The Aster-glow!
After basking in the afterglow of She Speaks, I am now living in the "Aster-glow" of our soon-to-be baby girl. The ride of our lives got very exciting, adventurous and a little crazy last week!

Last Thursday we received an email from our adoption agency telling us that the courts in Ethiopia are closing August 21- October 5th. We felt so sad because Aster's paperwork had not even been sent to the courts, much less assigned a court date.

I decided we should cancel our vacation (this week) and go to Ethiopia to see her before schools starts. That way we'd get to hold her before she outgrows her desire to be held. And when it's time to bring her home, after she finally gets through court, one of us would go get her. We already saved up for all of us to go, so it made sense to my aching heart.

On Friday morning, I went running and God talked sense into me. He reminded me that sneaking babies out of orphanages would get me into big trouble, and seeing her would make me want to do just that.

So I started imagining why God would think it best for us to wait until at least December to bring her home. I determined that it must be my speaking schedule, book writing and other big things we have going on that He was carving out time for. Once I'd figured out His plans (ha!) I was able to relinquish my desire to hold Aster. By the time I finished running and praying, I was at peace.

I took the boys to a friends that morning and headed to work. On my way, I called JJ to see if he'd call the agency just to make sure they hadn't forgotten to tell us Aster has a court date. Around lunch time he called me back to say he had great news! Aster had just been assigned a court date and it is THIS WEEK!!

THIS WEEK - as in day after tomorrow - THURSDAY, AUGUST 13th!!!

If everything goes smoothly and her adoption paperwork gets approved before the courts close August 21st, we could travel to get her in Ethiopia as early as mid-to-late September.

I was SOOO EXCITED!!! I practically hung up on JJ and ran to the P31 conference room so I could squeal and tell all my P31 teammates! Then all the sudden that peace in the morning that turned into excitement in the afternoon became an overwhelming nervousness. "THIS MEANS I COULD HAVE A BABY IN JUST OVER A MONTH!!"

Then all those reasons I figured God was delaying her coming home flooded my mind. How was I going to get all that done? And what about the other big news I'd just gotten? An email had come that day announcing that two publishing houses are taking my book proposal to their pub boards (decision makers) TODAY, yes today, and next MONDAY.

Oh, and I haven't had a chance to tell you yet, but we've been prayerfully considering making a huge change in our boys' schooling, and school is about to start in 2 weeks.

If I could just focus on getting my schedule, Aster's room and our home/family ready, I'd be good. But who gets to have that kind of perfectly arranged life, right? As much as I wanted to start nesting, I couldn't. We had company in town, parties to go to, interviews at a new school, academic testing yesterday that we find out results for tomorrow, and vacation scheduled out of town.

In the midst of all this BIG NEWS, we prayed (A LOT) and decided to come to the beach. So instead of Ethiopia, that's where we are! And I am so glad to be here. It's a big week and I am thankful for my BIG GOD who is able to take care of all that concerns me. He can handle it all so much better than I can.

Today, I will be sitting with Him watching the endless waves and looking over the countless grains of sand, knowing that His thoughts about me and my family outnumber them all. I think the Aster-glow of this baby girl is about to change a lot about my life - more than anything my perspective and my trust in the One who is about to give her to us!

"Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them;they outnumber the grains of sand! Psalm 139:16b-18a (NLT)


Blogger Carrie10407 said...

Congratulations on all of your great news! We adopted a little boy from China last year ...(yes, a boy...we had planned on a girl for over 2 years but God had other plans) and I remember clearly when we received the news that we had been chosen for our son! And then the news that China had approved everything...and then the news of our travel date...adoption is a whirlwind! I will pray that all goes smoothly and that God's perfect timing brings you the peace you will need for these upcoming months!

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Thanks Carrie!!! I treasure your prayers!!!

Blogger Lindsey said...

Wow, much goodness packed into that post. Praying for you and your family. For wisdom, discernment, extra energy and moments to relax and bask in His goodness.

Blogger Leah Gillen said...

