So I'm not going to lie, things have been looking pretty grim around here lately. We had pretty much given up hope the last few days. The special needs amendment was proposed to the Duma, and then the exact same day, the author of the amendment stated that he would probably be retracting it. I had been holding on to that amendment for hope SO tightly! I was starting to lost confidence. I was fearful. I was losing hope.
Then a dear adoption friend recommended last night that we watch this talk given by Elder Holland at a BYU devotional in 1999 entitled "Cast Not Therefore Your Confidence". We watched it and decided our attitudes needed changing immediately! Here is the first quote from Elder Holland's talk that really caught my attention, "I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose." We indeed have felt such enlightenment and such revelation throughout this journey. We can't deny it was from God. We were sent on this journey right at the time we were. We felt urgency. We were led to the country, the region, the child. We have been led every step of the way. We have had every penny we needed right when we needed it. We have had doors opened, prayers offered, love given. We were given travel dates that gave us our first trip right before the ban because of our timing (which might just save our tails in the end). We cannot deny or forget this. We have seen miracle after miracle occur. And now comes opposition, in the form of a demonic dictator. I know Satan has his hand in this situation. For real. Decisions made out of pride and ego are not of God.
Elder Holland goes on to say, "The reminder is that we cannot sign on for a moment of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight—a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless. Then came this tremendous counsel, which is at the heart of my counsel to you and the title of my remarks this morning: Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. . . .
. . . If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. . . .
. . . We are not of them who draw back unto perdition. [Hebrews 10:35–36, 38–39; emphasis added]" Paul said, but don't "draw back," he warned. Don't panic and retreat. Don't lose your confidence. Don't forget how you once felt. Don't distrust the experience you had. That tenacity is what saved Moses when the adversary confronted him, and it is what will save you."
Now, it's not that we were giving up. We will fight this thing as long as we possibly can. I honestly did question our decisions along the way, though. I would ask myself, "Did I really have those feelings, or did I just think I did. Were we really led to this point?" I was second guessing God's hand in this adoption. And my hope? It was all but gone.
This is my favorite quote from the talk, "Yes, there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts."
I have to say, I know that we might not be able to bring Dasha/Meg home. I know that there are many miracles still that would need to happen in order for us to be able to proceed. But! We are going to pray our hearts out and have complete faith that the Lord will provide a way. Because we were not sent on this journey for nothing. We were not led to Dasha for no reason. Right at this moment, we believe the reason is because she is supposed to be in our family in this earthly life. If we are wrong, there are other reasons as to why we traveled to her that we are not aware of. In the mean time, though, 100% of our energy and faith is going to the fact that we think she will somehow, someway be brought into our family. That we were led to her by the hand of God. And no matter what the outcome of the adoption, we can never again deny this. "Some, just like those Paul had described earlier, said, "Let's go back. This isn't worth it. We must have been wrong. That probably wasn't the right spirit telling us to leave Egypt." What they actually said to Moses was, "Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? . . . It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness" (Exodus 14:10–12).
And I have to say, "What about that which has already happened? What about the miracles that got you here? What about the frogs and the lice? What about the rod and the serpent, the river and the blood? What about the hail, the locusts, the fire, and the firstborn sons?"
We have experienced miracles already, so why wouldn't God part our red sea, too? Why wouldn't he soften the hearts of the leaders (or, if their hearts are beyond softening, even entice them using the things they lust after, like greed and power?)
Elder Holland goes on to say, "The third lesson from the Lord's spirit of revelation in the miracle of the crossing of the Red Sea is that, along with the illuminating revelation that points us toward a righteous purpose or duty, God will also provide the means and power to achieve that purpose. Trust in that eternal truth. If God has told you something is right, if something is indeed true for you, he will provide the way for you to accomplish it." Bingo! We were absolutely told this was the right thing to do. We have been led more than I am even comfortable publicly telling you! Here is our answer! We proceed with faith!
"It is that in the process of revelation and in making important decisions, fear almost always plays a destructive, sometimes paralyzing role." Yes, yes it does. But not anymore. We will proceed knowing it is in God's hands. "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. . . . The Lord shall fight for you."
The closing paragraph of Elder Holland's talk says, "I acknowledge the reality of opposition and adversity, but I bear witness of the God of Glory, of the redeeming Son of God, of light and hope and a bright future. I promise you that God lives and loves you, each one of you, and that he has set bounds and limits to the opposing powers of darkness. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the victor over death and hell and the fallen one who schemes there. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it has been restored, just as we have sung and testified this morning.
"Fear ye not." And when the second and the third and the fourth blows come, "fear ye not. . . . The Lord shall fight for you." "Cast not away therefore your confidence."
Our confidence, from this point forward, will be not cast away!
Now, for an update on what's going on. There are such mixed reports. Today the press secretary to the president in Meg's country said that the treaty is in effect until January, 2014 because when it was signed in July, both countries agreed that they would give the other country a year's notice if they wanted out of the treaty. We were super duper excited for a few minutes, until it was revealed that just because the treaty is in effect doesn't mean that we will be able to proceed with the adoption. In fact, it was stated that those who have passed court will be able to get their kids home, but no one else. In the Department of State press conference today, though, they said they were "hopeful" and didn't want to define what "families in process" meant, because they are negotiating to try and get as many families their kids as possible. We are hopeful that the DOS will be able to negotiate for us.
Meg's country is waiting on their supreme court to make a decision about how to implement the adoption ban law. I suppose it's up to them to decide what "in process" means and to fine tune the law in practical terms. We are hopeful that they will be reasonable in their decision.
So, that's what's up! We covet your prayers at this time. We know God is the only one who can make this happen. Thanks for following along, and if you made it through that massive post, good work ;) Oh, and watch the video of Elder Holland's full talk. Totally worth it!!!