Because He lives All fear is gone

Slowly and quickly it began to sink in. This was really in the process of happening. We were in a bookstore in Texas when the agency called us. "she picked you! The birth-mother picked you!" In an effort to get some privacy we ended up sitting in really small chairs in the children's section of books. This ended up being very comforting as I was surrounded by familiar books that were read to me growing up. But it also began to make it very real, I was going to have a child. "Tell us more. What do we need to do now?" 

The amount of paperwork we've had to do in a week has been astounding. (and I"m told that international adoptions are even more!!) Adoption is not for the weak at heart. But get this, look at some ways God is working all things together for good. We both needed copies of our birth certificates…fast. (remember she's due THIS Saturday) I was headed to Austin the next day to see our relatives so we were able to request and pick up my birth certificate in a matter of hours. Dan's parents have not spent thanksgiving away in years and decided to spend this year in Michigan with family. They were in the very city Dan was born. By that afternoon both birth certificates were being over-nighted to Raleigh. 

My family granted us the time needed to fill out so many forms and information. Thank you to our many references that got our recommendations in so quickly. Dan was such a get it done guy through all this which was so what I needed because I'm prone to becoming paralyzed to act when overwhelmed. But He kept on keeping on. I think we probably broke any record the adoption agency had for the number of times we called them in one day. 

We wrote a letter to close friends and family informing them of this news and asking for prayer. One email we got back really amazed us because our friend wrote to tell us … well here is what she wrote; 
I was simply doing the dishes and the Spirit laid the song on my heart that we sang at Asher's memorial service, "Because He Lives".  As i was singing it, i got to the line that says, "because He lives, all fear is gone. Because i know He holds the future…" And God laid on my heart immediately to pray for you in regards to future children- THAT YOU WOULD NOT FEAR for his/her life. so, i began praying that God would protect you from a Spirit of fear. Casey, my prayers were so real that i felt like you had to be pregnant again. i just truly felt like the Spirit was giving me real prayers for you and for your new baby. Then, i opened this email!  

 THIS MUST HAVE BEEN WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh, i worship with you my friend!!!! i love how the Spirit of God can lead us to pray for each other and give us insight into each other's lives. We will pray for you tonight.

We were both able to rest on Thanksgiving and enjoy our families. I can't tell you how much it has meant to me that our friends and families have rejoiced with us without reservation when opportunities have come up to bring a child into our home, whether it was going to be in a foster situation or to adopt. They are always so full of wisdom and belief that God will do exactly what we need in our life at this time. Even our extended families have opened their hearts to this little one already. Everyone is so willing to help us care and provide for this little baby girl should she come into our home and become our own. 

We flew home on Friday and on the last flight home we sat next to a girl and when Dan asked me to pass him the adoption paperwork she asked us if we were adopting. We got to talking and she had been raped and become pregnant and carried her baby to full term and decided to give this baby up for adoption. She told me how carefully she picked out a birth mother and how much she is so glad she gave her little girl life. That was 12 years ago for her and we were both sitting there crying and talking about the joys and difficulties of the adoption process. She was so happy for us. It was definitely the Lord that placed her right beside me. 

We have done pretty much everything we can at this point. We had our additional home study information done last night and have filled out several grant applications and are ready to be mailed today. A few more details and things to do and we are on track for becoming parents again in less than a week. It's been challenging at times because we are having to take what normally takes a year to get accomplished and get it done in two weeks. But oh, God's been so good and gracious to us! As Always. 

Dan and I were lying in bed last night talking and I asked him if he was scared of the possibility of losing this little girl. Every adoption comes with risks…and like I mentioned in earlier posts every child comes with risks. But there is a chance that the birth-mother will change her mind and decide to keep her baby. I can't imagine what this woman is feeling right now or going through. Putting your child up for adoption has to be one of the most selfless acts a woman can do. I feel as though we share something in common, because whereas mine was involuntary I too gave up my child so that he could be in a better place and where he would be taken care of way better than I could ever take care of him. This is her baby and she knows this baby more than I do at this point. She is amazing to me and I don't even know this woman…..yet. I could never judge her were she to change her mind. But I can't help but to believe she won't.  
Belief. Faith. Hope. Love. These are all things that we've been experiencing. All these things dispel fear and unbelief. With Christ there is no reason to fear or to be afraid that things won't work out. he has already shown us in a HUGE way that His plans are often not ours but that we have no reason to fear His hand or His heart. Cautiously optimistic has been two words that people have used to explain how we should be feeling right now.  And Dan and I were talking last night and with all we've had to fill out and accomplish and do this week we've needed more than cautious optimism fueling us. Belief has had to take root in our hearts. Yes, our Father has complete authority to yank that root out and plant another seed of trust in times of trial. He will sustain us no matter what. I am thankful that He has called us this year especially to be risk taking lovers. Even living here in downtown and reaching out to the women on my street has involved risk. And ironically it's not the risk you
would expect of being taken advantage of or being stolen from, it's the risk of them rejecting Christ in us. It's scary to me and heart wrenching. 

So, we are choosing to believe that God is at work here and now, within us and around us. I have to let my mind go to what it will be like to have a child in the home. We have to imagine what God will do with this little one in our lives. Because Christ's prefect love has cast out fear we can believe and hope and love in situations where it's risky and it might hurt after-wards. But I am so glad that He upholds us by the power of His word and He plants in our hearts the only love… the never ending source of love we have to offer and because He lives all disbelief and fear is gone! We are His. He will carry us to the end and His will will work in us and around us a far more righteous and satisfying life than we could ever hope for. 
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