WOW!!! Such a big God we serve, and He's showing up big-time for you now, and He will continue to do so as all of His plans unfold in this busy but exciting time for you all. I'm praying for you and your family! Be blessed Renee!

Blogger Proverbs 27:19 said...

I love it! God does the most awesome things! Only if we would just remember this in our state of "chaos."

Seems like going to the beach is a great way to "practice what you preach" concerning rest!

Congrats Renee


Blogger Julie Gillies said...

The organizing freak in me completely understands you wanting to get everything settled and taken care of. But God's got our number, doesn't He, Renee?

SO excited for you, my friend. I am praying for you (and Aster!) and your family, and look forward with great excitement to see how God's plans unfold.

Oh, and gorgeous beach photo!

Blogger Just me~ Bobbie Jo said...

Whoooo hooooo Congrats!!!

Blogger lailani said...

How exciting!! It will all come together . . . Smiles!

Much to ponder and pray and praise over! God bless you with his wisdom and favor in the weeks to come.


Blogger Everyday Becky said...

I'm celebrating with you! Enjoy that beach and the peace of knowing He's got you covered.

(And that your friends- Even far away ones in Idaho, are praying for you and your family)

: )

Blogger Susanne Scheppmann said...

Wow, Renee! I am so excited for you both for darling Aster & the book.

Blogger Danielle said...

This is so exciting and I love being able to live through it with you! Go is so good and His plans are always perfect. I'm praying, girl!

One question... will Aster's name say just that? Or have you guys decided on something else?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, God is so Good! I can't but help relive the adoption of two of my kids from S. Korea. The youngest is four and this week we met another little boy who came home from S. Korea. We found out that he had come home on the very same flight as our little one. It was so exciting! You are in our prayers and remember when ever she does come home to be with you is God's perfect timing. It's hard waiting because you can't wait to hold them, but knowing that God's timing is perfect really put me at peace and made it a breeze.

Blogger a.helms said...

Congratulations on the court date and I will begin praying today as this is the first time I have read your blog. God is in Control!!!

Blogger Stephenie said...

Wow! Praying all goes smoothly.

Blogger Rachel B said...

Just when you think you have it all figured out...there goes God again. :)

Congrats on the court date! Looking forward to hearing more about this journey. Also wondering if we'll get to meet little Aster at the Rise & Shine much to think about. :)

Blogger Kimberly said...

I love that verse! What comfort! I am so excited for you, Renee! Covering you in prayer!

And she lived happily ever Aster! :) (Sorry...I couldn't resist!)

Have a wonderful time at the beach!
K :)

Blogger Oh Dear said...

Oh my stars!!! I started laughing when I saw that date!!! How amazing-How God! Not to mention the book! Wow! I am so eager for that baby girl to wrap your fellas' around her tiny fingers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations and Amen!!

Blogger familyof8 said...

I met you last year at the Girls Get Away cruise when you were in the early stages of adoption. We were waiting to go to China to adopt our little girl. She is our 6th child (first adopted). Our 4 boys adore their little is awesome to watch the relationships develop. I will be praying for Aster and for all of you. May the God who is able...take care of each detail!!!!

"Adoption is the visible Gospel" John Piper

Your heart is about to know a new love!!!

Enjoy the beach.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Renee that is so great:) I had goose bumps reading your blog, Our God is so Amazing im in Awe once and again.

God bless,

Blogger Carol Davis said...

Praying you through these busy days!

Blogger JottinMama said...

Oh wow! Congratulations! I've already said a prayer for you and your family and all of your big news!

Enjoy the beach, Renee! May God's presence be so real and wonderful to you while you are there!

Sweet Blessings,
Kate :)

Blogger Bonita said...

I'm very excited for you on all fronts, Renee! Take this week to bask in His presence and rest. Sounds like you're going to need it to gear up for autumn.

Blogger The Nester said...

Totally got BIG fat chills so much that now I am actually cold!

Yeee Haaaw! I am thrilled for you!

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