Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ready, Set, Go

So, life has been a bit busy and very crazy around here as we've been in countdown mode for the past few weeks! The days {and nights} have been full of planning, preparing, and packing, and there just hasn't been a whole lot of time {or energy} left for blogging. (Forgive me, please!) But the time has come! We're just a few days away



On Friday afternoon, I hop on an airplane and head back to a place that a little over a year ago, I said I would never go back to again! In fact, in my post-partum/post-adoption/ jetlagged fog that I experienced after bringing Sophi home, I distinctly remember telling Will that I was done with adopting {and done having babies} and done with all airplanes unless they involved going to a far-away tropical island that served "coconutty" drinks with little umbrellas perched on top. Oh my, the Lord has such a since of humor, doesn't He?



But here we are again. On the cusp of yet another big adventure. Tickets purchased, bags packed, and my heart beating a little faster than normal. Finalizing all of the little details and making all of the last minute preparations for a very important and exciting trip! But instead of sunglasses and bathing suits that I would have needed for an exotic island getaway, my suitcase is full of scarves, sweaters, and an extremely comfortable pair of black furry boots that I'm hoping will help these swollen feet of mine navigate through Faith's town of Stara Zagora




The land of concrete is not quite the final destination of sandy beaches and sparkling water that I had imagined for my next big airplane ride! And instead of that fruity cocktail, I guess I will be re-aquiring the taste for a slightly different type of beverage, the European version of Diet Coke - coke lite. It sure helped me make it through some long days the last time I was in Bulgaria! Here's for hoping it helps this time too!

Can you see in the background our collection of coca-cola products? :)

And just for the record, here's a few more differences between this trip and out first trip to Bulgaria when we met Sophi back in the winter of 2012.


~I'll be 28/29 weeks pregnant as opposed to 24 weeks.

~I'll be leaving 6 little people behind as opposed to 4 little boys.

Then
Now

~I'll also be leaving behind someone else who is very, very important. Will is already "father-of-the-year" in all of our minds here, but come Friday afternoon, he will officially be holding down the fort for the 12 days that I will be gone. I know that I will miss him terribly, especially on the day I get to meet our newest little girl for the first time, but I'm also extremely thankful that he will be here for the kids. They love their Daddy, and I'm confident that they'll have a blast with him and be well-taken care of while I'm gone. 


~And, instead of Will, I'm incredibly blessed that someone else who is very special will be going with me. My mom is going to be my traveling companion this time, and I'm so grateful for her willingness to tag along and for the Lord's provision to work out so many details with our travel plans.

~This time, I'll be gone for almost 2 weeks! Usually, the first trip is only one week long with orphanage visits twice a day on Monday through Friday and then flying back home on Saturday. But this go around, my mom and I will catch a plane to Athens, Greece on the Friday evening following our last visit with Faith Ana. We'll then drive several hours through curvy, mountain roads to the little village of Tsitalia where she was born and spend the weekend there with her two sisters and their families. Before coming home, I'll get to spend a day sightseeing in Athens, and then I will fly home by myself on Tuesday while my mom stays a little longer to visit with her family. 


What a wild and crazy story the Lord is writing for our family! I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be doing this all over again! Adopting again and pregnant again - it almost sounds like it could be a reality TV show! But can I tell you my heart? Yes, I'm overwhelmed. Yes, I'm anxious. Yes, I'm going to be horribly homesick. But, He is good, and He has faithfully led us to this very place at this very time under these very conditions, and He has provided absolutely everything we've needed up until this very moment. And I'm trusting in His continued faithfulness as I prepare to go meet a brown-eyed little girl whose very name means faithfulness.


As I've been counting down the days until I leave, the Lord reminded me that I'm going back to the place where He began teaching me how to count His mercies, back to the place where He reminded me how very, very important it is to always look for His perspective, to see His blessings in all things. And in this season of thanksgiving, that's what I've been doing all over again. Thanking Him for the many ways that He is providing. Praising Him for how He is going ahead of us, preparing the way for us to meet our little girl. I'm thanking Him for the our supportive family, friends, and neighbors who will be bringing Will and the kids meals while I'm gone. For thoughtful friends who will help get the boys to and from school and who will provide fun afternoon play dates. For others who have offered to play with the little ones so that Will can have a break. For gracious offers to run to the store and grab a gallon of milk or help out with a load of laundry. There are so many who are willing to help, and I count it all a mercy as I see our Father's faithful hands over every single offer to help and serve our family. Just in the past few weeks, we were blessed with a surprise check showing up in our mailbox from another family in the middle of their own adoption, yet generously giving to help support ours. And there have been even more financial blessings that have come our way as well. He is providing, and I add that to my ever-growing lists of mercies!



We've also had many people tell us they are praying for us and will continue to do so in these next few weeks as I travel! And, for this, I am so very, very grateful! I know that we have been carried along and strengthened by the prayers of so many of you. So, today, can I ask you to pray for a few more specific things?

