Friday, June 27, 2014

When you don't have the words...

It seems like whenever I do not know the words to describe how I am feeling, someone comes up with them.
Whether its my husband, or a friend, someone always seems to say exactly what I need to hear.
Jason and Dawn Wright are our wonderful adoption consultants who have been there for us through this whole process.
It has been such a blessing having Dawn's compassionate words and caring attitude even in my "neediest" of moments.
Then when everything seems to fall apart, Jason comes in with some wise words that just calm this mama's heart.
Two families that are working with them have recently had failed matches.
Despite what you hear in the media, when a family is working with a good agency, disruptions are not all that common.
The other day, Jason wrote what has been on their hearts for all of us adoptive parents to see.
I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.
"It's interesting how many people 'weighed in' on what God's plan must have been for us. Believe or n...ot we even had a man say to our face that "Maybe God is trying to tell you that 7 children is enough" right after we heard that USCIS denied our Ethiopian adoption.
I'm NEVER going to try and make an explanation of God's plan. God's ways are WAY too mysterious and amazing for us to really comprehend, and yes, it is possible that God orchestrates certain things to happen that may be difficult for us to walk through (Growth is never easy, right?), BUT, and this is a BIG but, I do not believe that our loving heavenly Father's will is one that causes bad things to happen.
My only way to explain this is to use the example of a tragedy like Columbine. This was NOT God's plan. Human beings who had free will made terrible choices that day. God allowed this to happen because he gave those two young men freedom to wake up and choose to either bless or curse him. They chose the latter. God could have reached down and stopped it, but he chose not to. Not because he's sick, but because he gave us the freedom to make choices.
All this to say, that there are times when humans intervene in what God has chosen to happen and 'derail' the perfect plan he has set forth. I believe that when this happens God ALWAYS grieves and sheds tears for us. He is grieving and knows the pain you are going through right now. He is not pleased with the choices some have made to cause you this pain.
However, He is a God of miracles, and He is ALWAYS going out of his way to bless us continually. The enemy is always (And I mean always) prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour, and HE IS A LIAR - do not listen to his lies - and he will use many crafty ways to get to you (Maybe even through family, a pastor or close friend). God, however, is victorious, and we are more than conquerors through Christ. God WILL ALWAYS bring redemption, joy from sorrow, PERFECT peace all for His glory. Hold onto the truth that "Joy will come in the morning".
Dawn, our children and I are living testimonies to beauty from brokenness - and HE IS FAITHFUL. Continue in obedience, praising him in the storm even through tears of brokenness, and He will blow you away with his goodness and deep, deep JOY. And I also believe that as you delight yourselves in his Word and truth that HE WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART - and he will bring you the amazing treasure of precious children into your arms."
Many people seem to feel that this failed match was God's way of saying no.
The problem with that is, he has been saying yes for years.
He said yes every day of this domestic adoption.
We think its Gods way of saying, "not yet."
We hear Him reminding to
Be still and KNOW that He is God!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Help! Call your Congressman!

This last week, tons of DRC adoptive parents went to Washington D.C. to try to get our stuck children home.
We could not make it because we were still waiting for Penelope but we were so blessed to see all of the families over there fighting for our children's rights!
They got a lot of media attention and met with a lot of politicians who seem to want to help get something moving for our children!
Here is what you can all do to help pass a House Resolution that will get our babies home!
Now, get everyone you know to call their Congressman and say this:
I am calling to let you know that House Resolution 588 regarding the international adoption crisis in DRC just cleared the House Foreign Affairs Committee without opposition, and to ask that you vote in favor of HR588 when it reaches the House Floor.
And then ask them to call Speaker Boehner's office and say this:
Please ask Speaker Boehner to move House Resolution 588 forward to a vote immediately. This resolution is needed to resolve the international adoption crisis in DRC and there is no time for delay.
So far we have had a lot of support but we need to keep this thing moving!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

