Oh, the Waiting


Oh, the Waiting #adoption #orphancare

 Well they say that absence makes

The heart grow fonder every day

Sweet child, it’s true

In every way

.

So I will hold you in my heart

While I can’t hold you in my arms

Oh, the waiting

It’s so hard

 .

When you look up at the moon

Just remember that I’m looking too

Oh, the longing

If you only knew

I keep finding things ’round here

That remind me of our time with you

Oh, the memories

They bring fresh tears

 .

I can hear your clear sweet voice

Your “good morning”, ‘”night” and “love you too”

Oh, the joy

That you bring

 .

So tonight I’m sending love

And hugs and kisses and a prayer to you

O my Dearest

You’ll be home soon

.

Missing our sweet little one in Ukraine tonight,  Justina Dee

The Deep Well of a Mother’s Love {A glimpse into the life of an adoptive family}

Mother and her family

 

“No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love.  It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star.” ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin

(Is there someone from your childhood whom you haven’t seen for a very long time, but your heart still glows with love every time you think of them? My daughter, niece and I visited one of those people this weekend, and her life experiences over these past years is too beautiful and inspiring to keep to myself. On Friday afternoon we took a little road-trip under the hot Texas sun, through a few beautiful little towns, down a country road, up a long gravel lane, and finally arrived at our destination. We parked by the fenced pasture and were greeted by the family dogs.)

As we made our way to the house, the front door opened, and out walked one of the most beautiful families I’ve ever seen. First came my childhood friend (now a mother), followed by twelve of her and her husband’s thirteen children.

We embraced, then my eyes brimmed with tears at what followed. My friend’s intense love for each child was evident on her face (and even in her mannerisms and gestures) as she introduced me to every one of her blessings. Eight biological and five adoptive children (from Cambodia, Guatemala and Ukraine.) With each introduction of her precious ones, I was given another glimpse of their mother’s deep, deep love for them.

We sat down around the table in the farm-style kitchen and enjoyed a scrumptious family style meal, followed by a three-layered cake lovingly and beautifully baked by two of the girls. Sharing time with this family was an extraordinary experience. I sat across from a long bench of beautiful little ones, who sat in front of a large window through which you could see the great outdoors. The respect and courtesy these children demonstrated to us their guests, as well as to each other was a complete delight to behold (and experience).

Dinner was full of reminisce, stories and laughter. Love emanated from my friend and in turn, from each of her children. As the matter of fact, there is no denying the fact that this home is built on the strong and firm foundation of God’s love, as every square inch is filled with its grace and beauty. The picture of these children together, in their little corner of the world is such a picture of redemption that I have no words to describe it. What can one woman do to change the world? I need look no further than my friend’s kitchen table in Texas. The respect, admiration and adoration these children have for their mother is precious to behold. After all, she is a picture of Jesus to them.

Playground

After supper, everyone helped clean the kitchen, and we headed outside where twilight was just setting in. The children played, (all the older ones helping the littles), while us mommies caught up on the years that have passed by. It’s hard to believe there were fourteen children (including the two I contributed to the group) playing around us, they were so well-mannered. Such kindness and joy flowed from every member of this family! My daughter and niece had an amazing time playing, meeting the children’s animals, and then riding horseback.

Family Playground 2

As dusk set in, we took all took a walk together. It was magical. My friend shared the stories of each of her children. All I could think of is how DEEP this mother’s love is! It is like a well. Because her love is an extension of GOD’s love, it never runs dry.

Country WalkWalking along their country lane, we shared the joys and heartaches, the mountaintops and the valleys of our mothering experiences. I heard how one of her daughters was found at the orphanage doorstep, wrapped in rags. She told me about the unlikely path (full of intense sadness and ultimate joy) which led to the homecoming of two sisters from Ukraine. We talked about babies being born after their due-date. We shared struggles, current battles and the reality of living a life that looks different from those expectations we had as young women what seems so long ago.

My beautiful friend

I didn’t want this evening to end. We finished our visit with some time around the piano. (Which my friend’s children can play, as well as the violin!) As we sang “Amazing Grace” together, and the children’s clear, sweet voices rose up around me at the piano bench, I was completely overcome with emotion. These little ones understood these words far better than most of us could ever begin to do.

“Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come;

‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far

And grace will lead me HOME” ~ John Newton

Amazing Grace

Incredibly inspired. Massively challenged. And undeniably encouraged am I, by this dear woman’s deep well of Love. May we all die to self. Live to love others, and make an eternal difference in our world in such a way as this.

~ Justina Dee 

Our Adoption Story {Part 1}

Adoption ::: Our Story

 

We were young and in love. The bleak truth staring both of us in the face was that we may never have biological children. As the oldest of six children in a loving family, this reality crippled my joy. How would the dreams and expectations I had for our future together ever come to be?

You see, since I was a little girl, all I ever really wanted was to have, and hold, and raise my babies. I had names. I had plans. I had a picture of our beautiful “brood” in my mind. The white picket fence with our children laughing and playing inside of it. The dining room table with all my “littles” seated ’round it. Story time. Music time. Teaching them all about Jesus. Wiping away their tears and cleaning their snotty noses. And none of it seemed possible, thanks to my irksome endocrine system.

While I was devastated, my strong husband was very much at peace with the whole “problem”. Before marriage we had talked for many hours about the fact that adopting children was something with which we were in complete agreement. We believed that together, we were made and created to bring orphans to their forever home with us. We heartily determined that we would act on it someday.

After six years of marriage, many visits to various OB/Gyn’s, Endocrinologists and specialists, I was finally diagnosed with a severe case of endometriosis. Upon healing from outpatient surgery, I was overjoyed to live my life and go about daily activities free from the pain that had plagued me for so long. We were told that the best chance of conceiving was within a year of the procedure.

A year came and went. Another year went by. And still, I was not pregnant. We began our plans of adoption – only to find out we finally WERE pregnant and expecting our miracle daughter! (More to come on that incredible story of God’s faithfulness later).

When our beautiful daughter was two years old, we started up the adoption process again. And then, the unthinkable: our plans fell through. The nursery was ready. Our family was ready. But the timing wasn’t right. After coming so close to having and holding child number two, I was heartsick. I went through all the grief and emotions of miscarriage, which I had (on several occasions), previously experienced.

Then early one morning during my quiet time, I saw a picture in my mind of a little girl. I knew she was the daughter we had to find and bring home. (I look forward to sharing all the details about that unforgettable and pivotal moment in time, in a future post). We began to pray faithfully as a family, for this daughter and sister of ours. That was eight years ago. Fast forward to today, and we are in the process of adopting an eight-year old daughter from Ukraine. Coincidence? I think not!

An adoption conference, countless hours in prayer, much counsel and conversation, many books, articles, blog posts, videos and copious volumes of research along with an outpouring of support from friends and family later, we’ve finally reached the point in our journey where we are only months away from our daughter finally coming home.

We are older. And even more in love. And finally, the beginning stage of adoption is part of our story. God has given me joy, excitement and contentment with HIS plan for our family. We have a photo. We have a name. And we are getting everything ready and in place for our daughter and sister to finally be with us.

To be continued…

~ Justina Dee