This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "
6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:1-8, NIV)
- This parable is first and foremost about the importance of persistent prayer. Luke says that Jesus' parable was told in order to show people "that they should always pray and not give up." What an encouragement at this time when Kim and I might be tempted to be discouraged about how long is has taken for the judge in Brazil to rule on our petition! Jesus' words remind me that, however I may be feeling about the situation, God still wants me to pray about it, over and over if necessary. And unlike the judge who gets fed up with the persistence of the widow, God never tires of our approaching him with our petitions and prayers.
- Parables are always interesting to look at because they teach a spiritual truth while telling an interesting story. And this story just so happens to be about a woman and a judge, which seems to make sense given our current situation! Though the widow in the story is seeking justice against her adversary and Kim and I are seeking a family, both of us have petitioned the court for something, and both of us have to wait upon that court for an answer.
- Though I am not at all suggesting that, as in the parable, our judge in Brazil doesn't "fear God or care about men," or that she is "unjust," the widow's persistence spoke to me. It was interesting that justice was granted for a seemingly selfish reason on the part of the judge: so that the widow wouldn't "wear [him] out with her coming." As we were putting together the package of information for her this weekend, I kept hoping that the answers we provided and letters we gathered would overwhelm the judge so much that she would see how much we love these children already and how much support we have from our family and friends, and that she would grant our petition. I hoped that she would see that we were willing, like the widow in the parable, to continue to wait upon her and petition her until we received an answer.
- At the end of the parable, Jesus brings it back to God and prayer: "will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?" This statement about God's answering our prayers is in contrast to the act of justice granted by the judge in the parable. God listens to our prayers and grants our petitions out of love and grace, not out of exasperation of us approaching Him! But even in the context of the parable, I like to think about the way God might be working in our own situation. In the parable, God uses an "unjust" judge "who doesn't fear God or care about men" to do His will, namely provide justice for the widow. I am encouraged that God can use the actions of our judge in Brazil to carry out His will, regardless of whether she is a Christian or not (even though I pray she is!), and even regardless of whether she is sympathetic to our case (even though I hope she is!). Our persistent prayer is that God's will be that we are united with these children and that His hand move through the judge to make it so.
- This parable, as is so often, ends with a zinger, cutting close to the heart, piercing like an arrow! "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Whoa! This reminds me how important it is to continue to have faith and be persistent in prayer. We can say how much we believe that God listens to our persistent prayers, but if we don't persistently pray, we're not really practicing what we're preaching! (God help me to be persistent in my prayers and petitions to You!)
- Judge decides
- Submits decision to CEJA
- If it's a "yes" CEJA creates a document called a "Letter of Invitation" (LOI)
- A copy of that letter comes to us so we can get visas, a quick 2-day process
- The letter itself goes to the US consulate in Rio
- The consulate apparently has to send it up to the US to... USCIS
- USCIS approves our I-800 which ensures visas for each of the children
- Meanwhile, Lino makes our court appointments and we make our travel arrangements
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
- We've never had to wait this long before.
- We don't understand what CEJA is doing.
- The head of CEJA is in charge of this part of the part of the process, she has been doing her job for a long time and she's personal friends with the judge. And still nothing moves.
- Lino is mad and frustrated.
- Would you like me to look for some more referrals for you?
- Now is the time to pray and have faith.
- If this goes on for another week, we should probably move on to other referrals.
- No one understands God's plan (followed by a long, sad, story about a family who suffered years of infertility followed by a heartbreaking miscarriage--and years later the children God planned for that family).
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
"And the parched ground shall become a pool." Isaiah 35:7
We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.
"Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And batter'd by the shocks of doom
To shape and use."
God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.
The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don't lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.