We adopted Yemisrach, who is now six years old, in 2009. By 2011, I was asking my husband when we could start the process again. Much like labor, the pain and agony of the scary and expensive process was completely erased, and I was ready to do it again. In 2013, God put Jack in the place where he was ready to jump in, too, and within hours of him telling me (the third most exciting news ever) –that we could add to our family again– I had our application (already filled out, I sheepishly admit) in the mailbox.
That was one year ago. Our dossier was officially received on February 27, 2014, and the wait began for a referral. We have no real time frame to go by and since we are adopting from Haiti, a country whose adoption laws have went through major changes this year (all for the good), there aren’t any real guidelines to go by or other families to stalk and compare with in hopes our journey will be better or worse! In fact, I have purposely stayed out of the loop regarding other families, because every case is different and there’s just. no. telling.
But there are two things on my mind today regarding our adoption, two things I’d like to share.
One, God has been so awesome to keep me in peace and free from anxiety. He gave me this verse, from Exodus 33: “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” He said this to Moses, when Moses was freaking out about something and had said, “Lord, if you are not going to go with us, then please don’t send us!” And the Lord came in a cloud that hovered over the Tent of Meeting, and that was around the time Moses face started to glow after spending time in the Presence, too. I think the Lord answered that prayer exponentially for Moses, don’t you? That was exactly my prayer in starting this adoption. And He has really done it. My attitude has been, “Thank You, Lord, that someday I get to bring more kids into our home. I’m just happy to be in the process, do it Your way.” That has been a gift, and pretty different than how I felt in our journey to Yemi…I was a basket case!
But that brings me to the second thing. For one of the very first times, now that it’s been a year, and also as there have just been so few referrals coming out of Haiti this entire year, I was feeling discouraged. I was starting to feel frustrated that our kids (even though we don’t know who they are, probably our agency does) were getting older sitting in an orphanage. I started to think about paperwork and if they were going to ask us to change the ages of preference so that those children would still fit our criteria. I started to think about how those children must feel, wondering if there is anyone who wants them or at least anyone who is physically able to take care of them, wondering if a soft bed, enough dinner, a pet, a Christmas gift, a good school, or most of all parents were going to be part of their future. I wonder, Do they have hope? Do they know what I know- that they are daily prayed for, and sought after, and that many adults are working on their behalf to get them from where they are to where they can’t even dream of yet? Do they know I have empty picture frames waiting for their sweet faces, and that my heart has an empty spot, too, that will only be filled by them in God’s redeeming plan?
In this time of prayer and thoughts, I sort of said to myself, in an effort to ease some of the hurt, “Well, this gives me more time to fundraise, and get well, and get this or that figured out, and have more time with the kids we have.” All true. Totally fine. But my heart had made a major shift. I don’t like having to wait, sure, but I’m not sad and slightly angry and praying hard for ME, a mom waiting for her children. I’m sad and slightly angry and praying hard from the perspective of these children. Not a mom waiting for children…but children waiting for a mom. There’s a big difference. I can pretty easily calm the hurt as a mom waiting for her children, because I have a wonderful, purposeful, and hope filled life right here and now. But can I calm the hurt that I am choosing to share with those kids who are waiting for parents and safety and home and enough? I really cannot.
Adoption exercises the faith muscle in a major way, just like any time you see a child in need when you can’t do anything more than what you are already doing for them. We decide in that moment that we have no choice but to completely entrust them to the Lord and place them in His hands. When we let go of something that precious, that priceless, as innocent children, into the care of the Father (who gave us this love and fierce determination to rescue in the first place), that is faith– that is the bloody, tender flesh of faith. And it hurts. And it should. And it’s okay to hurt. It’s more than okay.
He sits with the lowly, is near to the brokenhearted. Of that, we can be sure…and so His presence, that I so cherish, must be with them as well. He will always be their home and their hope, not me. He is their answer, not me. So He is showing me that my most urgent prayer for my kids, or the kids stuck in the Congo, or even kids stuck in an abusive home or bad situation, shouldn’t be a cry of “get them to their forever family, Lord” but a cry of “Lord, bring them to You.”
He is at work in the waiting.