You know, the more I learn the more I realize how much I don’t know…and God has a wonderful way of shining a mirror on my unbelief. I often feel like the man who tells Jesus, “I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!” I want to believe I always trust God and know that his provision is perfect, but then He says, “Yeah, I know you believe me for *this*, but what about all the other stuff?” I have been reminded in the sweetest way of God’s perfection and his unending involvement in our story.
In recent months, (really maybe since we returned home), I have felt like the MIRACLE of the adoption was over…God had shown us his kingdom perspective, we had responded, he performed about a million miracles….and now it was my turn to pull up my bootstraps and struggle through the rest of it….that whole unbelief thing. Like I think God is going to say, here she is! now you are on your own! Kind of like the nurses when you are leaving the hospital with a newborn. But he is SO NOT LIKE THAT! He is ever present, ever tending to each one of us, right where we all need it most.
Now on to the story…honestly, school has been very hard for Vanessa academically. We had to jump her ahead three grades from where she was and let this year be her “catch up year” before going to high school. She is an incredibly hard worker and her teachers adore her. They have been wonderful and have gone above and beyond in so many instances. Our ESL teacher has literally carried her (and me) through the entire year. In our state there are end-of year exams that are extremely difficult for ALL kids….tremendously more so for a student who has jumped ahead three grades and is experiencing her first year in full English immersion. She was exempt from the Reading for this one year, but had to take Science and Math. The math was the one that had me truly terrified. It is hard! And she had to take pre-algebra this year. Her grades have been good and are a true testament to her hard work, but this was a standardized test. Chad and I even met with the staff at the school to discuss HOW she would be told that she didn’t pass so as not to devastate her. 😦 I was literally feeling sick about it all.
This is where the story starts to get good. The week before the EOGs I got a letter from the school in the mail. It said that Vanessa was being given an award at by her school at an awards night that recognized all the students in our cluster. I cried and cried. I was stunned, but not half as stunned as she was! Her school was recognizing her hard work! It was a surprise as to what the award would be until that night but all we could think was, What a blessing. The awards ceremony was going to be on May 22, the week after EOGs. I was thinking about how sad it would be to go to the award ceremony when all she would be thinking about was how she would have to retake the EOG, (you get two tries). The last day of EOGs I took the kids out to dinner to celebrate…it was OVER and no matter what they had all done their best. While at dinner my cell phone rang from our middle school….I almost fainted bc I was sure it was the call I had been dreading! I jumped up and walked away from the kids, we were sitting outside, and braced myself. It was our assistant principal. He said that he had to call me tonight because he couldn’t wait until tomorrow for me to find out that Vanessa had passed the math!!!!!! Talk about light-headed. I thanked him over and over and went back to our table. I said, “That was Mr. N. I have something to tell you all. ” Very sober faces. I started smiling and shared the good news. We all started cheering and hollering…it was a great moment. And then something came out of Vanessa’s mouth that I pray I never forget…she said, with a look of amazement, “God did not forget me!” I could have laid down and sobbed my eyes out at the moment….because you know what? He didn’t forget me either. And I was walking around feeling like I am carrying all of this huge burden of her schooling, and her emotional health, and her adjustment and in that moment God said, “I have still got this Amy. Believe it or not I am still 100% in charge of all of this, regardless of what you think.” I am sad to say that I sort of feel like he had just left me here too. Much the way she must have been feeling.
And then just a few days later, the following Tuesday, we sat in that awards ceremony with our family, my parents, and our pastor, as our sweet girl walked up on the stage to receive her award. Most Improved Student in Cuthbertson Middle School for the year! Only one student gets this award. I sat on the floor trying to get a good picture, but the tears made it too blurry.
And all I could think was, “God Has Not Forgotten Us.” He is so sweet to remind me that he has not forgotten even one of us. He holds every tear and I believe he remembers all of our laughter too. How quick am I to forget all that he has done. And that He continues to blow me away…I have another one to add to my list of great and awesome wonders that I have seen with my own eyes.