Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The inner fight, and the bigger fight

To Lose Hope

The Arrows strike at the most vital places in our hearts, the things we care most about. The deepest questions we ever ask are directly related to our hearts’ greatest needs and the answers life gives us shape our images of ourselves, of life, and of God. Who am I? The Romance whispers that we are someone special, that our heart is good because it is made for someone good; the Arrows tell us we are a dime a dozen, worthless, even dark and twisted, dirty. Where is life to be found? The Romance tells us life will flourish when we give it away in love and heroic sacrifice. The Arrows tell us that we must arrange for what little life there may be, manipulating our world and all the while watching our backs. “God is good,” the Romance tells us. “You can release the wellbeing of your heart to him.” The Arrows strike back, “Don’t ever let life out of your control,” and they seem to impale with such authority, unlike the gentle urges of the Romance, that in the end we are driven to find some way to contain them. The only way seems to be to kill our longing for the Romance, much in the same way we harden our heart to someone who hurts us. If I don’t want so much, we believe, I won’t be so vulnerable. Instead of dealing with the Arrows, we silence the longing. That seems to be our only hope. And so we lose heart.

Which is the truer message? If we try to hang on to the Romance, what are we to do with our wounds and the awful tragedies of life? How can we keep our heart alive in the face of such deadly Arrows? How many losses can a heart take? If we deny the wounds or try to minimize them, we deny a part of our heart and end up living a shallow optimism that frequently becomes a demand that the world be better than it is. On the other hand, if we embrace the Arrows as the final word on life, we despair, which is another way to lose heart. To lose hope has the same effect on our heart as it would be to stop breathing.

(The Sacred Romance , 32–33)

This is why she is in an orphanage in the first place. This is why we struggle to maintain the way through hellish conditions to gather her into our hearts and arms. Someone believed the lie that she was less than good enough, less than God's plan. We know by experience and faith that these children are so much more than meets the superficial world eye.

I learned last night that Marina is in the Krivoy Rog baby orphanage in Dnepropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine. Tsurupy str., 30. Just to know this seems to pinpoint that exactly somewhere in this world, there she is. The "exactly" seems to make is so much more real. And today the fight to get closer to her continues. Today we begin the chase to the Governor of SC. I am glad my God is in charge. I have seen him part waters and build bridges in ways no human has ever done. I will call to him and he will show me great and mighty things that I do not know. He knows the desires of my heart. He wrote me a note in John 15 last night. I have begun to put on my full armor. And then I will stand.
When we release our hold on this world, we gain the next one, as well as this one. When we make our small dreams here, we give up everything. God Almighty, Today is yours!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Breaking hearts are exhausting!

I cannot believe how exhausted I become these days. I am as tired as I ever was when Cay was in the hospital. This fight to bring Marina home is incredibly intense. I have run circles around a very large wall trying to find our way into her world, to save her and bring her home. But this punishment for a silly little fight is too much. If I knew then what I know now I would not ever call 911 if I even truly needed them. I simply don't trust the government to make judgements about me and my family based solely on old paperwork. That is ridiculous to say that something that happened 10 and 14 years ago has more weight than who we are now....and who we have spent ten years becoming. The punishment is way out of whack on this. I agree that people need guidelines and checkpoints, but there has to be a better system of reading them. Lives are at stake and I will not rest until this is settled to a better way. How many mean people in this world that are dumb enough to be documented on it, are conning their friends into giving them thousands of dollars to adopt a little girl from the Ukraine? That is what the state of SC has basically mandated...that we are not fit, as judged by strangers and that we are fit as judged by those who know us and love us. I am going insane trying to find the justice and logic in this situation. I am going to change that law. Good morning Marina! It is 6:15 a.m. your time and I wonder what you will do today? It is time for me to go to sleep. I am thinking of you and praying you will have a beautiful day. I know God is making a way from here to there....I hope you will wait for us and I hope you dream of a family that is us. I love you. I am sure of that. Good night from here little "Kit".

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The waiting is the hardest part...

That old Tom Petty song just lingers on in my head. It started as I was sitting in the hospital for months waiting for Caylyn to get better from Leukemia, relapse and the ultimate cell-slamming chemotherapy. She did get better but not by my standards. Jesus came by on the 8th of March 2008 and asked her to join Him. We took the liberty of sending her off in the sunset as she was on life support, a corner we originally swore never to get backed in to. 5:16. Some things you will never ever go hazy in your mind over. The death of an angel is just such a thing. And yet in so many ways she lives on, in her story and in the path her passing has pointed us towards. We find ourselves in the trenches of paperwork to petition for a little girl named Marina who currently lives in the Ukrainian Orphanage system. But for Caylyn relocating we never would have known these kids exist. Anyhow Marina started out as a prayer project. Without a family committing to bringing her home, there is no hope that she will not spend the rest of her life in a mental institution. We never intended to adopt as far as I knew. I will never replace my Caylyn, it is utterly ridiculously impossible to even consider because it will not or cannot be done. She is a one of a kind deal. But within 48 hours of a good cry over Marina's plight to my husband, he stated that we were her family. Something like that anyway. Trust me, he probably said we would talk about it. I heard something about "let's do this thing". That is a privilege of marriage, you know what someone is thinking when they say only part of it. It took about a week to realize we were indeed heading her way. I felt joy the first time in over a year. I had something to look forward to and a reason to make plans on this planet. I found hope in reaching this child and throwing my arms around her, brushing her hair, introducing bubble baths. And these thoughts were just the beginning of the avalanche. Did she know what a pool was? the beach? Peanut butter? Was she allergic to anything? Did she have a good day? Was anyone mean to her (heaven help them!)? And why did it have to take so long??? I should have seen the scythe coming to take us down at the knees. I forgot we used to be stupid selfish people so long ago. As the trauma of the past began to surface, I realized what we had done. We had rebuilt the Berlin Wall to this child with something in our past that was ever so indicative of our idiocy. 13 years ago, we drank and we fought. When I got tired of the fight I picked up the phone and called 911. A hideous way to self manage a losing battle. The second mistake we made was paying the fine and thinking that was the end of it. The quickest way out never will be the end of anything. The third mistake we made was doing this again, 4 years later. The records of our inability to personally manage ourselves with the brains God gave us indicates we are problem people. And yet nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus has left a legacy that we dearly embrace in a way that could never have been expected by the former us. Having Caylyn drop in as a 6 year post-it note from God on Unconditional Love was the U-turn. She changed everything and He knew she would. Everything but the paperwork trail.
In an effort to move forward I have sent the Attorney General a package reflecting most of the thoughts here. Scathing honesty in the hands of a politician could leave burn marks, I know. But I think he is different. And I think He can help. It was the path I was lead down. I have learned that with God, paths rarely show up in a linear fashion, but rather serpentine all over the place. I am prepared to follow the journey to this Child. And if it means petitioning every crazy politician in the state of SC to help me, I have nothing but time to devote to bringing Marina Home. I don't see the point in taking No for an answer. We need her and she needs us. For some reason she is the one. I know it. Pray for us as we seek the break in the wall that will unite us and bring her home.