So, our third court date was today. Its result was the same as the two before it. The lady from the adoption agency said that Ethiopia is getting ready for elections there and it delayed some of our paperwork. It is yet another reminder that we have very little control over this process. I often wonder how we would be dealing with this if we hadn't gone overseas for the summer in 2002.
Before leaving for that trip, and throughout the summer, God taught us that we are not the ones in control. It is easy to remember overseas, especially when you are not in a Western country where you don't speak the language. Things are done differently and our time frames are not their time frames. We knew all this when we decided to adopt internationally. And even though we are not adopting from East Asia, the fact remains- we have no control. We do not have the right to time frames or to expect our paperwork to be worked when we want it to. I had no idea that this process would take over three years when we started, but I've known for a while that God only shows us one step at a time. He does that in his wisdom because we can't handle the whole picture at once.
I think in America we have gotten a lot better at acting like we are in control. We drive our own cars because mass transportation is too unpredictable (at least in the cities I've lived in). We make sure we have choices and we are entitled to things. We are entitled to have things "our way" and when we want it. We will complain when things are not the way we expect (remind me to tell you about a man at Taco Bell who complained to the manager because his nachos did not look like the ones in the picture). But it's all just show. We really don't control as much as we like to believe. And John and I have no control over this adoption.
The comforting fact, and one I have to constantly ask for grace to remember, is that God IS in control. There is nothing that happens outside him allowing it. And he loves our little girl way more than we can and yet he allows her to stay in the transition home away from her forever family. How can that be? Shouldn't he just teleport her home so we can start our lives together? While that would be nice in theory, I know he has something better planned. Her time there is shaping who she will be. And what He is doing in our lives right now is shaping how we will parent. And what I am most sure of, is that at the end of this whole thing, His name will be praised more than I have ever praised it before. My faith will be deeper, His truth will be more real and my reliance on Him will be stronger. And while I call him Jehovah jireh now in faith and hope that He will provide, I know that someday soon I will be shouting that from the rooftops because I have seen it happen in unexpected and phenomenal ways.
And then we can tell our daughter of the amazing things God has done in our family to bring us together. How we wanted her and thought about her and prayed for her for over three years before we even got to see her in person. We can tell of how he provided $5000 from nowhere so we could bring her home (actually, more like $20,000) and how he gave her dad the perfect job at just the right time. So while it is disappointing that we have to wait 2 more weeks to see if we pass court, God already knows when it is going to happen. He has things timed out in such a way that He gets the glory and not us.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21