Friday, 27 February 2009

More Applications

Since completing our dossier we have been working on applying for adoption grants. Some of the grants are almost as much work as our initial applications. Today I will mail our third application packet. There is one more grant that we can apply for with the information we have, but they don't evaluate applications for a few more months, so I decided I will take a short break from paperwork. I need it.

For some reason the grant organizations all ask very similar questions, but they ask them differently enough that you can't copy and paste from grant to grant. Happily, I have this blog to self-plagiarize from. I thought I would share one of the essays that I reworked from a post I wrote about Leah.

What desires do you have for your children as they grow and mature?

When we learned of our first-and only- pregnancy we prayed every night that God would use the life of our baby to bring Him glory, first and foremost, no matter what that meant. We asked God to allow our child to know Him. We told God we were willing to accept whatever cost that entailed as parents. This was the greatest desire that we had for our child. Praying this felt natural and easy. At the time we didn't know that our daughter would die in our arms shortly after birth, a victim of our mangled genes. At that time, trusting God for the future of our family wasn’t difficult. True sacrifice was far away.

After learning that our baby would die shortly after birth, we continued to pray that our baby's life would bring glory to God. We knew that our second prayer would be answered, as our child would pass from our arms to God's in a matter of minutes. As we grieved prior to labor, we found so much comfort in knowing that God could still use our baby's life to glorify Him. Amy remembers telling a friend that even though it felt like we had lost everything, we knew this prayer and desire hadn't been taken from us. It was the one sliver of hope we had to cling to. Although our daughter would never be able to share the gospel, serve her community, raise a family, or really "do" anything, we knew her existence and our response could point to God's goodness. We believe that her short life absolutely brought God glory, and it is our ongoing prayer that it continues to do so.

When we began to pray for the child that God would bring into our family through adoption, praying our "first prayer" was difficult. Trusting that God will bring a child into our family is hard. Even though we know that our adoption is in God's control, and not ours, it felt like praying that way meant relinquishing some control we weren't ready to give up. Instead, we prayed for our child's health, his or her caregivers, and birthparents. It took time before we were able to choke out the words, telling God that as parents we were willing to go through anything he saw fit, if only our child could know him, and that our child's life will bring him glory.

Praying in this way continues to be difficult. We know first-hand that loving a child exposes you to the possibility of heart-wrenching loss. Laying our desires, and our pain and our suffering at God's feet through prayer has proved a difficult act of obedience. Yet we must do it, because it expresses our truest and purest desire for this child we plan on adopting, and each child God brings into our family in the future. The only desire we have that matters is that our children will call Jesus Lord, and live abundantly in him, and that through this their lives would bring glory to God. Since we pray this prayer in a broken world, we know that its fruition might mean earthly trouble. It is not a prayer to we take lightly, but it is prayer we must pray throughout our children's lives.


Updates:

#1 We had our support group at the hospital this week, and while we were there Jeff took some of the little blankets I made into the maternity ward. I couldn't do it. I do want to though, at some point, so I kept some of the blankets for another time.

#2 At our meeting I shared my story and my desire for a little green leaf for my medical file, and our group leader confirmed that the leaf picture is indeed the hospital's symbol that the patient is suffering a loss.

#3 We are hoping to receive the affidavits from our lawyer in Uganda next week. This is the start of our official court process. The first family from our agency's program is home with their adorable twins. They speak so highly of our lawyer, Isaac. They found him to be a man of strong faith and high integrity. They said their paperwork was impeccable. We are so exited to work with him.

3 comments:

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Amy, you are very brave with your blanket-making. And I am glad to hear that you have such a wonderful man looking for your baby.

Amy Jo said...

What a beautiful essay. Continued prayers for you both and for your new addtion to your family.