Running the Race–The dream I did not want to come true

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It’s Saturday again.  The day of the week that I used to call Sasha.  And this was the day that my dad and I were supposed to be headed back to Ukraine to bring Sasha home.  But… that won’t be happening. 

I’ve had lots on my mind this week.  So many things I could possibly write about.  Believe me, I could have a mile-long post about all the “what ifs” that have drifted through my mind.  But I am choosing to not dwell on those things. There is one other thing that’s come to mind.  A dream I had 17 months ago, that I always wished would never come to pass.

Two Christmases ago, December 2010, was when Sasha spent 4 weeks with our family.  One of those nights, while I was sleeping on an inflatable mattress and Sasha was sleeping in my bedroom next door, I had a dream that I have not forgotten over this year and a half. 

Sasha & I - Dec 2010I am not sure how it started, but in the dream, I was running a race.  It was some kind of partners race and we had to hold hands with someone else along the track, and I was running with Sasha.  We had to keep holding hands while we were running this race which ended up more like an obstacle course.  Together, we had to run up and down different things and maneuver around various obstacles.  Along the route, there were so many people cheering us on.  The further we got along in the race, the harder it was to stay together and keep holding on to Sasha’s hand.  I tried holding on tighter, but we got disconnected.  After we could no longer hold hands, I tried to keep my eyes on him, but there came a time when he was no longer in sight.  I did not know what happened to him, but I couldn’t finish the race without him.  It was over.

I woke up from the dream slightly disturbed.  I felt like Sasha and I were on some sort of journey together, but I wasn’t sure what kind.  At this point, we were only hosting him temporarily, with no intention of adopting him.  Regardless of our future plans at that time, the ending of my dream was disheartening.  I didn’t know what kind of journey we were on together, but I didn’t want it to end with us becoming separated.

And now, 17 months later, after a failed adoption, that dream has new meaning.  We had many supporters along the way, obstacles to get around, and for one reason or another we have become disconnected.  It’s not the end of the ‘dream’ I had hoped for, but I trust this is not the end.

God has a race marked out for each of us, Sasha and myself included.  We may not forever be in the same family, but there is still much more ahead of each of us.  I pray that despite our setbacks, we continue to strive for that glorious finish and maybe our paths will cross again someday.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT)


Hosting Reflection #24–Along the Winding Road, God is There

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We’ve gotten some awesome news this week: On Thursday we found out that my parents will be leaving for Ukraine on their 1st adoption trip in 16 days!   We were not expecting it nearly so soon which made me even more excited!  Sasha has been asking for months when mom and dad will be arriving… I can’t even imagine what he will say when my parents get to tell him on the phone tomorrow that they are finally coming! Open-mouthed smile

The night after receiving this awesome news, I had this very interesting dream –

I was driving a car/riding a bike around dusk in the rain.  I could not really see them, but I knew that I had my family in tow behind me.  The roads were curvy and wet and I was going very fast.  I kept telling my mom behind me “We’re going so fast!” but we were always ok.  Even though the roads were wet and the turns were sharp, we always stayed on the road, it was like there was something that was keeping me from falling.  I did not know where we were headed, but I was not fearful and trusted that we would get where we were going.

I do not normally have these kinds of dreams, but it seems like it is such a genuine representation of what I must be feeling right now.  Although Sasha was not mentioned in my dream, I know this was about his adoption. 

In all honesty, I really have been the one behind our whole adoption process.  I know I am leading the way.  (You can look back at my first blog posts to see how our story has progressed from hosting, to advocating, to adopting.) Just like leading my family on a speedy journey on curvy roads in the rain, my parents’ adopting Sasha has been a whirlwind. It was never something they planned to do and now it’s all they’re thinking about.  I’ve led my family into one crazy unforeseen destination!

As we were traveling those roads in the dream, it just felt like I should have crashed down the sides of these steep, curvy roads; but I never did.  So many things – finances, legal issues, discouraging words – could have led us off this path of adoption, but I truly believe God has kept us going.  He’s kept us safe and delivered us of fear… that would typically come from adopting a nearly 16-year-old boy from a foreign institution.   He has kept us going and I am fully trusting in him to get us to the final destination: to have our son & brother safely home with us forever.

You might be able to relate to these feelings.  Being thrown into an unexpected situation that is nothing you could successfully handle on your own.  If you are faithful and keep honoring God, he will be there with you.  Even if you stumble, he has more than enough grace and mercy to get you back on the right path. He will see you through!

8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.

14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth…

Isaiah 58:8,11,14 (ESV)

(This is a pretty significant scripture to me.  I can trace my leading to this adoption back to 1 life changing conference in Jan 2009, and this was my theme verse from that time.  Now God has brought it back to me in a new season with a new purpose.)

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