Sunday, October 30, 2011

Microbiology 101: TJ Version

Tonight Big Brother gave me this little gem while we were talking about our friends who were sick today and missed church.

"Mom, a germ is a little ball that goes into your mouth and down to your stomach, but it stops there and comes back up. Then it goes into your throat and into your mouth and in your mouth it evaporates and breaks up and then the little ball germ makes your mouth open and you have to put your mouth in your sleeve and cough. But the germ gets killed when it goes into your soft because the soft is very strong and stronger than the germ. And the soft breaks up the germ and kills it. "

I believe "the soft" is his technical term for fabric.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh Wow, It's Real

Today we bought tickets. Actual, real live, honest-to-goodness plane tickets. And not only for us - for our daughter as well. Oh man, this is really, truly, actually, honestly happening.

I must admit there have been times when it felt almost unreal. She was more idea than person and I wasn't really sure she would ever be here. Just after we met her, that fuzzy dreamlike feeling was lessened, but in the waiting it has returned some. The videos and pictures help put it back in perspective, but it still felt like a possibility rather than a fact. Now, it's a fact. Wow.

So how do I feel about this? Great. I mean, a bit nervous and scared but more happy and excited. Tonight I was talking to a friend about the good news and our imminent trip and I felt like I didn't even know what to say. There aren't words for where I am right now, mentally and emotionally. I guess I feel pretty ready, though, and that's a relief. I at least feel like I've studied enough for the test and all I can learn from now is experience.

The idea of taking her in my arms and walking out of that orphanage with her is unbelievable. I'm trying to avoid any preconceived notions, any pictures in my head of what it ought to look like, because I know the best way I can manage my expectations at this point is to not have any. Whatever it is, however it goes, we will get through it. We'll deal, manage, adapt, overcome, and generally come out the other side stronger and more connected. That's what truly matters. It can be a messy trip so long as everyone still loves each other at the other end. It will be a messy trip, I'm sure.

I'm also trying to put things into true perspective. We haven't reached the end of the road. This is coming up to the beginning. It's like when I was pregnant. The point isn't to give birth, and you can't declare victory when the baby is born. The point, from conception on, is to raise this baby to be a functional adult who isn't a big pain in society's butt and whose life honors God and fulfills their potential. Milestones feel good, but I won't be "done" raising these kids until the good Lord calls one of us home. Hopefully me first, because they're already cooler than I am so they should stick around longer.

Gosh, I hope the next two weeks passes quickly. I say that knowing I probably am going to regret it. The last time I prayed for God to make a period of waiting pass quickly, He really whacked me with some crazy stuff. Good stuff, but totally crazy. It made the waiting fly by, but am I ready to go into that wringer again? Ehhhhh... I don't know about that.


We have official travel dates! We will be in Bulgaria from 13-19 November! That means we travel on 12 November and return on 20 November! Hooray!!! I'm so excited to finally know that dates, it's such good news.

Of course with every "up", there seems to be a bit of down. I complain a lot, don't I? I certainly feel like it, lately. My modest complaint is actually a warning for other parents... airfare. For some reason I do not even remotely understand, United Airlines charges $1200 for a roundtrip, adult fare from Denver to Sofia and back again... but a one-way child's fare from Sofia to Denver costs $3,000!! Now why would it cost more than twice as much money to fly a smaller, lighter body one way? In terms of actual cost to the airline, a one-way ticket obviously incurs less and a child's body even more so. Heck, even if they were to charge the same amount for  one-way ticket as a round-trip ticket, it would make me say "hmmmm." But the fact that they want substantially MORE money just makes my jaw drop to the floor.

We're still working the solution, but I'd like to share an idea from someone else that I think we will be using. See, you can't just buy a third round-trip ticket from Denver to Sofia and back again, because when your child fails to board the first leg of the trip their return booking is automatically cancelled. So someone suggested buying her a round-trip ticket... going backwards. She will board her first flight, and then "miss" the second. I'm not sure if it'll work, due to her age and such, but I will update you all on how it goes. Until the airlines learn to charge reasonably (hahaha yeah RIGHT) we all have to stick together.

