You may not have known that today is a holiday. In our family at least.
Annie Faith Biggs Day.
Other families call it "Gotcha Day." For us, it is the day that our kids were officially given their new names. And their names each have significance - related to their personal testimony.
So, you can celebrate with us today. The day a little 34 month old girl was welcomed into her forever family.
This year with Annie has been very wonderful.
Some of you may know that the month of August has been very difficult for Annie for the last 5 years. The main reason is that, as nice as we are...August was the month when we met her and began to change her life forever...transforming her from orphan and lost to dearly loved and protected. Subconsciously, she struggles with this in August. I don't believe she understands or can verbalize the feelings but, in the past, August has been marked with frantic "working" to earn/keep our love paired with her every attempt to push us away. From what I've read, this is a typical response from children who have been adopted- that certain times of the year are more difficult that others.
We enter August with a guarded feeling of "making it through the month."
All of that has changed with Jesus.
Annie asked Jesus into her heart in February 2013. The change in her has been remarkable. There always used to be a visible spiritual battle raging inside Annie's heart, and occasionally, her eyes would betray that intense longing to be at peace and at rest. This may seem as if it would be difficult to detect but, I appreciate that Darkness can have a hold on us and that there is a real battle going on for the soul.
We have prayed for Annie...witnessed to her...taught her about the deep, deep love of Jesus...and in February, she decided to give her life to Jesus. As I prayed with her, Eric was outside the door praying as well... This was huge for her-- there had been a night not long before this that Annie had not been able to even repeat the name of Jesus, so great was her fear of rejection.
The Light is beautiful to see in her. She continues to struggle in some areas but no longer with the frantic energy of one who has no hope.
So, before I update our adoption news I had to share that about my beautiful "big" girl.
Adoption....leaving for our faraway land...we leave in 19 days- on October 12 at 10 something in the morning.
Go ahead...ask me if I'm excited...ask me if I'm ready...tell me it will all be ok...that nothing matters...that my kids will be fine without me....
But if you could see the amount of memories and traditions I'm trying to cram into 5 weeks (since we heard we are leaving) you would know that my spirit is unsettled.
My mom got me this cd called Bless The Lord Oh My Soul. If you need an amazing worship cd to infuse your home with the Spirit, I highly recommend this one to you.
I turn it on to clean or cook and it becomes this worship experience. The phrase that struck me tonight as we were frosting pumpkin sugar cookies was "His name is great and His heart is kind." We are clinging to that truth right now...that the heart of God the Father is kind, He has commanded us to care for orphans (specifically this one who happens to be near the end of the creation) and He will, without a doubt, carry us through this time. There are many days when I will not make it for the depression I feel about leaving my three kids here to go after this one. But we both feel so strongly led in this direction, we continue to follow our Shepherd. And, having been a personal witness to Isaiah's physical healing and Annie's spiritual healing - we know that we are all in good hands.
We continue to hear little bits and pieces about where our son is in this country...and each piece of information is more discouraging than the last - and makes us want to get to him that much sooner. Finally, we know what town he is in. He has been transferred to a different type of home than the baby house...this could mean many things or not much at all but nothing incredibly positive.
Ideally, I thought...remember, I don't prefer to deal with reality....he would be in a large city, never transferred and in the only orphanage where orphans were loved and cared for and given ponies and ice cream. He would deal with separation issues but not institutional behaviors....
now that I know reality and have had a couple of weeks to process the implications, we have begun to prepare our kids.
This isn't going to be easy...we are all being asked to stretch and bend...and above all, the heart of God is kind.
That will be what I want our children to see in Eric and I when we come home. That we believe this truth beyond a shadow of a doubt.
So, meanwhile, we are making the most of each day...seeing The Wizard of Oz in 3D, frosting cookies, exploring the creek, shooting a new bow and arrow, going to the park, the zoo, anywhere fun - and fitting in a daily dose of third grade...making memories with our kids.
Leaving day will be here before we know it...and, you're right...I will be ready.