Adoption’s Bad Words: ‘Wait’ and ‘Patience’

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“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them…†Mark 10:14 

If you’re considering adoption, or have been through the process, you’re probably familiar with Jesus’ words in this passage. Maybe they’re even highlighted in your Bible app or scribbled lovingly on a journal page as a reminder of how much children matter to God – and by extension, how much He expects of us to care for them.

No doubt one of the hardest parts of adoption is all the downtime. The mountains of paperwork can be tedious, but at least there are things to do. You can chart your progress as the forms come in and the fees go out. But waiting – waiting, waiting, waiting! – to learn who your child will be is flat out exhausting. Waiting means no work on your part. It means an indefinite amount of patience when your supply always seems to be at a critical low. Here all the focus shifts from your hands to God’s. It’s humbling to feel how tiny you really are. 

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And with the waiting comes a powerful temptation to assume God is dragging His feet and needs you to take things over. Perhaps He wants you to tell Him who should join your family? What country they should come from? What special needs you can manage? What tiny tweaks would streamline this whole crazy process? If this is where you are right now, drained and a little beat up, stop. Breathe. Listen to your Master’s words one more time: 

“Let the little children come to me.†

In other words, hands off. Sit on your hands if you must. Give them all over to Him, this massive, broken world and its hurting children. We feel like we’re helping when we volunteer ourselves for heroic tasks, but what sounds to us like selflessness sounds to God like spiritual pride. I’m guilty here, too. I’ve prayed for permission to adopt children God never led me to, all in hopes of speeding Him up and getting His attention. The answer comes back to me, time and time again, “Not yet. Keep waiting. I know you’re there.†

If you’re tired, sneak off alone with Him and open up your hands. Waiting with nothing to do gives you time for that. That’s the blessing in all this. You’re expressly invited to come right to Him – you’re His child, too!

By Andrea Edin
America World Adoptive Mom

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