Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.
If I said I haven't thought about giving up at one point or another I would be lying. That unwelcome feeling has come and along with it guilt in knowing that he'll be worth the wait and when I do see his face, I'll probably be mad at myself for ever thinking that! As I've said before, adoption is such a roller coaster of emotions and that is just part of it.
We have been on the waitlist officially 2 years as of yesterday but in this process for 3 full years. Crazy.
Honestly there really is no end in sight and things are worse than ever in Ethiopia right now with the adoption process being so very slow. They have implemented new policies and procedures and it is taking months and months to get your child home once you accept your referral. This process just looks very different than when we started it 3 years ago and never did we imagine it would take this long. It is especially not fair for the kids sitting in institutions without families, it's not fair for the parents who had to give them up in the first place, and it's not fair for the adoptive parents who desperately want to love them and give them a family.
I haven't updated much because there really hasn't been much to update. It is hard. It is tiring. And in all honesty it gets very old explaining to people that there is no news and no we don't know when we're getting our "baby" which is usually the question. I know people are well meaning, I do, and frankly I'm thankful they care to ask but part of leaving Raleigh and our adoption bubble is that loss of understanding in a way. It is just so different for a lot of people and they can't understand why in the world it would take years. Well guess what I can't understand that either! ha! I mean there HAS to be a 4 year old boy out there that needs a family right?!
Truthfully I have had a really bad attitude recently. It is surprising how different things will effect you at different times, like the feeling of being "behind." A lot of our friends have babies and we love those babies but that can be difficult to watch at times. We want to be young parents and it has been a process of letting go of our plans and what we thought we wanted things to look like and trust the Lord and his plans for our family. Never did I think we would be married almost 5 years and not have any children.Secondly, I feel like I've gotten a taste of what infertility is like. Now please understand I am not downplaying those who have experienced this or saying I know exactly what it is like if you have gone through the pain of infertility, I'm only saying that struggle, that want, that desire to have a child and you can't is I believe, similar. I did not expect those feelings to come along with adoption and I hope that the Lord can use what he has taught me through that to encourage someone one day.
The Lord has taught me so much about our desperate need for him, his character, his faithfulness and deepened my understanding of the gospel through this process. As with a lot of different experiences in life I'm sure, He has drawn me to himself in a way that never would've been possible without experiencing this. It doesn't mean things are great all the time by any means but it has changed me and I am forever grateful.
Adam and I had a great discussion recently. Just talking through my fears, worries, and concerns. Namely does it make sense to keep going given the current state of things?
Then last week the Lord wrecked me in the best possible way and at the best possible time.
I still like to listen to the sermons from our pastor in Raleigh, JD, and as I was catching up the next sermon was "Strong from Start to Finish-Staying Faith." Immediately I knew I was in trouble! He was preaching from Matthew 14 about Jesus walking on water.
He said, "You need to understand this so when storms hit you, you don't assume you're out of the will of God. Certain storms are part of the will of God for you, because God is not just doing something for you, he's doing something in you."
Here I am in the middle of a storm and sinking, losing my faith.
"When you make a decision in faith and it gets difficult, don't be surprised, you have an enemy that immediately goes to war against you, and God is trying to test your resolve and deepen your faith."
"the story in Matthew is not there to inspire us to actually walk on water it is to show us how to continue what we start in faith. Initial faith is not enough, we need staying faith and we find staying faith at the same place we found initial faith."
When I said, My foot is slipping, your steadfast love, O Lord, supported me.
"This sermon is about Jesus' faithfulness, Peter wants us to know that he is always close, when you call out to him, even if it's in fear from a lack of faith he helps.....our God is a God who will always be there to catch us, pick us back up, and lift us on top of the waves."
"Put your eyes and ears back on the things you were looking at when you first made the decision. You believed Jesus was trustworthy and you took a dare on him. You obeyed his command, and now things have gotten difficult. That does not mean that Jesus has left you or that you made a wrong decision. He is testing your resolve and trying to deepen your trust in him. Re-embrace his character, re-hear the command, and take the next step."
The Lord was speaking directly to me. I was in tears, broken over my lack of faith and not trusting him, but thankful that he knew exactly what I needed to hear!
Adam so wisely pointed out that Summit is the place where we were called to adopt and Summit was the place that we were encouraged to continue. So where does that leave us? Well the answer is yes we need to continue and until the Lord closes the door we will keep going, as painful as it is, and as long as it takes, asking for strength and endurance along the way. We are hoping and praying and asking that we see our sons face within this next year, and that the Lord will end our wait and Silas's soon.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they
shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.