If I am being honest, this is a post I have been avoiding having to write. . .as sometimes no news, kind of feels like no news. : )
We've had lots of questions of late from friends and family sweetly inquiring how things are going, our latest numbers and anxiously asking how soon.
We are beyond blessed by the support we have around us and even more importantly, the prayers I know, without a doubt, are being lifted up on behalf of our family and our child.
If I have been vague, short and avoident, thank you in advance for your grace.
It has been a raw, hard, and stretching few months of our wait.
I don't post too much about timelines, but this coming august will mark two years of waiting and two year and 9 months since we signed our first contract with our agency answering the call we knew God had placed on our hearts.
And while we knew, fairly early on, this wait was going to stretch beyond what we thought it would, I don't think we ever thought we'd be sitting where we are today, still waiting.
I know the truths.
God called us to this. This wait does not change that.
He is using this for His glory and our good. That has been made clear time and time again as I see my need for further growth and refining and see God walk our family through different circumstances all these months.
God is using this for our child; whether that is in changing parameters or important pieces of our child's story. I don't doubt I will someday look back on the bits and pieces of our child's journey and see that God was weaving our stories together in ways I didn't see. And I have been praying so fervently that God uses this time to bless our child's birth family. Whether that is in speaking to their heart of His love or just pouring blessing on whatever time they have with their/our child.
I know all that. I believe that. I claim that.
And yet the truths, while real, don't change the fact that the months of late have been raw . . . as amidst all those truths, as an entire family we feel the very real absence of our child and brother/sister.
The girls express it alot lately, which both blesses and pains me all in one. As they watch several people dear to us excitedly anticipate the arrival of their babies, they naturally desire that for our family. This wait is hard to understand on its own, much less when you are (almost) 6 and 4. Especially when you long for a little brother and sister.
I've seen God move Ryan's heart and reach out in ways that tells me our whole home is ready to grow.
And lets just say that those emotions that sit right under the surface of a momma near the birth of her child?
I'd say that has been a fairly accurate description of myself as well of late. :)
I think one of the things that is hardest of all this is the availability amidst the waiting. . . and amidst need.
We know there is a need. Our waiting doesn't change that.
We know we are available. Empty bed, rooms and arms make that clear.
We know we are available to children many aren't.
And yet loopholes, red tapes, circumstances and a corrupt world/system stand in our way.
We've seen friends start and complete adoptions in our wait. We've seen children carried and born and more on the way.
And yet we wait. . . and God has challenged me in my trust of His faithfulness and provision and choosing joy in that wait.
At the end of May, in the email we anticipated our monthly numbers, our agency shared they would no longer be dispersing numbers to waiting families.
Between the large amount of waiting families, slow movement, and the fact that the numbers system was an inflated system at best, it was no longer a wise use of their time as they seek to be available to the families they are serving.
It doesn't change the movement, and we will continue to get updates of referrals as they go out. But in terms of an "official" number, those will no longer come. Overall, it wasn't hugely surprising to me and I think they're wise in making that decision.
What I hadn't anticipated is how hard that has been to communicate this to those around us as I see their response to that news and the reality of how slow things are moving hit those we love. It's not fun to share what feels like another point of delay. And whether or not they intend to, you see the questions in their eyes and minds regarding the program, our adoption and our future with our child as I, myself, experience all those from time to time.
God knew these months would come.
This past year in BSF we walked through Genesis. God showed me person after person who loved Him, sought Him, and obeyed Him through incredibly long periods of waiting for the fruition of His call on their lives. Periods of waiting much longer we have known. I studied some who waited well. Some who didn't. I saw questions, doubts and the ups and downs of their journeys of faith.
I saw me.
God gave me a gift in that I could also see the other side of their stories. I could see Him working in their lives. Their families. Their futures. I saw the blessing of grabbing hold of Him. I saw the consequence of taking control and choosing immediate fulfillment over God's awaited provision and letting fears win. I saw the blessing of relationship with Him beckoning in the wait and experienced at the end of waiting well.
