Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Breaking the Silence-I Press On

Not quite sure how it happened that nearly a year and a half has passed since I last updated.  I believe one of the last things I said was that the next time I wrote that I would be traveling to bring Abby and Becca home from the Congo.  Oh how I wish that were true!  I have a hard time understanding why they continue to wait.  But then, it’s not mine to understand on this side.  You know the song by Casting Crowns AlreadyThere?  Yep, that’s where I am in so many areas of life.  I like to know.  I like to be in control.  But goodness isn't it fun to look back at life events and see just how they fit!  Like 2007.  My Mom passed away in June.  My career took a different path a month later as a result of that loss.  Soon I was back in college getting my Master’s Degree and two years later advanced further in my professional career.  All of this so that when God called me to adopt in 2010 I was in a place both personally and financially to say yes!  Too cool! 
Last year when my career came to a sudden halt I thought I had God figured out.  I thought the months I was given in severance was for me to get the girls home and adjusted…and I praised him.  Then as the time drew to an end I thought it had to have been about giving me time to get Jacob through a rough period with a new diagnosis of ADHD and mood disorder.  Time for appointments, time for medication adjustments, time just to be with him…and I praised him.  Just as I thought I had it and began to apply for jobs anticipating whatever the new normal would be, I fell over/into the boys power wheel while flying kites and broke my dominant arm and am left unable to work for a few months longer.
So now, with applications out for unemployment and food stamps, with requests to defer payment on this and that…in the midst of so much uncertainty as I reflect on where I was to where I am….maybe now I get it.  I suppose as most of us do, it’s at those times when I am broken (this time literally and figuratively) that I lean fully on my Savior and stop trying to figure it out.  Through it all I have known that God has a plan and I look forward to the day it becomes clear.  For now, I rest in his will that I am right where he wants me to be.  I relish the time with the boys and anticipate the time with the girls.  I eagerly await a new career, even if it takes a different path.  I rejoice in time to just be available for family and friends.  I have found such peace in just being in his presence and leaving tomorrow in his hands.
There is so much more I could say but for now I will end with words from a new favorite song and a promise to update on my precious boys soon.  
Doesn't matter where I’m going if I’m going with you.  I press on.
 (Building 429, I Press On).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In the Silence

Tick tock tick tock....that is all I seem to hear in the stillness of this night. There is soft breathing coming from adjoining rooms of two little boys dreaming sweet dreams of their day, there is pink glaring at me from the new bedroom with a desire to be filled. There is silence. Even my prayers are silent as I find myself with each passing day filled with doubt and wondering why. The still of the night can be cruel as Satan takes his opportunity to fill my heart with questions. I thought I knew about adoption having experienced it once. I thought I knew....yet I find more each day that there is little resemblance in this experience to the journey I have previously walked. There is no predictability and I am growing restless with the lack of progress. Just prior to Christmas I received a phone call from the Embassy in the DRC to email for further instructions. The automated reply read a response would be sent within 5-10 business days, yet nothing. Word of I600 followed that same week. Last week I received mail telling me the girl's VISA applications had been forwarded to the DRC embassy. Now I wait for the coveted invitation for travel, for an Embassy appointment to take place, for a medical examination of two girls I know to not be well, for my VISA to be requested and received, and finally for travel. This is exhausting! I am reminded of a very similar experience over 30 years ago as I waited anxiously for my daughter Kathy to make her appearance. As I filled my days with busy work and prepared for her arrival I longed to hold her, to see her face and touch her toes. I wondered if I would know how to be her Mama but I longed to spend the rest of my life learning how. Now as I wait for Rebecca and Abigail I chuckle. Who would have dreamed that this many years later I would be waiting on the arrival of child six and seven! I remember when I began this adoption that I hoped for two years with the boys home. Well, that too has passed. I had a good heart to heart with God the other night and asked why the girls continue to wait and realized it is because I am not yet ready. The expansion on my house remains incomplete and God knows it would make me crazy to leave here without everything in order. I am reminded that God's timing is not my own nor are his ways my ways. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the timing for homecoming will be perfect and as God ordained. Even so as I get called for the fourth time to Jacob's bed for hugs and kisses at bedtime I pray that someone tucked by daughters in just a few short hours ago. I pray that they are learning a bit of trust in their new environment and that they might begin to know of love. I pray that God would send his angels to free them from pain, to protect their physical, spiritual, and emotional being from further harm. I pray and I ask that you join me. Pray for patience as I wait. Pray for a swift homecoming. Pray for the boys as their world is fixing to be rocked beyond their comprehension. Pray for me as I learn to parent two children with a past I know nothing of but a future I am certain of. Thanks for hanging with me on this journey! My next update WILL be of travel. Until then...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final push for funds

Hey guys, so I know everyone is tired of hearing donate this way, purchase this, come to this yard sale or this dinner. Well, I promise that is all drawing to an end with this. I am currently selling t-shirts to help raise travel money and I need your support. Just go to www.adoptiontees.com and select any item. E-mail me (debbieshinkle@yahoo.com) the item, size if applicable and send payment either through the paypal button or check. I have about two weeks left to sell a LOT of items or I end up paying for the initial shipment...and trust me, I don't need to be out any money at this point. There are many who have said they wanted to help. These shirts are great looking and comfortable and share the wonderful message that one changes everything.

I am now 34 weeks into this adoption process and continually stand in awe at how God has orchestrated the timing of each event and the raising of funds. I took a step of faith in the initial loan to start the process and continue to praise him for the support of so many to get these girls to their home. I know HE will not fail me in providing what is needed to the end, yet my human nature causes me to grow concerned. Please join with me and pray for how you can help.