And now, pictures of my daughter. In celebration of the happy news, I brag!

Isn't she pretty? She was very interested in my hair. I promised she can grow hers out. 

A quiet moment in the sun. My sweet Bulgarian princess. 

Sleeping peacefully in daddy's arms on day 2 of our visit. 

A very happy daddy!! He spent the whole time grinning like that. 

She likes to eat! She'll fit in nicely with the other kids...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'm hoping today is the day we get travel dates. Praying and praying and praying, really. Today is also, coincidentally, the first snowfall here in the Springs. It's a bit sad for me, even in all of it's beauty, because I had hoped Geri would be home by now. Alas, she has to miss this one. Still, I'm cheered by knowing that she will be home soon, and that there will be plenty of snow in the future!

Yesterday Big Brother got a treat for good behavior at school. He chose to rent a DVD from the Redbox (which I love, by the by) and he chose Tangled. The last time I watched that movie was on the plane flying out to Bulgaria to meet our little daughter. It made me a bit sad to see it again, and it made me miss her a lot. Hopefully she'll be home real soon. It'll be nice when we have dates and can plan. Then it will feel more real.

Adoptive mom question for other adoptive moms... Should I have friends and family meet us at the airport? I really want to, but Nick is scared that we will overwhelm and frighten her. Your thoughts?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Waiting to Plan

Oh sigh... it looks like we won't find out our official travel dates for another day or two. It's seven WORKIN' days, not seven days, from the court date. I kinda suspected that would be the case, but today it was confirmed by my agency.

In the meantime, I'm totally nesting. Nick finds it hilarious and keeps calling me pregnant. Last night I actually bought a scrub brush and a giant bottle of bleach and scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees. Finally, it is clean! Like, really clean, without all those pockets of grime trapped in the lovely texture that is supposed to make the linoleum look like real tile. Today, I got the bathroom as well. I still need to mop the hardwoods, but that's going to be typical ops, not this above and beyond stuff.

If only it were this easy...
I've been buying the girls winter clothes at the ARC and Goodwill, and today I picked up these cute boots for Geri. I hope they're her size. While at the orphanage I asked for her shoe size and instead of just checking the label inside her shoes, the workers tried to measure the length of her foot. So rather than a European shoe size that I could easily convert, I got a random length in centimeters. Was that the length of the shoe? The length of her foot? Your guess is as good as mine! I managed to find a chart and figure out what shoe size it ought to be equivalent to, but then I went to buy them and they looked HUGE. Sigh. I've been buying two pairs of every shoe... one in 9 and one in 10.

Next time, I'm bringing one of these
Clothing is a bit easier, since I have her height and weight measurements and those are more reliable (marginally, when they were measuring her height she had her legs spread out so I think it might have been off a bit.) Still, I'm buying all sorts of different sizes of things because I don't know what will work. Buying clothes for your children is almost an art, really. Take Big Brother, for instance. He's recently 5 years old... but I have to buy pretty much everything in a size 6. With the exception of pajamas, which must be a size 8. He can wear a size 5 in t-shirts and some sweaters, but all button-downs must be at least a 6! His shoes are a size 12 or 13, but his socks need to be larger because socks never seem to be the size they claim they are. It's not easy shopping for growing people!

All of this is, of course, troubles I'm overjoyed to have. I can't wait for the travel dates, because then I will start actually packing bags! Man, that will be exciting. And intimidating. Mostly exciting, I hope...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yeah, right... A Movie Review

Before  I start, I must admit that I have yet to actually watch this movie. I've read the entire plot synopsis, though, and I feel I have enough to go on to hate it's stinking guts. And it's not because of Renee Zellweger, either. Although she is part of the problem.

