My Awefull Life » A Pilgrimage of Wonder

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Hi – It’s been quiet around these pages for a few days, and I haven’t meant to keep you hanging or wondering after news so I apologize. News has either been non-existent or discouraging. Every time I thought about posting an update I immediately heard things in my head like, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” or Jesus’ directive from the gospels to, “submit to governing authorities,” or my personal favorite from Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that.” You know really, light-hearted, humbling pieces of advice to keep my mouth shut and never stop praying. So that is where I have been – attempting to still the noise and even more so trying really hard not to create noise just for the sake of noise-making, venting, justice seeking. I was starting to feel bad for how bad I was feeling – that nagging cliche of Christian culture implying that on the heels of every ‘this hurts!’ must come a ‘but God is good-ism.’ God is good. But this hurts. And saying so, and feeling so heavy the very prayers I utter feel as bricks thrown, heaved from my gut, does not mean my faith is lost. It quite simply means, this hurts.

In my impending guilt over the ache and weight of my soul, I turned to the prophet Jeremiah seeking some reference point for these emotions. For whatever reason, around me, when in doubt let’s check Jeremiah. I get him, and his words never fail to get me. Let’s be honest, who better to lament with than the author of Lamentations? And there it was:

Lamentations 3

7 My soul has been rejected from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
18 So I say, โ€œMy strength has perished,
And so has my hope from the LORD.โ€

………

25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man that he should bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent
Since He has laid it on him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust,
Perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the smiter,
Let him be filled with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.
33 For He does not afflict willingly
Or grieve the sons of men.
34 To crush under His feet
All the prisoners of the land,
35 To deprive a man of justice
In the presence of the Most High

Thank you great prophet, for words when I have none. And believe me or not, even in their anguish reading those words brought me peace and I slept better last night than any night in weeks. So well in fact when I did wake around 5:30 I thought I may have slept through any alarm going off in the mid of night alerting us to an email from the USE. Turns out I hadn’t slept through it, but an email did arrive about an hour later. Prayers have been answered and the Embassy has been able to make contact via phone with the officer they requested to interview, and they are now working in tandem to gather any last pieces of information required for our case to be cleared. The USE says they will let us know when they have all they need. We again are filled with hope and cautious anticipation – could it be tonight? Please God, let it be tonight! We have asked so long and so much of you I don’t even feel I can ask you to pray, but alas…please pray.

All love,

-Sarah


  • emily - My heart resonates with yours…continuing to pray with great hope and expectation of the things to come. I hope tonight brings restful slumber and news worthy of a great celebration….ReplyCancel

  • Jen Creed - I missed a few posts, but just caught up and wanted to let you know that we are still praying for you all! The post that mentioned Emma asking to see the video of her baby sister literally brought me to tears, and I am SO excited for the day that you are all together, just as God meant you to be. Holy cow, it will be so amazing. Love you all!!ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - Always ask us to pray – and I will always join you in praying. Lifting you all up sweet sister – looking forward to what lies ahead!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen Steele - Praying for you as I go to sleep tonight… May God grant you peace as you sleep and much joy when you awake!!ReplyCancel

  • Richard - I’m forwarding this news on to our KI group. You should lead our study of Lamentations ๐Ÿ™‚ We will continue to remember you and your family in prayer. In v32 above (“For if He causes grief”), I was reminded of that Galilee storm that Jesus took them through… to stretch them and show them something new about Himself. “Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.”ReplyCancel

  • Claudia - Lovely Sarah, When the Lord brings us to that place of utter dependence on him, Trust, Believe, Have Faith…BIG…Praying by the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Name. Isaiah 40:31 “Those who wait in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eages; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Carlson - Sarah, you truly are a wise and faithful woman of God. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on here. I am praying for you guys and am so excited for the day when your family is all together!ReplyCancel

  • Failure to Thrive » The Richmond Family Adoption - […] I know will surface if I stay open to hear the words. It is the same Truth I clung to here and here, only now I have to find a way to make it real to me […]ReplyCancel

One morning while in Ethiopia I looked out of our room at the guest home, and the view struck me as appropriate for so much of what we were feeling those first few days of our trip. We were not traveling with any other families and were the only guests staying at our particular guest house- isolation and loneliness were starting to hang around uninvited. Going back and forth between guest home and transition home to visit Lulu left us experiencing Africa from inside diesel vans on crowded city streets and within cement walls guarded by barbed-wire. Needless to say, it was not exactly what we had envisioned and I suppose it was our own personal culture shock. As I grabbed my phone to snag a photo or two to remember these walls crowding out the beauty just beyond them I thought about our daughter, and those million just like her, watching life pass with maybe only a pocket of viewable sky shining in each day, or maybe no sky at all.

I am reminded of this view again today, as hearts strain under weight of the hard-pressed path we continue to find ourselves on. For another week has passed without the news we dream of, and another long three days of guaranteed silence is upon us. I am also reminded of Joseph, unjustly imprisoned in a foreign land, isolated, aching for rescue, yet never complaining, faithfully maintaining integrity and honor for his God. Even after the cupbearer’s forgotten promise and two more years of no word, no rescue, Joseph never shook fists at God nor believed the lie he had been forgotten there inside those prison walls. Or that rescue was for someone else more deserving. No complaints- for years- only faithfulness. To know God’s love so well and find it so familiar that even from within the walls of our own personal prisons, we may still breath in and breath out and wait in peace? That is the place I seek. Walls all around, eyes lifted up to light, breathing in and breathing out, remaining faithful.

Our baby girl turns 11-months-old today. And because in the complete story of her tiny warrior life such a day is something to celebrate, we rejoice over her life even if for the moment it is passing by away from home. Today also marks two-months since we passed court and Lulu legally became our girl. Two months more of fight, battling for a life so incredibly worth it. Psalm 139 was written for you Lulu:

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my motherโ€™s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

You are loved beyond comprehension sweet Lu. You are worth fighting for. You have always been worth fighting for. You will always be worth fighting for. We celebrate you and your 11-months!

All our Love,

Mama, Daddy, Emma & Asher

*We captured a lot of video of our time together in November. Emma has each second memorized, and often wakes every morning asking to watch her baby sister again, as if her dreams were filled with the memories waiting to be written between sisters. Today we thought we would share one clip with you all to celebrate Lulu.

  • Pat - She’s beautiful. Praying for you all.ReplyCancel

    • sarahrichmond - Thank you Pat – pray you are well and that God is restoring in abundance what was stolen from you, friend.ReplyCancel

  • Alisha - Wow…what a precious child! She is beautiful and looks like she is thinking about what she could do next!! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

Hi everyone – Did I really say we were in the final 6.2? Today it is feeling closer to the final 602, but we’re getting there, step by laborious step. We received an update back from the US Embassy early this morning confirming they have received all of the additional information they requested for our case last week, and our case is now in the “phone interview queue.” We expected them to conduct a phone interview with the police officers involved in Lulu’s case, and this is consistent with the other cases we have been monitoring via blogs, etc. The encouraging thing is, for the vast majority of cases we have been watching, once these interviews take place the family is cleared very quickly to travel. The disheartening part is there is no telling how long it could take to reach the necessary officers on the phone, or just how far down the queue we are at this point. Our chances of being on a plane by Sunday are starting to look dim, but we are still praying for our file to be at the top of the stack and the interview to take place tomorrow. Your continued prayers for the details in our case to come together immediately, as well as for our continued peace as we try to rest in the larger story being written here are as always incredibly appreciated.

Love and Gratitude,

-Sarah & Rob