“There’s something about patience that God deems necessary for our life in the age to come and so, whether through agriculture or discipleship or bodily development or eschatology or procreation, God makes us wait”
I remember when I sat down to have the talk with my husband about adoption. We had talked about it lots in the past in the one day, down the line, but not yet sort of way. And it was always in my mind as something we should do.
But my view of it was small. Sure I understood its need in a chaotic world where children are discarded. I knew that it had great importance and value and I would commend anyone out there doing it. But for me, honestly, it was a last resort.
When we struggled to conceive we talked to an adoption agency because the reality was looking like we were not going to be able to do it on our own. But then something miraculous happened. I got pregnant. And so began our journey as parents. As the story goes number two came rather quick and soon we began to feel like the burden of infertility and I suppose even adoption was no longer our plight.
I still gave lip-service to the idea of one day, down the line, but not yet adopting. It’s just that my words rang hollow. Truth is, why would I need to adopt if it was clear now that I could conceive on my own?
We began planning for number three. Lets do it before I’m 30. That’s all that really mattered to me, just to make sure my baby-making was done before 30. And so the strategy was set.
But something deep down began to change in me. Something that was hard for me to articulate. For some reason our plan started to ware on me. It weighed me down. It made me feel like a liar. Because the truth is that I knew that if I were to bear another biological child, our so-called adopted child would never come. Or I should more accurately say, we would never come to him/her.
And if our intentions were at all sincere, why wouldn’t we just plan to adopt our third child? What exactly would stop us?
I started reading the fantastic book Adopted For Life by Russell Moore and…well…as it turns out, there was a reason all of my pregnancy plans fell flat. God was doing a work in my heart that I wasn’t truly prepared for. He shook me. And I mean…really shook me. I mean, staring at the ceiling for hours in the middle of the night…sobbing while reading…permanent knots in my stomach…kind of shaking. *And that is why I have included a few quotes from the book in this post.
“But all of us have a stake in the adoption issue, because Jesus does. He is the one who tells us his Father is also ‘Father to the fatherless’ (Ps. 68:5). He is the one who insists on calling ‘the least of these’ his ‘brothers’ (Matt. 25:40) and who tells us that the first time we hear his voice, he will be asking us if we did the same.”
My husband is a wonderful man and when we had our serious adoption talk, I was pushing on an open door. And so began our child #3 plans.
But so also began a series of being held over the flame type of testing for my weak soul to face.
I suppose the mere fact that the way my first two kids came into the world; being completely outside my perfect little plan should have made it easy for me understand that God would do the same with our third.
Somehow I still struggle with it in some ways.
“We get too comfortable with this orphanage universe, though. We sit in our pews, or behind our pulpits, knowing that our children watch “Christian” cartoons instead of slash films. We vote for the right candidates and know all the right “worldview” talking points. And we’re content with the world we know, just adjusted a little for our identity as Christians. That’s precisely why so many of us are so atrophied in our prayers, why our prayers rarely reach the level of “groanings too deep for words” (Rom 8:26). We are too numbed to be as frustrated as the Spirit is with the way things are.”
I don’t like to wait. I would like to complete our family unit soon, like now, before 30. And it is hard to watch all my friends conclude their families with their second, third, fourth or fifth child, while I just begin the process of hopefully completing mine. And it could take years. Somehow I feel infertile again as I wait and wonder and watch everyone else’s excitement.
It’s not easy receiving blank stare’s by a person who asks, “When is number three gonna come…its about time?” when I respond with, “I don’t know, we plan to adopt, so it’s in Gods timing.
Most people just smile and then change the subject, or say oh that’s nice and then change the subject or get awkward, ask a few short questions and then change the subject.
When someone announces a pregnancy, congrats is given, high fives are had and general excitement wash’s over the room. Questions run wild like, When are you due? Are you gonna find out the sex? How are you feeling? How did you find out?
When adoption comes up, people get strange. I think most of them just plain ol’ don’t believe me. I feel like they assume if they give it a couple of months, we will come out of this phase and then plan a pregnancy like the rest of the normal world. Excitement is certainly not displayed. But I don’t blame them because I have had to wrestle with this mentality also.
Is adoption the same?
Is adopting a child just as miraculous as birthing them?
Will Ben and Lucy really see an adopted child as their sibling?
Will I feel like their parent?
I believe whole-heartedly that the answer to those questions is, yes.
“Maybe such questions bothered me so much because they are being asked about me, all the time, within the echo chamber of my own fallen psyche and by unseen rebel angels all around. Are you really a son of the living God? Does your God really know you? Does this biblical story really belong to you? Are these really your brothers and sisters? Do you really belong here?…”
Yes. Yes they would be mine and I would be there’s. Yes.
So I am praying desperately that God will provide for this to become our reality. I ask you to please pray also. I want it so badly. Enough so that I am also praying I will not make this desire my idol. It is taking all the faith I have. But I believe we will one day complete our family in a way that only God can plan. I can be sure it wont be in my timing, but I know it will perfect.
And it will be a miracle when it happens.