So, the story is as follows: social worker named Emily is alerted to the case of a girl named Lilith who is showing problems in school and certain behaviors that indicate possible abuse. So far, so good. Grounded in reality. I follow. Based on poor school performance and the appearance of a strained relationship, Emily proposes removing the girl from the home. Wow, miss Emily is one gung-ho social worker. I pray no one would separate a family for poor grades and a strained relationship, or all teens will be taken out of their homes. Then Lilith's parents try to roast her in the oven. Huh, guess Emily was on the right track after all... Lilith is sent to a children's home (not a foster home??? Weird) but Emily gets permission to take the child into her own home. Aaaaaand break reality. Seriously, wtf. Can you say conflict of interest?? Does she do this with all her cases, or what? I mean, would any child welfare department ever approve this "sure, give the caseworker dibs on the kid" arrangement?? Lilith starts using kooky head games to kill off all sorts of people, mostly Emily's bff's. Emily goes to see the parents and they tell her that Lilith is a demon masquerading as a little girl and the only way to kill her is in her sleep. Emily slips Lilith sleeping pills and tries to burn down the house with her in it. Lilith escapes (surprise!) and Emily and Lilith end up in the car together driving... somewhere. Emily tries to scare Lilith by driving too fast, Lilith tries to control Emily with a scary memory of driving in the rain, Emily regains control and drives the car into a body of water. Emily tries to trap Lilith in the car and escape. Lilith goes full demon mode and tries to drown Emily, eventually letting go of Emily's leg and allowing her to escape. Fin.

Here's my problem with this little movie. First of all, there's the huge deviations from reality in terms of orphan care. These kids are not just sent home with the first employee who claims them. It's not like when you work at Denny's and the hostess gets to raid the lost and found box at the end of the week. You can't say "I work here, so I get to take this kid home." That would constitute a massive conflict of interest. Most people don't know a lot about the foster system, and the last thing we need is to give them the message that it's run all loosey-goosey like a clearing house for used short people.

Second, there's this reinforcing of the "orphans are garbage" mindset. Do people really believe that orphaned children are demons that murder people? No, of course not. And if they do, they should seek help. Yet many people have this vague feeling that orphans are orphaned because there was something "wrong" with them. Maybe they were difficult, or medically fragile, or the offspring of bad parents, a situation that seems to imply that they must have inherited something bad themselves. They are viewed as a liability, rather than a child, and are thought of as being a great risk to those who would try to help them.

When did we develop this desire for horror movies that portray the children as the evil ones, anyway? Are we that desensitized to true evil that we have to take the only innocence we have left and make it bad for entertainment? Perhaps when we started chipping away at the image of our children as innocent, we opened them up to more abuse than ever. This idea that kids can be inherently bad allows people to feel justified in a whole host of horrible actions against them.

In the meantime, I can't stand these movies that demonize orphans because they are adding to the problem. By padding the myth that orphans have something "wrong with them" we make it harder to create safe and loving environments for them. By constantly seeing them killed off in their film representations, we divorce their youth from their adulthood, reinforcing this idea that orphan care isn't a big deal because they'll age out of the system and then disappear.

It seems the only time we see orphans in media is one of three ways 1) helpless infant as a plot device, 2) evil child who tries to destroy the ones who try to help him/her, or 3) Cinderella story who is worthy because he/she achieved something spectacular.  You're either helpless, bad, or worthy of love based only on your grand achievements. What sort of message are we sending these kids? "We expect you to bring us only harm, but if you cure cancer I suppose you could be loved and accepted. Now, what was your name again, little baby?"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today I feel as if I have about a million things I could be writing about, and in the midst of all that I saw this post by Courtney Davis, another mom adopting from Bulgaria. Great, now there's something else I want to blog about. Well, this one is quick. It's a letter to my 16-year-old self.

