Our pilgrimage’s progress

For months, maybe a year, I have wanted to write about everything that has happened on our journey. I’ve wanted to write about every miracle we have encountered, every heartbreak we have suffered, every setback. I’ve wanted to invite you in to join our amazement, and in for our false starts and myriad uncertainties. But I just couldn’t do it. Partly, I am unable to give information because we are bound to protect a lot of people. But that was OK, because the other part, the other truth, is that I couldn’t bear it anyway. The weight of writing it all down made my stomach turn. And now, I wish I had been able, and I wish I had been more courageous. I wish you knew every incredible detail about the winding and dangerous road that we have been called to take.

I suppose that it is OK that I still cannot divulge it all. We have been trusted with so much, including the stories and the identities and relationships of all involved. We are privileged to carry all of it.

I am also privileged to now be able to share the most wonderful, terrifying news yet: We are making progress toward bringing a Little Shope home forever. That’s it. That’s all I can say for now.

You might be thinking, “Wait. That’s it? All these words for that? And I can surely see why. After all of your investment in us and in our journey, you might be expecting something of more substance. But I promise you that this word, progress, isn’t one I use lightly. It’s a sliver of light through the door, a flicker of hope. Maybe our hearts are too calloused right now to let it in. Hope is heavy, in spite of all those feathers. But progress is something we have not seen even once in the six years we have been trying to adopt a child. Progress has absolutely eluded us. Instead, we have been asked to take one step after another in a treacherous climb up a mountain, in the dark, in the wild, with no breeze and no water. Our only surety is the Hand we hold as we hike. Progress, then, to stretch the metaphor as far as it will go, is like a flash of lightening. It’s not enough light to show us what is next, but it is enough to show us how far we have come, to show us that we might be nearly to the peak so that we can begin our descent toward home.

One difficult thing is that this flicker of light can be deceiving. We ask ourselves whether we truly saw what we thought we saw. And, the ground beneath our feet can give way any second. So much can still go so very wrong. We are not sure of our footing, but we are sure of our Guide. We are sure of the Maker of Mountains. We are sure of the call to walk the path to begin with. We are sure of the One who can heal every twisted ankle and who can soothe every parched throat.

The last few weeks have been exhilarating, but they have also brought us to the brink of despair. For several days this week, we expected that our adoption journey might have ended — or, at the very least, taken us back to the very beginning. There is so much that I wish that I could share about what has transpired, but I must spare you the details for now. Let’s leave it with the reality that in the last week, things appeared to fall to pieces and then those pieces seemed trampled to dust. And then, miraculously, the dust was resurrected and reformed, and as of late last night, everything is a go. We have already spent thousands of dollars on this road that we did not expect to take, and we know that we still have thousands more to raise. We have spent so much energy and so much of ourselves, as well. So the thought of reaching the end was utterly painful and disappointing. I see now that this is our story: dust and resurrection, again and again.

The next four weeks will be crucial. My hands tremble as I think of what is to come. I feel like Frodo, overwhelmed and exhausted but resolute. This is OK, I suppose, because that makes you Samwise, the true hero of the story. You, with your prayers and encouragements and hugs, have carried us again and again. You, with your donations and cheers and vision, have given our legs the strength to press on. 

Matt and I thank you, once again, for being part of the miracle of small resurrections in our lives. Thank you for every encouraging word and especially for every prayer, both for us and for our Little Shope. Thanks for being patient as we work to protect every other person who has been involved in our journey over the past year, for trusting us when we say that we can’t say more. Thank you for the love, dear Resurrection People, and for making the climb with us.

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