatest rewards. Here is to hoping for some news tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All things broken...

Well, everything broke. Really. I think it must have really started Sunday. I took the car for an oil change after church. The guy convinced me it needed differential fluid. He gave me a colorful description of how the gears work, and the need for the fluid. I even saw him rubbing someone else's oil on his hand to test it. He went by "Red" and was boastfully strutting his car knowledge. I explained I was in healthcare. It didn't stop him though until I was 160 dollars lighter convinced if I didn't do what he said all four wheels would fall off simultaneously. On the heels of that, I opened my dishwasher which was having issues anyway, and the whole front panel fell off and the plastic buttons skittered all over the kitchen. Now it looks like a robot that lost his steel face and the dry cycle doesn't work. Then, it was the satellite tv box in the basement. It has decided to give it up too. This was all not to be confused with the $600 repair on Tim's truck yesterday. The final straw came last night as I worked 3p-3a and I got a text in the evening that my wifi was not working. In the midst of all of this, the consulate has refused to write the letter I need saying it simply was not necessary. They are right it would seem, but now we are left to find another way through. Our attorney is working on it.

What did all this do? Well it frustrated us, it angered us, it made us crazy! Today, one wise person in our lives gave us a reminder though. It was much needed. We were reminded that sometimes when you try to listen and do the will of God roadblocks are put up to take our eyes off God and not pursue what He has for us. I must say, it worked...until now. God has sent us the incredible friendship and prayer of some amazing folks so that we can face another day. Here is to praying that tomorrow nothing breaks. If it does, I will know that no matter what happens we are one day closer to my little Nate coming home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Got Some News

I got some news today. What kind of news? Well, it depended on what time today you would have asked me. First, I got my papers. Social Services sent me back some translations of documents to be stamped. That was bad news. Those documents are not officially notarized or sealed meaning that the consulate would likely not stamp them. I called the consulate and they said no, that they would not give me the stamps I was asking for. Bad news. They went on to say that the stamps were not necessary as the originals were already stamped. Good news! I quickly fired off an email explaining this to our coordinator. She ran it by the attorney who wanted a letter from the consulate stating that the stamps were not necessary. I didn't get that word until the consulate was closed, bad news. I did, however, check in my other consulate paperwork and I got a real live person who was working on it today. She was wonderful and gave me her name, so now I have someone to call for this letter. Good news. Up and down and up and down...thus goes the road to international adoption. I am booing to have the letter next week and will get things rolling again.

In the end, this is all better news than I thought. Our delay shouldn't be too long now that I have someone at the consulate to work with. Here is to praying that the call to the consulate runs smoothly on Monday. In the meantime, I am still waiting on an update on how my precious boy is. What a blessing he will be when he finally comes home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Rays of Sunshine

After my little ray of sunshine with Chris Thomlin tickets the other day, I decided that there must be more rays of sunshine around even if I have to look a little harder for them. Today, I excitedly went to the post office hoping my documents were there. They were not. I also had noticed the Fedex truck had been in the neighborhood earlier and I had left out the garage. I would drive back up the hill we live on, really more of a small mountain, to look at the front door. I went up the front hill and when I got to the top I saw two things. First a pack of wild turkeys wondering in the subdivision. There were 8 of them. OK, that is odd. It actually made me laugh out loud as to the ridiculousness of it all. I waited patiently for them to cross the street, no, not chicken to the other side, turkeys to the other side! I drove down two blocks to the empty lot next door to my house. There I saw two beautiful deer, also smack in the middle of the subdivision. That too made me smile. Odd as it may be there have been times in my life when things were rough. As I prayed my way through those I somehow knew this were going to be ok when I saw a deer. A message from God if you will. The night my mother-in-law died, there was a full on multiple point buck right on the side of the busy city street in Dayton. Tim saw it too and we somehow knew as hard as it was, we were going to be fine because we had God. My papers were not on the doorstep, but somehow I knew it was OK. God had a plan.

Later, I had the opportunity to pray with someone I know well. She too is impatient about things in her life. I was able to use those same lines from the Chris Thomlin song"strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.". It really helped her I think, as it helped me. Although nothing has changed, we are no further now than we were yesterday in Nate's adoption, I at least have my little rays of sunshine to carry me through. I think I just needed that to remind me of God's perfect plan.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Finally, there was news...

Today was probably not the best day to work. I was distracted and worried all day. Good thing we were not that busy in the area of the trauma center I was working in. Mom's mastectomy was supposed to start at 2:30. My brother said they took her back at 1:30. I waited and waited only to hear at 5 she was still in holding. It turns out that they had some trouble getting the rooms moving there. She is in Chicago, I am in West Virginia. She went into surgery in good spirits and I did get to tell her, via text message that I loved her as she went off. The next three hours were like torture as I waited and waited. The good news is I got off work and got to come home. Finally, my brother called. She was out and in recovery. He is not a medical person, but did such a good job talking to the surgeon. Things"went better than expected". It had "not been as hard as they thought." They even think she will go home tomorrow. I was very grateful that one of her surgeries ended in good news. Every other one in her string of biopsies have been bad news. Always malignant, always more treatment to come, always more surgery. I am happy to not hear that today. I grieve for her and this diagnosis, but am grateful to God she ended up where she did with such good care. The original plan did not include such an extensive workup. Despite all the hard news, God brought her where she needs to be and for that I am very grateful.

