realizing it's not about us.

within a few days of 2011 starting, i couldn't get away from God's radical grace. at the precise moment we were about to go under, God placed us within a community of friends who are more than just a "small group" - we're family. three of the families are going through adoption and half of us left for two weeks to serve in kibera this summer, one of the largest slums in africa. january is also when russ & i began the recovery program at our local church. more than just a place for those with addictions, it's a breathtaking view of God's love for us even in our mess. i started meeting with a sponsor the first week and almost instantaneously i was faced with some things from my past i needed to work through in therapy. i realized then God's mercy - the delay in our adoption program allowed for us to truly dive in deep with the recovery process.

this was hard.

God gave us the word jubilee to cling to - and for awhile i thought "how beautiful - it's our year of jubilee because we're adopting and oh how pretty a picture..."

i kind of forgot the grittiness that happens in the process of redemption.

and so one night, i sat and cried with my community group about the overwhelming sense of sovereignty i felt in God's hand being there exactly when i needed it. a year ago, my situation would be crippling - i wouldn't find the strength i need to get through the fear and the questions and the doubt...but now? now He placed us within this...family of believers who love us diligently and fight for us through prayer. and part of me resisted the process. part of me {still} struggles with the issues of therapy.

but i'm beginning to understand anything is worth holding my baby in the end - any sort of pruning. any sort of sanctification.

because as i'm figuring out, this process is so not about russ and i rescuing a baby from doom. it's never been that way and i cringe whenever i see this picture within the church of us rising up and saving kids from obvious destruction. this process - this calling of adoption - has more to do with the jubilee of our own hearts and the understanding of how He fought for us.

it took less than a month for me to realize this, but another three to fully understand.

in february, russ & i had the opportunity to attend ic:orphan - a conference where ideators met in order to discuss the implications of the orphan crisis. raw with my own insecurities {i was one of the "bloggers" attending} i shrank away from truly ingesting some of the information. like the foster care system in america funneling trafficked teens and children. or the rate of trafficked children in international adoption. or the church's inclination to see orphan care as "adoption" and only adoption.

because what about those children who aren't adoptable?

this conference came within weeks of russ & i leaving for the horn of africa in order to work with orphans there. these orphans are usually of somalian decent and because of their culture, are not adoptable.

i started struggling then. because are they not worth loving? are they not worth some type of ministry?

and why do we feel we need to open up yet another orphanage when in the Bible, there's nothing about take care of the orphans among you and place them in an institution. 

for the first time, i became passionate about the local church doing something about the orphan crisis. i began to understand the importance of ministering to local pastors - empowering them to do good and incorporate theology that embraces the Truth that we are adopted in Christ - and what better way to see this in action than to start adopting locally? i heard about seed adoption and their ministry in ethiopia and finally felt like i had an answer to what i had been struggling with for some time. i wrote my notes, processed, visited with my therapist and started packing for the horn.

a week before we were to leave, my gallbladder malfunctioned and i went to the ER only to find myself incredibly sick. there was no going home - i was put on severe antibiotics and monitored throughout the night before having surgery the next morning.

africa was out of the question.

i would stay home, by myself, while russ traveled with the team - the day he left we got an e-mail from our agency letting us know the government in Ethiopia had severely slowed the process down {accepted 5 cases per day as opposed to 50}. my mom heart flinched but i had no room to react.

at that moment, adoption was the furthest thing from my mind.

Posted on August 3, 2011 and filed under Faith, Jubilee.