Dear (16 year old) Lauren,
You're not alone. Believe me, God is still by your side and if you would turn to Him, He would immediately take you in His arms. Turn to Him. He wants to be the father you need.
Stop giving your parents so much trouble. Seriously, some day you will regret being such a pain in the butt and they will have so many embarrassing stories from it, too. They are doing the best they can with what they have. They are not perfect, but they do love you very much.
Love and sex are two very different things. Don't get them confused, and don't believe that doing the one will get you the other.  Your value is not dependent on how men look at you. Being desired is not the same as being wanted. Being lusted over is not the same as being loved.
Another person cannot make you feel whole. That void in your heart is decidedly "God-shaped." He's the only thing that will fill it. Until then, you'll be chasing something that can't be had and you'll get hurt in the process.
The love of your life is named... on second thought, I won't tell you that. If I did then you might do something differently and then I wouldn't have my son. And believe you me, he's totally worth it.
It's ok that you don't know what you want to do with your life. It's ok that you haven't found your purpose yet. You will, I can assure you of that. It's awesome, and well worth the effort.
You are going to live to be 30. I know you doubt that right now, but you will. So treat yourself well, because this body is the only one you get and you had better take care of it.
Trust but verify. Don't just believe everything you hear. The internet is coming. Use it to your advantage.
Google search will let you find out what's true and what's BS. In the meantime, talk to your friends. They can tell you what's really up.
When something hurts, remember that the only way out is through. And that God loves you and wants to be your comforter.
Someday your sister will be your best friend. Stop wasting time and get to know her now.
Life will be more fun, and people will actually like you better, when you stop trying to blend in. At any rate, what they think of you doesn't matter. Be yourself. Stand out. Someday you will be loved very deeply exactly as you are.
Tell the truth, there's less to remember.
Floss. Quit smoking. Try soccer, you might be pretty good at it. Take up running, you'll love it. You will never get any better at volleyball- it just wasn't meant to be. Art will always be your passion. Pursue it! Listen more, talk less.

30-year-old Lauren

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We Are Proud To Introduce...

Gergana Michelle Wasinger

Born December 12th, 2007
Given to us October 17th, 2011

Still waiting for the official word on our travel dates, but that info is supposed to come today. Last night was a very black and sad night for me, worrying and wondering, but what a beautiful dawn that comes in the morning. God is so good!!! We can't wait to go get her and bring her home!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh Come ON!

Today was the day of our BIG COURT DATE. After the waiting, the praying, the delays and the tears it all comes down to this, right?

I dunno, maybe. Hard to say right now, because we have gotten NO ANSWER about what happened.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Seriously, I'm peeved about this. I mean, this is the big day. The final court date. When we are supposed to get a finalized adoption and approved travel dates. This day couldn't be more profound or important for our family, and we don't even know how it went.

Is this normal? How long does it take to get the results of a court hearing in Bulgaria? When our match was approved by the IAC, we found out that same day. I was sort of expecting the same thing here. So what is normal? Can anyone else please let us know?

So whiny. So neurotic. Sigh. Let's just pretend this was a brief missive about how cute puppies and kittens are.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

So Close to a Happy Beginning

As I write this, it is just about 7:00 am in Bulgaria. "Today" (tonight? tomorrow?) is our final court date. Well, hopefully final. Final if all goes well. Second-to-last if it doesn't, I suppose. So getting ready to go to bed tonight, I feel like a kid on Christmas eve.

Honestly, ever since Saturday morning I've been feeling very excited and anxious. Today, however, was the fevered pitch. At church we had lots of people offering to pray for us and talking to us and it really got my heart going. Then I found the song "One Less" by Matthew West on YouTube and that got me. I was crying my eyes out to the words "brought their little girl home today." Very soon, that should be us. It could be us. I pray it will be us in the next few weeks. Could we really be 3 weeks from having her in our arms again? Dare I hope it could be even sooner?

I can't even believe we are at this point. At times it has felt so LONG, but looking at where we are now and hearing other families' stories I know that it's been very fast indeed. It feels, in some ways, like a dream or a fantasy. Something unreal or made up - a story about someone else. I have a hard time believing that this could really be our own happy ending. Of course, it's not the end at all. Bringing her home will be just the beginning.

