Yesterday was a day when MOI and the other Haitian government offices re-opened after a few day closing to celebrate their Carnival of Flowers. Our papers have been in MOI now for 13 weeks and we are ready for them to come out. A little over 3 weeks ago our director said the one spelling correction had been made and it should be soon that she would have the papers in her hands ready to deliver them on to the next department...passports. However, we also know that "soon" in Haiti can mean anything from a little while longer that day to a month or more down the road. We also know it has taken others a good month to get their papers out of MOI after corrections have been turned in, so we weren't holding our breaths for it to be a quick turn-around. Anyway, with the re-opening of MOI yesterday, we had hopes that our director would go and find our paperwork ready for pick up.
Micah and I prayed for God to miraculously make it so, knowing that a miracle would about be what needed to happen. I woke up yesterday excited to see what all God was going to do and expectant of seeing goodness prevail. I never heard a thing throughout the day, but didn't think anything of it because much of our director's days are completely filled with running around making things happen. Then came evening and still nothing. Around 9 p.m. a beautiful post came across my facebook homepage...a dear friend and fellow ROH adoptive Mama had gotten her email from our director--their second child's papers were out of MOI. My heart leapt with joy for her and with hopes for an email to be in my inbox. I checked and...still nothing. I had tears of joy anyway for my friend and still a glimmer of hope that if our director had just emailed her then maybe ours will still be coming. Then another beautiful post came across my facebook feed...another friend and fellow ROH adoptive Mama had also gotten her email...their paperwork was also out of MOI. Oh did the tears stream down my cheeks for them. They have been waiting so very long to bring their son home. One step closer for them. So, so, so happy. Then in a matter of 5 more minutes, two more adoptive Mamas from a different orphanage spread the news on facebook of their papers also being out of MOI. Oh my word! I was so excited for all of them and yet...well, still staring at my own empty inbox. So, so happy for them and yet so sad and deflated for ourselves.
The mix bag of emotions...so thrilled and overjoyed for our friends and yet so heartbroken for ourselves. Happy and sad all at the same time. I told Micah through my tears just before going to bed that I'm just tired of living these moments. So tired of feeling like I have to be both happy and sad at the same time. His reply was simple...don't. Stop trying to feel both at once. Be completely happy for them and then change and be completely sad for ourselves. Don't try to experience them both at the same time. That's probably good advice. Grieve hard and joy like there is no tomorrow. So, last night I cried myself to sleep as my man prayed for us both...my tears were the only prayers I could muster. It was just one of those nights.
Through the night I had a dream. A weird dream (although Micah says all my dreams are weird). I was waiting in a waiting room to see a doctor about a sore throat, but all these people just kept coming in and getting to go see the doctor while I just continued to wait. I didn't know why on earth I wasn't being called to go back. I went up to the receptionist again and she said I'd have to see a different doctor at this point and to go back and sit down and just wait for them to call me. So I did...all day long. I remember looking at the clock and it was 4:15 p.m. and I knew the doctor's office closed at 4 p.m. I couldn't believe it--they forgot me. I went back up to the window and the receptionist didn't know why on earth they had somehow missed me. So she walked back to the doctor and told her I was still waiting. Finally! She came to greet me in the lobby area and instead of taking me back to see my sore throat she asked if she could show me a book in the lobby. What? Before I could even answer her, she sat down with this coffee table style book of different famous paintings. She began to tell me about the paintings, which ones were her favorite, and why. I was getting annoyed by this point and was trying to be courteous, but yet also wanted her to know this was not why I was here. Then she gently grabbed my hand and had me point to a particular painting of a woman kneeling by a lake. It was painted in an impressionist's style of painting, very broad with not much details. For example, the woman didn't have a face and the water line she was sitting at was very blurry. As she had me point to this woman, she said these words to me, "Do you see this painting of this woman? Isn't it beautiful?" I agreed it was a pretty painting. Then she added, "I think this is the most lovely because even though we don't see all the details of the scene or the details of the woman, we still find it beautiful." And with that I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock telling me it was time to go for my morning walk.
