Sunday, October 14, 2012

From one season into another

It's getting closer. I can feel it. My agency has the additional document the Embassy requested and they are hoping to submit me tomorrow. So by the time I wake up in the morning, I "should" have an email saying I've been submitted. And I will be jumping for joy!!! From there, there's no defined time frame but we know someone who got clearance to come pick up their child in less than 2 weeks after submission so I'm hopeful that I could still have my son home before the end of October. His bag is packed and mine can be packed super quickly once I get word. I'm ready to go.

In the meantime, there are a few things I'm finishing up with - a few projects at work that I need to do before I'm on parental leave. About 180 thank you cards to write and mail (I'm almost half way done with that) and then there's my car that I need to sell. If you read my blog a few entries ago, you'll recall that my friends surprised me with a several thousand dollar check about a month ago - a check toward me getting a minivan. Providence Auto Group hooked me up with a great deal and I am now a proud owner of a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country minivan with (my favorite part) sliding doors and a rear door that open with the press of a button!!! LOVE it. The first day I bought it, I made use of the space by emptying my shed of all the glass and plastic recyclables I've been saving for several years and returned them to the recycling place. That was a good feeling - and one of the things on my list of things to do before Mihretu comes home. The second week I had it, myself and 6 other Visiting Orphans staffers piled in and I drove us down to Atlanta for the Catalyst Leadership conference. All that to say - I love my new minivan and I'm so happy that I have it.

But... for some strange reason - I've been having a hard time letting go of my car. I bought it new back when I worked at an ad agency in Michigan - I worked on Chevy retail advertising and we got a supplier discount so I got a discounted price on a brand new 2002 Chevy Cavalier. I got it at the end of 2001 since the new models come out the fall before the model year. That car was with me when I went through a heartbreak back in early 2002. It was with me when I packed up a 20ft moving truck, took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville in August of 2002 without a job lined up and without a single friend in Nashville (one of the best decisions I ever made btw). That car was with me on many road trips back and forth to Michigan to go home and visit family, through road trips to Florida, through all the years of singing in a band and loading her full of gear. She was with me through a move back to Michigan in 2006 and 3 months later when I realized that wasn't where I was supposed to be and moved back to Nashville, bought a house and decided to lay down some more permanent roots. She was with me through a lot of things. She was reliable. She was great on gas and she was finally fully paid off in 2006 - exactly one month before I bought my house. She's been a really good car. And while I LOVE my minivan and know it's time to sell my car, there's something really sentimental about the whole thing. It's like an outward visual representation reminding me that I'm heading into a new season. I know that life is about to change and I'm so excited to enter into this new season. I am so excited and so ready to finally be a mom!!! But I think it's good to reminisce and even be sentimental about the season I'm moving out of. It's been a good season. God has done so many things in my life and in me.

I'm not the girl I was when I bought that Chevy Cavalier in 2001. And I'm so thankful. I'm thankful for the journey and thankful for all the Lord has taught me through every tear, every transition, every celebration and every lesson. He is faithful. When I moved to Nashville in 2002 without a job or a friend, God provided a job and led me to my first ever church home and church family. A church family that I still get to do life with, praise the Lord! When I lost my job in 2009 because the company closed - He was my faithful provider and led me to Visiting Orphans doing something I love and am incredibly passionate about! During this adoption, He's been my provider, my rock, my shelter and my strong tower. As much as I wanted this process to be quick and easy and as much as I would have loved to have Mihretu home months ago, I recognize God at work in the waiting. He's taught me so much during this process. There are so many ups and downs and delays and snags and potential discouragements and moments when it looks like all hope is lost - and yet, I knew God called me to this and I could not deny the connection I had with one very precious little boy from Ethiopia. You do not have control when you are adopting. In fact, it's so obvious that you can't control really much of anything in this whole process that all you can do is cry out to Jesus and hold tight to Him. I've never prayed like I've prayed during this. I've never trusted quite so fully as I have during this. I've never held on quite so tightly as I have in this. And I can see the beauty in all of that. I can see God working it all together for good. Maybe even especially in the ups and downs. I've gotten to experience God in a new way. And though it's been my favorite bible verse for many years now, James 1:2-4 has taken on even more meaning through this season:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Faith is tested in those moments where things don't seem to be happening and you start to question whether you really heard from God. It's in the moments when nothing in the natural looks like the promise God gave you - those are the moments when you really have to decide what you believe and you really have to hold tight to the last thing you know that you know that you know God told you. Because in the months where you don't feel like you're hearing anything - those are the things you hold onto. That's when you really start to understand what faith really is. What a season it has been. What a God we serve. He is faithful when we are faithless. He is everything we need exactly when we need it. 

My friend is helping me sell my car and several people are interested. Someone is coming to look at it tomorrow. Maybe it'll even get sold tomorrow on the same day that I am submitted for Embassy which would actually be a pretty cool way for it to happen. I pray that whoever does buy her will experience God in new ways during this next season and have as many great memories as I have with that trusty ole Chevy:) When I say goodbye to her, I will be a little bit sad - I'm not gonna lie. But I'm also going to rejoice because of the new season I am heading into as I am just one month away from my 37th birthday and hopefully only a few weeks away from being a mom. I've wanted to be a mom since I can remember. I not only get to be "a" mom but I get to be the mom of the cutest little 3 year old boy I've ever met. He has so much personality and I only got to see a little bit of it in the week I spent with him. I get the honor of getting to be his forever mommy and getting to see who God made him to be every single day. I am SO excited. I already love him so much my heart feels like it is overflowing. I can only imagine how much more that love will grow as I get to share life with this precious child. 

Thank you Jesus for deeming me worthy of this calling. May you equip me every day of my life to be exactly the kind of mom you want me to be and Mihretu needs me to be. Amen!


  1. Autumn, you have always been one of the bravest people I know, from your decision to leave Michigan & move to Nashville alone & everything that came after, now to the adoption of your son. I admire your strength and faith through this process and just wanted to say how proud I am of you. I love you and I know I've said it a million times, but I can't wait to meet my adorable nephew!!!! ~Heather~ xoxo

  2. Love this beautiful post! I choke up every time I see that "God Knows My Name" t-shirt. Best birthday present ever is coming home soon!

  3. It’s really hard to let go of the things that have been a part of your life. That’s how life is, nothing is permanent – you just have to let go. Anyway, though that no car can replace your Chevy, why don’t you try to cherish your new memories with your minivan?


LOVE our Ethiopian family

We just returned from Ethiopia and oh boy - my heart is completely wrecked. Mihretu and I traveled on our own last March (2018) over his ...