2 things to add

Mom and Sam outside  I know you guys are keeping something from me

At the grocery store close to our house you have to put your bags in a locker before you can go in. We have learned this over time, but today we went in and there were no open lockers so I just stuck my bag in an open slot with no door. A lady I guess was telling me I couldn’t do it. So I asked her what I should do, and she pointed to a keyhole. I said there were no keys, what should we do? And she said something I didn’t understand, so Charity just went in without me and I figured out that all the other people were just standing there waiting for someone with a key to come and get their stuff. Then they would take that locker, like parking spaces during Christmas shopping. So there was this whole group of people waiting to get into the grocery store, just standing there right outside the entrance.

It wasn’t a big deal, and I think I was a little short with the lady, but I was trying hard not to get upset or rude, so I don’t think it was too bad. But I was definitely not patient at all and I think it showed. No harm done from what I could tell, but it was not our best moment either. It just gets hard some days with things being so different. Part of my short-temper is because I still have not bounced back from yesterday. We talked with our coordinator and found out that once court is over, assuming we get approved, Lord willing, we will wait our 2 weeks then possibly another 3-4.

She said it takes that long to do all the things they have to do with paperwork and all that stuff. We’re not sure exactly what that means, but it’s somewhere in the ballpark of an extra 2-4 weeks here, which was really, really discouraging. We felt like we were about half way through, but if that’s true we are still a few weeks from even being half way. We still don’t know what to make of it, and we are praying about it, but we are not sure how to pray.

Learning to hammer...slowly  Sam likes to ride on top of the car

That causes problems in several areas, and we aren’t sure if we just have to deal with it and ask that God would give us grace and work these areas out. Or should we really pray hard for him to do miraculous things and make it go a lot faster and still get us home about when we thought we would? And how will we know either way? I don’t see that we will. I think we will just find out when it happens.

It was really one of those spirit-crushing kind of moments for both of us. I told both my jobs that I would be back in around 2 months, and even while they may be flexible it still causes some problems with what I need to be doing. Money could also be a factor if we wind up here a month longer. We just did not prepare to be here that long. That’s not a major concern at this point, but it is in the back of my mind. There are some faimly things that are semi-pressing at home. Plus we are just ready to be home. We were sort of mentally prepared for 2 months, but much longer than that and it’s sort of a different game mentally. We just weren’t ready for it, and it just makes things harder.

So now we are both really feeling that, and today we are still sort of reeling, I think. It’s been a weird day, and we are both a little sick, so it’s just sort of a difficult time. God is absolutely in control. We don’t doubt that. We know his timing is best. We know he might have plans that we did not. We understand all that and more than anything want to be submissive and respond to it all in faith and live with hope and belief. Practically right now it’s just hard. I definitely felt a little hopeless yesterday, and I felt like I was praying and struggling to respond in faith. I just felt broken.

These kind of moments are usually ultimately good, and I know that and actually look forward to the continued refining that comes from it, but it is still not fun and sort of painful. And it just feels like a bad situation to us. It’s hard to be optimistic. As I process what I am writing, please know that I am just pouring right now. I am not purposefully writing, so this is all raw emotion. I am not as down and out as this all sounds, and we really are still hopeful as an overall tone. No need to send out the hug train to come find us. It’s just a hard few days. We’ll see how things work out. God’s big. He’s good, and he does good things. He is our hope. His love is faithful love. So we’re going to be fine. This is just a sort of punch in the gut.

BUT, there is good news. Our pre-court date is tomorrow morning (10am Thursday our time). So that is a step in the right direction. We are a little nervous, but we have heard this is little more than meeting the judge and setting a court date. We are not sure how long it will last, but we have to dress up and all that. Pray that he will already love us. I think the other people we knew from got a court date a few days after pre-court, so maybe that means like Monday or something. We’ll see. That is all speculation, and it seems like you never know what will happen. 

Keep praying for a quick court date. Pray that these other time esitamtes will be shortened like crazy. Pray for very much acceptance and favor with the judge. Pray that the one weird situation will not even be an issue tomorrow or when we make it to court. Pray for a “yes.” Pray for peace in our minds. Pray for an appropriate level of faith and perseverance.

Thank you. We need the company on the walk. We always read every comment.

17 responses to “2 things to add

  • Jenn

    Hi Aaron and Charity, I’ve been following your blog for some time now. Aaron and Steph told me about it:O) We also adopted from Kaz and brought our sweet girl home last August from Shymkent. I ended up having to be in Kaz for three months and Warren was there for two. We only planned on two and Warren was only supposed to be there for one. I planned on staying for one by myself. Thankfully there were other families there at the same time as us.