God is God

I took a little break from updating our blog while we got some stuff figured out.
I am sorry for those of you who were left sitting on the edge of your seats after my last blog post.
We have had a long and hard few weeks and were just waiting until we had some answers to share with everyone.
With heavy hearts, we have had to say goodbye to little Penelope.
"K" disappeared about two weeks ago from her apartment and has not been heard from since.
There was a very dramatic phone call in which the birth father said he wanted the baby, while "K" screamed in the back ground that she didn't want her.
The next day, they were gone.
The agency, knowing "K" better than we do, feels like she was likely made to leave against her will.
The father has a history of abusive controlling behavior.
So here we are, seven months after being matched with our sweet Penelope, being told that it is time to move on.
We are heart broken and grieving over the loss of our sweet baby girl.
We are sad for "K" who was doing so so well before the birth father came back into her life.
We do not understand the reasoning behind any of this.
But we know that God is always good.
God gives and he takes away.
We will be praying for little Penelope's salvation for the rest of our lives.
That right there makes this whole journey worth it.
We have been called to be obedient and we will be obedient whether what God is doing makes sense or not.
The Lord has moved in our lives and hearts during the last few weeks and he has made himself more real to us than ever before.
When we look at her cradle with her hand made quilt perfectly draped over the side and we cry,
God cries too.
When we are angered by the fact that this little girl will have to suffer CPS,
God is angry too.
He is with us through this and He loves Penelope more than we ever could!
Despite how difficult this loss is, we have peace and we have joy.
The Lord loves us and has a plan for us.
We are not giving up as we still feel called to this adoption.
We are going to throw our hands up and leave room for God to be God.
Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Praising Him in the Storm.

First of all, I want to thank all of you who I know have been praying since I posted we needed prayer on facebook.
I don't know what I would do without our prayer warriors and we are truly blessed.
I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to share everything that is going on publicly.
Our hearts are hurting right now and part of me just wanted to bottle it all up, sit in my room with a tub of ice cream, and have a pity party.
After spending time in prayer, I realized that sharing our story is an important part of giving God glory.
I am not sure what the ending of this story is going to look like, but I know it will be for our good and God's glory.
The other night, we got the call from our agency that every adoptive parents dreads.
The birth father, who has been no where to be found for months, has come back and is saying that he wants the baby and will fight the adoption.
As scary as this is, it does not necessarily mean that we will not bring Penelope home.
"K" still does NOT want the baby.
She was very adamant on the phone with the agency that she has no interest in parenting.
Unfortunately, the birth father is a large, abusive man and will no longer let "K" communicate with the agency.
So as of right now, the agency has no contact with her. 
As far as they know, she does not want the baby...he does.
An alert has been sent out to the local hospitals to call the agency if "K" showed up at the hospital.
"K" and the birth father will not be allowed to go home with Penelope.
If they decide they want to parents, CPS will step in and take her.
If CPS gets her, we will never see her.
We are hoping that the chances of that happening are slim.
We got to have a long visit with "K" in which she explained her dislike of CPS.
She really believes that they are the worst possible place for a child to go and I really do believe that she will call the agency before letting her child be turned over to the government.
If she decides she wants us to have the baby, hopefully the hospital will work with her and our agency will get a call.
If she decides she wants to give us the baby, we will still have to deal with the birth father.
He will have to take a paternity test to make sure he is the father.
Birth fathers have to pay for their own tests and get their own transportation.
Therefore, many of them never follow through with getting the test.
Now if he got the test, and turned out to be the real father, CPS would take the baby away from us and we would never see her again.
The emotions that I have been dealing with the past couple of days have been unreal but we are doing good.
God is good ALL the time....I truly believe that.
I think about why God calls people to serve him.
He doesn't call us so we can live easy, happy, lives where we get everything we want.
He calls us so we can further the kingdom of God.
He calls us so we can carry out His will here on earth.
He calls us to mold us into Godly individuals.
When I first heard this news, I immediately thought, "Why wont he just bless us with our children coming home?  What did we do wrong?"
I had a few moments of weakness where I was angry and felt like giving up.
I felt like maybe God just forgot about us.
But He didn't.
I am sitting here with 3/4 of my children stuck in dangerous awful situations that I can do nothing about.
Sure I am sad and there are tears.
But I am joyful.
I am hopeful.
I am praising God for how awesome he has shown himself in my life.
I am praising the God who gives, and the God who takes away.
Ever since becoming a believer, I struggled with the idea of praising God even in a storm.
I wondered how it could even be possible.
I now, I am blessed with the chance and the ability to praise Him through this storm and it feels so powerful.
God has given us a peace that truly does pass all understanding.
In my head I know I should be freaking out.
But my heart is so calm.
My heart knows that He has got this.
First, please continue praying that we feel peace through this process.  I know the next couple of weeks of waiting for a call and not knowing if we even will get one are going to be rough.
Second, there are certain hospitals that are pro-adoption and certain ones that are anti-adoption.  The anti-adoption hospitals would prefer that the baby go into foster care than be adopted.  Please pray that "K" ends up at one of the pro-adoption hospitals and that they call our agency right away. 
Third, Please pray for the hearts of the birth family.  They were created in the image of God just like you and me and we love them.  We are praying for their salvation and praying that they see that CPS is just not a good option for little Penelope.
I will keep you guys updated just as soon as I know anything.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Everything is Ready!