I took off on my walk, listening to my "Adoption playlist" music and mulled over the dream, the no-news for us the night before, the celebrations of my friends, the way my eyes were still hurting from the tears and I just couldn't make sense of it all. I prayed for God to just get me out of this funk. I prayed for either the grief to be full-blown like Micah had talked about so I could just move on or for the joy of all He has given to me and to others to just blot out the disappointment. It didn't happen. I just walked on in silent mixed-emotions. Towards the end of my walk I was nearing home and the sun began to peek out of the foggy, cloudy sky. It was pretty for the moment it was there and then it vanished again behind the gray. The thought popped into my head like any normal thought, "It's going to be a partly cloudy day today." With that, the Lord instantly spoke to my heart...
"Yep, Angie, partly cloudy. It's a pretty normal type of day weather-wise, nothing is wrong with partly cloudy. Some days are sunny, some days are cloudy, some are partly sunny and some are partly cloudy. Today, it's okay for yours to be partly cloudy. Think of it like this: some days are full of joy and wonderful things (sunny), some days are full of sadness and disappointment (cloudy), some days have a little of both but the joy is more prominent (partly sunny) and some days are a little of both with the sadness being more prominent (partly cloudy). Today, even though you wish it was all the way sunny or even all the way cloudy, I'm giving you partly cloudy. It's a mix, and it's still good, because it's still something I've created. Remember, though, it's PARTLY cloudy and although you didn't get the news you were hoping for that would make today full sun, I'm still capable of sending some bits of sunlight that will pierce through the clouds."
Can I just say I love it when the Lord speaks. When I just take those moments to reflect and think and be open to all He has to tell me. With that in mind, I began to think about my dream again. Those words the doctor had spoken to me in my agitated moments of having waited and waited and waited all day long to see her...what were they again? "I think this is the most lovely because even though we don't see all the details of the scene or the details of the woman, we still find it beautiful." Yes. Yes, this was not just a random, weird dream. It was sunlight for me to see on a partly cloudy day. Even though I don't know all the details of this adoption nor can even understand all of the emotions I experience along the way or what all God is doing behind the curtain I can't see through, it is still a beautiful thing...a beautiful work of art created by God Himself for others to see and find beautiful. The beauty isn't in all the details, but in the broader picture itself. That was a peek of sunlight through the clouds I thanked God for on my way into my house.
And just when you think the "lesson" is learned or the story of the day is done, God sends another unexpected ray of Sonshine. I grabbed myself a bowl of cereal once inside from my walk and sat down at the computer like I normally do to check my email and facebook while I eat. I opened my inbox to find the most beautiful email from Mary, the physical therapist working at ROH for 6 months. Included in this email were 10 amazing photos of our little one with this blessed message for us to read...
"I took some time with Nora and gave her all the pictures and the drawings. Just look at her face! She is so intrigued! I DID NOT POSE HER FOR THESE! She sat with the items you sent for almost 20 minutes without moving---she just sat and looked, and sorted through each page Angie. It was so beautiful...it almost made me cry. Then, I thought, "self, what are you going to do with these things so they don't get torn up amongst everyone??" Then, God totally laid it on my heart to....hang everything above her bed! I have attached a picture...I hung all of her stuff above her bed---so she has a safe spot where she can continue to imprint your faces upon her heart and mind."
Oh, my heart. What a ray of Sonshine for my day. It actually might have turned my partly cloudy day into a partly sunny one. And that, my friends, is my God. He is not just a God who gives us good things...He is a God who loves us deeply and will do anything He can to show us that love.
And for one other little ray of sunniness for the day...look at that last photo. Do you notice the flower stem painted on the wall right beside Nora's bed? Well, guess what? Last week I was hard at work re-painting Lily and Nora's room and getting it all set up for Nora to join us. Lily and I worked together to figure out what all to paint on the walls and we decided on flowers with some butterflies and ladybugs. So, I painted it all, had Micah get the crib put together, pulled out all the clothes we have been given for Nora and filled her dresser with them. I am always trying to think of how to make Nora's transition from life at the orphanage to life at our home better/easier for her, but God did this one for us without us even knowing. Look at what I painted right at the side of Nora's crib...flowers, like she has in Haiti.
Thank You, God, for Your rays of light and goodness even when we see a lot of clouds from our side of things. Thank You for making this life beautiful even when I don't know all the details. Thank You for always being present with me in life--on walks, in dreams, and while I'm checking my email. I know and trust that soon You will have another email sent my way that will definitely give me a fully sunny day!