be all there... Jim Elliot
First of all, I want to say a heartfelt and huge THANK YOU to all of you who have been praying for Sophi and for our family, especially during the past few weeks! It means so much to me, and I am so appreciative for all of the e-mails and comments that so many of you have sent. When we were in Bulgaria, it was always one of the highlights of my day to check my e-mail and read your encouraging words! I know that your prayers have made such a difference along this journey, and Will and I are so grateful for all of you. We have always sensed that this mission of bringing Sophi home was so much bigger than just our little family. It has been amazing to see so many other stories being interwoven into this story the Lord is writing for our family and also so humbling to know that there are so many of you - friends, family, and people we don't even know - who are walking alongside of us! Thank you!
We have had so many of you ask about our trip, and I can't believe that we've been home over a week and I'm just now getting around to blogging. This past week was so full, and my heart has been so full of so many emotions as well. I've had a hard time even knowing how to put it into words! It was WONDERFUL coming home!!! I missed my little boys so much and seeing their sweet faces was amazing. Only one of them was able to stay awake until we got home, and my sweet Palmer would not let go of me! When I asked him what his favorite thing that he did while we were gone, he said "right now!" That child knows how to melt my heart! I have looked at all my boys through different eyes this week, and, boy, do I love their little hearts so much! We spent the entire week soaking up lots of spring sunshine and, other than our morning scheduled school time, we spent many hours at the park and in our backyard! I've watched them laugh and play and have constantly thought about how Sophi will fit into this ragamuffin crew of ours!
Early in the week, Will reminded me of this quote by Jim Elliot. It's always been one of my favorites, and I know that it's exactly what I needed to hear as we all adjusted back to "normal" after spending a week with Sophi. Last week was exhausting, almost as much as our week before in Bulgaria! Between four lively and energetic boys, a tired and jet-lagged dad, and a mom who's quickly approaching her third trimester and gets NO sleep at night, we needed extra doses of grace, strength, and energy to make it through the days. But can I tell you? Our Father is so faithful and so gracious! Everybody transitioned so well and got back into good routines, and I am so thankful that life feels a little more settled right now (even if it is just for a short little while).
I needed to be reminded this week that THIS is where the Lord has us right now. He knows how crazy and surreal it feels to watch my boys laugh and play with the sheer delight and abandonment of being carefree, well-fed, well-loved, and secure little children all the while thinking about our little girl halfway around the world, sitting in her crib, starving for food, love, and affection and unable to understand that her Momma and Daddy are indeed coming back for her. I do not know how to get my mind around these two realities, and I have struggled to know how I should feel. I cannot even begin to describe how refreshing it was after spending a week in a former Soviet country to see sunshine and flowers and wide-open spaces and the bright eyes and big smiles of Web, Palmer, Hank, and Barrett. But as content as I have felt this week back at home, there has been a restlessness in my heart that I can't explain. I want to be "all here" but it's hard to be all here when I feel like I left part of me there in that little orphanage in Bulgaria...
We ended our first week back home with the wedding celebration of my little sister, and it was so special! It could not have been a more beautiful and perfect reminder of the Lord's faithfulness as she walked down the aisle to this song by Sara Groves:
Morning by morning, I wake up to find the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season, I watch Him amazed, in awe of the mystery of His perfect ways.
All I have need of His hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me.
I can't remember a trial or a pain He did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret in serving God only and trusting His hand.
This is my anthem, this is my song, the theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, He will be again. His loving compassion, it knows no end.
As I've reflected on these words, I know that this is how I can be "all here" with my boys even knowing my sweet Sophi is waiting there. He has always been faithful! He will always provide! His timing will be perfect! His strong and compassionate hands are holding her while I can't, and those same hands are upholding me as I wait for the day we get to bring her home! He's always been faithful to me! This is my anthem and this is my song, and more than anything else about our comings and goings this past week, this is what I wanted to share with you all tonight! He is faithful!
After all the wedding festivities ended and Will and I sat down on Sunday night to talk about the upcoming week, we both commented that we feel like we haven't had time to even process our trip and our time with Sophi. It wasn't until Sunday that we finally watched all the videos from our visits with her. There were a few tears, but mainly lots of laughter as we remembered her sweet smile and silly laugh. The boys loved watching her gobble up the cookies we took for her, and they've had numerous contests to see who could stuff as many animal crackers in their mouths as Sophi did! We have so much to look forward to, and the Lord has continued to fill our hearts and our home with hope, joy, and expectation about all the changes that will be coming our way in the days to come!
We have already filed all of the paperwork to begin this next step of the adoption process. We've had to update some paperwork, which we were able to get done this week. We are now waiting on our I800 approval from our government, which hopefully will come soon, before everything gets sent to Bulgaria. This is when the waiting officially begins for our court date to be assigned. We have been told to expect it to be 2 to 5 months before we actually get to go back and bring Sophi home. My due date with baby Blackmon #5 is almost exactly 3 months away, so it does seem like we are heading for a big collision, a God-ordained collision :), that I can honestly say, I feel perfectly at peace about. More than any other time, I am completely resting in the timing of these 2 precious lives joining our family and know that it will be just right whenever it happens and however it happens!
Coming up soon...
- some videos from our trip and our time with Sophi
- a blog about some cool families we met in Bulgaria
- a blog about our adoption finances and upcoming fundraisers
- a blog announcing Sophi's full name!!! :)
Thanks for following along! Keep the prayers coming!
So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.