Monday, October 15, 2012

The Waiting

Over on "We Are Grafted In", readers have been invited to share their "waiting" stories.  This has come at an interesting time for me, because it was this time 6 years ago that we embarked on a journey that has kept us in waiting mode over & over, which has ultimately resulted in the transformation of our selves, our faith, & our family.

Joe & I have always loved children & had a heart for those without parents that could care for them.  In the Fall of 2006, we found ourselves taking steps on "those feelings" that God had planted in our hearts to bringing a child into our family through adoption.  Once our home study, training, & licensing was finished that December, we began the wait to be matched with an older child in the foster care system available for adoption.  That wait continued through two matches that fell through for reasons beyond our control.  It was so disappointing & frustrating.  You know, that "crying, I don't understand why this is taking so long, I don't want to do this anymore" kind of feeling.

As I look back in my journaling during this time (which I highly recommend for anyone so that you can look back & be AMAZED), I truly am amazed at how God was preparing our hearts.  In one entry, I wrote, "Lord, I do not know what the situation will be, but I ask that Joe & I would be secure in the knowledge that You do know & will equip us."  Many months later, we would find ourselves faced with circumstances never imagined...the need for a family to foster a newborn, premature little girl, only 2 days old at placement (did I mention we said we would NEVER do foster care?).

And so began a whole new phase of waiting that I, quite frankly, did not like.  It was gut wrenching, long, & HARD.  We didn't know from one week to the next whether she would be leaving or if she would be staying with us.  This went on for over 2 very emotionally long years, but the day came that she legally became our daughter.  In this time of waiting, I prayed & leaned on the Lord like I never have in my life.  I came to the realization very early on that no one on this earth could tell me how all this would turn out nor did I have one bit of control, but nothing was a surprise to Him.  So, daily I did my best to surrender, to trust, to learn, & to grow in this waiting.  Remember, I said I did my best, but I didn't say I did it gracefully!

But God.  I learned so very much about Him during this wait.  Even during the times I threw fits that could put the 2-yr-old tantrum to shame did not handle things gracefully, I realized God is the same.  He loved me even when I was weak, He taught me how to love others in spite of their human circumstances, He taught me where my strength & courage truly come from, & He taught me how to live in hope.  He taught me that faith & obedience are just plain messy sometimes, but He is there & wants to be the One to calm the inner storms of our hearts.

So, did I mention that this wait was hard? ;)  Yes, indeed, it was.  But you know what?  I AM SO THANKFUL!!!  Truly, with everything I have, I know that I know that I know that the Lord used this time of waiting to prepare me for the wild adventures He had in store for us (as well as new varieties of waiting!!).  Adventures that would have scared me once upon a time, but instead, we said, "Yes, Lord!" with a sense of confidence & anticipation that I know we would not have had if we had not had those two years of waiting in complete reliance on Him.  Again, I still don't always walk these paths gracefully, but His mercies are new every day, & I have the blessing of looking back at all He has done to gain the strength & courage to keep moving forward.

Just look at what the Lord has done in the past few years in His timing:

Worth the waiting?  Absolutely.  Without each unique set of waiting circumstances, we would not have found our way to the children that were already in our hearts that needed to be in our family, & we would have missed the opportunities to know Him more.

If you are visiting for the first time via We Are Grafted In, thanks so much for stopping by!  If you'd like to read more about each of our adoption testimonies (we have adopted through foster care, domestic private, from Ethiopia, & China Special Needs), here are some links:


Dana said...

Visiting from We are Grafted in. Thanks for sharing your story. And thank you for the work you do with wounded kids.

Rebecca said...

The answer to your question about our school room is a big fat NO:) It's a mess right now. But the bookshelves do make it easier to keep things organized. Soon I will be adding 3 desks from Ikea for Aidan Ansley & Ashlyn. Not sure how that's gonna work...
thanks for the prayers!
Hope all is well for you and all your cutie pies:)

Amie said...

Beautifully written, friend!!
<3 Amie

likeschocolate said...

What a gorgeous family!