After lots of prayer and research - and a little more prayer! - you've decided to start the adoption process! There's paperwork, fingerprinting, back ground checks, medical exams, home studies, safety checks, and training. But you know every effort you make - every step of the process you complete - is a step closer to your child being home! So you move forward with joy and anticipation. Finally, you get the e-mail you've been waiting for --- you are officially approved and the matching process has begun! You celebrate - this is it! All you have to do now is wait. Surely, this will be the easiest part of your journey! But... what if it isn't as easy as you anticipated? What do you do when waiting is hard?
Last week, I wrote about 4 things every waiting family should do. While it is important to accomplish things during our wait, we also need to allow ourselves to experience the journey. Our emotions are part of the way God created us. He made us in His image to experience joy, excitement, grief, and frustration. We should not permit our emotions to govern our actions, however, God can use them to demonstrate aspects of His character and draw us into deeper relationship with Him.
Throughout the initial phase of applying and getting approved for our first adoption, I had control over filling out paperwork, scheduling visits, and getting everything in order. Things went at the speed at which I worked - which, for the record, was one of the fastest approvals our agency had ever seen! When we shifted to the matching step of our journey, and the wait began, I found myself really struggling.
During our nearly year and a half long wait to be matched with our son, I was relentlessly expectant. I was convinced every phone call was our worker, and every child we inquired about I pursued as though they were already ours. I had high expectations - of myself, the system, and the process.
God taught me so much as we waited. Mostly, with the time that passed, His light shone more brightly, exposing all the things I needed to surrender. It became clear that my plans and expectations had become more important to me than His.
I chased so hard after the dream of bringing our child home that I sidelined chasing hard after the Dream Giver - Jesus. God, in His great mercy and fierce love, pursued me as I pursued the dream He'd placed in my heart. And when I finally realized His deep love for me - when I finally glimpsed the significance of His adopting ME into HIS family - I could surrender to His plans and timing.
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When the waiting is hard, we can call on the One who waited long for us. Our Father is not unfamiliar with waiting for His children to come home. In fact, He paid the greatest price - the price of His precious Son, Jesus - to adopt us while we were still far from Him. Before we recognized our need for Him, before we confessed our sin and brokeness, before we acknowledged His sacrificial love - He was longing for us to come home to Him.
When the wait begins to overwhelm our spirits and rob us of our joy, we can cry out 'Abba, Father!' and know He hears us.
Are you waiting for your child to come home? If you have ventured this journey before, what advice would you offer waiting families? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
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Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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