Thursday, May 10, 2012

India- Journal 3


Landing in India-

So full of excitement we stepped off of air and stepped foot on ground and made our way to pick up our things. There's no doubt we are in India. We stand out and receive stare after stare. We begin to pick up luggage and cheer when first piece comes around the belt. Then we wait and wait and wait. Belt stops and no more luggage. MY LUGGAGE (and Bella's luggage) missing! WELCOME TO have no clothes. :-) Really,  as disappointing as this was, God gave me peace again and nothing was stopping me from losing my joy over the path I was on to see our girl!

We file the report on the lost luggage.... breeze through customs and wonder if our taxi we had requested the day before was even there due to our 2 hour flight delay and then the baggage issues....and there as we make our way outside stands a man with a sign "Brittnie Wilbanks" Krishna Hotel. PTL!! We couldn't believe it. He waited for us all.  that.  time. Our kind driver loads our lacking luggage and we hop in the taxi to make our way to the hotel for a quick shower and a couple of hours of sleep so we could head BACK to the airport for our next flight in just a few short hours.

Our first real experience of India (besides the luggage loss) was the driving. I'm sure most of you have heard if you haven't already experience something like this first hand....the driving system is pure chaos. There were lines in the roads and lights above but I'm not sure why? Cars, people, animals, beggars going in every direction and our driver whips in and out cutting people off and running street lights with ease through this madness and "close calls" and yet there is still peace.

Then it happened. The woman holding her half limp newborn baby and a half empty bottle of milk and she's gently tapping on the window begging us for money to save her baby. (So you wonder anyway.) You hear about this kind of thing... but nothing prepares you for it. A country of so much need and we are there to help...but there is only so very little we can do. My heart breaks. A starving baby laying limp in it's mother's arms? or a pimp forcing a woman to beg for moeny with a baby? This shouldn't be!  I want to be used more!

Our driver finally brings us out of chaos and down a dirty alley to our hotel and we are relieved to finally have a place to "rest". This is the one place we are uncertain of. It's the place that we played with a bit of "risk" at not knowing exactly where this hotel was or how safe it was....but it was REALLY cheap and it had 2 king beds for us all to stay together (me, Jeff, Jonah and Amanda) and we only needed it a few we took a chance. And to our was nice, clean and everyone was very friendly and our driver (Khem Lal) agrees to come back for us in a few hours and take us back to the hotel.

Psalm 126:3 The LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY!

India-Journal 2


Our 15 hour flight was another perfect one...but by take off time almost 2 hours late my nerves were shot. The stress from all the anticipation and the unexpected death on the plane was too much. The anxiety attacks began to come. I finally settled down and we enjoyed delicious meals and snacks galore and we began to draw some attention with our light skin. Our attendant began to inquire, "what sends you to India?" We shared our story and he was captivated. We joined hearts over children and adoption and great need.

From that point forward...we were treated like royalty by our intrigued attendant. First class treatment was making it's way to the back of the plane to shower us with a touch of God's grace.  We giggled as other attendants would ask, "how did "that" plate (of luxury) get back here? :-) We ate like kings and queens.  We were able to share our Bella Cards with our blog site on it with the attendant (and hope he is reading along now) and we pray our time with him and others around us who were curious to know our "mission" that seeds were scattered and sown.

All praise be to God.

Psalm 126:3 The LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

India-Journal 1


The 4:30am alarm goes off and I'm already awake. I have been awake most of the night lying in anxiousness over our trip in just a few hours. We arrive at the airport 3 hours early "just in case" and then comes the one part of our trip that I've been dreading. Saying goodbye to those we are leaving  behind. My heart races cause I know it's going to happen...I hate to cry... but its comes anyway....with tears spilling over for the babe I love so dearly who stays with his Nana while we travel 7,000+ miles across the globe. Tears spill also for the one I entrust his care to for the next 2 mom who I love and adore.

But God is gracious and merciful and covers me with peace as we part ways. I leave a piece of my heart in Alabama and take the rest of it to India for the one God has "chosen out" for us to call our very own. Our plane leaves early and we spend most of the day connecting flights across the states. Perfect flights too! I've been asking for prayer for months for smooth plan rides ....since I'm not a fan of flying. We arrive in Jersey late afternoon and eagerly board our last flight to India.... 15 hours across the world....and excited that we'd either sleep/read/watch movies forever on this huge aircraft.... that would tie two worlds together.

The pilot comes over the intercom to announce flight departure and then the unexpected happens....two rows behind us someone calls out to the flight attendant, "someone just passed out in the bathroom". I stare at the door while it bulges out with someones dead weight up against it. The attendant calls out for a response from within. No answer. She tries to open the door and it's jammed. With panic, people spend too much time trying to free this person from the bathroom with no success. Maintenance is called and we all know time is ticking too fast. Someone finally pulls the door free and in horror we watch dead weight drop hard to the floor. 

Flight attendants begin rescue with defibrillator and there is no response. Police come in  -they try- no response. Medical crew comes in -put him on automatic chest compressions and breathing air down his lungs- still NO RESPONSE. 1 hour and 30 minutes go by and we are just beside ourselves as we watch son and wife stand speechless at their dying loved one. I can't make sense of this at all. Would our trip to life begin with death? The team decides to move the passenger from the plane....dragging him down the aisle right passed our feet. I feel sick. We all sit in tears. My heart aches at the same time for the ones who are losing a family member while we sit eagerly waiting to take flight in order to gain one.

