This has been one of those weeks I would not want to relive. Redo, yes. Relive, no.
Last Friday we were filled with unbelievable excitement at the news that we would travel May 16 to bring home Emmie. Over the weekend we hustled and bustled getting ready to depart on an adventure of a lifetime. Monday we found out about the crazy happenings at the Consulate, and Tuesday we were saddened with the news that we would not be traveling May 16, but hopeful we would be able to travel May 30 to bring home Emmie. Wednesday went by with no major news and with hope that we would be able to travel May 30...those two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) were quite stressful and filled with anxiety. Thursday came, and so did news, but not the news we wanted. We woke on Thursday morning filled with hope as we learned that the Consulate had reopened and was set to be back on track by the following week. We felt that this was a positive sign that we would indeed be a given a Consulate date that would allow us to travel on May 30. However, by midday we soon learned that our travel would definitely be June 13, returning on June 27. This was not good news, and in our case was the worst possible scenario in terms of waiting to travel. The latest date, almost 5 weeks after we were approved to travel, and also getting us back into the US at the end of the July, leaving only one month with Emmie before it will be time to go back to school and work.
The reasons for being delayed into June for travel to China are numerous and I honestly have exerted so much emotional energy over the past week that I do not have the mental capacity or energy to detail the entire story here. The easiest way to put it is that there was a perfect storm that came together at the perfect time to keep us from traveling in May to bring Emmie home. First, the crazy happenings at the Consulate, then a miscommunication, then a Chinese holiday, and finally a new request from officials in China for "more time" to prepare for families arrivals. These are the factors that were stacked against us. If just one of the above mentioned factors had not occurred or were not going to occur, it would have been very possible, if not almost guaranteed, that we would have traveled in May. But, sometimes life is not "fair" and that is just the way life goes. I have had to remind myself of this almost every minute of the last few days as we have tried to move beyond the disappointment, anger, and sadness that we feel at knowing that it will be another month before we meet our beloved Emmie, and that she must remain in an orphanage and without her forever family for another month.
It stinks. It hurts. It is no fun. I hate seeing all our suitcases packed and ready (almost) to go. But, there is nothing we can do to change the date of our departure. It is what it is.
So what do we do now? I had mentioned in my previous post that God is a God of redemption in the midst of the evil, sadness and hurt in our world. I truly believe that now as much as I ever did. In the midst of our hurt, God is there, redeeming our pain with his grace, and helping us to move beyond what we currently feel to a hope and peace we find only in Him. There is a reason why we chose the word "Grace" as Emmie's middle name :) Without it, we (well, me, Rebecca, for sure) would still be filled with anger, resentment and bitterness. I would be unable to love my family the way I am called to, perform my work duties the way I am assigned to, and live a life that honors God the way I am instructed to. I would be a sad, dark, person (and trust me, I was on Thursday).
I was praying and thinking about the situation last night and this morning, still wondering exactly what purpose God would want these extra weeks of waiting to serve in my life. The word that the Lord kept bringing to my mind was "preparation". I truly feel that God desires for us to use this "extra" time as a time of preparation for Emmie's homecoming. To do this, Zack and I are going to sit down together and come up with different prayer needs for Emmie, her current caregivers, her orphanage, the people of China, and our family. Each day, we will share this need on our blog, and would love for you to be praying along with us. There will be 24 different prayer needs, as this is how many days it will be until we depart for China.
We truly pray that this time will be a sweet time of connecting with God, and we look forward to seeing God's transforming work in our lives and Emmie's life through the prayers of his people.