I must admit through my prayer time I have grown a bit selfish. I have been begging for a break in the action. Some little ray of sunshine to hold on to. Today it happened. God sent me just a little break in the clouds. I got in the car to go to work. I turned on klove as I always do. It was then I caught it, an ad for Chris Thomlin. He is coming to town! One of my fellow Mama Blanc's recently posted all the lyrics to one of his songs on our list serve as many of us mom's are struggling in the wait. "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord" the song goes. Wouldn't you know I get to hear that live. I immediately got online and bought tickets. I didn't bother asking Tim, I simply emailed him the confirmation with a little note. He loved it. So, we now have an awesome date night planned for Nov 5 to hear one of our favorite artists. One little ray of sunshine when we really needed it. Now, here's to hoping those papers arrive soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Praying today...

Today is definitely a day to pray. Tomorrow marks the official start of my mom's battle with breast cancer. She has spent a month being scanned, poked, prodded, biopsied and thoroughly worked up all leading to tomorrow. She will have a mastectomy followed by radiation and possibly chemo. We have had the privilege of having lots of conversations about life, the past, and the future. She is committed to dancing at Nate's wedding. Considering he is only two and not home yet, she is going to have to fight hard. It touches my heart that he is already such a big part of her already and she has never met him. It strengthened my resolve to get that paperwork moving despite my disappointment in the delay. Hopefully, the paperwork will arrive tomorrow. Then it is yet another push to the consulate for the stamp.

So, as I said, today is a day to pray. It is a good thing I am still doing my forty days of prayer and fast. I can only hope that through this tough time of delays and cancer God will quiet my anxious heart and reveal what comes next. Until then, good luck Mom, I love you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some News

Well, as speculated we did hear something today. The thing was it was not what I had hoped. Apparently social services wants some more Haitian seals on some of our documents. So, they are winging their way back to me as I type this. I am not sure which documents or what they might need exactly. I had everything stamped that was supposed to be, but the consulate stamped some of them on the backs of the documents so I am wondering if that is the problem. I am a little disappointed in this setback, but I am trying to be positive.

There were two things that happened that tell me God is in this. One was that since some of our docs have been kicked back, that tells me someone is looking at our stuff. That is good news. Second, our coordinator found out yesterday this needed to be done, and someone was on her way to the states today and she is sending them to me when she gets here. That makes things easier. So, I suppose if there is a delay, being able to deal with it swiftly is a blessing. This very thing happened with Zachary's adoption when we hit the translation phase. All of our docs had to be resealed because of an error made with one of the dates by the county notary. That, of course, turned out just fine. I am hoping this will too and it will not put us back further because of the documents.

Here's to praying this document thing is a short little bump in the road!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Angels among us

This week has not been without it's challenges. Tim had a health scare, yes, in the middle of an adoption. Then, mom's latest biopsy showed the cancer was in her lymph nodes, then some challenges of parenting, not to mention no news on Nate. Through it all, I began to wonder where God was in all of this. I kept praying and wondering how it would all end. Then, slow but sure God showed up. Tim's health was going to need work, but be ok. Mom was actually chipper as she told me about h lymph nodes. I told her I was confused, was this good news? She went on to explain that at the facility where she had her mammogram they only wanted to do a lumpectomy. She had gone to a bigger breast center and all of the rest was discovered. She was grateful for that and is headed into surgery next week. Then, I went to church today. I was exhausted emotionally and really needed a God size fill up. It came. My church family like angels little by little dismantled the issues and reminded me of how blessed I am to have these people in my life. I left renewed and ready to take on whatever is coming my way this week.

I even got my update on Nate. I learned that when your paperwork leaves social services it is published in a paper that comes out each month in the middle of the month. That would be this week. Thanks Denise for that info! Maybe this will be the week we hear something.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A wall of bubbles

Every now and then I think God tries very hard to remind me about some of life's better things. Through my discouragement lately ov a multitude of things I have continued on my fast and prayer. This is now week three. Again it seemed I was not getting much in the way of answers. Then, some answers came from the most likely source. It was Zachary. On the way to school I was admittedly grumpy. I have worked many shifts this week and work all night tonight. We dropped the teen off and were on our way to the elementary school when Zachary, age 6, began asking me about the "soda drinking hat.". As he described it I realized he was talking about those silly hats that hold two cans of soda with a straw to your mouth. I have no idea how he knew what it was but he did. He talked about blowing bubbles with that straw. "I could make a whole wall of bubbles to run through!" he then asked if I would hold his hand and run through with him. The visual of he and I doing this carried me through the day. I smile even now as I think about it. It reminded me how Zachary's adoption made no sense. Our kids were older and moving on, we were secure in our careers. I guess we have given stuff up to have him, but to have him want to run through bubbles with me reminded why he is here. It renewed my excitement to see what Nate has in store for us.

