I have inherited Your testimonies forever,
For they are the joy of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, even to the end.
Psalm 119: 111, 112

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Patty's Adoption Travel Journal - Trip One

Monday, June 10, 2013

I don't even know where to begin this evening. My hand is trembling as I write. Jet lag stinks. Anxiety stinks. Sleep deprivation stinks. There are so many thoughts, emotions, words, ideas, prayers running through my mind and heart. Most importantly, through all the stink and rising above it, God has amazingly confirmed this journey for us... again. Praise Him on high!

Yesterday was a glorious day and a dark, lonely day all at the same time. It was glorious and joyful because we met our two youngest sons and realized the incredible gifts they are to us. It was a tough day because we experienced the lies, deceit, discouragement and ugliness of the enemy like never before.

The anticipation of waiting for our first meeting with the boys took so much physical and mental energy. Add that to being exhausted from flying and being sleep deprived and you end up with two very volatile and impressionable souls. Yes, I mean me and Paul! We were already tapped when we snuggled our little guys for the first time. AND THEN... All youthful mischief, energy, curiosity, excitement, and spunk poured out of our baby boy! He is truly a wild child! I say this with overflowing love and amazement at the spirit our youngest displays! Understand, however, that the reality we faced included a deeper knowledge of how our lives and family are changing... forever.

Visiting hours at the foster home are from 10 to 12 and again from 3 to 5. Sunday morning, following approximately 20 hours in flight and 4 or so hours of sleep in an unfamiliar country, I spent two hours literally chasing my four year old around as he climbed on every piece of furniture in sight, nearly pulled two sets of shelving down on top of himself and others, threw toys and other items around the small room, and brought the excited, confused, hysterically funny little boy to life - in rare form - right in front of Mommy's and Daddy's eyes! Wow. Did we say we were prepared for all of this?

God has already given us some vision about our two newest sons. Our agency is wonderful and they send us updates weekly with pictures of our children. As we gazed at our two pumpkins each week, we felt we were getting a picture of their personalities; "who" they are, and that God was truly preparing us for our boys. In our oldest of the two we saw a gentle, nurturing, compassionate little one who reminded us a lot of his big brother, Tyler. In our four-year-old, we saw mischief in those big, brown, beautiful eyes! We said out loud, "This little guy is going to give us a run for our money!" God was getting our hearts and our home ready for our boys!

So, why was the day laced with doom and gloom? Because the enemy was busy at work planting lies and accusations in our hearts and minds. Yuck. He is the prince of lies and he kept saying things to us like, "You're too old to start this all over again. You can't handle it. You'll never be able to communicate with these boys OR discipline them. Why should you give up your peaceful times alone? Your time with your two oldest children? Your date nights? Your ministry needs? Your coffee dates with friends? Your... (fill in the blank)!" Ugh.

A dark, thick cloud of concern and doubt crept over me. Until I realized just what in this world was going on. As I prayed and sought the Lord desperately, I began to ask Him if I had misunderstood this calling. I began to ask Him I had been disobedient, and if so, that He would shed light and let us know which way to turn. Should we go to the right or to the left? I reached out to close friends and family and asked for prayer; feeling that we needed our brothers and sisters to intercede and surround us with love. In the middle of the night, Paul and I woke up at the same time to the realization of what was going on. Satan was trying to snag our boys from us, and from Jesus! What a wicked creature. But God is bigger and better, and sovereign. He again spoke to us about His plans for our family. And it is always His plans that reign supreme.

A peace that truthfully surpasses any understanding washed over us. We received a profound email from our daughter and felt completely "schooled" in faith. We prayed and agreed that we loved our sons. They were coming home with us and no matter what challenges we face, we won't be alone. The answer was simple. Don't turn to the right OR the left! Stay on the straight and narrow path I have laid for you, and I will be with you. Aaahhhh... the peace of God and His promises.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - COURT DAY!

This is it. We've been reminded several times that this adoption is "irrevocable". No returns. No exchanges. Done deal! Well, let's get to it, already! :-)

What an amazing day. We saw our boys in the morning during visiting hours. We came back to the guest home for lunch, but for one reason or another, it's been difficult to eat a complete meal (all of which are amazingly delicious, generous, and prepared with much love!). Today, the reason was, we just wanted to get in front of that judge and say "YES!".

Eshetu, our precious driver and new friend, took the Bonds and us to the courthouse right after lunch, as our appointment was at 1:30. Ranell and I were pretty giddy heading over. There is something about "going to court" that encourages butterflies in the tummy. The room itself was pretty sterile and it filled quickly with many couples waiting for their "yes" moment in front of the judge. Our nervousness was loudly apparent as we made quirky comments and asked questions that we really should've known the answers to, such as, what orphanage our children came from. Eshetu laughed til the tears flowed when Paul said, "Should we know?" It's a good thing the question came up because that is how we are called in to see the judge; by our children's orphanage names! Aiyaiyai!

As promised, we were one of the first couples (the third) to enter the small room where the beautiful, young judge sat behind her desk, heaped with files and papers. Her voice was calm and peaceful and her smile genuine and kind. When she asked us if we enjoyed our time with the boys we answered with an imperative yes and she looked down on the papers on her desk; our file a mile thick spread out before her. Then she said, with a beaming smile on her face how delightful and fun they look in their pictures! I thought to myself, why, Yes. They already radiate the joy of the Lord!

Then it was done. It was finished. It was accomplished. The boys were legally declared ours! Hallelujah! God has done great things for us! How profound it was as we went straight to the foster home to tell our two youngest children they were officially Gregersens! I ponder now the words of Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ...

"My soul magnifies Adonai,
and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior,
Indeed His name is holy, and in
every generation
He has mercy on those who fear Him."
Luke 1:46,47,50

Loving that we shared this precious time with two special families; now special friends - Jeff and Liza Ford & David and Ranell Bond. Love you guys forever!

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