I’m Still Unpacking

I was cleaning up my closet this week and moved my backpack from one shelf to another. It felt heavy so I unzipped all the zippers until I found the full pocket. It was just as I’d packed it a year and a half ago when I was getting ready for our trip to China.

A year ago this weekend we packed up Joel’s clothes, loaded him and the other two boys in the minivan, and took him to be with his new family.

Since then we packed our house in PA, packed Lee’s office at the church, and loaded the cars to move to Texas. I’ve unpacked it all but that one backpack pocket.

Like Job, I question God’s purpose in this pain.

All this packing and unpacking. All this anger and sadness. I try to tuck memories away but they push themselves out. It’s good that they do.

We’re in a healthy place and able to deal with them as they come. We talk to each other, talk to our friends who are loving us through this, talk to extended family members who share our memories, and talk to a therapist.

God answers us as He answered Job.

“Where were you … ?”

When He laid the foundation of the earth. When He created the boundaries between earth and sky and sea. Each star, wave, and rain drop—each exactly where God places it. Lion, raven, mountain goat, donkey, ox, ostrich, horse, and hawk all find their purpose in Him.

There are some clues to His plan. We brought Joel to a country where he would have every opportunity to succeed. Because of our experience with James, we saw the signs of his disability right away and were able to have help immediately. His plan didn’t include any mistakes.

What happened was for Joel’s good. We see that every time we get an email from his new family and read about his progress.

But what happened was also for our good. And that’s what we still need to unpack. In the process we will continue to have hope. Continue to praise Him.

But I will hope continually
    and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
    of your deeds of salvation all the day,
    for their number is past my knowledge. Psalm 71:14-15

Pics from The Archibald Project

3 thoughts on “I’m Still Unpacking

  1. I continue to still pray for your family and Joel! I cannot imagine what you endured on those years of waiting to learn the disability on your own ! God had a plan and we trust He knew best ! It’s easy for me to say I know it’s hard and painful bit no one but your sweet family knows the real pain that all of you endured and still continue to go through this chapter but praise God you can keep in touch and even bigger praise Joel is better ! Thanks to you following your heart and God’s plan Joel has a brighter future ! God bless each of you ! You continue to be on my prayer book !

  2. Hi Sandra, we are that family that adopted a child from China only to have to re-adopt them 2 years later. It is still hard now several years later and I do understand why but I don’t all at the same time. Our child is doing amazing with their other family and it is awesome to see their development and growth. We get to cheer them on from the sidelines and we are ok with that. But, there are many days that we still wish we were in the game with them. Spiritually we are but physically we are not and that can feel very empty sometimes. But we are thankful and hopeful that we have accomplished the part God led us to fulfill.

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