So often, we are caught up in our day-to-day lives, we forget to "listen" to God...and for God.
My morning started in a flurry, getting three kids up, ready, fed, bunnies fed... out the door, then off to the grocery, to buy cookies for Karis' school picnic. Yes, we were at church last night, so no time for baking, ourselves... Kroger does a fine job. So with cookies in hand, Karis was dropped off, then Evan, in time to make his bus which was taking his class on a field trip to the Newport Aquarium. Then, Karrigan and I marched down the hall to pick up Zhana B., who is actually the focus of this blog post. Quick note about Evan, I was thrilled that his dad offered to go along on his field trip, since Kevin works downtown, Cincinnati, and it was just a walk across the bridge, to meet up. Another quick note... it has been an absolute crazy day, as all three kids had school activities going on today... I haven't even mentioned yet, Karrigan's kindergarten pizza party rewarding her and the others for all of their fantastic efforts reading, through the Book-It program.
Ok, Zhana B. Let me just tell you about her and why she is spending time with us today. Zhana was adopted from Stavropol, Russia and brought home early this year by a local family who we are now friends with. How ironic that our family would adopt from Russia and so would another family in our very small school community. Well, not ironic... just... God. As I sit here at the computer, I reflect, glancing at the 8-year-old girl next to me watching Peppa Pig. I just had a revelation... this little girl, once an orphan, wouldn't be sitting here, in my living room, if weren't for something completely awesome God did, using me as one of His instruments. I can't remember the exact month, but it was right before I made the third and final trip to Russia, to bring Karis home. Anyhow, my heart so desperate to get our own daughter out of the orphanage, prayed for God to continue using me in an orphan ministry of some sort. So, when our adoption agency e-mailed me photos of some children, in an orphanage, in need of families, I decided that even if my friends thought I was crazy, I was going to pass the photos along to them. I compiled one email with many of my friends, church family, other adoptive families, etc., and with the click of a button, God was at work! There's just no other explanation, because somehow, I emailed a gal who I barely even knew... she happened to be in my email address book due to prior PTF communications, but I didn't really know her and certainly didn't put her on my email list! I didn't... but God DID! Soon, after the email was sent, I got a response from "Angel B." She wrote that she didn't think she knew me, but God might be working through me, because she and her husband had recently been talking about adoption. Wow... that's all I can still say, is... "Wow."
Sweet Zhana is now home, adjusting with her new family (and vise versa), and I can't help but be excited that our family is a small part of her life. Her story is hard, definitely not easy to hear about or read about, but God WILL use that story, just as Karis'... to further His kingdom. http://bringingzhanahome.wordpress.com/ I'm thrilled Zhana is hanging out with us today, as her mom is on the 3rd grade field trip, spending one-on-one time with Zhana's brother. Karrigan certainly enjoyed playing together with Zhana before school and the pizza party. I took both girls to the local mall to pick up a gift for Karis' 13th birthday, which is Saturday. The photos attached are of the girls, at the mall.
So, yes God, you have my attention now, as you are showing me this sweet child in my living room. Yes, God, I need to continue advocating for orphans, because you use your people to connect with others about your plans. How grateful I am that you would use someone like me, to do this work. I am ready for more, and I'm listening for you God... for the next assignment.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another.