Monday, July 25, 2011

"You will seek me and find me , when you seek me with ALL of your heart" Jeremiah 29:11

This weekend Mason and I went on a great float trip with some friends, we had a wonderful time. Floating down the river looking up at the trees and all God's creation was amazing. Today when I opened up my "Jesus Calling " book it read about his love call to us, he talks about the birds and how they call to one another, in the same way he calls to us, it may be through the birds or even through a thought or a sound. I loved the sound of all the bugs at night, it made me feel at peace.
He also says there is no limit to the way he may communicate to us, but one thing I know for sure, you have to be listening and giving the time to him so he can speak to you. Mason sometimes talks non stop and Jamie and I will have to tell him to be quiet so he can hear what we are saying, I feel the Lord sometimes saying that. We tell him over and over, Lord have all of me, the answer is yes, now what is the question?, but really are we or are we so wrapped up in our earthly lives that we forget to daily seek him and follow his voice, believe me he is interested in even what your choice for supper is, you did remember to invite him, didn't you?
He says that when the birds are calling you can find him, but also in hard times like grief too. He takes the torn tavern tapestry of our lives and makes this beautiful pattern for nothing but good.
Last night I was happy when Mason was praying and remembered to pray for court today, he ask "and dear Lord, please let us keep Peanut forever, she is the best sister"
as well as I liked the prayer and for sure agreed with him, I worried as I always do the night before court, I did pray that her mom would have the same heart and she did last time we met, but I also worried and satan knew that I was unsettled about it, so he chose to attack me. Now there have been times I have felt him near and I have had to command him to leave in the name of my savior Jesus Christ, but he attacked me in my sleep. As I was drifting off to sleep I felt sick, like feverish, I was freezing and I could not get comfortable, I tossed and turned and had felt kinda like I was coming down with the flu. I tried to convince myself I was just dehydrated from a long trip, or maybe just tired from not sleeping well, the thought even came to me that maybe I even got something from being on that trip. It was crazy and I finally drifted off to sleep, which was BAD. I have never been more terrified in all my life when I awoke. I know I was dreaming, but it felt so real. Satan was attacking me and I could not get away from him, with all my heart I was trying to say "In the name of Jesus Christ, the man that shed his blood on the cross for my sins, I command you to flee!!!!", but I could not, I could not speak, I could not get it out, I was terrified that I was stuck with him attacking me. Oh my gosh telling you makes my heart speed up, when I awoke my clothes were soaked from sweat, I of course could not go back to sleep , I was even too terrified to move. I prayed over and over for God to come cover me with peace, which I did get, but it took awhile for me to calm down. This was much worse than any panic attack I have ever had. I say all this because Satan can attack you at any moment, I had a friend once ask if I really believed that satan could interfere with a job opportunity, the answer is YES!! Did I mention that when I woke up today I was hoarse? My voice has returned a small bit, but you know when you have lost your voice and it hurts to talk ?, I have that now.
I woke up feeling tired and not well, I forced myself to eat something and began to get ready for court. I read my Jesus calling book, looked up some scripture and jumped in the shower. I still did not feel at peace. So while Jamie was getting ready I just met the Lord in my kitchen, I was crying asking him for some peace that I knew that could only come from him, I listen to the song that Jamie's cousin Heather posted, it gave me some relief. While we traveled to pick up my mom I felt still, just kinda ill. I wanted to go to court refreshed and ready, but I was lacking some confidence. Once my mom got in the car Mason began to talk all about his great time on our float trip and the tension eased. I finally felt safe and found joy in the stories Mason was telling, by the time we arrived I felt almost normal, except my tired voice box.
My mom sat in the play area with the kids while Jamie and I headed into the court room, Jamie and I laughed as we could never work there, it's old and smells funny, the lighting is enough to give you a migraine. We sat down in the back of the court room like always and Peanuts mom caught my eye as I was walking in, I grinned at her the best I could , knowing what I was pretty sure her future held this day. She smiled back a half grin and the judge then called her to the stand. I could not see her mom, for there was a lawyer in the way, but she answered all the questioned they asked her and there was one I won't forget. They said ( I'm going to use Sarah as her name) Sarah- "do you agree that the best interest for your daughter is to live with the foster family?", she said "you mean Jamie and Shelley?, as she peeked past the lawyers head to make eye contact with us, almost in a way of , of course I know them and she does not call us "the foster family", but by first names. She then agreed that she wanted her daughter to live with us and allow us to adopt her baby girl. The judge by law has to tell Sarah, that if something were to happen to us and that we could not follow through with the adoption that she would still be adopted out and she would not get her rights back, Sarah looked at the judge and said, I want them to have her, no body else. The judge said, I understand what you are saying, but do you understand that sometimes things happen and that she could possibly go somewhere else?, she was not ok with it, but knew she could not keep her no matter what. The judge did tell her the interest of the court was for us to get to adopt her, but......
She then agreed to sign over her rights on the court document right then and there. Then we were scared that Peanuts half brother's dad may come into play, but it did not, they dismissed him from the case and will not be considered as a adoptive resource.
The judge dismissed Sarah from the stand and as she began to sit back down I could hear her begin to cry, she knew what she had done and as much as it hurt she was doing the right thing.
Court was dismissed and all parties began to exit the court room. I walked over to Sarah who was still weeping and I touched her back, she reached her arms out for a hug, wrapped around me as if I was the only thing holding her up I told her that I was so proud of her and she whispered in my ear"please don't let them take her from you" I told her that we would do all that was in our power to fight for her, that I did not think she had anything to worry about, that all was going in a good direction and not to worry. I told her to take care of herself and to get clean. (She has been clean for 7 days today)
We said our good byes and I headed to the restroom, as I was trying to pull it together I heard the door open and also hear someone crying, when I opened the bathroom door, it was Peanuts mom, we talked for a moment, while we sniffled and wiped eyes over and over. As I reached for the door to leave, she asked if I would do her one favor?, I said" sure" she said " will you tell her I love her?", I smiled and said "always"
Her mom is now done with court dates and we will not see her anymore, we are now just waiting for some more court dates to come and go , we are not sure the time frame of this. We will for sure keep you up to date on what happens so you can all join in this celebration when we finally can call her a McCain!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'am not reposting this to bring back memories, even though it did, but even as a few tears fell as I remembered this time,I'm so thankful for where we are today and were God has us going. I'm reposting this for you to remember the story of "winter" the dolphin I met while we were in FL, the one that I was glad I was wearing my sunglasses, cuz as the man told me her story I cried, well guess what??? They have made a movie about winter and it is coming out soon,isn't t that cool?, so blessed to have met this animal that made an impact on my life. Can't wait til it comes out!!!

