There are MANY differences between our first and second adoptions so far. In preparing for Jonathan to come home, I was so impatient for everything to happen! Once we had made our decision to adopt, I couldn't wait for it to happen. Everything seemed to drag, and yet at the end of it all, I was so thankful for the way that God timed it all.
So, this time around, it was a LOT easier to just sit back and let it fall together the way God was going to have it fall. I knew that if I planned too much, in the end I'd look back and wish that I had just stopped trying to figure it all out and instead had just trusted that God knew best. Naturally another thing that helped me not get too caught up in counting days and months was the fact that I've been so busy I hardly have had time to think about it too much!!!
I remember about 6 weeks ago I was thinking how I was ready to move from the "unknown" to the "known." We were wavering between the times of being able to travel to China before the end of the year or needing to wait until the beginning of next year. I could see several reasons for it being much better for us to go BEFORE the end of the year, but it was "if-y." Yet, we kept praying that God would just work it all out in the way He knew it was best.
Now we are seeing what all God had planned, and it is just so amazing to see how He let every single little thing come together!!
- Being able to travel right between Thanksgiving and Christmas meant that we got to spend both holidays with our family.
- Having Thanksgiving so close to our travel time gave me a built-in holiday from home schooling to get more done than I would have otherwise.
- Being at the end of Anna's first semester of college meant that she would be at home almost the entire time that Dan and I would be gone. She'll be a help to the rest of the kids as she won't have any other responsibilities going on. She can help a lot with the home school managing.
- Dan's parents have been out of the country, but they will be returning half-way through our trip. So, not only will Anna be available, but they will be available to help during the second week of our trip. My parents will be holding down the fort during the first week.
- The company Dan works for has an annual meeting for all of their sales representatives this time each year. We'd thought that Dan might miss it, but as it happened he was there for the meeting and the 2 following days as well.
- We'll return home on December 20th, exactly 2 weeks from today. The kids will have continued on with home schooling without me. I left lesson plans and made sure my "home school mom's helper" was still scheduled to come. She is such a HUGE blessing to be able to help out right now, too!! The school time will keep the kids occupied for enough of the the school day that it limits the time that they have to find anything else with which to occupy themselves! (As in, argue, aggravate, irritate, etc.!!) So, we'll arrive home on the last day of our first semester!! --It's absolutely PERFECT timing, since Christmas break will start the next day, and we'll be able to take off as much time after Christmas that we need in order to make sure that Emily is fairly settled before we start back to school. We started school a little bit early this year, and then didn't take a Fall break, so we've "bought some time" to spend now. We would have taken the weeks whenever Dan and I got home, but it just has worked out so nicely to be timed with Christmas break. We can honestly take off a month if need be, and not be behind at all since the first 2 weeks of it will be a holiday that we would have taken anyway!!!
- All of these things worked together to make me realize again that God was giving us exactly what we needed when we needed it! But, then He added a special gift that was just the icing on the cake!! Not long after we got our travel dates, I emailed our good friends that we'd been co-workers with for many years in Mongolia to let them know the news!! They were actually on a short visit home in Canada visiting family. I told them our departure date, and they emailed back THEIR departure date. Their return date to Mongolia. Out of all the days of the months that we COULD have been traveling to China, what would be the chances that it would be the same date that they'd be traveling, too? And, even so, of all the airlines that we could have chosen to travel on, and airports through which to lay-over, what would be the chances that our routes would be similar to theirs? And, even if so, what would be the chances that our lay-overs in that place would fall during the same hours?!!? It probably would not have worked out even IF we'd tried really, really hard to MAKE it work. Yet, we bought our tickets with NO knowledge whatsoever of their plans, and they'd bought their tickets months before. BUT, God is just so amazing, and just to give us another sweet glimpse of His sovereignty, HE had already arranged it all. We get to spend 3 hours in Korea with our good friends that we have not seen in over 5 years. Is that cool, or what?!? That's just how God works. And, even if He DID help me to rest in His plan more this time around than I did last time through the adoption waiting game, He gave us yet another reason to trust His timing ALL the more in the future!!