Day 37 Update

37 days away from home. A week without my hubby and baby boy. The larger this number gets, the harder the days are to get through.

It’s now Boxing Day. I have no idea what that is, but maybe America should start celebrating it, too, because it’s an excuse to be off work the day after Christmas! But right now I hate Boxing Day because it’s keeping the Consulate closed. In fact, I’ve been told that Ruth’s case won’t be given any attention until after the new year- which knocked quite a bit of the wind out of my sails, to be honest. So now I’m just trying to figure out ways to kill time for another couple weeks.

Something that stood out to me yesterday from Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, into us a son is given. And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace.” The sentence about the government being on his shoulders was a reminder to me that God is in control of this whole process. It’s something that I know in my head, but my heart needed the reminder terribly after hearing about the additional delay due to the holidays.

I’ve also been reading Job- over and over. I start reading at some point during the day, then just start over again the next morning. It helps to refocus on the “big picture,” not my situation and how I can change it etc.. The God who controls all the intricate workings of the universe is in control of when we get to go home. Again, I know this in my head, but my heart has to be reminded. A lot. I want to be more like Job, but most of the time I feel more like his wife or his friends. My situation is nowhere near as heartbreaking as Job’s- and yet I can’t help but feel the things I feel. Reading this account is not so much encouraging as it is corrective. I find my spirit caught in a battle between contentment in God’s sovereignty and praying hard for us to be able to go home. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6. Although I tend to go heavy on the “make your requests known” portion and light on the “with thanksgiving” part.

Potty training is not really going well. She will sometimes use the potty when I take her, but she doesn’t communicate when she needs to go, so she is still wetting her pull ups constantly. She also may have an infection of some kind- I’m not sure. The major flaw in this plan is that we aren’t in our own house- so I don’t want to put her in underwear for fear she will ruin something that’s not ours. But just wearing the pull ups isn’t showing her that she needs to do anything different from what she’s always done! So we will probably hold off on potty training until we’re home. So there goes that project!

We’re going to go to a playground/park tomorrow for a bit. Ruth will more than likely just sit or stand the entire time- it takes her a long time to feel comfortable enough to play, and she won’t play by herself. Sometimes she won’t even play with other (unfamiliar) kids. Living in an orphanage for so long has definitely impacted her in ways we’ve only begun to discover. Parenting her and Allen is going to look very different for a long time- so prayers on being able to navigate that reality are definitely appreciated. The Wilks are moving back to their apartment for a while, but they might return to stay again.

We haven’t decided if Shane should return yet. I don’t feel as afraid to be alone, but I definitely don’t want to remain alone for weeks at a time. I want to hope that Ruth’s visa will be issued quicker than anticipated, but I’m struggling with the pattern of hoping for something then being extremely disappointed when it doesn’t happen. So please be praying for wisdom to know what to do.

And, as always, please continue praying that God would grant us a miraculous time mercy and move Ruth’s visa process along incredibly fast. This is undoubtedly the hardest season of life we’ve ever experienced, and we want it to be over as soon as possible. But I also don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to grow and feel God’s presence like I never have before. It’s an exhausting, lonely and frustrating time- no other way to paint it. An emotional roller coaster like I’ve never been on before- daily. But trying to remember we will go home eventually.

A side-note: there’s a fast food place called Chicken Republic within walking distance of our residence. A couple nights ago, Bryce got us some “zippy burgers” and fries (think grilled chicken sandwich). It was actually really good! The fries were akin to McDonald’s, and so I walked there with Ruth tonight for a repeat. No zippy burgers tonight, but they had fried chicken- so I gave that a go. Boy was it SPICY! But also good. Just hoping I don’t have my first experience with food poisoning here…

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