With that, a quick update. Things in the Shinkle household are crazy!!! My house looks like a demolition sight with the addition of Abby and Becca's bedroom and an expansion to the living room in progress. I also recently became a mini van mom again in order to accomodate all of the kiddos and car seats/boosters. It seems everything is in order. Christmas is in the top of my closet though a homecoming prior to Christmas is feeling more and more an impossibility. Pray with me on that one also. I need these girls home! Things in the DRC grow more unsettled every day and though these two have proven how much they can endure my heart aches for them to not have to suffer further. I have all pieces of documentation (minus one translation) and paperwork now lies with the USCIS for final approval. Travel will be soon and I will celebrate yet another gotcha day.

Speaking of which, can you believe it has been almost two years since Joseph and Jacob's arrival! I just finished submitting their annual report and might I say that capturing their past year adequately in 6-8 pictures is incredibly challenging! I was thinking just last night of the time not so long ago when my world was so so different. When I came home to a quiet empty house. When I traveled at will and worked crazy long hours just because I could. A time when my world was about me. Well, though I might yearn for that quiet from time to time, I would not change my life for the world. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in my life and rejoice that God has chosen me to be his hands and feet. Remember that post I made early in the initial adoption process. The one titled be careful what you ask for. I never in a million years would have pictured my life as this at this stage but now I can picture nothing else. Incredibly amazing how God works....incredibly amazing!

Thanks to all for the continued love and support. I hope that my next post will be on the heels of travel. Until then...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

They are my daughters...officially!

I am thrilled to introduce Rebecca Lynne Kembia Shinkle and Abigail Blessing Masengo Shinkle as my daughters! I received their long awaited adoption judgement yesterday! No longer will they be referred to with the words "family unknown." Instead, my name has been placed alongside theirs and our journey officially begins as mother and daughters.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Prayers Answered!

Well God apparently convicted some people in the DRC and the girls were operated on yesterday afternoon. Both were "troopers" according to reports. All toes appear intact and they have been taken to the house of a pastor's wife for care. They will be seen back by the doctors on Wednesday and Friday. B has a long road ahead of her with infection apparent from the pictures but prayerfully she has also been placed on appropriate antibiotic coverage.
Our CCI family should arrive next weekend to deliver shoes and continue care. Then rainy season should arrive in October (which kills the jiggers) and shortly thereafter I should receive word to travel and bring them home!
Praising God just a little more this morning!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Longest Day of My Adoption Journey(s)

Today I have experienced every emotion known to man...every fear, every frustration, anger, sadness, disbelief and ultimately contentment in our Father's plan. The day began at 455 with an e-mail stating that both girls had arrived at the hospital. Wow! I thought it was just going to be B but they were both there. The first feeling of relief that at least they were together was soon overtaken by the knowledge that there was no where for them to go after surgery except back to the orphanage. All I could envision were the open wounds walking barefoot through the orphanage and the infection that would ensue. So when I read the update from Sue that they had been taken back to the orphanage due to no after care I was somewhat relieved though concerned at the delay this meant for their health. I also grieved for the fear and lack of understanding these two precious girls must be experiencing.

Phone calls and e-mails have consumed much of my day. I am grateful for the updates and for the care shown from each person.
  • Thank you for the prayers that are being sent up from all over the world.
  • Thank you to those who are in a position to support the efforts of Project Feet financially so that each child at the orphanage may receive the treatment needed.
  • Thank you to Sue at CCI. Today I heard in her voice the emotion of a woman who is truly the hands and feet of Jesus. A person who is willing to advocate for my children...for our children...and becomes as distraught as adoptive parents when things don't go as planned. A woman who is going to extreme measures to have her family care for mine. Thank you Sue!
  • Thank you to organizations like One Less who blessed me with a grant for this adoption. I thought I got it before, but after this day I truly get it. These children (at least in this part of the world) are discarded as useless to society except for the money generated by their adoption. There is no one in their culture willing to step up and do the right thing for them because it is what every child deserves. Organizations like One Less allow families to unite with God's chosen children and rescue those children from the depths of their experience as individuals without a purpose.
There is much about today I do not feel I should reveal. There are probably as many questions as answers. But what I rest in is that God's timing is perfect and his plan what will occur.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, your prayers, your e-mails, your phone calls. I will continue to update as I receive news.

 God bless.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Urgent Prayer Request

I learned earlier today that R & B were seen in clinic in the DRC as a result of fundraising efforts by Project Feet. After evaluation the doctor insists that B have surgery tomorrow. I do not know the complete seriousness of her situation. I know from the pictures that it is bad. My fear is that gangrene has set in and/or she has a systemic infection resulting from untreated jiggers.

I have never felt so helpless in my life and turn to each of you to be prayer warriors for each of these children. For Blessing may that prayer be that her life be spared. She has already lived up to her name as she has become a blessing to all children in the orphanage who will now receive the needed surgery because of the seriousness of her situation. It breaks my heart that her purpose on earth may end with this and that she is so far from those who love her. Pray that God wrap her in his arms and that she may know she has a family waiting for her. Pray for relief of pain, that her toes might be saved, and for proper antibiotic coverage for infection. Pray that God will intervene to get the right people to the DRC immediately to provide care in an environment other than the orphanage post surgery. Pray for the physician and others who make decisions for B. Pray for R who will be separated from her sister and as she waits to have the same surgery in a short time. Pray for her family here as we wait. Pray for Sue at CCI as she advocates for many families and tries to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Just pray.

I will update as soon as I have any word....