Friday, February 3, 2017

Waiting


But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles; 
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

I'm trying to walk these days, but mostly I want to sit in front of a computer screen and search waiting Child lists for my daughter. I want to call the adoption agency yet again and see if there is anything they need from us. Just checking. Again. And, if I'm completely honest, what I really want to do is get on a plane to China and just bring home a little girl. Our daughter. My children's sister. Because I don't want her waiting any longer. 

That is what is at the crux of the matter. I knew adoption was a marathon, not a sprint. I knew after the flurry of paperwork and home visits that we would wait. I am mildly prepared for that. But, I was not prepared to think that we have a child out there somewhere who is waiting for us. This thought had never occurred to me in such a tangible way before. If she is born yet, she is likely in an orphanage. This means her crib is likely pushed up agains other cribs. She likely spend a lot of time every day in that crib. By herself. When she cries, there is not someone who rushes over to see what she needs. There is not a person who is trying to figure out what her favorite things are, how to comfort her, what kind of person she is growing into. There is not someone taking pictures of her to paste in a baby book and looking forward to looking at it with her to tell her, "This is you on the day you took your first step." There is not someone reading her stories at night or praying over her as she falls asleep. 

There are nannies who feed her, change her, play with her when they can. There may be nannies who love her, favor her over others, read to her, and maybe even someone that prays over her. But, they know they will not be there to see her grow up. They know she is not theirs. So their relationship is different by necessity. 

This is heartbreaking. And when my heart feels like it cannot take it anymore, I try to remind myself the God I serve is "Father of the fatherless" and He is with her even though I cannot be. (Psalm 68) He knows her. He sees her. And He has called us to her, because He loves her. 

And so our family waits. 

We pray for our sister as a family and individually. We pray because that is all we can do right now. 

We jump a little every time our phone rings, hoping it is the call from CCAI. And, we wait some more. 

And, we pray some more. We pray that God would comfort her when we cannot. We pray that He would give us patience and strength to endure the waiting. We pray that we can continue to walk this path and not grow weary in the waiting. We wait and we pray. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

God Called . . . We Answered

Ever since I was a little girl, I thought I would adopt. I would say I dreamed of adopting, but that is not the right word  choice. It makes it too romantic. It wasn't. It was just something I figured I would do. Don't get me wrong, I did romanticize adoption. I am sure I still do, but what I am trying to convey is that in a very practical sense, I always thought I would adopt.

I grew up. Met Rustain. We got married. Went to school. A lot. Then, we had our first baby, a little girl. Then, our second, a little boy. And, finally another little boy. We were blessed with being able to get pregnant easily and with healthy babies. Pregnancy wasn't easy on me. As anyone who knowns me is well aware, I had hyper-emesis. In simple terms, it meant that from about two weeks pregnant on, I threw up. Pretty much all the time and everywhere. Maybe pregnancy wasn't pleasant, but my babies were healthy, and after I had them, so was I.

Our life is busy and full. We homeschool a first grader, a five year old, and a three year old (who insists on doing his schoolwork), we have a lot of family and friends we see frequently, we read, we play outside, we go to parks and the zoo and museums. We love God and love our church. I have way too many craft projects going at a time. We have a dog and two guinea pigs and want more animals.

But, there's still an unfilled spot in our family.

Last year, I asked Rustain to just pray about it, and I prayed for God either to take the desire from my heart if that was not His plan or for Him to give Rustain a strong desire to adopt. And, after about a year of praying and waiting, God answered loud and clear. He had never taken away my desire to adopt, and one night Rustain told me he felt like we should adopt someday, and my heart leapt with joy! But, it was still "someday."

Then, we moved. Rustain started a new job. We bought a house and started unpacking, and Rustain told me in the midst of boxes, packing paper, and lots of mess, "I think we should start pursuing adoption now."

So we did. We pursued it like we were running a sprint. We researched agencies, talked to anyone that would answer us, and prayed. And, in the span of about a month, we had an agency picked out, an application completed, a check written, and an email back saying our application had been approved.

We believe we have been called to this, and are trusting God to fill in the gaps, because we know we are inadequate for this. Really, just like parenting, we fall short. But, we have a God who is bigger than our failings, and we believe is leading this endeavor.