Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Choose Joy {Sometimes}

Some facts:
  • 1 year and 6 months have passed since we mailed our application to our adoption agency.
  • 1 year and 1 month have passed since we finished our dossier and mailed it in.
  • 13 e-mails have gone out as each month passed by, checking to see if we were any closer to seeing our son.
  • Hundreds of hours have been spent working late into the night to raise money to redeem our son from his orphanage.
  • Thousands of prayers have gone up, whispered and written, cried and pleaded.
  • Our homestudy has expired losing $1,000.
  • Our USICS fingerprints have expired losing $850.
  • My heart has grown weary.
Christmas of 2011 had a feeling of expectation and hope. Yes, I felt our family was incomplete without him there but I was still feeling the high of having just sent in our dossier. I just thought there was no way that we wouldn't hold our son in our arms in 2012. No way. Yet here we are into 2013 and we still do not even have his picture. I felt his absence greatly this Christmas. I know that may not be something that anyone but a mother who has dreamed of her child in a far away place and longed to rescue him can understand. I know I risk sounding crazy. But the wait is so suffocating. I feel helpless and even like a failure. This discontentment, frustration, feeling of loss has been seeping into other areas of my life. I've been shorter with my kids and husband. My thoughts are pessimistic when I hear of other's struggles. Instead of joy I feel bitter when I hear of other families and their international adoption successes.

And I didn't like it. I had turned what God has designed for redemption and joy into a burden and bitterness. So, as I thought about 2013 and what word I want to define me this year, the word JOY was an easy choice. I choose joy.

Joy in the wait.
Joy in the lessons of waiting.
Joy in the raising of 5 children.
Joy in the care of our home.
Joy in loving my husband the way he deserves.

As a reminder I hastily typed up choose joy and slapped it on the fridge.

Later that day, I had a moment to order this print that I had meant to order for a while from Echoes of Mercy Etsy site. In her e-mail to me following my purchase she mentioned her instagram account and so I looked it up. The second it opened my breath caught. The very first post listed was her CHOOSE JOY print. Ok, God, I hear ya. Shocked, I quickly told her my story of how my un-joy was settling into my life and how I had decided to Choose Joy for 2013. And, because I'm fairly certain that God sent me to Mandie just for this reminder, she sent me that print too. One for my phone screen and one to place in (i.e. all over) my house.

What a surprise for this struggling heart! What a gift to know that God knows the weight I'm carrying to bring our son home. And What a reminder that He goes before me. That He is orchestrating our family. Let got and let God, Lindsey.

So, I'm still failing daily but, when I feel that yucky feeling start to seep in I now have a visual reminder to choose joy.

In another not-so-surprising-when-God-works coincidence, Mandie Joy is a fellow foster parent. 100% of the sales from her art go to help her stay home and foster. So, if you've got some time and heart to support those following God's calling to love the least of these please stop by her shop. 

You can find her blog here.
You can find her etsy shop here

She has blessed me and I know she'll bless you too!


  1. You are not crazy at all, I've felt the same way many times! Love the sign too--

    1. Carmen, I know you're feeling that way RIGHT NOW! : ) Thanks for being "not crazy" with me!

  2. I love you, I love your heart, I love what God is doing in and through you, and I love both of those signs! :-)

    1. : ) You make my heart happy! Love you too and I see God doing CRAZY big things in your life in 2013 too. How blessed I am to know so many women leaping out in faith.