Today while I was practicing my Russian, I almost started to cry because I realized how much I missed Nickolai. I miss his constant talking in Russian. I miss his dramatic exclamations, his adorable smile, his Curious George type excitement, his nick names for me, his cuddly affection, his hugs, his sleepy look when he first wakes up, his giggly laugh, his never ending energy, his "Ochens" ( which means very in English), his love for airplanes and boats, (he had to point out every single boat or plane, lake or river :), his more than willingness to eat every single banana in the house leaving none left for me, which for me is a good thing =), his love and playfulness for Shelby, his eagerness to help with chores, and so much more. To some of you he might have been an extremely shy little boy, to others he might of been an extremely active boy, to me he is a sweet, affectionate and yes, active brother.
Today, while I was doing my morning devotions, I came across these verses that practically jumped off the page at me:
(28) "Come to me, all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.
(29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Now I am not a born worrier like some people, but I do have a few things that I find myself worrying about, Nikolai and Dima are one of them. I worry if they have enough food to eat, if they are getting bullied by the big kids, if they are picking up bad habits from the other children, if they're is feeling alone etc. Occasionally I wonder about the process itself: How long will it take to adopt Nikolai and Dima? What If we don't get enough money? What if Nikolai and Dima don't get along? What if the whole adoption thing fall through the cracks? When I read these verses I realized that I needed to put this 'Nikolai Dima burden' totally in God's hands. I know that I pray to Him all the time about, it but am I really trusting Him? Verse 28 reminded me of the song that goes '"Lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus lay your burdens at His feet.' A song that a number of our family band friends sing. I used to kind of think of a burden as the burden of sin that you lay at the cross like in Pilgrim's Progress when you first become saved. I am learning, though, to lay our every day burdens at the feet of Jesus. Not just to lay them there and pray about them but to truly entrust them to my Prince, knowing that He will take care of them however he deems best. Even if we aren't able to adopt them I have to realize that God has a purpose for everything we went through, and even if I, in my fleshly ignorance, don't understand why, He does. He knows why we go through the things we go through, He knows that it's for our own good.
Nikolai is teaching me so much about two main things one is patience and the other is love. I am learning that love is not just a feeling it is a commitment. It is easy to love him when he is his cute and cuddly, but it's harder to love him when he wakes me up in the middle of the night, or when he's constantly tickling me, or throwing a tantrum in front of other people. Loving him is a journey. A journey of ups and downs. I am learning to love him not only in the good times, but also the bad. Don't get me wrong; most of the time he is so easy to love for he drinks in affection like he does grape juice , :) and is really a good boy, but I have to keep in mind that he probably has never known true love before. It is a hard concept for me to understand because I have known love ever sense I was born. I have known the greatest love in the world that I yearn for Nikolai to accept, understand, and feel.
'For there is know greater love than he that is willing to lay down his life for another.'
The love that my heavenly Father demonstrated is the example of true, perfect, never ending love. I never cease to be amazed that my Prince loved me, a wretched and undeserving sinner, so much that he would give his life for ME!!! That kind of love is incomprehensible. Here is one of my favorite chapters that explains what love really is, and how I should love my family, Nikolai, and every one for that matter.
1 Corinthians 13
'And now I will show you the most excellent way.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.'
I think that is the most beautiful and meaningful poetry, if you would consider it poetry, I have ever heard. I like to write poetry but I general don't like to read poetry out of a book. I know I will never tire of reading that passage along with the Psalms and Proverbs. I also know that I will never be able to write something as true and beautiful as that. :)
So I will conclude my post about Nikolai by asking for your prayers for our adoption journey. (I am very passionate on certain subjects and am a very oppininated and talkative person, so I'm afraid that I got a little sidetracked! =)I believe that prayer is a very powerful thing, for God hears all the prayers of His children.
In the Bible God commands us to,
'Pray with out ceasing'
Here are a few specific points that I would appreciate your prayers for:
- For the finacal needs to be covered
- Nikolai and Dima to feel God's presence
- That both Nikolai and Dima would be able to come with the hosting program
- That we would be able to adopt them as soon as possible
- That it would work out to talk with Nikolai on Skype
- To be able to communicate clearly with the adoption agency and the orphanages involved
- That God would show Mom and Dad wisdom in how to parent these little boys
- That the details and confusion in the whole thing would be smoothed out
- That we would be following God's direction and not our own
- That God's will would be done
- That He would be glorified through out this process
We can't thank you enough for the part you are taking in our adoption by praying. We are so thankful that God adopted us into His family, giving us the ultimate example of adopting Nikolai and Dima into ours. God has a heart for orphans and the fatherless that He has passed on to us, that we might be able to fulfil His plans. This adoption not about us, Nikolai, or Dima, it is about God.
May the Lord richly bless you with His everlasting love, and may you continually seek Him in the journey He has for you.