But my Maker, the Great Potter, he is the Word. He is the Water. He refuses to let me dry out. He knows my future shape and purpose; every bend, every sway, every tilt, every color, every texture. The potter's table keeps spinning. His hands are covered with the stain of my flesh as he continues to mold. He pushes into my awkward bumps like a massage therapist kneading his elbow into deep, swollen tissue until my sinuses fill and pour out all the toxins. It makes me ache, but I know the ache is only for a season... A season I have yet to exit. You may be tired of reading that. I don't blame you. Its been two years and three months. That's a long time for you to walk this journey with us. Its a long time for Sunny, for my family, for me.
Sometimes I flip through old photos of Libby's and Gracie's first days/months home with us. I see how much their faces and bodies have changed and I grieve a wee bit that time flies so fast and their baby/toddler phases are long gone. But then I keep flipping through the pictures and I see how their bodies gradually grew taller, thinned out. I remember occasions that became the foundation of who they are and who they will be. And when I walk out of the room into the present, Libby and Gracie are right there, beautifully standing before me ready to engage in the next activity.
When I look back at Sunny's face in the first photos I received of her, I think about how much her face has changed as I realize how very few memories I have to fill the gaps between 2010 and 2012. There is no relief from the grief of all that's lost between us. And that's not even considering the first six years of her life for which I have a total of three pictures. Her first six years - and there are three precious, priceless pictures to show for it. I am grateful for those three pictures. But I would give them away if I could just have her future days starting right now. As much as what has been missed in the past causes grief, it cannot compare to the weight of wondering how many more days will be missed with her.
The only relief is the Water of the Word; the promise that Jesus will redeem the time. The promise that Jesus has saved all her tears in a bottle, stored all her prayers and praises in a beautiful heavenly bowl, has recorded her days, has numbered every hair on her head, has been near to her all her days, formed her in her mother's womb, knows when she rises up and when she sits down, is intimately acquainted with all her ways, has a future and hope for her, plans to restore her, already in motion to redeem her, obviously delights in her. What dehydrating despair would overcome me if I did not know these promises to be true!
So we wait, we ache, we grieve with hope.
There are two more Haitian offices to move through. Archives and MOI. We have been in Archives for almost 4 weeks. We thought it would only be one or two, but dying to expectations has become the norm. MOI is unpredictable. Some have exited in two weeks. Some are still in that office months later. After MOI, passports are printed, dossier is translated and handed over to embassy. Embassy then performs its own investigation and medical for Sunny. Once that is done, we will receive an email for Visa appointment. After Visa Appointment, Sunny comes home.
Her homecoming dress is a sundress with a tutu. Surely she will be home this summer, Lord willing. Surely.
I am grateful for the visits I have been able to make to spend time with Sunny. Many adoptive parents never get that chance until the day they take their child home. I am grateful so many other adoptive families and friends have been able to make trips and take care packages and love notes to my sweet Sunny. I cherish every one of my hundreds of photos spanning the last two years by way of a random selection of seven sweet weeks with her.
The number 8 in Hebrew means "new beginning". She is 8 and it will be our 8th trip to visit her when that Visa appointment comes. Surely her new beginning is coming soon. Surely.
So we wait, we ache, we grieve with hope. We cling to the Water and the Word.
Mostly, I find myself praying for God to sustain Sunny during these final months of waiting. (Well, mostly I pray he will just bring her home now...but second runner up is this request). Jesus, don't let her notice how long its been since I last visited. I mean, I want her to long for home, to be ready....but don't let her ache like we ache. Let her see like you see - a thousand years to you is like one day. And let her hope. Please, dear Jesus, give her hope.
He will not hold back for too long or she would be crushed. He's too good for that. She's too delightful for that - to Him, to me. Surely He will not tarry. Surely.
So we wait, we ache, we grieve with hope. We cling to the Water and the Word. And we pray.
This weekend I was sick. It wouldn't be a noteworthy subject except that the last time I was asked to help lead worship at our church I was sick and the second time I was asked to lead worship was this past weekend and I found myself sick again. The first time I rested, I let the opportunity pass so I could get well. But the second time.....oh no. I recognized it this time. I knew deep down there was a calling on my life at this particular time to lead worship in the swirling motion of this wait....to battle demonic forces publicly as I declared my Lord's exaltation. On Friday morning I had no voice. By Saturday I had a partial and very raspy voice. But the Lord allowed me just enough voice to get up in weakness and declare with all I had that His presence is all I need, is all Sunny needs.
So we wait, we ache, we grieve with hope. We cling to the Water and the Word. We pray. And we Worship no matter what.
What more can we do? Oh what a beautiful answer I have for this question. What more can we do? ... Nothing. Nothing but stand still in the presence of the Lord and wait not for Sunny's homecoming. No... we wait for our deliverer to come. Sunny's Radiant Father. The One who is able to do what we cannot. The One who moves mountains with one word. The One with authority over the winds, the waves and every government. And in His coming, in His moving, our eyes will be opened and the wait will be no more and Sunny will be home.
So we wait, we ache, we grieve with hope. We cling to the Water and the Word. We pray. We worship no matter what. And then we stand still and watch for the Deliverer's arrival. Surely it is coming. Surely.
|Sunny's face at 5 years old. Yes, she looks 3, but she had just turned 5.|
|Sunny around 5 1/2 years old.|
|Our first visit with Sunny. Here she is 6, but smaller than Libby who was age 4.|
|At 6.5 she had lost her two upper teeth and thinned out.|
|Sunny in Feb. 2011, age 7. Growing up fast. Not a little girl anymore.|
|Sunny in either Sept. or Oct. 2011. Age 7.5. So beautiful. She was excited that we had filed papers at embassy and passed court! My last visit with her to date.|
|Sunny, age 8, March 2012, via a sweet friend who was able to visit with her. Sunny cried at her departure. She is so ready. Surely He is ready to deliver her to her family. We love you, Sunny!|