But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" 1 peter 2:20-21

Where do I begin, how do I fit all I have learned in a blog, I need a editor to put this into a book.
So I'll start with last Friday. We got the call that for sure Ariel was going to take the baby back, so I called Kay and asked if I could come say goodbye, she said "of course", after I hung up the phone Mason's school called they said he was in the nurses office crying, something about hitting his head (which he never did) I told the nurse that even though we had not sat down with him and told him that he would not be getting that little sister just yet, he still knew that we had been distant with him and he had seen mommy and daddy upset. I went and picked him up from school and together we went to see the baby. Jamie called and was heading to the gym, by now he had shut down, he did not want to say goodbye, to hard for him. I told him that we needed to get out of town, I checked airfares and found nothing. I looked at going to the Omaha zoo or to st.Louis for a long weekend, forecast to both....rain :( We would talk about it later when we both were home.
Mason and I got to Kay's and I got to snuggle on the baby for 2 hours, tell her that we loved her and that God would look after her. A lighthouse worker showed up and her eyes began to fill with tears, I told her she had to stop or mine would start flowing again, see we all know what life would be better for this little girl, but God has given us free will, so there fore we don't always make the best choices for ourselves. All we can do is pray.
We said our goodbyes and Mason and I started home. We had many phone calls and many I ignored (sorry) it is just to hard to re say over and over, I know that because of those calls you were just calling to say sorry and that really makes us feel loved, but on that day, really I wanted to crawl under a rock. My next two weeks were planned, sitting at home with my new daughter and having 2 baby showers to look forward too, clothes to be picked up at the cleaners for court the next day, everything was just like a train running over my heart. I pleaded with God, why would you cause us so much pain?? This hurts to much to bare, God had taken me to the edge that day and I did not know at the time weather to jump off the edge or fall back into his arms to catch me, see at the time, I wanted to jump.
As I was driving home my cell rang. It was a great friend on the other end, all she said was "how are you?" I said well it's been tough, just trying to put one foot in front of the other. she said ok, I told her that Jamie,Mason and I were going to meet at home pack a bag and get out of town, I also shared with her how it was rain everywhere we wanted to go, so we had not made a destination yet. She asked if she could call me back, and she did. On the line was her, me and her travel agent. She told the agent that she needed to get a trip booked for 3 to any place sunny.
The lady replied with "sounds great, when are we leaving?" umm
She probably thought we were nuts, but she did it, she put us on hold and began to work her magic (which was God working his) she came back and said "how about Florida?, Tampa area.
My friend said " well Shelley??" I said, looks like we are going to Florida. I ran into Mason's room and said "pack a swim suit we are going to the beach."
My friend then said I need a hotel too, right on the ocean, the travel agent had to pull some strings to get this one, it was the end of spring break in FL and most were booked,but she got us one, the Hilton. My friend then said charge this to my account and said Shelley I love you and will be praying for you, now go pack.
So we did, when I told Jamie we were leaving, he walked around in a zone for about 10 minutes with, ok, what do I do?. I had to coach him, shoes, sunscreen, underwear....
So we called my folks and they took us to the airport. We landed in FL about midnight on Friday, we went and rented a car and was on our way.
But, I saw a cute little African American girl, maybe 2. She was standing there with her mom and I immediately thought of what I thought was our little girl. I began to pray for her.
We made it to the hotel and crashed for the night.
That next morning I went out on our deck, which was on the ocean side, got my book by Sheila Walsh, told God he had to speak to me today and tell me, why us???
The next chapter in my book was "when we trust in what we cannot see" , I looked up said thank you and began to read.
I felt him there, saying "Im using you and I have pushed you to the edge, but I have offered a path for you to take, it won't be the easy one, but it's the one I know you'll choose, good and faithful servant.
I will take the hard road for you Lord I said, because you took the hard one for me.
When Mason and Jamie were awake we sun screened up grab some breakfast and hit the beach.
To get to the beach, we had to take a elevator down 3 flights and walk 100 feet, it was tough :)
We rented 2 chairs and Mason a boogie board,which I tried myself and found myself having child like fun with it.