    Anyway, for what my two cents is worth, I say pray for BIG things, and expect that God will do exactly what He wants to do in order for His name to be glorified. To this day, there are some things that happenned there that I don’t understand, but I do know that one day, most likely in heaven, I will understand the why. Other things have become clear since I arrived home and even others made sense soon after. It is amazing for us as we look back and see the hand of God weaving this beautiful tapestry that we now call our family.

    We left two little boys at home with my mom and it about killed me to not see them for three months, but God made a way, and I’m sure that He was thinking about me the day he made someone smart enough to come up with Skype!!! Just kidding, but at the time all I could do was thank Jesus over and over for His love for me, and for knowing that I needed to see my other children’s faces. I would have gone crazy!!!

    I love to hear your hearts as you are going through this crazy time. Keep it real, that’s exactly how God likes it and it all glorifies Him in the end. None of us are perfect, and the adoption process truly is a refiner’s fire. You just shine the love of Christ more and more each day as you go through it!!!

    Hang in there, and expect that whether or not you see the end result from where you are right now, God will be glorified. It’s so very hard not to get anxious about the process and the “unknowns” but hang on to Phil 4:6-7.

    God is good, and He loves your family beyond belief. Trust in Him and Him only. He will make all things beautiful in His time:O)

    Prayers and blessings,
    Jenn Heckert

  • Jamie

    God will change the dates… or God will change you… or both 🙂 But he will *not* let you down. He didn’t call you to this journey to disappoint you (believe me, I had to remind myself of that daily during some of the harder times). He will sustain you. And we’re praying, along with lots of other folks!

    And the timeline your agency is giving you doesn’t sound far of line – we were in-country for a month and 5 days after court (the finalization period and then waiting for the new birth certificate, Kaz passport, and the US Visa)

  • Justin S.

    Man, I had the hug train all fired up and ready to go, then Aaron said you didn’t need it. Maybe next time…
    Seriously, we are praying for you guys, and, Lord willing, it’s going to be really cool for Sam to go back one day, read these blogs, and see what the Gospel looked like in his life before he could even really understand it.
    I can’t imagine the discouragement and heart-wrenching waiting, but God’s been doing something really cool. Every moment in this process is screaming the Gospel from the rooftops at a volume you never could have reached if it was easy. I don’t know if you even realize that all the time, but it’s coming through loud and clear on this side.
    So don’t give up!

  • amberjadecano

    Hey Guys,

    I have been tracking with your blog which really helps to keep you in my heart and prayers. I am so excited to see how God is going to work exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think. It is my prayer that you will enjoy this time which is unlike any experience you will ever have! I love you guys and know I am praying!!!


  • Laurie

    Sweet friends! We are praying the Lord will do big things in the next few days. I am confident that His name is going to be made great through this process. Hold fast to what you know to be true about who He is! Press hard into Him in these days–He is so faithful!! May the Lord grant you peace as you wait and hope as you look forward to the days to come. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

  • Jimmy (Katie) =)

    Hey AC and Charity!!

    I kind of just stumbled upon your blog today and an hour later (after reading every post and looking at every picture and video and a few tears in there!) I just wanted to say that i’m praying too. Some of the girls on my hall and I are going to pray for you tonight too! And i’m going to talk to Krikey and hopefully we can get the igo-alum here updated and praying! Thank you for taking the time to update! God is so good!
    ps: he is precious. and i can’t get over the sammie wonder video.

  • Denae

    hey sweet friends, no wise words just a prayer. Jesus, we love You, we know you are all powerful and in complete control. Renew Aaron and Charity’s hope, give them a new joy in You, and make Your name famous through this tough time. Despite all the signs that say this thing will take much longer, we ask for Your hand to move things quickly and with favor, bring them home on time. And continue to pour love into their hearts overflowing for Sam. love you guys!

  • Emily Martin

    We will be praying like crazy. And as I said before…send anything my direction that I can help with. 🙂

  • Kristy

    Hi! I’m a friend of Jamie’s. We are praying like crazy for you guys: for the favor of the Lord AND man; and that the Lord would turn the hearts of those in authority there to give a favorable answer and soon.
    Pro. 21:1 “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”
    Pro 3:3-4 “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”
    To Him be the Glory!

