I just finished reading a refreshingly honest newsletter from a missionary friend of ours. Missionaries are very prone to put forth a "good front" and not share the hard so much. My friend's honesty about his struggles, his family struggles, the fact that the honeymoon period of being in a new country is over has given me the courage I need to say I am having difficulties as well. It is hard to be a mom separated from three children while the child I'm with struggles through depression and transitional issues. It is hard to keep giving out encouragement in the face of resistance, fear, and anger. It is hard to face holidays with most of my family half way around the world from me. It is hard to be living in someone else's house and not be able to just relax. It is hard to stay patiently waiting on God's timing in James' immigration visa being granted when with my whole heart I desire all of us to come to the USA this coming summer. I don't look forward to another time of family separation even for just 6 - 8 weeks. But, apart from divine intervention on James' immigration visa behalf, we will have another time of separation while I help another daughter transition to the USA.
As my friend in his news letter stated, "This would normally be the point where I shift gears and quote some uplifting passages of Scripture - say, 2 Cor. 4:16-18 - in order to give you some inspiration. 'Look how our family is being sanctified by experiencing difficulties...' That may be true, but right now, we (I) don't feel like we're (I'm) being sanctified by these things. Rather, we (I) are/am experiencing them as practical problems to be solved."
I did call our senators office a while ago and discussed with someone knowledgeable about adoption and immigration issues my concern and frustration over the length of time things are taking to get an immigration visa for my adopted son - my son who's been in my care since he was 9 weeks old and is now 9 years old. She listened, and after I'd shared about our situation and our lawyer's advice, she concurred we were on the right track. It was good to talk with her, it settled this momma's heart a bit to know we are doing things in good order and that despite media coverage that makes it seem as if immigrants are easily entering this country, that is not the case. She said most immigration visas, even for adopted children who are not adopted through international adoption agencies, take 3 - 10 years.
Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands. (Elisabeth Elliot)
I am willing to wait on His timing, yet moments of frustration arise even in the resting grace of knowing and believing with all my heart that "God's providence is his almighty and ever present power, whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things,come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand."
I am thankful and glad when our family's mission work and adoption process encourage others, but right now, we, I, really need your prayers.
"Preserve them from every danger to which they may be exposed; from perils by land and sea, from persecution and pestilence, from discouragement in their labours, and from the devices of the adversary. May they see thy work prospering in their hands..." – prayer for Missionaries, from the Book of Common Prayer