A wonderful day of HOPE!

1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, plan, dream, daydream, pipe dream;

This was the gift we received today. HOPE.

After two years of hearing, "You can't" since surrendering our family to foster care/adoption, we finally heard the two words for which we have been praying to roll off the tongue of a foster agency specialist. “You CAN!”  

Last week, we took a huge leap of faith and turned in our application to become a Resource Family. 
Step #1Step #2Step #3, and Step #4 (still a work in progress), were all steps that required surrender, obedience, and trust. And each one lead us here. 
Step #5! Officially applying to become a Resource Family!

We applied to be certified as an Emergency Shelter Home for babies, with extra training for specialized medical needs. We made it through the paper interview, and today we made it through the first personal interview! Next, our entire family meets with a social worker, and if approved, we will begin the 4-6 month certification process. Which means, if all goes well, we could be holding a baby by summer! THIS summer!

My phrase, when asked, has been, "We are excited, but contained." We know there are still hurdles to jump and mountains to climb, and more importantly, God's timing may not match our own, so we wait with expectant patience knowing His timing is perfect.
When He says GO - we will march! 
When He says STOP - we will halt!
And when the enemy attacks we will tell him to stuff his weapons in a sack and take a flying leap off the nearest cliff!
It is the Lord who called us to the adoption and foster care world, and it is He who will prepare us, protect us, and provide for us. Our God is faithful and He does not abandon those He calls!
We have absolutely no idea what lies ahead, but that is okay because our God DOES. Our job is not to worry about tomorrow. Our job is to keep walking forward in obedience and trust Him with the details. And so - we will!

After our interview, I wanted to set up an Ebenezer stone. One that represented the HOPE that shined brightly on this gray, rainy day. 
I packed up Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie and drove to the nearest store that boasted a collection of baby items.
I wanted something we could look at every day that screams, "They will come! The babies WILL come!"
And now, these soft, sweet security blankets sit on our mantle next to our Orphan Care jar to remind us that our plans may be good - but God's plans are BEST. 

January 31, 2019.
The day the Lord gave us tangible HOPE for our adoption and foster care journey.
How fitting that Ellie, Josiah, and Isaiah read Proverbs 31 for our devotions this morning.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8, 9

Lord, thank You for today! Thank You for being faithful to bring us to this place after almost three years of waiting on You to prepare our family for what You want us to do. You did not just call me and Dennis, for when You call the parents to foster or adopt, You call the children too. Thank You for giving our children the desire and the passion to serve these babies. Thank you for giving them the ability to understand the need, and to step in and meet it. You know our desire is to have babies in our home to hold and love and snuggle, but we know that all of our plans are subject to Your will, so we pray You will prepare us for YOUR plans, even if they look nothing like ours. We did not start this journey, Lord. You set us on it, from the very beginning, with purpose, and with an expectation that we would obey. We have had fears, we have had setbacks, and we have doubted ourselves, but through each one, You have reminded us that YOU ARE GOD and there is nothing that is too difficult for You. Thank You for this truth, Father, and may we be faithful to cling to it in the weeks and months ahead so we are not distracted or discouraged when the days are long and difficult. We love You. Please, teach us to love You more!