I did it.
I finally got everything ready for Penelope's arrival.
Preparing for an adopted child can be a gut wrenching experience.
I used to love gathering clothes for our adopted kids.
I used to love decorating their bedrooms.
I used to love sewing them stuffed animals and making sure everything is in the right place for their arrival.
That was before I realized that while adoption is beautiful and joyful, it is full of waiting and disappointment.
I think the third time I started setting up Isryelle and Boaz's rooms just to take them apart again, I decided to stop.
I completely stopped preparing anything for them until we are sure they are coming home soon.
So when we got matched with little Penelope, I figured I better get started on getting set up for her since she was do in April.
In April, we found out she was not due until June/July!
I was so thrilled to get to meet her birth mom, I just let the disappointment go of having to wait another two months.
Her official due date is July 5th...or June 23rd. 
I have been wanting to set up her cradle and get her car seat ready until July 5th because that way I wont be disappointed if she does not come before that.
Her doctor feels Penelope will come early since all "K's" other babies were early and she has a condition causing her to have too much amniotic fluid in her uterus.
I just don't want to get my heart set on her coming early and then have to wait until July.
So I have been guarding my heart against getting too excited.
Gavin talked me into setting up her cradle.
After all, "K" will be either 36 or 38 weeks along this weekend and she went into labor with her other children around 36 weeks.
I do want to be prepared if Penelope comes early.
Now that I set up her cradle, I could not be more excited.
I think about her constantly!
I daydream all day about what it will be like to get "the call" and  what it will be like to see her sweet face for the first time.
I haved packed her a sweet little bag full of frilly baby hats and adorable booties.

I am full of anticipation thinking about what it will be like to experience Gods gift of adoption in a new way.
So far the blessing of adoption in our family has been most evident in our heart changes and our growing relationships with our Savior.
How exciting it will be to really get to hold one of these little treasures in my arms and call it mine.
God is good all the time!
I feel so ready, sometimes I wonder why she has not been born yet...what are we waiting for?!?!
Oh that's right....Gods PERFECT timing. 
After all, whats a few weeks after a couple of years!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tick Tock

Time seems to be moving at a glacial pace lately. I am soooo ready for Penelope to be here. I am starting to feel slightly impatient but am trying to keep my cool.  "K" will be 36 weeks on Saturday. Her other babies were born at about 36 weeks. She also has a condition that causes her to have too much amniotic fluid in her uterus which can also cause early labor. So basically we are being told to plan for an early baby and I am trying my hardest to not get my hopes up. She could just decide to stay in there all the way up to forty weeks.  Only God knows and I don't want to be disappointed if she does not come in the next couple weeks.

It's crazy to think how long we have been waiting for our adopted children to join our family. You would think another 3-4 weeks would be nothing but it feels like an eternity!  I have finally let myself get over-the-top excited for this baby to be in my arms and can not wait to experience this amazing blessing from God. I keep going over in my head what I think it's going to be like to drive down to Phoenix and meet our daughter. What an amazing experience to walk this path with my amazing husband and this sweet birth mom who will soon become an important part of our family. The future is certainly looking bright for the Pehl family. The Lord has indeed blessed us!

On the Congo front, it's still looking like there is positive movement towards getting our kids home. It is difficult to give out a timeline just yet but The Lord is moving on behalf of the orphaned children in the Congo!