  • Aunt Elisabeth

    I love you guys so much. We are praying along side of you as are many many many more. I was just thinking about all the people that are praying for y’all and Sam. Just think your church…my church…many people that you know’s churches…and their friends…and… I don’t know but I thinks its a crazy number of people. We are all lifting you up to the Father. Feel surrounded by love. We all love you guys so much. And the Father has great plans for the Clayton Family.

  • susan

    I don’t know if this makes you feel a bit more comforted, but every family hits “the wall.” I admire your faith, love and trust in the Lord. I must admit that your wall is a bit higher than the wall that I confronted last year. I had always planned on making two trips so I felt a bit more in control of things.

    Let me know if I can help brainstorm with you or provide additonal comfort.

    Best, Susan

  • Erin

    Hey Aaron and Charity-
    I don’t even know if you remember me or not (I’m a friend of Jamie’s) but I’ve been following your journey and praying for you along the way.
    I just wanted to encourage you during this seemingly impossible time. When we adopted Max from Ukraine we hit a time like this. We had already been over there about 3 weeks and we were waiting on our court appointment. There were three judges in the city and two of them were on vacation one was in the hospital. No one seemed to know when the two vacationers would be home from vaction or what was wrong with the other judge or when he’d be out of the hospital. We waited eagerly each day for news and nothing happened day after day. SO frustrating and I will never forget that trapped, suffocating feeling. We prayed and prayed and our family and church was praying, too. And then, in God’s perfect timing, it all cleared up. The judges reappeared and all of a sudden we had a court date and papers and a kid and doctor’s approval and passports and we were on our way home.
    Be encouraged that it will happen in the Lord’s perfect timing. I know you know that. While you wait, I will be praying for peace in your hearts.


  • Rhonda

    Hi Aaron and Charity,
    Thanks for keeping us updated. As I sit comfortably in my usual surroundings, my heart hurts for your loneliness in a country so unfamiliar, and yet rejoices in the sweet little one that God has given you. We are definitely praying for you. I can’t wait to meet your little man and I know what a wonderful, amazing and gracious Lord we serve.
    1 Sam. 12:16 ” Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.”
    Besides being a wonderful scripture….I thought how appropriate the name!!!!
    Much love and prayers for you guys!

  • Jamie

    Hey guys!
    I read every word of this post, and as to the questions you were posing (some rhetorical, I’m sure, but I’ll take a stab at it), I do think it’s OKAY to pray for BIG things. Go for it. Pray that you could go home on time. I suggest telling your bosses and family the situation (asking them to pray too), but then practicing that kind of prayer that hopes and believes, without seeing the result, like you guys learned as you prayed to even get OVER there. Then, if in God’s sovereignty, you should have to stay longer, trust with faith that He will provide, just as He has always done so far. Trust that when that time comes, He’ll give you grace to trust Him. But for now, pray big! I read somewhere once that there is no grace for our imaginations, the what if’s. Ex: What if my spouse died or what if we have to stay longer or what if there’s a misscarriage or what if there is a terrorist attack
    There IS grace for what happens when it happens. Abundant, free-flowing grace from the Father of all gifts. You wouldn’t give Sam a snake instead of a fish, or however that Bible verse goes. Trust that the Lord will give you something good, and as you know it, you think it would be GOOD to go home on time! 🙂 If you are wrong and it will be GOOD for you to stay, God will provide.
    Hope that all makes sense. I’ll pray big for you. Wow, you are learning so much, and I am learning so much through you.

  • Cousin Christen

    You guys are doing such wonderful things! I am praying for some peace for you both and know god is walking with you every step of the way. Keep thinking positive thoughts and I am confident everything will fall into place. Love you both and very proud to call you family. xoxo

  • Aunt Kate

    Thanks for the update and for sharing such raw emotion. Whether you guys know it or not, we all are feeling that right along with you! God works in mysterious ways and patience is a virtue! I pray every morning for you guys to have a restfull and rejuvintaing night and for an abundance of patience tomorrow (because of the time difference)!
    Don’t sweat the small stuff, things will fall in to place. You have the utmost love and support from everyone at home, spiritually, emotionally, financially. Galatians 6:9 says: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Hang in there! we love you ALL!

  • John Lewis

    Thanks for pouring. Your right our God is big and faithful and all powerful and will glorify Himself as we wait on Him in obedience. The story about the grocery store is just a reminder to me of how many people are just waiting to get in to heaven, all they need is someone to tell them how, Thanks for sharing. You are not on this journey alone, we lift you up daily, and to God be the glory.

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