Day Two was a real eye opener for me. It was comprised of two main sessions, both of which spoke volumes to me. Carissa Woodwyk is a Korean adoptee in her late thirties, who so selflessly shared her personal adoption story and testimony. To see such raw emotion as she spoke about her adoption story-even after 38 years of life was really eye opening. Her passion, is that adoptive parents remember that the voice of the adoptee is often not heard, but is the most important and special voice in the adoption trilogy because they are the only one who doesn’t have a choice in the matter. (birth family, adoptive family, adoptee).
Carissa talked about the studies done of the brain and the unborn child in utero and how even in the womb, the circle of trust can start to break for a child that is being put up for adoption (or who’s mother is going through something tragic in general).
As I listened to her, my heart just kept stinging over and over and over again. I realized that as much as I am crying and longing for a child to call my own, the moment of pure elation I will have upon receiving Ruby Grace will most likely be one of the most heartbreaking and tragic moments for both her and her birth family. It really put my heart into place. As I am sitting here longing for my child and wishing that moment would happen, ummmm, like yesteryear, I’m also (inadvertently) wishing for another Mommy to do the unthinkable. To make one of the hardest and most life changing decisions for both her and her baby. Uhg. It was really really deep. Extremely thought provoking.
But through Carissa’s openness and transparency, I have learned more than ever that “the voice of the heart matters most.” Ahhh. LOVED Carissa. She gave me so much to meditate on. I bought her book and cannot wait to dive into all she has to teach me. (She was also precious to talk to one-on-one and graciously signed my book-though I think it was slightly embarrassing for her how star struck I was by her.)
Then, I had my Date with God. It is a room they had set up with many different stations: A soaking tent-to soak up God’s presence, a cross and Bibles-to read His word at His feet, a prayer/blessing station- to choose a verse of encouragement that had been prayed over for us and to receive a prayer from someone who was there to encourage us, a prayer wall to write our prayers down and to pray for at least three others, a painting station- to paint what God was saying to you, a clay (play dough) modeling station-to mold what God was speaking to you, and a station where someone could pray over you.
Initially, I thought an hour was an extreme amount of time to do all of those stations, but then, I was beyond surprised at how few I actually got to. I went to a few stations, but spent the majority of my time at the painting and modeling stations. And I painted a picture of what I thought God was telling me my family would look like after our adoption.
I’ve really been struggling lately with whether or not we should look at other adoption programs. My heart is set on Asia, but I’ve always been nervous that my heart is deceiving me. (The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9) So, my main prayer was that God make known to me His path for our adoption.. Do we stick out this major issue with Korea or do we try a different path? Should we consider domestic? Africa? Europe? And as I prayed and prayed that God make His plan for us the desires of our hearts, I found myself painting our family, with the addition of a precious Asian daughter. I don’t know if she’s Korean, Taiwanese, Hong Kongian, (is this a word?!), Chinese, etc, but at least in this very moment, I feel 110% that our daughter is in Asia.
He also kept laying on my heart Ecclisiastes 3:11 He has made EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL in HIS TIME. I found myself painting this scripture reference on my picture as well. It was a breath of fresh air cooling me off. Renewing me and reminding me that Faith in God includes faith in His timing. ~Neal A. Maxwell I found it odd that this verse was speaking so loudly to me during our date. It’s a verse I’ve heard often and have always thought it was pretty, but had never really felt God speak through it the way He was. It was one of the most prominent times I have heard God speak. Enjoy this time in your life. Because even though it isn’t going the way you thought it would, I am making EVERYTHING, not just the fun, not just the glamorous, not just the easy, but EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL and I’m doing it in MY TIME.
I am currently looking for a frame to put my painting in. It’s not a masterpiece by any standards, but I feel like it’s my own little ‘text message’ from God giving me a little squeeze of encouragement.
And then? In the next session, Andrea spoke and gave a testimony about…..God’s perfect timing. All right, all right- I get it. Boy can we say when God speaks, He speaks clearly??! She shared how through a hosting/adoption opportunity she was so upset by God because He was CLEARLY ‘late.’ And yet, in the end He blessed her and this precious child with a family through miracles only He can perform. He blessed everyone involved more than they could ask for or imagine. Ephesians 3:20. It was powerful. And a total confirmation for us to just chill in His presence. Because He’s got this. And if He’s going to change the path that we are on, we will hear Him telling us to do so-in His time. And if we are just supposed to sit back and wait-which currently we do- He will keep reaffirming that-which He is doing.
(And I know that I’m not doing any of these stories justice-I mainly just want to jot down the major points so that I can go back and review my weekend. It was sooooo busy, and frankly a lot of a blur, but SO moving.)