Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Pursuit of JOY

I grew up as the daughter of a writer.  The lyrics and stories of the musicals he wrote became a huge part of my life.  Even though the stories were intended to be viewed simply as good, wholesome, family entertainment, I always loved the idea that they might be based on some truth.

A few of his musicals began in the pre-existence or life before birth.  Imagine waiting for your turn to be born.  To kill time, you gather with your family-to-be, sing and dance to songs about how much you love each other, and eventually hug and kiss each other goodbye.  In addition to these activities, you also promise each other that you will help each other with the challenges of earth life and stick together as a real family should.

Although I’m pretty certain that an orchestra or fancy choreography didn’t accompany my entrance into this world, I do believe that I developed relationships with people prior to coming to earth.  It’s quite possible that my family members were some of my best friends.  It’s also quite possible that some of my dearest friends on earth were my dearest friends in the pre-existence.

In one of my dad’s musicals, he told the story of two best friends, excited about coming to earth.  They were going to be next-door neighbors, so their friendship would continue to grow.  But then, there was a last minute change of plans and friend #1 was sent to a family in Russia instead of a family in America.  Both boys were devastated that they wouldn’t experience earth life together.  So friend #2 promised friend #1 that he would find him on earth.  They both became determined to be friends on earth, regardless of the distance between them.

Have you ever met someone and had an immediate connection?  Have you ever met someone and it felt so natural that you felt you had known them much longer than you really had?  I’ve had that happen a few times in my life, and when it does, I always wonder what our relationship was prior to coming to earth.  It’s an interesting thought, right?

When I first saw the pictures of Albina, Alina and Maksym, I felt immediately drawn to them.  I felt that I’d known them before.  In fact, I loved these kids before I even met them.  Soon after their arrival in Utah, I called one of my closest friends and told her what was going on in my life.  I said to her, “I love these kids so much, and I’ve only known them for a few days.  How can that be possible?”  She wisely told me what I already believed.  “Sometimes we have a connection so deep and so strong that extends beyond this earth, that when we meet people, we know we were meant to be a part of their lives and them a part of our lives.  I believe this is what has happened with you and these kids.  You were meant to be together.” 

Most days I think that fundraising is slow and hard.  Most days I think that it’s a lot of work to adopt and that it will be a lot of work to blend our current family with these kids.  Most days I feel tired and overwhelmed and like I lack the support that I really desire. 

People remind me that adoption is hard.  They tell me of stories where people adopted and lived unhappily ever after.  They tell me that this adoption is too expensive.  I hear about all the challenges I’m facing.  I know people are trying to help and that they love me and want me to be well informed. 

But, I also already know all these things.  And when I’m reminded over and over again I just want to cry.  Actually.  I just cry.  Because I know it’s going to be hard.  I know it’s really expensive and that I might be able to adopt other kids for less.  I know that there are lots of challenges and that we will likely have some very unhappy days. I know that there will be tears and frustration and probably even some screaming into my pillow. 

But you know what else I know?  I know these are my kids.  I know that this is the avenue I need to take to get MY kids.  I know that God wants these kids to be in my home.  And just like in any eternal family, the good will outweigh the bad, the happy days overcome the unhappy, and the successes outnumber the challenges.  

I know that God will help me with whatever challenges come, and that I will find JOY along the way. 

Because when you do what God wants you to do, he promises you’ll find JOY.

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