My heart feels like it could explode in my chest to think of bringing our daughter home. Just the thought of seeing her and holding her again. Oh little darling girl, you have no idea how deeply I've longed for you. Some day I know you will struggle with feeling unwanted or rejected. Would it help you at all to know that, regardless of what your birth mom felt for you, we wanted you with all our hearts? Would it help to know that we would never reject you, that we went to great lengths to get you before we even knew you because in our hearts we loved you? Would it help you to know that I truly and deeply believe that sometimes God makes a baby with one family in mind, but puts that child in another woman's body for deep and profound reasons we can't understand on this side of the veil? I hope it will help you some day to know that, in my humble opinion, God meant your for us all along - you were always ours from before the beginning of time - and He meant us to take the long way around.

I don't mean in any way to negate the mourning and loss she must feel towards her birth family, understandably and naturally so. I hope and pray that some day I can walk with her through that pain to the love and joy and peace and acceptance on the other side. As she grows up, I hope we can love and honor her birth family together, mourning their absence and honoring their contribution to her precious life. I just hope that she will understand that she never was an accident, that God never left or forgot her, and that we love her just as deeply and strongly and fiercely as any parents can love any child, no matter how they arrive in their home.

I'm waxing poetic and emotional tonight because I'm dreaming of those courts opening in one hour (theoretically... they might keep European hours and that would mean three or four hours) and a joyous call from the agency. Forgive me if I go on too long, but I'm a kid the night before Christmas who just wants to talk about Santa's sleigh and all the presents I'm hoping I'll get.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Brief History of Our Adoption

For those who might be curious, this is how our adoption has progressed.

  • August 2010 - "Awaken" worship series at WVC spurs a call to adopt, we start talking and researching and make the decision to go for it (thinking it would take 2-3 years).
  • 21 August - We get the list of waiting children in Bulgaria and promptly fall in love with one little girl
  • September - Homestudy starts
  • November - Partial application to put a hold on our daughter submitted to Bulgaria, tentative "hold" approved
  • January 2011 - Home Study done
  • 20 January - USCIS Filing sent off
  • March- Approved I-800A received
  • May - Dossier registered in Bulgaria
  • 3 June - Notified of official match with immediate travel dates
  • 5 June - 11 June - In Bulgaria, meeting our daughter!!
  • 13 June - Applied for I-800, Submitted final paperwork to our agency
  • 5 July - Approved I-800 received
  • August - Bulgarian court vacation begins... sigh
  • 20 Sep - Bulgarian court vacation ends. Yay!
  • 17 Oct - Our upcoming court date!! Please pray!
I'd like to add here that this is NOT the typical timing for a Bulgarian (or even an international) adoption. Ours has been pretty quick because we requested a waiting child. If someone requests a healthy child under 5, they should expect to see a 2-3 year gap between the registered dossier and the match. The wait is less for an older child, or for a child with special needs. If a match is refused by the prospective parent, their dossier goes back to the bottom of the list and that would tack on probably another 1-2 years. Ours is the fast track... much to our surprise!

An Adoption Update!!!

At long last, or at least it felt long to me, we have news on our adoption! According to our agency, via the Bulgarian agency, our court date has been scheduled for October 17th. If all goes well at court, the Bulgarian agency *tentatively* predicts travel dates of November 6th through 12th.

We may very well be within one month of going to bring our daughter home!!

Of course, I am immensely excited, but that excitement is tempered somewhat. I am not going to go crazy until we pass court and get travel dates. Real, official, approved travel dates complete with permission to purchase tickets.

Still, this helps enormously in terms of feeling like something is actually HAPPENING. The past several weeks of waiting have been very difficult because it has felt like being in a black hole rather than a holding pattern. I found myself asking "What are they DOING over there?" and even questioning whether we would ever get to the court date at all. Waiting for a set event seems to be easier than waiting for anything at all.

So now I have 9 days until, God willing, she will be legally ours. Then, only another 2-3 weeks until she will be in our arms again. Oh man, that feels great.