No pronouncement was ever made on the plane that night ...but we heard the crews two feet behind us. It was over. Death had come. We heard the flight attendant later say ....."that had a pronouncement been made...the plane would have not left the ground that night". WOW.  That would have been crazy. We were thankful that the LORD allowed us to leave that night for India but we pray for that precious Indian family whose flight home to India left with out them. Our hearts were broken, but we left with a greater urgency and understanding of just how precious LIFE really is!

Psalm 126:3 The LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Homeward Bound!

Another blog by Amanda as we travel home today!! Homeward Bound

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I've got several blog posts about our time in India on the way. They are on paper and hope to get them on the blog later today. In the mean is another update from Amanda. :-) Aizawl

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The LORD finishes what He begins!

It's Monday night April 9th 2012 and we are watching Jonah's baseball game and he goes to bat....perfect stance...perfect swing....smacks the ball hard and we scream thrills of excitement and it comes to a screeching halt when we realize the best hit of the season lines drives the pitcher and he falls like a rag doll to the ground. Lying unconscious we inhale sighs of terror....knowing how this could potentially affect both the hitter and the pitcher. We carry the burden home as the pitcher drives off in an ambulance and no one knows the final injury diagnosis.

 It's now 2am and I wake with heart racing and I feel the nausea and know what's coming next. I run for the bathroom where I find myself on the floor in a pool of sweat fighting for consciousness.... Calling out to Jeff for help while he lay sleeping. I have no idea what is going on. After breathing hard in and out hoping for relief soon I find myself back in the bed from arms of love who carried me and I say out loud," this is warfare". I say it with certainty...this is going to bring good news of our getting Bella.

The next day I'm reading through my "read through the bible in a year" and my scheduled reading for the day is in Samuel. And the storyline is on Hannah begging God for a child. Ahhhh. Yes...I can relate to her anguish and I think to myself about last night and realize something is happening. I remember what comes next in the reading....a son is given to Hannah! Samuel. Not only that....I know even more exciting is that Samuel as a young boy and a servant to the LORD and hears the LORD's voice and says,"speak LORD for your servant is listening" At this moment even though I never expected it...I knew what the LORD was doing. He was finishing this adoption story exactly the way he began it.

Let me explain.

 In August of 2008 the following calling of adoption from God came:

" I was spending time with the LORD and was praying through 1 Samuel 3:9 where Samuel answered God and asked Him “to speak for His servant was listening”. I sensed the LORD say to me over and over, "listen to me". So, I began calling on God as Samuel did, to "Speak LORD for your servant is listening". I ask the LORD to tell me what was on His heart and for Him to share it with me. I sat in silence for what seemed an eternity waiting to hear if the LORD had anything that He wanted to say.

Then the words came to my heart, “open My word”. Not being a fan of playing bible roulette, I hesitantly opened my bible wondering if I had heard incorrectly. And there in the pages my bible had opened to was Psalm 99:1-9. The first verse that I saw was vs 6. You’ll need to read it: Psalm 99:6 Samuel also was among those calling on His name. They called to the LORD and He answered them. How bizarre is that? I sat there puzzled as I had just finished reading about Samuel and was also calling on the LORD myself and waiting for an answer. So, I backed up in that chapter of Psalm 99 and began to read the passages from the start.

The thing that captured me most in those verses was vs. 4. which says, “The mighty King loves justice”. Those words played over and over in my mind while I anxiously continued to listen for what the LORD wanted to say to me. I devoted the rest of the day to listen for God’s word to me when it finally came unsuspected later that afternoon while watching a orphan video and seeing Psalm 10:17-18 stream across the screen which says, Lord you know the hopes of helpless, surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them…..You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them.

When I read those words, I was totally stunned and it hit me like a ton of bricks….The Mighty King was wanting to bring Justice! THIS IS IT! This is what the LORD has wanted me to hear. This is what He wanted to tell me. I sat there and bawled like a baby for the longest time and then trying to compose myself I scrambled for the phone to tell Jeff what just happened. Could this be our answer? It has to be. Were we to be the vessels of His justice to the orphans? Yes!!"

You can find that entire blog on it here.

Fast forward exactly to February 2011 and we are reading our daughters child study report and we realize that she became orphaned the exact month and year (August 2008) that God gave us this calling through Samuel. God? NO DOUBT! And now the time had come. It was time to bring justice to Bella! I hop on Facebook and make a request for prayers for good news the next day knowing what God was doing.

The next day comes and I open my bible again to scheduled reading and I totally forgot what was next. 1 Samuel 7. It hits me again with pure excitement because I remember....last year on April 21st 2011....after our referral and thinking we would be traveling to see Bella in a short couple of months I got an extremely disappointing email from our agency saying there were delays and it could potentially be months before we could travel to pick her up. In tears that day I picked up my bible and read from 1 Samuel 7. In shock over what I just read I sent Jeff the following email:

"It doesn't EVEN surprise me that after receiving that disappointing news that my reading in the WORD would be in 1 Samuel (where our adoption journey began....and Samuel was among those calling on the name of the LORD and HE answered them!) that God would say to me these words in 1 Samuel 7:12.."Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah & Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”" He has indeed helped us thus far..and there is no doubt He will yet help us again! Ebenezer means....stone of help! Today...I’m raising my Ebenezer!!

Reminded today of Gods faithfulness and that He would indeed finish what He started as I read those verses again in 1Samuel 7 my hope was again restored that good news was on the way. And then...right then.....the phone's our agency with good news!! We can finally go and get our daughter!! So....we make travel plans in the next few days and I find myself packing my bags for our early morning trip to India the next day and the date is April 21st 2012!! Exactly one year ago to the day of our Ebenezer...The LORD indeed finished what He began.

Praise His holy name.

With Joy,
Psalm 126:3