Posts tagged #hard things

story of jubilee.

the morning after russ & i submitted our request for information about the Ethiopian adoption program, i found myself driving down to my parent's house for my cousin's wedding shower. it was beautiful outside - the sun radiated from this deep blue sky and the fall air was a refreshing turn about from the sweltering heat of the early months of the school year. i look back at this moment and remember a deep sense of hope and excitement. for the first time in months, i knew we were on the road God wanted for us. i was listening to gungor's beautiful things album and praying for our future child[ren] - for their protection and for the process to be smooth and quick. my mind immediately went to names, and i started asking God to give me a name for this period of wait. a name i could connect with our child[ren].

i felt the whisper in the hidden spaces: jubilee

i knew the minute i heard the name that it was for us. i called russ and told him and he agreed. it was perfect. my sister christina mentioned with tears in her eyes, oh elora, it's the year of jubilee! and we giggled and did a little dance in my parents' driveway. driving home, i spent a lot of time in prayer. the feeling of celebration and rescue settled in my bones and i didn't waste anytime that evening buying this domain and setting up the blog.

the next week, rumors of oneword2011 began filtering through my twitter stream. last year, i watched others claim a word and was amazed at how God used it to shape them. when the announcement came that it was time to start thinking of a word for 2011, i didn't even have to give it a second thought.

my word was jubilee.

and before 2011 even became official, i realized my word weighed heavier than i ever anticipated. this was our word - this was our promise to cling to - not just because of our precious baby/babies waiting. this was our word because of the jubilee needing to happen in our own story.

Posted on March 24, 2011 and filed under Adoption, Jubilee.

my entitled laughter.

we're sitting in a coffee shop right now on the eastside. brooke's voice serenades me, something about coachella and jack keruoac. i'm okay with this. russ & i share secret glances across the table, and my mind wanders....

i wish i could tell you i jumped feet first into this whole adoption thing. i wish i could tell you as soon as i recognized the whispers of my heart i nodded my head, pushed back my shoulders, and jumped.

but i didn't.

instead of esther, i acted more like sarah - laughing at the promises of God. it wasn't finances i feared. russ & i know from past experiences His provision comes with no delay. i laughed with entitlement.

"i like our life the way it is, thankyouverymuch"

but, God has a funny way of getting his point across. over those next few weeks, i could not get away from this vision - this calling. our series at church focused on following through in faith & trust - not hesitating like Lot or prostituting yourself like Gomer. every sunday, my heart would swell - recognizing the fissure and bracing for impact. every sunday, i'd walk away - teary eyed and introspective.

this lasted for almost a month.

i knew i needed to talk with russ about what God was doing in my heart. i knew because that familiar burn pulsated deep in my bones every time we'd sit down together. i pushed it deep inside - trying to make myself believe i'd tell him later.

although it doesn't explain away my disobedience, there were reasons for my hesitancy besides my own selfishness. earlier in the fall we briefly discussed adoption. there was a girl who, after contemplating abortion, decided to give up her baby. strangely enough, i was the pushy one in this conversation. "what if the baby is ours & we do nothing? what happens then?"

note: this question would come to haunt me later....

those conversations always ended the same way: we just weren't ready. and, given the immediacy of the situation, it just wasn't practical. with me still commuting & russ [at that time] working in a kitchen bound to close at any moment, i knew despite my desire to house a child with no home, it wasn't right. so i acquiesced and kept quiet. and God's timing is perfect. you know this, right?

two weeks after those initial conversations, devonte asked us to be his parents.

we went from a family of two to parenting an 18 yr. old within minutes. and we love every second of it.

but i still knew there was more He was asking of us.

so i fought. hard. i reasoned and prayed and cried...a lot.

and then the fissure tore deeper than i ever anticipated. on my way home one day, i realized my selfishness and hypocrisy. i know not everyone is called to adoption. i also know orphan care is not a mere suggestion but a command - an expectancy of our life in Christ. i've watched videos, bought books, listened to stories and attended conferences.

yet the moment my name was called i hid, laughing at the promise.

God's grace is relentless, though. in my moment of weakness, He lifted my head to help me see my own selfishness. this is a tough thing to go through - our hearts are never pristine, but when you're struggling with disobedience, the grime can be suffocating. and at that moment, i didn't know when i would finally catch my breath. in my attempt to push away His voice, the still whispers turned into a deluge of His presence. i couldn't get away.

there was nothing i could do except for ask for forgiveness and trust that He'd give me the strength to approach russ.

it was November 5, 2010. our friend wrote a post for me that day about the adoption of his daughter, Sosi.

it was also the first week of national adoption month.

my entitled laughter soon gave way to wide-eyed realization: God knew my struggle before He even asked.

Posted on November 14, 2010 and filed under Adoption.