If you are of the praying persuasion, please join us in praying for a successful day in court. Pray that our paperwork will be complete and submitted in full, with nothing missing or incorrect. Pray that the judge will see the ultimate value we will bring to this darling girl's life and, in our quick response to travel requests and paperwork demands, our love for her. Pray for a short turnaround on the travel authorization and early travel dates. Pray for us to have her home by Thanksgiving, so we can thank God for our family in full!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Diaper Update/Review

I wrote about my unplanned switch out of cloth diapering here, but that has not turned out to be the end of the story. First off all, sorry about the rant. :) I was venting. My bad.

Second, I have to admit that I was still not 100% pleased with the reality of being back in disposables. Oh sure, they were working out much better, but I hated knowing how environmentally destructive they are (solid waste in a landfill for 500 years seems, to me, worse than an increase in wastewater treatment... the wastewater does actually get treated, after all) and that their processing and creation contains a buttload of chemicals... that then end up on my child's butt. So when Nick and I were at the BX (base exchange, for all you civilians not hip to the DoD lingo) picking up a fresh pack, I saw the Seventh Generation Chlorine Free diapers and decided to give it a try.

7th Gen (as I shall now call them because I'm a lazy typist) diapers are completely free of choring, latex, fragrances, and lotions. That's rather nice, in my mind, because it removes a few things that would otherwise be on my daughters girly bits. They also claim, on their website, to have a "reduced enviornmental footprint", although I'm still not sure what that means. Hey, it's a step in the right direction... not a solution to every problem.

My biggest concern, and the reason I bought only a small package, was how well they would work. I had a bad experience before with the disposable inserts for the Flip system. They claimed to be environmentally friendly and they leaked like crazy. I also was worried about their fit, as I have noticed that different diaper brands seem to very a lot in sizing. Then, I was concerned about closures. Huggies have those cool stretchy little tabs that sort of velcro to the front. In fact, almost every mainstream disposable diaper has these. Still, there a huge degree of variance in how stretchy they are and how well they hold.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Aside from the fact that it looks like my daughter is wearing an unbleached coffee filter, they are almost identical to the Huggies. They fit her perfectly, they are super absorbent, and the side panels stretch nicely and attach securely. As an added bonus, they seem to be marginally gentler on her booty. The last few days she's had a wanna diaper rash threatening her bottom, and now it's gone. I can't totally attribute that to the new diapers, since I also switched to original formula A&D ointment, but I do think that removing one more chemical from the equation can only help.

If you've been considering these diapers, thinking perhaps you could step up the environmental consciousness without having to jump all the way into cloth, I would recommend you go for it. They are slightly more pricey, but not enough to scare the unbleached coffee filters off of me. If my cheap ass is willing to pay it, I'm pretty sure that means they're ok.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bulgarian Cooking - Gyuvech

So, Bulgarian adoption families, am I the only one who LOVED traditional Bulgarian cooking?? When we were in Sofia, it was near impossible to find food that wasn't somewhat "Americanized." In fact, on the day we arrived our agency contact, Rosi, took us around the city to show us where to find food and she kept saying things like "The pizza place is over there" and "The McDonald's is that way" and "The KFC is one block up on the left." And we were asking "Ok, but where can we get REAL Bulgarian food?" I suppose a lot of people want to eat what they are used to when they travel, but what's the point of that? I can get a pizza at home.

When we were in our daughter's village, though, we got wonderful food. We found a little restaurant that served a style of food called "Mehana" in Bulgarian, which basically means traditional. I finally got to try some real Gyuvech, and Nick had a Kavarma that was amazing. We loved all of it. The bread, the cheese, even the Tarator, or cold cucumber and garlic soup. I would have eaten every meal there, every day, if I could have.

Gyuveche. I bought six!
Well, I decided to purchase some gorgeous gyuveche in Sofia. (Ask me if you want to find out where.) Those are little individual cooking pots used to make individual servings of stew or gyuvech. They're awesome and I love them and I probably use them weekly. I also found a decent cookbook on Amazon, buy it here, and some recipes online to guide me.