  • Pray for me to be able to get a little bit of sleep. I have a very, very difficult time with insomnia when I am pregnant, and I've gone three nights in a row without being able to sleep at all. It's starting to wear on me, and I could sure use a little sleep! 


  • Pray for good health and traveling mercies for me and my mom. I'm not really concerned about being in my third trimester traveling overseas (my doctor had told me he was comfortable with me traveling up until 32 weeks), but, obviously, I'd like to not experience any complications, especially while I'm in a country whose doctors are currently threatening to go on strike!



  • Pray for the health of Will and the kids. Will was sick this past weekend and I actually feel like I'm fighting the same cold and sore throat that he had. Pray that he and I both recover quickly and that all of the kids stay well.


  • Pray for the kids' hearts while I'm away, that they will be at peace and not be anxious! While you're praying for their hearts, you can also pray for mine. Leaving these little ones for so long is one of the hardest parts of this process!




  • Pray for Will!!! Pray that he will have the strength, energy, and patience that he needs to carry the load while I'm gone. I know he will do great, and I am so, so thankful for him.


  • Pray for Faith. Pray that the Lord will prepare her heart to meet her Momma and her MiMi on Monday morning. Pray that she will have a sense of knowing that she is chosen and loved and so very, very special. Pray that we will learn as much as we possibly can about her and her spina bifida so that we can be better prepared for our second trip and ultimately for when we get to finally bring her back home!


  • Pray for the people we come in contact with, especially those at the orphanage. Bulgaria is a country that needs the light of the Gospel, and there are many people who desperately need to know the hope of our Savior. Pray for opportunities to share and witness!


  • One final thing, will you please continue to pray for our sweet Sophi? We have had a very, very challenging few weeks here at home. Ever since she was sick with the stomach virus a few weeks ago, she has appeared to really go backwards with many institutional behaviors and eating issues that I had thought we had already worked through and gotten behind us. Without going into a lot of detail, I would just ask for your prayers for her little heart and her mind. I would also ask you to pray for me and Will to have the wisdom to know how to help her walk through this rough spot and that we will have the compassion and patience that we need to love and comfort her, even when she pushes away and fights against us.

There is also no doubt in my mind that Sophi {and our entire family} are once again under some intense spiritual warfare, and that's one more reason that we are so thankful for all of you faithful prayer warriors rallying around us. I'm quite sure that the enemy hates that the Lord has called us to be part of the rescue mission of yet another precious life from the enemy's stronghold of darkness and that soon we get to bring Faith Ana into a home where the name of Jesus will be proclaimed. I know that he's trying everything he can to make us feel like we are making a big mistake. I can almost imagine him laughing at us and pointing an accusing finger, saying that this will certainly be the downfall of our family. That adoption is a big mistake, a waste. That it's too hard. That it's miserable. That it ruins your family. And that some of these kids are just hopeless cases - Sophi being one of them. Maybe Faith too.

Of course, these are all lies. We recognize his lies. We see his strategy for attack, and we know the timing of all of this is not coincidental. He wants us to feel defeated, distracted, hopeless, and worn down right as we are preparing to meet Faith. And, of course, on a journey that really is all about faith, we should not be surprised to see our faith come under fire.

With that said, along with asking for your prayers, I'm making a declaration. A bold and confident statement as we stand firm in our faith and trust Him to grow our faith even as we are being attacked. 
He who has faithfully led us up until now will continue to faithfully lead us in the days ahead! This is truth! He's brought us this far. He will not abandon us, forsake us, or write us off. This is His story. He is the author. And even when it is hard and confusing, and even if it gets much harder (I'm sure that it will), we will trust Him and we will choose to believe that HE IS working all things, including all that is hard and challenging right now with Sophi, together for our good and for His glory!

I hope as you read these words that I've written tonight, as you see the sweet and silly faces of these little ones He's entrusted into our care, that you join me in giving Him glory for all that He has done, all that He is doing, and all that He will faithfully continue to do. In our family and in yours. In our country and across this world. To Him be the glory!

Lord-willing, the next time I blog, I'll be across the ocean. My goal is to update this blog while I'm in Bulgaria as much as possible, but if I'm unable to, I promise to do a big update post and tell you all about our newest little girl as soon as I get home. {Apparently, Faith's orphanage is very strict about a no-picture-taking policy, so it is unlikely that I will post any pictures.}

Just a little bit longer, sweet girl! Faith Ana, you are a treasure, and we can't wait to meet you!

I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;
I will shatter the doors of bronze,
and cut through their iron bars.
And I will give you the treasures of darkness,
and hidden wealth of secret places,
in order that you may know that it is I,
the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

Isaiah 45:2-3

XOXO,
Melanie

2 comments:

  1. Have a safe trip and a wonderful time with Faith. We love the doma in Stara Zagora....I hope you have a wonderful experience too. Email if you need something.

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