Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On the Brink of Hosting: Inner Turmoil, Our Purpose and Our Mission.

Waterfalls remind me of the awesome, sovereign hand of God.  
On Friday our lives will change.  A little 11 year old girl with big blue eyes and a crooked smile is going to enter our lives, and they never will be the same again.  I am so filled with different emotions it's hard to put what I'm feeling into words.  Anxious?  Definitely.  Excited?  You betcha.  Fearful?  Somewhat.  Hopeful? Yes. Joyful? With all my heart.
Will she be comfortable calling us "Mom" and "Dad"?  Will she trust us at first...or eventually after she tests us to see if we're the real deal?  Will she open up to us or hide from us emotionally?  Will she want to be hugged or shrug away from us?
I have recently met another host mom from afar due to a connection with a mutual friend I went to college with.  She is hosting again for the 6th time.  If anyone has felt these emotions, she has.  She shared some amazing wisdom with me when I asked her for advice as we prepare for "L" to come into our lives.

"Hosting and adopting an older kid is really an entirely different world than adopting a baby or younger child.  So much more of their worldview has been shaped and I think what I have been told and now tell is that we aren't there to fix them"

"L" isn't our project to repair and mend so she can be a normal kid for the first time in her life.  She is what this broken, fallen world has made her.  I can't patch up the broken pieces of her heart and send her on her way in life a restored, confident, loved and secure young woman.  The only thing in me that can make a difference in her life is the poured out, unconditional love of Jesus that dwells in my heart.  Fun trips, bonding times, generous gifts, hugs and kisses, adventures, pillow talk, it all is great and a blessing to her, but it won't change who she already is.  I am still struggling to accept this, as all I've ever heard and read is that parents are supposed to mold and shape their kids' characters from day one.  She is 11.  She's already been molded, and that breaks my heart.  Her only hope is to have the opportunity to hand over those broken pieces so Jesus may restore her and make something beautiful out of the ashes.  If she is adopted or not, she will still struggle in this life.  She will still carry many, many scars.  Adoption could be wonderful, hosting is going to be amazing, but it isn't the cure.

How can I best show her Jesus in 5 weeks with a language barrier?  The answer lies in my past.  I have showed Jesus to so many without the language or acquisition of culture before by simply living out who He has made me.  It just gives the Holy Spirit a chance to get even more credit!

He is our Peace when the waters rage.
How can my heart bear to fall in love and then have to let go?  I've done that before too.  Kris visited me from across the world 13 years ago.  We were in love, planning to be engaged, and I had to put him on a plane, knowing I wouldn't see him again for 7 months.  The Lord taught me how to find peace, to finally stop crying and find the strength to go on serving Him even though a part of my heart got on a plane and left the country I was living in.  He saw me through then, and He will see me through this, as hard as it is going to be.

Why did we decide to do something like this instead of just going on a missions trip?  We have met some criticism, indifference, and lots of questions about our intentions with "L".  Is this a bad idea, to be putting so much stress on our marriage, our children, our hearts, when we could have used the money to go overseas and love on orphans in orphanages, helped feed the homeless, canvas a neighborhood, provided materials for the needy?  I struggle with these thoughts at times, wondering why God has led us to do this instead of doing what "normal" missionaries do.  As Kris has recently told me, we are weird!  God has no cookie cutter way to be a light to the world.  He only wants our obedience when given an open door to walk through.  This is our open door.  This is our chance to make a difference for eternity in not only the life of an orphan, but in the lives of all who will be touched by her.  We hope that by being "weird" we can inspire others to explore the possibility in being host families in the future as well.

I can't wait to hug that little neck and cry tears of thankfulness that she's safely here.  I can't wait to see the love poured out of my children as they desire to serve her and learn sacrifice and living out the Gospel as they share their lives with her.  I anxiously wait to see what God will teach me and how He will make me more like Christ as He stretches me and uses me in a way I've never experienced before.

Friday's coming, y'all.  Friday's coming.  I just hope my heart doesn't explode before it gets here!

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