Roger and I are so blessed to have so many friends who are praying for us, encouraging us and reaching out to us as we walk this adoption journey. I haven’t posted much lately because there hasn’t been anything new to report. We had a great meeting with Senator Corker and his staff in DC and we’re hopeful that they along with other offices are putting pressure on our government to fight to get all of the adopted kids home.
Many people ask how I am doing and I can honestly say that I’m doing well. That has not always been the case every day of this journey, but for the last month or so, I have felt a sweet peace that I know only comes from Jesus.
When Roger and I started this journey, we prayed every Sunday night for a year, asking the Lord to make clear to us whether or not we were supposed to adopt. We prayed about choosing an agency and the age range that we thought would work best for our young family. We prayed about what special needs we could handle, and how we could afford an international adoption. We prayed for a little boy we didn’t know.
Every decision, every piece of paperwork, every detail of this adoption has been covered in prayer either by us or by our friends and family. Never before in my life have I prayed so much or pleaded with the LORD for the same thing over and over again.
In those prayers, in those moments of pleading and asking for good and noble and just things, God is teaching me three things:
He’s teaching me to wait.
He’s teaching me to bend to His good and perfect will.
And He’s teaching me to be faithful in the little things.
- WAITING – I don’t like to wait. I’m not very good at it. Honestly, I think my kids are better at it than I am. I check my text messages at red lights, just to pacify me so I don’t have to sit and wait passively. I yell at my kids when they take FOREVER to get in the car. If you know Roger, than you know that it sometimes takes him a minute to formulate his thoughts before he speaks because he chooses his words carefully. And there are times when I rudely interrupt his thought process and say “YES… and???”. This adoption process has just magnified my impatience and impulsiveness. I check my email and adoption Facebook groups obsessively every day. I call my Congressional representatives multiple times a week for updates. I want information, I want movement, and I want to control it and make it happen. And I want it NOW! But as the months go by, I’m learning that my obsessive information hoarding and scheming doesn’t get me any closer to bringing my baby home. Nothing I have done, or will do, will ultimately change the situation. This journey has caused us to reflect a lot on the Old Testament, specifically, the Israelites time in the Wilderness. Their wait was LONG; 40 years to be exact. The funny thing is, God had purpose in their waiting. It wasn’t for naught. Yes, I believe that God wants Daniel to be in a family and He wants him to come home, but if I understand that He is good, than I also have to believe that there is good in the waiting.
Just like the Israelites, during this wilderness of waiting, God has shown Roger and me His protection, His provision and His preparation for what is to come.
Psalm 130:5-6 says “ I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchman wait for the morning, more than watchman wait for the morning.”
The psalmist is pointing out how the watchman have to endure the passing of time, in order to be relieved of their duties in the morning.
Roger and I are in a place where we’re trying to do more than just endure the passing of time, while we wait for Daniel to come home. God is showing us that this period of waiting is a time for us to gaze at Him, to know Him in more intimate deeper ways. We are beginning to understand in ways we never realized, how this life is really all about His story, not our own.
- Bending to His good and perfect will – I’ve always got a plan. I’ve had a plan for my life since I was a little girl. I love to write, and I especially loved my job when I worked for a marketing firm in Pittsburgh. I got to write speeches for a Fortune 500 CEO. But deep down, my greatest desire, after getting married, was to stay home and raise a family. I wanted a big family, with the children born close together so that they could grow up and become the best of friends one day. I always wanted a sister, so I was sure that I would have at least two girls, so they could experience that special bond that I felt like I missed out on. I must say, my life has been pretty charmed. I have a great husband (we’ve only had to do a few years of therapy to say that with sincerity), and I had all three of my biological kids in just under four years. Girl – Boy – Girl. What more could I ask for? We live in a nice home in a safe neighborhood and our kids attend a public school that could rival most private schools. I can’t argue with the fact that God has certainly given me “the desires of my heart”. But a funny thing happens when you’re a Christian., your desires morph and change, the closer you get to Him. We were just having lunch with some good friends after church, solving the world’s problems by discussing this very subject. What’s the difference between asking God to give us the desires of our hearts, and expecting Him to be a genie in a bottle who grants our every wish? I believe that’s part of the mystery of faith and prayers. Somehow, when we bend ourselves in His direction, He changes us and our desires. He gives us longings for things that are of Him, rather than simply of the world. I still want granite counter tops, a new master bathroom, crown molding, a new wardrobe, OH and a new car. I don’t think those things are bad, but I’m learning that my happiness, and my joy don’t come from those things. More than all of those things combined, I want my son to come home. But even that desire, is ancillary to my desire for God’s will to come first. Because I believe Romans 8:28 when it says “ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Again, I believe that God wants Daniel to come home, but if I force my hand, and like Abraham took Hagar, I take matters into my own hands, I can’t say that I truly trust him.
- Finally, He’s teaching us to be faithful in the little things. As we flip through Facebook and Instagram, we are bombarded with images of life’s big moments: engagements, weddings, births of babies, birthday parties, vacations, adoptions, airport moments, graduations, you get the point.
But every day life is really not that exciting. We wake up, wipe bottoms, make meals, referee fights between kids, cart the kids around, do homework, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day. Life can be pretty mundane.
Roger and I are learning more and more, that God meets us in the mundane. He’s there when I’m folding laundry, and saying no to the iPad for the 100th time that day. He’s there when my son forgets his water bottle at the zoo and we walk 3.5 miles back to the kangaroos to dig it out of the garbage can that the sanitation worker threw it in, and I’m spitting mad and have to apologize to my son in the car on the way home for my bad attitude, because the reality is that mommy forgets things too and we all make mistakes. He’s there when I listen to the silly, giggle filled stories from my 5 year old’s day of preschool. And He’s there when my oldest comes home from school and doesn’t understand why some girls are mean.
My kitchen is sacred ground. Our savior lives and breathes and walks this earth through little old me. And it’s up to me to seek His face, and to be faithful in the little things. To be emotionally present, and not thinking, “but when Daniel comes home, then I’ll be able to focus on them.”
1 John 4:11-12 says “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
I want it to be said, that I loved and trusted God and loved my children well, even when I didn’t feel like it. Even when I just wanted to crawl in bed and feel sorry for myself. I don’t get it right every day. I get it wrong a lot in fact. But I’m learning to be faithful in the little things, and I’m bending toward His will, as I wait.