Monday, December 17, 2012

Finding God Amidst Tragedy

We are in Moscow for our second trip and I can't sleep. Thank you jet lag. It's 5:30 am and I've been laying in our bed thinking about stuff, looking at FB, reading other people's blogs for probably 2 hours now. I'm really not sure where this blog is going to go, so patience please. It will eventually lead back to adoption.

I've tried to shelter myself, and especially Carter, from the events at Sandy Hook Elementary last week. No TV, no radio. I know what happened, I read it on Yahoo! But I have committed to not looking at the painful images or getting into the politics. Imagine for a moment how much processing goes on there for me.

First, there was the fact that I am a teacher, and I most definitely would hide my students and take bullets for them.

Then came the accusations that this tragedy could be blamed on Asperger's Syndrome. I'm the mother of a child with Asperger's Syndrome and every one of you that knows Carter knows there isn't a bone in his body that could possibly....that he is the single most compassionate child & this would taunt him forever if he heard about it!

Next, comes up what I believe should be the true focus of the debates - mental illness. You see, my classroom is called the "Social Development" elementary classroom in our school district. It's a first-year program in my district. It's politically correct for behavior classroom. I teach kids coming out of local psychiatric institutions and day facilities and I can tell you the care they receive there is not sufficient, nor is the ongoing treatment as they transition out. THIS is where we need to focus as a nation. As individual families and the church, we need to focus on God.

(Now I'll get off my soapbox and wrap up why this is A LOT of processing for me and how it links to this adoption.)

Finally, this I the second time in my life that personal tragedy has been followed by national tragedy.

Just prior to Sept. 11, I had a miscarriage.

Just prior to Sandy Hook, I had a miscarriage.

The past nine weeks or so have been incredibly challenging for my family. A miraculous pregnancy, short and troubled, ended in financially straining surgery. Then Carter's medical issues increased leading to my husband & I having to take unpaid time off work, and a couple of trips to Kansas City Children's Mercy for procedures to find answers. Meanwhile, adoption paperwork was "lost" in-transit between countries. And while we are so excited to be back here for court to make our daughter ours forever, there's the financial strain of knowing we loose 2/3 of our income while we are here.

It's spiritual warfare and I will not succumb to it like I did the last time my life was met with tragedy. I will not run from God. I will not refuse to see the blessings He's showing us in the midst.

Satan wants me to question everything we are doing in answering God's call to care for this orphan and to reach out to the lost in the midst. He asks through other people how we are going to make it financially, how we are going to care for two kids with special needs. Satan is right. We aren't capable on our own. But we are through Christ. We have victory in Jesus.

He promised us in Jeremiah not to lead us to disaster, but to prosper us. In Romans, He tells us that everything will work together for the good of those who are called according to His plan. This adoption is His plan! We wouldn't be here if it wasn't! We didn't raise the money for both of these trips & agency fees because we are famous or beloved by many. We are here because God put us in the path of those He called to help.

Don't get me wrong, we have some amazing friends and family who have helped financially & prayerfully through the process. But 2/3 of what we've raised came from people we've never met. Our car is parked at the house of someone I met through this blog. We are staying with two families this week in Russia we never knew before this process started. This was all God's prosperous plan! We NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED or dreamed of the support we have found through this journey!

I could be disappointed I've only had one day donated at work to cover my trips. I could be devastated over the loss of life my husband and I created. I could be discouraged over Carter's health concerns. I could be depressed. I was in 2001.                                                                                        

But in God's name, I will rejoice. For He is in control & knows what I need so much better than I!

I will not let the smaller things that might seem huge steal the joy I have in Jesus. It's a choice to be made daily.

Look around today. Choose to find the blessings He's sent your way. They may not be as obvious as the ones I've written about, but they are there. Choose to focus on them. Praise Him in your storm & dance with Jesus in the rain!


  1. Have you read One Thousand Gifts? Just thought of that book as I read your heart. Praying for you...feeling it all. It's all beautiful tapestry...the pain, the joy, the's rich textures, satin and wool mixed together.

    It's freedom to be who you are, wherever you are. To see Him in ALL's a precious gift.

    Love you and praying for all of you... XOXO

  2. Dear Kendra ~ I am so sorry for all that has happened over the past few weeks/months. Know that He has led you to your daughter and He will be there with you as you finish out this part of your journey. I think you are correct about NOT focusing on the tragedy at the school. Keep your eyes and ears focused on Him and on the Good that surrounds you. I will be praying for your family. You are Loved! ~ Jo