A few people have asked about our Show Hope essay we (we means I on the blog.) wrote for our grant application. I thought I’d share it here with a few updates.
**Violets immigration approval came. We sent it off to the facilitator in Poland, and we’re waiting for dates. We also wired the money for her visa yesterday. Some people have asked what happens next. The honest answer is that I have no idea. At some point the facilitator will take a pile of paper to a judge and get a court date, and then we get to go to Poland.
But really, the end of an adoption is near when I give up trying to understand what’s happening and just give people money, and know that at the end, I’ll most likely get my girl. I think it’s a fair trade. Normally I’m on top of information about the process, where everything is, who it’s all with. But at this point, my brain is over saturated, and I’m on a 5 second delay. When people talk to me these days, there’s a 5 second delay while I process what anyone has just said to me before I respond. I attribute the 5 second delay to all the things I have to keep straight in my head. Theres a lot move through in there. The 5 second dealy most recently reared it’s ugly head at Gymboree yesterday. The clerk was genuinely concerned for me, but I told her it wasn’t her fault- I’m just at the end of an adoption and I’m on a 5 second delay. I apologized for not warning her in advance. But I digress.
**Our Both Hands Project is on Saturday. We’re down to the wire, but just tonight I was able to speak with the widow we’re working with and finalize a schedule. I’m starting to get really excited about this! When the project is over, I’ll write a blog post complete with pictures and a video. But just know it’s coming.
Anyways, here’s our essay. I took out some personal details and such, so what you’ll read is somewhat edited version. I went through 5 drafts before I was happy with it. The Show Hope application process is no joke. It took over 2 weeks to get everything ready and in the mail. It was crazy, but worth it. Enjoy. When you get to the bottom you get to see a picture of more Violets room. I’m really happy about how it’s turning out.
We’re Alex, Charity (I’m the writer), Lev and soon, Violet, who’s waiting patiently in Poland for us to come back and get her. We love each other, love Jesus, and on a less profound level, love photography, Curious George, trains, ice cream, missions to Russia and eastern Europe, hiking in the woods, walking, reading, biking and movies involving long dresses and British accents. Some might not call it the most exciting life, but we like it, because God gave it to us, and we’re glad we can share it with another child and all the people he puts in our lives.
When we began to think about a family, adoption as a method of family building was not something we thought much about until I was 26, and doctor told me that my body didn’t work right. That was very uncertain time as we pondered what our family would look like. But the Lord knew how it was all going to be for us, and brought us to something better in adoption. He graciously allowed us to let go of the idea of biological children and embrace adoption not as the next best thing, but as the Lord’s best for us. Through the adoption of our son, Lev, in 2010, we learned to love the gospel more clearly and to see our salvation, as children adopted into the family of God, mirrored in the adoption of our son. It was a powerful experience for us, seeing everything in Lev’s adoption as an earthly reminder of our own salvation. Lev’s birthmother, our roles as his parents, and God’s love for us all played parts in us seeing the enormity and profundity of our own salvation.
When we decided to adopt again, we chose eastern Europe and Poland specifically because Alex is from that region and is grandmother was Polish. We knew that if we ever go on the mission field, it would be to Poland, or Belarus (Alex’s home country), or Russia. And when we read Violet’s history this past August, we knew that while Lev would certainly have been loved by his birth family if he had not been placed with us, we knew that guarantee did not exist for her. At the tender age of 1, adoption was already her last hope. If the Lord had not seen fit to send her to us and us to her, she would be without hope and without a future. And her adoption is again mirroring the power of the gospel. While Lev’s adoption was a broad and beautiful view of how God loves us and makes his children, Violet’s adoption is a picture of hope. In the same way we walked into that nursery and saw our daughter in that crib, rocking violently the way kids in orphanages do, small and alone and without hope, and reached down and picked her up and promised her she would never be alone again, is the same thing that the Lord did for us- picking us up, making us his children, and promising never to leave us or forsake us. It’s the single most humbling thing that we’ve ever done- pick up that sweet little girl and recognize our own state before God, while at the same time, seeing the wide and deep and free grace and hope offered to us in Jesus. We are so in love with this little girl, for all she is already to us and all that she already is and will be one day in Christ. She shows us that adoption is a pursuit. A heart wrenching, gut twisting, budget busting pursuit of family, justice, God, and his glory. We would never have chosen this path for ourselves. And God knew that and chose it for us, and we’re so glad that He did.
As we go forth as parents to Violet and Lev, the most important thing we hope for our children is that the Lord will grow in them a love of the gospel, and a love for Himself as they process and learn about their adoptions. And then, we hope that they will take that love, and give it away to others so that they and everyone else can see that the Lord is good and faithful and kind. While we have high hopes for all that our children can do in life, our greatest one is that their earthly adoptions will allow them to see how great and beautiful the gospel is, and that they will embrace it wholeheartedly and share it with others wherever the Lord takes them.