Somehow, just a week away from travelling to an Eastern European country to meet our daughter for the first time, and complete her country’s requirements for international adoption, a few people are encouraging me to feel ashamed, to question my sanity. Leaving us hanging at the last minute.
I am not ashamed. Not even a bit. I am proud.
I am proud of the four biological children I have with me.
I am proud of the son we are forcibly separated from in Russia.
I am proud of the daughter we are a “yes” away from making ours, who we will see for the first time on Wednesday, July 10.
I am proud of the child we will see for the first time tomorrow at our 11:45 ultrasound.
(go ahead and reread that last one–I know!! What a gift, and in God’s perfect timing for so many reasons!)
I am proud of my BA in Chemistry, which I barely eeked out.
I am even prouder of the pieces I wrote for two fictional writing classes in college, that helped me find a voice on a page.
I am proud of the nearly failing grades that marked my senior semester in college because I was home with my dad, who would see me graduate and give his blessing to Andy with just days to spare.
I am proud that I failed to finish that vet school application, and dropped out of the Chemistry PhD program, because now I can do my life’s work here at home.
I am so, so proud of my husband. For the choices he makes for our family, for loving this crazy woman, for speaking when every word has to be carefully chosen because he is speaking from his heart for the first time in his life. And for being really, really good looking when I have clearly let myself go.
I am most proud of my Lord. His long-acting plan to save his chosen people first, then opening the doors to all at the cross. The maker of all things beautiful and good. The One who chose *US*–the mouthy, throw in a swear word because it’s funny, never have enough cash, or a dinner that can’t feed an extra family, never-met-a-stranger, Vanchura Family–to redeem one life.
I am so very proud that the greatest source of encouragement and support this year has come in bursts of convenient time, on different schedules, from a not-yet mom in California I found only through a mutual love of a little Russian prince, high-school friends I thought I had seen for the last time more than a decade ago, friends of best friends who seemed to show up just when I needed them, long-time friends who forgave all the radio silence and picked up where we left off, practicing Jews who inspire with their faith, atheists who inspire with their sense of justice, Mormons who love their faith, Catholics who see a path, Evangelicals who pursue the deeper meanings, Protestants who are walking the walk, adoptive moms who struggle, and those who have it all together, far left liberals and right wing libertarians, homeschool moms, and keepers of the faith who must be saints on earth. All through the supposedly pathetic medium of Facebook, you have been a life raft to Andy and me when we felt so very alone. I am so very proud of the words you have shared, and the love you have given, always careful to not say more than what was written by God or what you were sure of. I am humbled by the money, handmade items, and time you have given to bring our children home. Never question the role you have played in getting us to these moments.
Above all else, I am proud to be Your daughter, Loving God. To obey Your commands. To love when there is no reason and when the world looks down upon or glorifies those who do love. And I will boast in You.
I am not ashamed of the blessings I have been given. I am not ashamed of the challenges. I am not ashamed of correction, given in love and in line with the Bible. I am so, so grateful to be where we are today.
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.–Luke 9:26
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.–1 Peter 4:16