I’ll be honest, this post has taken a lot of warming up on my part to write. One of the hardest parts about this adoption wait has been opening up to others, which then opens me up to follow up questions, check-ins and well-intentioned but difficult to hear responses.
There are probably 3947385632098 things that this pending-adoptive mama would rather hear than:
“Are you STILL adopting?” or
“Just wait and see, you’re going to get pregnant as soon as the adoption happens!” or
“You should just use this time to learn about parenting since you’ll have to try harder to love somebody else’s child.”
Yep…didn’t make that last one up.
When Will and I began this adoption process, we knew with 100% certainty that it was where we were being led at the time. Through the word, through conviction, through several individuals speaking into our lives—we knew that we knew that we KNEW our next step would be to pursue adoption. Because we felt so completely led and determined that this was our path, we (especially I) turned this corner of our decision with full hearts and undeniable belief that since God was calling us to it, it was going to happen FAST. We heard our agency say the average wait was 18 months, but in my prideful mind I thought: “Yeah, but we are CALLED to this. There is no doubt that we will be matched sooner than that!”
Then the weeks went by. Then the months. Then the year. And there we sat, still pending on our agency’s website. Still having our profile book passed out to multiple birth moms a month and told “Nope, it’s not them.”
As we approach 16 months of sitting on the waiting list, I can shamefully say that it’s taken me THIS long to see the goodness in the wait. The glory in the heartbreak.
Let me explain– In my 28 years of life, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that I needed to 100% rely on God for anything. I believed in Him, sure, but I also believed that I got what I worked for. When I wanted to go to a good college, I worked hard and got good grades. When I wanted to start a garden, I read books about plants and prepared the yard. When Will and I wanted to buy a house, we saved our money and researched the market.
This work-based cause & effect bought me a false sense of control. I believed that God was good, but also thought that I had a pretty good handle on things myself.
It wasn’t until I felt the soul-crushing desire of a lost motherhood, the ripping apart of hopeful expectations, the heartbreak of an empty nursery and the isolation of friends who had moved on. It wasn’t until I sat alone in the silence of grief and threw tantrums at God, continually asking “why?”, that I truly understood the reason for the pain.
Without going through grueling hardships, we wouldn’t understand the greatness of our desperate NEED for God. If we were given what we wanted the second we asked, why would we need to rely on God through the storms, and seek Him as our refuge, our safe place, and our fortress? Although my heart often feels like it is breaking into hundreds of pieces, my soul knows that the Lord promises to be with me, to protect me and to work out all things for my good. Even if that means humbling my sense of self-reliance. Even if that means ripping treasures from me that I believed would give me ultimate fulfillment. And even if that means taking me through deep heartbreak and loneliness, in order to then take me to a spiritual dependence that I could’ve never reached had everything gone as planned.
Although my soul still longs for a child, even greater it longs for God. Because I. just. can’t. do. this. alone.
Sometimes the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want, but it doesn’t mean He isn’t answering.
In fact, I’m learning that oftentimes when God seems to be the most quiet, He is actually moving the loudest.