Today was our court day in Ethiopia where we hoped a judge would legally make Evan our son. We have prayed and prayed and had such phenomenal prayer support from friends and family I thought surely God would grant our request! Remember the persistent widow?? :) But today wasn't our day and it didn't happen as we had hoped. Our case worker is in Africa right now so one of the other CW's called today at 4:15pm to let us know that we didn't "pass". She said "the birth mother didn't respond correctly" and that she didn't know exactly what that meant but would try to find out more and get back to us. The bottom line is that the judge rescheduled our court date to Wednesday, February 17. This was good news since I have heard of families waiting another month for a new date. The agency had prepared us that only 1/2 of the families pass court on the first date due to circumstances outside of the family or agency control. So we knew this was a fair possibility. My prayer from the time we knew the date was that God would help me to TRUST HIM in the outcome. This morning in the shower I wondered if I should tell myself that we wouldn't pass and "prepare myself" for that and then if we did it would be especially sweet. I think of myself as an optimist, so I find it difficult to do that. Besides, I really didn't want to play mind games with myself, I just wanted to believe that His way is best and TRUST HIM!
We just studied John 13 this week and one of our principals was that Jesus knows all things and loves unconditionally. We saw this as He washed the disciples feet, even Judas, who He knew was going to betray Him. He knew what was in his heart, that he was insincere, and yet He loved Judas to the very end. Knowing that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) I can KNOW that He will respond to me in the very same way! His response to me will be based on 2 things:
1. His knowledge of all things.
2. His love for me, my family, and Evan-- unconditionally.
So when she called today and I heard the tone of her voice I thought "this isn't going to be good news" but I pushed that thought out of my head and returned to "neutral". When she said we didn't pass I accepted it as matter of fact and knew this was God's decision, not a judge's, not the agencies, not the birth mothers, but God's, for He is in control of all things. Since I know He loves me unconditionally I can rest that He is working all things together for good in this circumstance. Wow! Even I was surprised at the peace I felt. The CW seemed surprised too, I think she expected me to cry (for once I remained dry!).
So what did I learn about parenting from this?
I learned that God wants me to accept His sovereign decisions without throwing a fit, a tantrum, or questioning Him as if I know better (not that we can't ask questions) and in doing this I show Him the respect, honor and trust He deserves! What He showed me is that He wants Rusty and I to train our children to respond to us this way as well. When we answer our children with "no" or "not right now" they too should respond respectfully and without clamor because they trust that we love them and know what is best. Like everything else, if they can't respond to us that way, how will they ever respond to God that way? But this will take training on our part. Correcting them when they respond incorrectly and TEACHING them, guiding them HOW to respond correctly. After all, isn't everything easier to learn at eight than at thirty-eight???
Besides, Angie and Matt (#2) still don't have their court date, so this could just be part of the master plan for us to travel together! They'll pass the first time, we'll pass the second time and all travel together in March....The End. :)
So right now I praise God for knowing what is best all over this big world while I sit here in my bed clueless in Kentucky.