Well, anyway, I thought I'd share some of my Bulgarian cooking experiments for other families who would like to be able to cook their own Bulgarian cuisine and celebrate their dear child's culture.

Gyuvech (Stew) (makes about 6 individual or one very large)

The booze is, of course, optional!

2 pounds stew beef, or cubed meat of your choice (veal is supposed to be good)
1 - 8 oz package of mushrooms, sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 peppers (tricolor is more fun), chopped in large pieces
1-2 Tbsp olive oil (approximately)
Paprika... a lot. I don't measure, but it's probably around 5 Tbsp
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
5-6 bay leaves

Take all the above ingredients and mix in a large bowl or roasting pan with a lid. You will know you have added enough paprika if everything is very red. You can never add too much, though, so pick up the biggest container you can find and go to town. If you have Gyuveche or something similar, spoon the mix into each individual pot until it is very full. Try to get one bay leaf in each pot. Otherwise, cook in a large roasting pan with a vented lid. Cook for about one hour in a 350-degree oven.

For a real traditional style, crack an egg on top of each individual pot after about 45 minutes of cooking (or 6 eggs over the large pot) and sprinkle with cheese. If you can get your hands on Kashkaval (Bulgarian "yellow" cheese) use that, otherwise a mild mozarella or parmesean would work. Return to the oven for the last fifteen minutes.

Enjoy! It's a great taste of Bulgaria, and pretty much everyone loves it. You can also change up the vegetables you add. Sometimes people add peas or carrots, but I would say no leeks because then you're making Kavarma. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

A New Prayer

The third of October has come and gone. I'd hoped that today we would have heard something, but that wasn't in the cards.

Today was my day of crying out to God. I think I spent a good two hours today, at various points, crying my eyes out and begging God to bring my girl home soon. I laid it all out to Him, my frustrations and my hurt and me fear. I realized, today, that I haven't been honest and open in my relationship with the Lord lately. I've been trying to say the right things, act the right way, be the "right" person. I haven't been baring my soul. Not that I have to - He can peer inside my deepest thoughts at will - but as an act of sharing, relating and connecting.

I've been trying to figure out what is that one "right" thing I can do to get my way. It hasn't been about trust, it's been about outcomes. And I must admit, if I'm being truthful, that my trust is damaged right now. Today Nick said to me, "It's in God's hands" and I felt this wave of guilt because I wanted to yell out "But He's not doing what I want!!!" I know God loves me, I know he loves my daughter, but I've gotten to the point where I want what I want. That's it. Gimme and gimme now. So I have stopped trusting Him because it would be foolish to "trust" God to do my will. In my deepest heart I know that doesn't work.

I'm so wrapped up in my will right now, in what I want. Like always, I can't see any reason why my way wouldn't be the best. I have a hundred reasons why I'm right. Just like all those other times I was sure I knew what was best and only ended up drenching myself in misery. It's really so very selfish, especially now.

When I try to choose what's best, I am too short-sighted to be very good at it. I've proven this repeatedly.  God is able to see everything with perfect clarity and arrange it to the absolute best outcome. I want my way because it seems quicker, easier, faster, more immediately gratifying. Yet, my children are in the middle of this. My family is caught up in this. This little girl, who I love and I pray and cry for so much, could be affected for her whole life by the way this happens. How selfish am I to want my way, when God's way is so much better for them?

I've been putting my wants above God's love and perfection. I've been imagining that my reasoning is better than His. And I've been willing to throw my kids under the bus to have satisfaction. So my new prayer is this :

God, please shepherd all of this to the conclusion that you know is best. I want to yield to you. Please make me to bow to your wisdom and might and glory. Please make me trust in not just your power, but also your goodness and mercy. Change my heart, Lord, to say "it is well" and to remain close to you throughout this process. Stop me from pulling away when I don't get my way, like a pouting child. Make my heart pliant, give me peace, and fill me with new trust in you. Make me bend, Lord, before I break.