Later, Zachqry reminded me of something else. He was talking about death. He is a curious boy, not morbid, just curious. He asked,"so, you to through all your years then you get old and you have finally made it." he smiled as he said that. I asked what he meant and he said,"you finally get to be with God." He somehow knows this is the most amazing thing. He was fearless and excited. It reminded me again, this is how it should be. Doing things that honor and glorify God and not worry so much. Again, I firmly believe this is Zachary's sole purpose, to teach me. In the end he went back to his wall of bubbles. He had decided we needed to be patient and wait for Nate to make our wall, because it would be more fun with him. Somehow I think he is right.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Forcing the issue...

Sometimes, I find myself in my impatience pushing through things in the hopes of a quick answer. Last week I found myself feverishly sending emails and texts in a futile attempt to come to some answer on moving ahead with our adoption, my mom's cancer and some other things. It was as if I became very proactive answers will come. It led to as my husband so affectionately put it, me, banging my head on the proverbial wall. Yes, after ten years in neurosurgery prior to my triumphant return to emergency medicine, I know better than to use the real wall! Nonetheless, I found myself at church yesterday. I looked around at the expected thinner holiday crowd as everyone was trying to have their last hurrah of summer or whatever. The pastor commented on how he expected the crowd to be smaller, but he just knew that of those of us listening God knew we needed to hear it. Once again, there was a lot of truth to that.

We listened as he shared the accounts of how the fast and prayer was going. There was one account by a friend of mine that opened by saying she had been faithful with her prayer and it didn't seem that God has revealed anything. That struck a chord with me. All this furious texting, emails, prayer, yet no answers. Then I slowly began to realize all those things were not of God, they were of me hoping for God's quick answer. Geez. Later, more and more got revealed to me leading up to an email on my adoption list serve. A friend has posted all the words to a favorite song of mine. A Chris Thomlin, the chorus of which says,"strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.". I smiled as I read it. Ok, be patient. I get it. So, on to the continued fast and prayer, off with the texts and emails, unless necessary and let God do it.

Until then, I hear my little Nate is doing well. I left a photo album with him so he wouldn't forget his mommy. In the meantime Zachary has spent his evening trying to figure out where Nate would fit on mommy's lap ( he takes up some room and isn't giving up his spot). Once he figured out those logistics (he would give up one leg for Nate to sit on), he moved on to just which slides at the Great Wolf Lodge Nate would be able to go on. He sweetly described each slide he thought would work and said he would have to go down first to show him. What a brother he will be!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amazing Blessings

As I look though my fellow blogger Denise's post, I become acutely aware that I am not the only one suffering from the frustration of no news. Through it all though, I learned something in the last few days. I have a colleague, former employer and friend who is Lybian. In February, he went to Lybia to help with the war effort. I couldn't imagine him doing this. He is a successful neurosurgeon, with a wife and four children. Why would he do this? He explained at the time he just had to see if he could help. I told him to be careful. Less than a month after his arrival there he was reported missing. It was weeks before it was finally discovered he had, in fact, been captured and was in jail. There was no other news for months until last week. Te rebels had taken Tripoli and he had been freed when the rebels stormed the jail. He arrived home here last night to a hero's welcome at the airport. Such a huge blessing.

He and I have spent much time together. Between middle of the night craniotomies to long philosophical discussions in the office. He is Muslim and I, am christian. I must admit I knew nothing about his religion until we worked together. He explained we worship the same God, just he believed Jesus to be a prophet, not the son of God. He was well versed at the old testament and spent much time in prayer. I remember on Fridays at his appointed hour if he could not slip out to church, he would quietly go in his office and shut the door for his prayer time. One Friday, however stand out to me. He did not have time to go to his office, he was waiting on a case to begin. He simply took a green surgery towel, found an empty OR and knelt and prayed. Why? It was time to pray, plain and simple. We are not used to that in our society, so there was plenty of snickering. I must admit, even for me it seemed a bit much. Now, though, I think it was his faithfulness that got him through. He never cared who saw him pray, and was not going to let the realities of life stand in his way.

Today, he appeared on the evening news. He was much thinner, and looked every bit his 50 years, but there it was his unwavering faith. He pulled his shirt up and the scars of numerous beatings were obvious. He was asked if he feared death during his time in captivity. He said no. He said he remained faithful feeling that if it were his time to die, then God would take him. He said for the faithful, death is not to be feared. He sat with his family, all smiling broadly ready to move forward with life. He even talked about coming back to work, I can't wait! Nonetheless, it was a good reminder that God is there even when times are frustrating and hard.

As if that were not lesson enough, my good friend had her much awaited baby today. After a tough job, a tough time getting pregnant and a host of other difficult things, her baby was perfect, her job is awesome and her life has all come together. Blessings upon blessings for sure. Through my frustration it is wonderful to have a front row seat to God's amazing works. I guess I will try to be more patient. :)