Some days we feel like we have it all figured out, things are in order, papers are filed, dealing with life. You get the picture.
Then there's a glitch in the plan. Or maybe in my case with my plan for life, lots of glitches.
We knew going in to international adoption, there could be a lot of glitches. There are always so many unknowns in adoption. But really, there are just so many unknowns in parenting.
In September 2005 our sweet little surprise baby went to be with Jesus. Before we could hold her or cry over her. Before we really knew she was a she. "She" would have been 8 years old this month.
When we had Thao in August 2006, we signed up for the whole deal. We nervously made it through the pregnancy. We spent hours staring at the perfection.
August 2008, we committed to raising Ava the same way. Parenting a biological child seems natural, obvious. You love them, you commit and you hope and pray for the best. You dream for them and about them. You protect them. You just love in every way possible.
After realizing how completely amazing our children were and loving the idea of having in the neighborhood of 1-10 more, we started wanting and praying for another baby.
(Sidenote: wanting 10 more children was probably more my idea than Jeff's)
This was followed by several months of trying. This left me sad and confused. We didn't do anything different. We were just as healthy. Nothing was different. After our first miscarriage, I was scared and sad and really lonely. I felt like I was the ONLY ONE EVER to go through such a terrible loss. I had dreamed of being a mom from the time I could remember. I wasn't even sure I could get pregnant but this little one gave me hope. An unplanned, surprise little glimmer of hope. But this was different. It seemed like I couldn't get pregnant.
Oh, but I did. Twice. Both pregnancies ended in miscarriage. We were just so sad. It just didn't make sense to us. Should we even try? These babies were so real to us and we needed to grieve. Most of all, we needed to allow ourselves to grieve.
After much research and prayer, we actually got pregnant again in October 2010. For us, we felt like this was our last try. I just didn't feel like I could handle any more.
(Sidenote: Sometimes I laugh at myself.)
But this time, even through a couple of scares, Liam made his debut in July 2011. A blessing for sure, my prayer for this pregnancy was that he would be exactly what our family needed. It's true.The Lord has answered that prayer. He has truly filled a gap in our family, he is comforting and sweet and reminds us so much of his big brother.
In a big way, I feel like I fought for my Liam. We could have given up, but the Lord didn't have that in mind. It would have been easier to guard our hearts and not go through that loss again. But we would have missed out on so much. I am so thankful we took that chance.
Why am I sharing all this and how in the world does it relate to our adoption?
When we accepted our referrals, we accepted these children to be our children. We committed to love them, to fight for them and to wait for them.
Every adoption and every pregnancy is unique. This adoption has taught us so much. We've seen answered prayers, miracles, blessings and above all, love. If you could only imagine seeing your child for the first time, after praying and waiting for years, whether biological or adopted, there is a love that is unexplainable. A forever love that fights, hopes and dreams. A love that only meekly compares to the love that Christ has for us. But a great love, nonetheless.
There are a few things I know.
There is hope.
Trusting God isn't always easy.
Love is patient.
So, when we accepted these children as our own, I started praying for a parental love for them. A love that goes beyond explanation. A love that only comes from Christ.
I thought I loved them when I saw their little pictures in the referral. I loved the idea, the plan. But, then as time went on my love for them grew. I loved them... I mean I thought I loved them. And then when we met them. Well, there was this immediate love for them, that I didn't know wasn't there before.
(Sidenote: There was also this intensity of feeling helpless and weak and unqualified to care for these two beautiful children. Undeserving, yes. Willing,yes. I'm not sure how that adds up.)
And we've been patient. I feel like we've been really patient. I almost pride myself in it.
We've had lots of good news and some glitches.
All this to say, we started this journey fully aware of the unknown. We want to prepare for the worst, hope for the best and pray for God's will. We've been transparent with the process. The program has had many changes since we started, but we are trusting God. We know He led us here, but we don't know how it ends. We know these two little ones are ours. The reality is, they are living in a disease ridden third world country. We are trusting that God will guide us through this process, no matter the end. We've committed to these children as our own and we are praying them home.
We are asking you to pray with us. We are so close, yet so far. Please pray specifically for Crusoe's health. He is sick, but he is getting medical care. As we wait for the government here to issue visas and the government there to issue exit letters, we are faced with the reality that it may take a few weeks or a few months to get it all together and that we may not get to bring them both home at once. This reality is just hard.
We are trusting in God's timing.
But sometimes it's just hard to understand.
And sometimes I don't think we are supposed to.
So we trust. And we pray.
And we continue to be thankful:
We have the technology to receive regular updates.
We had the funds to visit them. They know they have the love of a family waiting for them.
They are in foster care, with a family that truly cares for them.
Crusoe is receiving the medical care he needs.
We have hope and comfort in Christ.
We have the loving support and prayers of people like you.
When we see the glitches as a bad thing, God uses them for good. I can't see the BIG picture. I don't know the end of the battle, but I know who wins the war.