We have a special guest post to start this week from adoptive mom Jenn about the purpose and lessons in waiting. Be sure to check out her blog over at Pure and Lasting.
So here we are in our last stage of waiting for Maya’s adoption to be complete. It has been a long road. We applied to our agency, America World Adoption, on May 14, 2010. Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on November 19, 2010. Our estimated wait for a referral was 7-9 months. We waited 19 months to see her beautiful face. The wait was longer than we ever expected, but worth every moment.
This week, I got the sweetest message from a blog reader. She sent in her paperwork a few months ago and was asking for advice on the waiting stage. I thought I would share our experience here on the other side. When we decided to adopt, I read lots and lots of blogs. I ran across many blogs filled with posts bemoaning the wait, desperate to be on the other side of the wait. Chris and I had several conversations about waiting, waiting longer than we expected. We made a conscious decision to settle into the wait, snuggle up and accept it. Every time it got hard, we would remind each other (ok, HE would remind ME!) that this was a choice that we made, knowing that there would be a wait, knowing that there were so many unknowns and there was nothing we could do about it. Our daughter was in Ethiopia. It sounds so simple, but the way we waited was to just accept that we would wait. Deep down acceptance. Accepting what you cannot change. It is something Chris does so well and I have learned through this process. Don’t let waiting steal your joy. It is one of the many lessons that adopting has taught me.
We also believed that God had a plan for us and for our family. A plan that we did not know. So we had to trust. Either we believe God has a plan or we believe He doesn’t. There isn’t much middle ground. For us, we got the amazing, in-the-flesh, obvious proof that God had a specific plan for us through our trip to Ethiopia/Rwanda and Alain coming to live with us. If we had filled out our paperwork any sooner or if the waiting time had been any shorter, he would not be here with us. It makes me shudder just to think about it. Why we are waiting isn’t always so obvious, but I try to remember in those moments that I cannot see everything. What I think is not always what is best. What God has planned is better.
Waiting has a purpose in the process. Adopting a child is not always easy. Attachment is not instant. Bonding takes time. As parents, we have a lot to learn, to prepare for before our child is home. Waiting is vital to the process. Use this time of waiting to prepare your home, your family, your friends and your heart. Adding a child to your family will begin a new stage in your life, an amazing one, but a new one. Let me encourage you (and me!) not to forget to celebrate the stage that you are in now. The waiting isn’t to be overlooked or fast-forwarded. It can be celebrated. Spend more time with your spouse. Do new things with your children at home now. Visit your parents. Go on a mission trip. Talk to your friends and family about adoption and sponsorship. Keep busy with other things. Read. Learn. Live the life you have now, don’t waste today waiting. Be open to God changing you. I am certainly not the same person who filled out that application two years ago. My heart is transformed. My priorities have been rearranged. My desires are new. Embrace the wait.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
And because they are the two most beautiful children on the planet and worth EVERY MOMENT OF WAITING!! My sweet boy and his new sister. Melt my heart. This cannot truly be my life So blessed!! -Jenn