As you could imagine the adventures do not stop when our family camping trip ends. It seems like this past trip is a great representation of how our lives go... We narrowly escape some disaster, we are blessed beyond belief, then we hold our breath waiting for the next crisis to avert.
So much of life is like that - our travels, our adoption journey, some of our family relationships, our mission to sell our house... People make the comparison of a roller coaster ride, but we spent our first day back home at a local amusement park, and trust me... The ups and downs on an actual roller coaster are a lot more fun to experience. (With the exception of the jerky stops on the Jack Rabbit, something ought to be done about that. Seabreeze of Rochester, NY.)
I guess life IS like a roller coaster, sometimes, but it can also be a lot like water boarding. My problem is that I often see God for what He does or chooses not to do, instead of worshipping Him simply for WHO HE IS. My sense of feeling loved by God, or blessed, or protected by Him, is way too closely linked to how I think He's handling the task of giving me what I want. (I realize this is a heinous and selfish expectation, and embarrassingly immature. It's also a true story.)
Sooo... I am working on it. I am working on my lack of faith in a God who loves me in tropical thunderstorms, and in 106 degree heat. He loves me when I inadvertently squeeze the eyeball of an innocent bystander, or when I frisbee the children's breakfast out the car window. He loves me when I get my way, and He loves me enough to NOT give me my way all the time. Or ever, as it sometimes seems. I am learning that what circumstances I face do not change the simple fact that He is who He says He is, and I get to be loved by Him, even though I don't deserve it and I fail and fall short in every possible way.
I do not know how long it will take me to actually get it, but I am trying reeeeally hard to get over my obnoxious self and see the big, fat picture because I know the bottom line is that regardless of how crazy life, or a trip (or the real-estate market) may seem... God is for us and His plan is always for our good, and He is always for me, even when it feels like someone is out there with a gangly, curly-haired voodoo doll, just a-pokin' away.
Our trip ended with Robb and Tab Hibbard taking us in and becoming great friends (no longer almost-friends) who took us sledding in July and fed us cupcakes. Our curse of bad happenings followed us there and broke their dryer. We got the call about a maybe-baby and then a call saying definitely not. We explored the deepest caverns on the east coast (which seemed fitting because of how emotionally low we were at the time). And we almost went into wax museum, but the children were afraid of seeing "boys made out of ear wax" with "frozen faces."
So it wasn't all bad... We got to see "Honest Dave" (honest Abe) and some other really great things. We were able to teach the children a lot of great lessons... Like, when life gets rough, it's okay to quit if you can blame the weather.
But the best part was that the day we got home we got another call about another maybe-baby, this one a boy, due in October who's birthmother felt a strong connection with our family when she viewed profiles.
We don't know if this will be our baby for sure because a million roller coastery things have to happen between now and then... But the hope of new life and the possibility of welcoming this baby and his birthparents into our family was a sweet and beautiful homecoming... One that we desperately needed.
Below are the last pictures from our trip, and one of Marlie and me on her first roller coaster ride! The last one is a picture of London's camping uniform... Underpants, visor, wand, and so much mung on her face. (There is a definite age when this outfit is no longer acceptable.. It just wasn't as cute on Tom.)