And so that has been our prayer. That we can grab hold of the blessing in this wait. That I can rejoice with others for whom God is moving swiftly in answer to their prayers and their adoptions and growing families. That I can find joy and thankfulness for what He IS doing right now in the life of our family. And that I can have the faith to trust Him with the remainder of the wait and our journey.
Our timeline does not change His call.
There have been many detours we have prayed over and placed before Him. Each time He has said stay. There have been waiting children inquired over and prayed over and God has said "no." "Stay," "Wait," and "Trust" seem to be His repeated words thus far and so we stay, wait and seek to trust.
Our timeline does not change His faithfulness.
This past week has been a week of doubt if I am being honest. Doubt in His finishing this and doubt in His provision. And just like He has every time I have found myself in a similar place, He reminded me of His faithfulness through someone we love; who in an unexpected and simple text reminded me He has not forgotten us in this.
I was reminded that He is still paving ways. That HE is one who will be faithful to complete this. That He is the provider and redeemer in every way of this journey. That He still moves mountains at just the right time.
Our timeline does not change His goodness.
I would love to have a miraculous, knock off your socks amazing story to share right now that can be tied up with a bow of how our adoption went (even though we know it is a continually written story long after home coming). There seems to be a theme sometimes in this world that "quickly" means His blessing and "delay" means a lacking of it (or maybe it is just me right now that seems to hear/see that). : ) Our world likes stories that can wrapped up with a bow - hey, I like them. : ) Yet God is showing me, little by little, that we are walking within a miraculous, knock off your socks story that is more beautiful for us all BECAUSE it isn't wrapped up with a bow.
Because in its painfully slow and stretching weaving, He is appearing. In the grace for another day, in the ability to rejoice for others, in the choice to trust and praise Him now. Considering that because of this slow weaving, He can be seen as our strength and be glorified in our weakness? As I sit there and consider, THAT is what is beautiful and miraculous. He is good for that alone.
Our agency will still send us monthly updates of referrals that have gone out as well as the date that each adoptive family's dossier was approved with that referral. Because of this, and because of my agency's tightly knitted facebook group, we will still have a fairly clear idea of where we are at in terms of the "list."
I was prepared to be ok with just this for ourselves but as I haven't posted regular updates, I've realized how much our numbers have helped friends and family keep up with our journey. Even though they don't fully predict when we could receive our referral, they help document our journey for our future child and for our girls.
Because of this, I have decided to take the time to try and keep up with our numbers as best as I can. Our numbers have always been skewed in that throughout the list there has been "bubbles" of families on multiples lists (both boy and girl for instance) and with different age/special needs parameters. My ability to keep track of these numbers will at time be as good as the families I am aware of in regards to our place on the list. So there is a high likelihood that the numbers I post may be off by one or more number. But I have decided it is worth it.
I want to continue to allow those we love to walk this journey with us. I've done a poor job of it these past six months just as this journey has gotten more vulnerable and I also suppose you could say, as self protection. :) But we need your prayers in the mountain tops of this journey and in the valleys too. And we never take those for granted - I know they have sustained us this far.
And so our may numbers are our first of my own calculations. The praise comes in that May, several referrals went out. And yet through them we walked the lost referral of sweet friends of ours too. So even as we pray for our journey, we pray for theirs too and God's faithfulness to be know in their story as well.
And since the timeline question is one we receive alot of, I will share what my response is each time it is asked:
At this point, it could as likely be only two more months as it could be two more years. And so you quickly see the need for prayers as we seek to live life and serve amidst a very unpredictable wait. : )
So thanks for sticking through my ramblings. Thanks for sticking in this journey with us. Thanks for how often God uses each of you to remind us of God's goodness and His faithfulness in our journey. Thanks for holding us up.
He is GOOD.
Without further ado . . .
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. "For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit."