It is August 3, and we continue to wait for Hanna's EP to be processed. The Korean government said they would begin working on them again in August as they originally said they would do in July. So my trust is not in their words, but in a sovereign God! We are SO very thankful for the pictures and the videos of precious Hanna. If you didn't get a chance to see her video, than send me an email and I will make sure you get the link. My heart was and is overflowing to know how well she is doing. For Mark it was bittersweet, because he saw how very much he is missing! He just loves all the time he can get with all of his daughters. So we continuing to be in this waiting room. God has been so very good to us, in giving us just what we need for each and every day. A night out with friends, a day spent with extended family, a worship song on Sunday morning that speaks straight to my heart, flowers dropped off unexpectedly by a friend just to say, I'm thinking and praying for you. We just sense the prayers of so many surrounding us. God gave me yet another perspective change yesterday as well. You see, Hanna's first birthday is quickly approaching on August 7th, and it is a day I know will be very difficult. God is working out the faith muscles in this Canadian , who loves to pull covers over her head when things get too unbearable, and who can too quickly surrender. (by the way, I'm not French Canadian, so no smart comments! :) ) He's continuing to teach me to walk by faith not by sight. Just when I say...."OKAY God, look how far I've come now......He lovingly says...'Karen ...a little farther." Saturday, I'm hosting a baby shower here at the house, to welcome the life of a precious baby boy. God's teaching me to rejoice with those that rejoice. Sunday, our Pastor asked if I would speak to the ladies at our church during our Connections hour. He asked me to talk about the things that God is teaching me, has taught me.....F A I T H! I said yes...cuz you all know this Canadian can talk, and I do love to encourage others to run their race as God teaches me to run mine. You know how it's hard to talk when your winded though and gasping for air. That's how I kind of picture Sunday morning. This one will be completely relying on His strength, as I'm sure there will be a Kleenex box at the front of the room for me, and it will be another work out to teach me that during my weakness He is strong. The perspective change though came yesterday as I was reading a book I had purchased when we adopted Narae. I was reminded of it when I was looking for birth mother stories. I had to pull it out from a top shelf and dust it off. It is called "I Wish for you a Beautiful Life." The book is a compilation of letters from Korean birth mothers to their children. Oh, how I immediately felt humbled. You see, here I had basically been wallowing in my own misery of not getting to see Hanna on her 1st birthday, that I had completely put the thought out of my mind about the woman that gave her life. We pray for Narae and Adah's birth parents every night at bed time, but I have to be honest, I think simple routine, and my own emotion had overtaken what these women have gone through to fill our lives with incredible joy. We have two birthdays coming up, that will be hard for women across the world. Narae turns double digits on August 14th, and I picture a woman somewhere with a piece missing in her heart, feeling like it was yesterday she made the hardest decision of her life. I imagine her somewhere thinking....where has that decade gone....it feels like yesterday.....what does my little girl look like now? Praying she is having a beautiful life. Now, I look past myself this weekend, and I see Hanna and Adah's birth mother. Not once did she have to experience incredible heartache, but twice. So there are three women here with heavy hearts this weekend and week ahead. (Truthfully four, as a foster mother prepares a party for a special girl that she knows she will soon say goodbye to and put in the arms of 'another mother.') I have all the joy ahead of me, with a daughter who has been chosen to be a Weigner girl and I know will grace our life with love and giggles just as each of her sisters do. However, there is another woman who is only a year removed from a wound that must be so great, which only helps to open up another wound that is almost 7 years old. I was angry reading about the cultural implications of the country of my daughters birth that led to these decisions. To know that not much culturally has changed, and that though there is new legislation intended to help birth mothers, I'm afraid it will just backlog a system and a country that needs to look past it's prejudice for single mothers. I pray that God would move hearts in Korea to embrace adoption, to embrace the fatherless and to let go of bloodlines. That anger was quickly overshadowed though by the qualities I admire in these amazing women. The underlying qualities through all these birth letters is LOVE AND STRENGTH! As a family I have been talking to the girls about counting their sisters as more important than themselves.....and here right in front of me is one of the greatest acts of humility.....I have experienced 3 times over. The unselfish heart of a woman to let go of her desires to love her daughter, so their girls could have a better life! I don't know that's a decision I could make! So, last night was a very restless night, and it wasn't because of the EP situation, it was because I felt like I could sense the agony of Hanna and Adah's birth mom as the day of Hanna's birth comes close. Just like smells and visuals remind us of different events in our lives, I'm sure everything right now is reminding her of the last days that she carried sweet Na Eun "Hanna" within her womb, knowing she was making an unselfish plan for her life. Na Eun was named by her birth mother, and the name "Na" means beautiful.....so I KNOW she was and IS loved! Imagine how this precious soul must have cherished every last little movement as the day of her babies birth drew near, and the decision she had made became a closer reality. I have sleepless nights thinking of the day that I will see Hanna, she probably cherished every sleepless night and movement of her baby because they were some of the last times they would be together. Her choice was a decision that would break her heart,(again) but fill mine! She chose life really not once for this baby, by choosing not to have an abortion, but twice as she chose a better life than what she felt she could give Hanna. How I pray that one day I will get to put my arms around this woman ,around Narae's birth mother. To look into their beautiful almond shaped eyes and tell them how I love them for who they are. To tell them, I'm sorry that they were judged and made to feel like they had no other choices, but to tell them that God brings wholeness and beautiful things out of brokenness. THAN....I pray I'll get the joy to step aside and introduce these women to the daughters of mine that are gifts of God. The daughters that have taught me so much about Gods love for me and how there is nothing I can DO to earn His love. Simply accept it. I pray I can introduce them to the daughters that they carried physically for the start of their 9 months on this earth, and than carried them in their hearts evermore. So with God's strength, I face the days ahead, and when things seem difficult I will think of the strength of these two women, and so many more they represent. I will think particularly of Hanna's birth mother on the other side of the world, that may feel like on August 7th, she can't push the covers off her body to face that day. I will pray for strength for her, and peace in her heart to know all is well as I put my two feet on the floor, FOR HER! I will pray more fervently for these women that God would send people to put arms of love around them, and let them know they are incredible, they are beautiful, they are strong and they are loved. So please join me in praying for Hanna and Adah's birth mom as our family comes to mind, and include Narae's as well. Narae carries the name her birth mother gave her, and since Adah tells anyone that asks I don't mind posting it here, that Hanna is named after her birth mother. HaNa. That is why we have INTENTIONALLY left the 'h' off the end of her name. This is a part of who she is! These women will always have a part of their heart on the other side of the world. Thinking of what their little girls look like, what they are doing, if their dreams are coming true, if they one day will get to meet them and not be judged by them. I get the privilege of scooping these girls up and hugging them, having tickle, giggling contests with them, tucking them into bed, rejoicing with them in new things learned, and crying with them over scraped knees. I get to tell them about a woman on the other side of the world that is AMAZING, who has strength past what I could imagine, and love for my little girls like none other. All these moments are precious gifts, and in the moments and days ahead whenever my heart is broken, I will think of these women. I will ponder their strength, and I will be thankful, and pray for precious blessings over their lives. I will pray for a day that we may meet and talk about the incredible things that God has done! Making Beauty out of Ashes!!