There’s More to the Story

Three months.

That’s how long we’ve been back in the U.S. and squatting at my parents’ house. We have loved being here with family, experiencing fall, and just resting- but I’m sure it’s not a surprise that the transition has been difficult as well. There is a lot to process, a myriad of emotions, and a lot of uncertainty. I’d like to think it is culture shock, but there’s nothing really shocking about where we’re at right now.

Recently Al and I have been in a weird place. While we love being here and are so thankful for my parents’ willingness to let us live here, we are wondering why we’re here and what is next. We feel like God told us to come back to the U.S.- specifically to Atlanta. He worked out everything for us to come back in amazing ways, but now that we’re here, we’re a little lost.

We don’t feel like we can move to Atlanta quite yet because I’m 20 weeks pregnant and I have to see my high-risk specialist weekly due to what happened when Mariah was born. We don’t feel like we can settle down here and have Al get a real job because we feel like we’re supposed to go to Atlanta. Several doors have closed for temporary jobs for Albin. Our house hasn’t sold in Costa Rica despite numerous people interested. The position we hoped for in Atlanta as houseparents is no longer an option since my due date is a day before the position was to begin.

It’s just confusing.

We’ve found ourselves huddling up with the Lord and asking Him what is going on. A little part of our hearts has wondered if maybe we didn’t hear Him correctly about the whole moving back thing. Why would He take us away from our community, our fostering ministry, our house, etc. and then bring us here to do seemingly nothing? It feels like we’re wasting precious time. We know the Lord has called us to open up our home and our family to those without families, but we can’t do that being unemployed and in a temporary living situation. It just doesn’t make sense right now.

Yesterday morning we had planned to try a new Hispanic church in hopes of finding some Spanish speaking community. We didn’t end up making it to church because Mariah woke up in the middle of night vomiting everywhere. Instead, we decided to listen to a sermon and God spoke straight to our hearts through it. The pastor spoke about how there is always more to the story than what is currently seen. It’s easy to get caught up on a “scene” of our story, rather than the whole story itself. We can’t possibly know how God is working in our little steps of faith to set the future in motion. He is constantly working in our lives to make our story much grander than we could have imagined.

That was a great reminder for us last night. This “scene” in our lives seems a little anti-climactic and. it’s. okay. This is only part of our story and God is setting things in motion because we stepped out in faith. I am ashamed to admit I’ve kind of been like the Israelites in the desert; whenever things got rough, they asked God why He brought them out of Egypt if they were just going to starve, die of thirst, etc. They had seen Him part the Red Sea and do tons of miracles, yet they were worried that He wouldn’t provide for them. It’s incredibly easy to judge them until  I realize that God worked everything out for us to move back and we’ve seen Him do miracles, yet the moment things look a little confusing, I start asking if it wouldn’t have been better if He’d just left us in CR. Lame.

So that’s where we’re at. I have hope that someday I will look back on this post and be able to testify that this period of transition in our lives was just a part of the story. I know God will fulfill His purpose for us and I’m resting in that.

Psalm 138:8

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

We’re Back…with a Little Surprise

Well, we made it to America. I just might have teared up when we went through immigration in Atlanta and Albin was welcomed as a legal resident. I mean, it took a lot of work to get here, so the tears may have been merited…but I’ve also been pretty emotional these days. About two weeks before we left Costa Rica, I was working on insurance paperwork and had to answer a question about whether or not I was pregnant. I hesitated for a hot second on that question. I’d been really tired, but I figured it was because of the whole moving to another country thing. Nope. I took a pregnancy test and that double line showed up loud and clear.

We were pretty surprised, but then again, God seems to like throwing us a curve ball or two. Keeps life interesting. We’re excited though. Just embracing the transition in Ohio and trying to survive morning (all day) sickness. I’m 14 weeks and praying the nausea and vomiting calms down soon- but most of all, thankful for a healthy pregnancy. Despite wanting to puke my guts out most of the time, we’ve had fun. We made a trip to Chicago, went camping , and I’ve been able to introduce Albin and Mariah to all things fall. Mariah celebrated her second birthday here and is enjoying being spoiled rotten by my family. It’s nice to have free baby-sitters as I’ve milked my first trimester for all its worth. As far as our future plans- they are a little up in the air right now because this new baby might change our timeline, but we’re trusting God with the details.

One of these days I’m going to post about transitioning back to the U.S., but I just wanted to put a quick update out there and announce our exciting news. God is always so good.

 

Moving Back to ‘Merica

It’s true! We’re in the process of moving back to the U.S.

I’m probably more shocked than you are.

I’ve been overseas for almost eight years and the thought of moving back seems rather surreal, but Albin had his residency interview at the U.S. embassy on Tuesday and he was approved! If you don’t have regular contact with us, you might be surprised that I’m just now posting about this without having mentioned it before, but we didn’t want to advertise it until we knew for sure.

I’ll save the whole story for another post, but in short, we feel like God is leading us back to the U.S. There were many things that happened that led us up to the decision to apply for Al’s residency. After a lot of prayer, we decided to move forward with the paperwork and see if God was going to open the door. He has and we’re going to walk through it, trusting that He knows what is best for our family.

Obviously the next several months are going to be big for us. We would totally appreciate your prayers. The U.S. gives approved immigrants six months to enter into the U.S., so we need to be home by November. Here are the specific things we are praying about:

  • Our foster son. He is now eight and half months old and we’ve had him since birth. He was recently declared abandoned and the biological family has not appealed the decision, but for some reason, social services hasn’t taken steps to move forward with his case. As many of you know, Costa Rica does not allow foster parents to adopt children in their care (we know, it is absolutely ludicrous). While we would LOVE to adopt him, unless God does a miracle (which we totally know He can if He wants), he will most likely be adopted out to another family chosen from the long waiting list here in Costa Rica. Please pray for him and us as we trust the Lord with J’s life. We know God brought him into our lives for these last eight months for a purpose and we are willing to accept whatever God decides in regards to who will receive our sweet baby boy.

fathers day covered

1 Front.jpg

  • Our transition. We are super excited about this change, but are also aware that it is a huge transition for our family. I’ve been overseas for a long time and Albin has never lived outside of Costa Rica, so we definitely need to prepare our hearts. I know I’ve become a different person and view the world differently than I did eight years ago, and the United States is a whole new world for Al and Mariah. Plus, there are a lot of details, things to do and a lot of emotions.

So that is where we’re at right now. We have a vague idea of where/what God has for us once we get settled, but for now, we’re focused on now. We know He has plans and we trust Him in that. Today as we were having a little family worship session/dance party, we put on a song that we sang over Mariah a million times when she was in the NICU as a newborn. At one point she raised her hands to the sky and started spinning in circles. As I watched her dance to the song I sang over her two years ago when God miraculously healed her, I was reminded again that God holds our lives in His hands and He is sovereign over everything. And that’s where we find peace in the midst of the unknown.