Saturday, February 14, 2009

Learning to Wait Upon God

"And they lived happily ever after"...these are words that we all love to hear at the end of a story. There is such a tremendous let down when things don't go the way we had hoped they would go. Our family grieves along with each of you over the disappointment of Misha not being adopted into our family. Like each of you, we dreamed of a different ending. We are very sorry to have played a role in bringing about this disappointment.

There are many questions, that for the sake of discretion cannot be answered. Not addressing these questions leaves our family in a bad light. My flesh would love to defend ourselves, but I must leave it to God to make all things right. I have peace that our testimony belongs to God. If it is His choice to allow it to be tarnished then we will praise Him. God can be glorified in many ways.

Why did God allow us to raise all the money if He never intended for us to adopt Misha? Why would He allow a family who sincerely desired to help someone in need be humiliated and bruised? Why would He not show His wonderful power in this situation? For the moment, only God knows the answer to these questions. The only comfort I can offer is that our family has a perfect peace over our decisions. The struggles we have been through have only served to draw us closer as a family.

Sometimes it is very difficult to wait on God. To wait on answers to the questions we don't understand. To wait on Him in coming to our defense. To wait on seeing how all this will work together for His glory. So many times I have felt myself wanting to rush ahead of God by making things happen or taking matters into my own hands.

My passion for history has helped me see the mistakes of others who have lived before me. We Christians will say that God is in control, but when situations arise that require us to wait, our actions begin to reveal that we really don't believe this. We began rushing ahead and creating disharmony among our brothers and sisters. We can make such a mess out of something that God was just allowing time to marinate for a savory delicacy. No wonder the church is in such a mess today.

In an attempt to save something that we thought was so important to God, we might begin abusing others or lashing out in anger; to the destruction of something so much more valuable to Him. The fruits of the Spirit! It is by these fruits that the world will see that Christ is truly living in us. What are the fruits of the Spirit? Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. The opposite of walking in the Spirit is to walk in the flesh; which is simply acting upon our impulses. Romans 8:13-14 "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

I encourage each of you to learn to wait upon the Lord. God will make all things right. He never loses control nor will He put on us more than we can bear. We rejoice in knowing that one day, we all will be allowed to see, the marvelous way that God has worked all things together for our good.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Explanation

As of today, days after our original deadline of Feb. 9, we still have not received the necessary paperwork back from the government. Therefore according to one of our original fleece, God did not allow the paperwork to be completed by the deadline.

From the beginning we asked that IGAO interview other families while we were seeking God's Will of our adopting Misha. We wanted Misha to be given every opportunity before his time ran out. As the deadline approached, it became clear to us that Misha didn't really want to be a part of our family. Therefore we made the decision to release him before more of our donors money had been unnecessarily spent.

As I've mentioned before, Misha did many things in the orphanage that he was clearly told would not be allowed in our home. The first week with us, we sat him down with Google Translate and told him that alcohol, smoking, pornographic movies, and rock music were not things he could have in our home. We asked him if he wanted us to get the organization to find him another family. He told us that he wanted to stay in our family and that he could give those things up.

Parenting biological children is difficult within itself, but guiding a child who comes with tremendous baggage really begins to take its toll on a family. Add to those stresses, long hospital stays, discovering my only sibling had cancer, a mother with Alzheimer's, and is it any wonder that when we went for our adoption physicals my blood pressure was dangerously high. My doctor told Philip that the stress I was under was not good for me and that he highly recommended that we not pursue the adoption.

We were haunted with thoughts of what would happen to Misha should he not be adopted by us. Many sources had told us that because of the severity of his handicaps it would be very difficult for him to be adopted if we didn't do this. We began crying out to God for answers.

Misha began challenging our rules and refusing to obey. Through a Russian interpreter, we had it explained to him that it wasn't up to him to question our standards but to decide if he could obey them. It was made clear to him that if he could not obey, he would not be allowed to stay in our family. Once again he said that he would try, but daily he continued to challenged us. This bothered us because we were only weeks away from the adoption being completed. One would think, that he would want to be on his best behavior. Then the day came when he set his will completely against my authority and refused to obey. I gently reminded him of the consequences and gave him time to reconsider, yet an hour later he still refused to submit. He then proceeded to tell us that he hated our stupid rules.

Philip and I have never desired to force our standards on another person. We have patiently tried to help a child that does not know what good is. Yet, we also have other children we must consider. We have dedicated our lives to protecting our children from influences that would lead them away from God. We do not feel that letting Misha go means that we have abandoned him. Actually, he is the one who made the decision. It is he that has rejected us.

We have begun the process of returning the money donated for Misha's adoption. Money sent to IGAO is beyond our control and therefore is non-refundable. Money collected on the "Chip In"was placed in a special Paypal account for Misha and Paypal allows a 60 day refund without penalty. When we realized that the adoption wasn't going to take place we immediately credited those accounts that fell within 60 days so that we could keep from incurring more loss. We also returned any checks that we were still holding that hadn't been deposited. As it stands, we have all but about $3,000 that we can immediately return to our donors. The remaining $3,000 will need to be sent in increments over the next few months.

IGAO has pleaded with us to give them your names and information so that they can contact you directly, but we do not feel at liberty to do this.

For the moment, Misha still abides in our home as we wait for necessary paperwork to be completed in transferring him. As a family, we are trying to make our remaining time with him as memorable as possible. Please pray for us because this has become very difficult.

When Satan is so hard at work to destroy, we believe the body of Christ needs to fall more heavily upon their knees. It is clear that he is working mighty hard to keep something wonderful from happening. The marvelous news is that he has already been defeated. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Even though he has been defeated we Christians still have a human responsibility in our daily actions. Simple losses of integrity can leave the testimony of God's children blemished before the world. Philip and I believe that God has placed us in this position of humility and failure for a purpose. We have wondered if that purpose could simply be a test of our integrity. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the holy Spirit and tried to cheat God and his people. They were destroyed. Philip and I do not want to make the same mistake. We desire that God be glorified even in the middle of this messy situation. We joyfully surrender our losses for the sake of His glory.

Thank you all again for the beautiful testimony you each have been.

We love you dearly,
Philip and Melissa

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Urgent News!

Our family would like to thank you, once again, for your willingness to help us adopt Misha. However, events beyond our control have prevented this from happening.

We realize that a shadow of disappointment may engulf many of you as it has us. It was easy to see God glorified as we all watched people unite and sacrificially share, to help us adopt Misha. For the moment, a cloud prevents us from seeing the light of God and His purpose in this situation.

Through the years, we have found peace in reflecting on the fact that God never loses control. He knows the future and every circumstance needed to bring Misha to an understanding of Him.

We hope God allows us the opportunity to keep you informed about Misha's progress on our blog (

May God richly bless you all,
The Johnson Family