Sunday, April 25, 2010

this weekend is just what i needed

a hoard of excited family and friends descended upon birmingham this weekend as we celebrated two of the super gals in our lives.  we partied with papa john's pizza and cheesecake at our house for bethany's 26th birthday and then raced over to briarwood for abby's ballet recital.  i was too busy running around getting things in order to get any pictures while we were at the house, but when the chocolate cheesecake made an appearance, i can tell you that bethany did a little something like this:

what can i say?  the girl likes her sweets.

it was pouring down rain on saturday, but thankfully i had gotten some cute outdoor shots of abigail in her ballet costume before her dress rehearsal on friday night. 

and here's a little something you all might not know about isabel:  she really, really wants to be a ballerina like abby; therefore, she has worn a ballerina dress or tutu almost everyday for the last nine months.  we listened to her all week long tell us how excited she was for her "cital".  (make sure you check out her face in the right photo -- she takes her art very seriously.)

while we were taking these photos, my wonderful neighbor came out and offered to shoot a picture of all of us together (and i feel confident that her appearance had nothing to do with the fact that we were standing square in the middle of her flower bed).  never one to turn down the opportunity to actually appear in a photograph with my little ones (to prove that i really was around for all of their childhood), i graciously accepted.  however, because of my children's complete and utter disinterest in having just one good picture with their mommy, i now present to you the world's worst picture of a momma and her babies:

but it makes me laugh everytime i look at it.

all of the family who live within driving distance made it here for abby's three minutes on stage, and she was thrilled to have so many people cheering her on.

jack was really into it...
but that's ok because these little cuties weren't much more excited than he was.  ;-)

random side note: i've learned that there are several "five lewis crew" readers that tend to lurk in the shadows and that stay pretty quiet on here.  as a matter of fact, there are many of you that i've never even met.  so if by some random chance one of those girls belongs to you, i loved them, they were too cute, and i got a good giggle out of their, um, anticipation before the music began.  translation: don't hate me.

as good as saturday was, though, it doesn't hold a candle to the events of today.  if i'm being straight-up honest with you, i'd have to tell you that i've really been struggling lately with the non-events of our adoption.  what was supposed to be an 8-9 month process has slowly and painfully stretched into a 17-month (and counting) ordeal.  our baby isn't home.  we haven't held him or seen his picture.  heck, we don't even know who he is because we don't have a referral yet.

i've seen time and time again how god's hand has been evident in this journey as he has used scripture, our small group, and friends and family to encourage us, support us, and remind us of his truths.  but i've just felt different lately.  it's not that i've ever thought god had abandoned us or that he was hanging us out to dry -- it's just been very quiet.  and the few times that there has been movement, it's all seemed to be in the wrong direction.  more money, extra trips, more paperwork.  and in all honesty, i've withdrawn a little bit from even wanting to talk about this whole adoption thing.  i've just been weary of not having anything to share but bad news.

but thankfully, the lord doesn't turn his back on me when i go in my room, shut the door, and bust out the droopy balloons for my one-person pity party.  he pursues me even when i check out.  and today was such clear, encouraging evidence of his compassion, provision, and presence.  at church this morning as i was casually chatting with a precious friend, she told me that god had put it on her and her husband's hearts this week to do something for us related to our baby.  i know they would prefer i not go into the details, but an hour or so later when i realized what they had done, i ran out into the parking lot and fell sobbing into her arms, thanking the lord for his goodness and for their willingness to serve the lord by serving us.  the day could have stopped there and i would have felt refreshed, encouraged, and renewed.  but the lord continued revealing himself to me as we went to church tonight.

after watching a video project that i had done some work for recently, david asked families who were currently in the process of adopting or preparing to be foster parents to come to the front.  josh and i slowly stood up and walked forward with several other families, and as we were nearing the altar, i whispered, "this is really awkward" to josh as i wished to myself that we could go sit back down.  but then a gentleman (who happens to be the director of the agency who did our adoption homestudy) began praying over each of us.  i held tightly to josh's arm and listened as he prayed through many of the exact issues we're dealing with right now -- the anxiety, the wait, the finances.  slowly, that uncomfortable feeling i had as we walked to the front of the church melted into thankfulness for god's perfect timing.

he is always, always faithful.  even when i have little faith.


Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

I have two words for you about church yesterday: Ugly. Cry.

I was a wrung out wreck when it was over. It was good, don't get me wrong, but it started to feel like they were just poking me to see how much I could "leak" in one service. And then we got to go stand in front of the whole church...

LaceyB. said...

Wow. Service yesterday was AMAZING! And I second Lora in that I sobbed thru the entire thing! I know Drew and I are not in the process of any of this stuff but working in the nursery and hearing all of your stories and meeting the foster and adoption babies our church is taking care of is just enough to break my heart the whole 1hr and 45mins of the church service. I think Drew probably thought I was crazy doing all that crying when we dont even have kids, lol! But, I wanted to let you know that we are praying for yal and all the other families. I think God has truly put a burden on my heart about this. If you need any specific prayer about it, please let me know!
Also, I wanted to share with you a story about Jack yesterday. I saw him on the playground last night and he remembered my name and shouted it from accross the playground (its been atleast like a year since he has been in my class) and then later I was sitting on the ground and he came up and proceeded to tell me his whole life story and events of the weekend. He informed me that yal ate at chipotle for lunch and that he had pancakes the day before. that you didnt eat meat and that daddy eats chicken. he said his favorite food is mac n cheese and thats your favorite too. He said that his guitar broke after he stepped on it and daddy thru it away. LOL! It was so cute.. he just kept going on and on and on! Just thought I would share. It made my day that he happend to remember who I was and share his life story with me! LOL!!

Brian and Jen said...

What a great "God Story"! He is always faithful!
**Tell Josh he is going to have to lock Abbey up when she gets older! She is just beautiful! :)