I went with Mason while Jamie sat back and watched, we played in the sand,swam in the ocean, found seashells and buried each other in the sand. Jamie then offered to go play with Mason and I went back to my book. Next chapter "When we are changed by the faithfulness of others"
Sheila Walsh herself is a women to has changed others lives by telling her story, she suffers with depression and talks about it openly with women, telling them that it's ok to have to take her little blue pill everyday, God does not mind. but I also felt God telling me, that the crowd that Jamie and I have around us are watching, on lookers seeing what we may do in this situation we are in,
well here we are, still knowing that God's plan is better for us than we know.
The next chapter "when God seems so far away", yes I felt this on Thursday and Friday, I already shared with you how I was pleading with God where was he and why is he doing this to us?, I did not think I could handle this much.
See it makes me think of the day that Jesus took Journie from my arms to his. I thought that was a hard day,but for some reason I was so comforted by him that day, his presence was so close, and I knew that Journie was going to a home where she would be safe in his arms forever. I could not let go of the fact that, this baby was not going somewhere better, she would not have the life we could have gave her, I still do not know the answers to these questions and I may never know them.
I could not put my book down, I needed another word from him to live on the rest of the day, chapter 13, "when we share the heart of the Shepard " yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil" well folks good news to that verse. To have a shadow you must have light around it, so I'm living on the light around it, I have to focus here to stay and live, til I have another moment to come read again.
We enjoyed our time at the beach,went back to the room and shared between Jamie and I who had the worst burn :) Mason of course, was just black and I was jealous :)
We went and had a great dinner outside the beach at a place called Frenchy's rock away grill, Mason ate his weight in peel n' eat shrimp, I had a grouper sandwich and Jamie a blacken chicken sandwich, it was great. We stopped on the walk back to the hotel and bought a huge cookie and sat outside and ate it, Mason ate more than half, only because I was not fast enough to get to it. We walked and just enjoyed one another.
Over the few days, I would sit at the pool watch the children play, thank God for sunglasses, for at moments I would cry because I was thankful for the friend I have who sent us here to heal, at times I cried knowing that I really could fall back and he will catch me, at times I cried because I would wonder how different my life would be if I was at home with my daughter and not here in Fl., Lots of stuff to work out and go through, but he worked it all out for his good, it always does.
So, we continued to have a great time in FL, we went and saw a aquarium where they rescued hurt sea animals, one dolphin named winter was amazing, she was 3 months old and her tail got tangled in a fisherman's net, this facility took her in and watched after her, her tail was so damaged by the net that it began to fall off, she learned to swim like a fish in a back and forth motion not up and down like a traditional dolphin would swim. I got into a conversation with a man that worked there, who knew I must have been inspired by her story, not many folks were around and he let me go behind the ropes and look at her, her trainer was with her and she was working on strengthening her spine, a man who owned a prosthetic company made Winter a fake tail, it was made with fiber glass and silicon, this piece slipped onto her tail and she could then swim in a dolphin like swim, they say she wears it a couple hours a day to keep her spine strong, other wise she just swims like a fish, even him talking to me I was a little teary, he said" you know, just like any of us, when we are faced with a challenge in life, we can give up or we can become stronger." WOW, did he know I needed to hear that, thank you Lord for using a dolphin to get through this day. We had many things that God showed us and if I was not searching for him, I may have just missed them,
See friends..... it's what I don't want to miss that keeps us going, I don't want to miss God's blessing and therefore I don't want anything that's not God's will for us. I know that his timing is still perfect and I do not know that timing, it's not easy either, I have a closet full of little girl clothes that I'm dying to put on my little girl, so will I be patient? Yes, will I stop asking? NO!!
So on the plane ride home yesterday I finished my book, the last chapter " The adventure continues" is God not GOOD or what???
This adventure for us continues and thanking God for the water the sun and the sand, for this is the song I sing...

"My hope is built on nothing less,
than Jesus' blood and righteousness,
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean in Jesus' name,
on Christ , the solid rock, I stand
all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.
Love you, keep praying for us :)