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One of the hard days

September 5, 2011

Waiting. Every prospective adoptive parent is warned and warned and warned about the overwhelming and often frustrating amount of waiting that is involved in the adoption process. And it seems this waiting happens no matter which adoption road you take. With foster-to-adopt, there is waiting for court dates and blood tests and next of kin appearances. With domestic adoption, there is waiting for a birth mom to choose your family and waiting for the baby to be born to find out if the birth mom will follow through with her adoption plan. With international adoption, there is waiting for referrals, court appearances, embassy appointments and so much more. Waiting. It’s the name of the game in adoption no matter how you go about it.

I’d like to think that most days I wait patiently. This in no way means I wait perfectly. Goodness no. I am often tempted to worry about my child or unhelpfully imagine (read: fear) what circumstances he/she might be in, yet because God is gracious and kind, on days like that, the Spirit usually reminds me of truth from God’s word, that God is the creator and sustainer of all life and loves my child more deeply than I can even imagine. He knows exactly what he/she needs and is caring for them. What sweet comfort this brings. What I mean is that for the most part, again because of God’s grace, I am able to be patient as I wait for the phone to ring, letting us know we have gotten a referral. The Spirit has been so good to remind me that God’s timing is perfect and that we will know who our child is at the time and place God has ordained. He is a good God, faithful and loving. We can trust Him. Because of God’s kindness, I wait with eager anticipation yet peaceful contentment in God’s plan…. usually.

Today was not one of those days. Today I have been crying and crying, longing for my child and begging God to at least let me see his/her face (as in a referral picture). And how did I get to this point? It’s just been the week for it. This week, a sweet friend at church, who found out she was pregnant about the same time we began our adoption process, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. This week, a different friend, who found out she was pregnant a few months after we started our adoption process, saw the precious baby developing in her womb and found out she is having baby girl. This week, a woman I do not know but have learned a lot from, received her adoption referral from Ethiopia. I am absolutely thrilled for all of these ladies. I know God has been kind to bless all of them in these various ways. I praise God for his graciousness in giving them these precious gifts.

And yet hearing all this joyous news reminds me that we are still waiting. We still have no idea who our child is. We have no idea if our child is a boy or a girl. We have never seen our child’s face, never heard our child’s heartbeat. We have no idea when we will hold our child in our arms, when we will have to opportunity to feed her dinner or tuck him into bed at night. We have no timeline for when we will get to snuggle, kiss, hug and cuddle with our newest little one.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect the wait to be this hard. To my shame, I had assumed the wait was only hard for those who do not have biological children. I know that is awful. I’m so sorry for how careless and insensitive that sounds. It is terrible, and because my heart is sinful by nature, it is also true. I believed that because we already have two children, the longing involved in waiting would not affect us. I figured the time would just fly by, as with a second or third or fourth pregnancy, and one day we would receive the referral phone call and be surprised it happened so soon. How foolish. What I have found instead is that God has a lot to teach as as He makes us wait. I pray we learn well.

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