Sleepless nights! I think I just had my first adoption-anxiety-filled night. And now I am exhausted! Adam and I had planned to spend some time this weekend working on our adoption paperwork, of which there is much. So on Friday night, we put on some comfy clothes, ate dinner at home and then got down to business.
The girls working hard!
We sat in the office (and future baby room) for HOURS answering questions and writing our autobiographies. And we are not even finished. While it was a ton of work, it felt so good to be doing something, and answering all of those questions really turned on our insight to why we want to become adoptive parents. It was also very interesting to work on my autobiography. Talk about being thorough; it is seventeen pages, typed, single-spaced. Yikes! I had been working on it for several days, about a week, and I was able to finish it on Friday night. I have not spent a lot of time reflecting back on my childhood and upbringing, but I had to in order to answer the questions I was being asked, and I ended up really enjoying thinking back on fun memories with my mom, dad and sister.
Anyway, we finally called it quits around midnight, and I was feeling very tired, so I had high hopes for a good night of sleeping ahead with nothing to wake me up early the next morning. At around 12:45, I was still wide awake. I could not get my brain to turn off. At 2:00, my eyes were still wide open, and it felt like my mind was moving at warp speed. I think that because we are so early on in the process and there is still so, so much ahead of us that I was feeling completely overwhelmed by the entire thing. And so on Friday night and on into Saturday morning, my mind was trying to cover too many things at once. I was jumping from idea to idea without actually accomplishing anything. I tried to tell my brain to be quiet, but it would not listen. So there I was, laying in my bed, exhausted, but feeling like I had just downed a triple espresso on an empty stomach. What could I do?
I prayed. A lot.
Now, please do not think I am some super holy person whose first inclination is always to pray. I wish I was that way, and I have a feeling that, through this whole process, God might be working on turning me into a person whose first reaction is to pray. But on Friday night/Saturday morning, it was only after a few hours of hopeless fretting that I turned my focus and attention to God. I began to ask Him to calm my heart and to fill me up to the brim with His peace. I confessed my anxiety to Him, my worry about all of the snags that could happen during our adoption process (many of them completely out of my control). I told Him about how desperately I want to be a mom, how I feel like this is the thing that I was made to do. I thanked Him for calling us to adoption, for the blessing that our little angel will be in our lives. I asked Him to show us His glory through this process. I pretty much poured my heart out right there in bed with Adam sleeping soundly only a foot away. And I realized two things. First, I am so glad that God already knows my thoughts and worries, because I was praying so fast that I am not sure my own tongue could have kept up with my mouth had I been praying out loud. And secondly, I am so very grateful that we serve a God who loves us, who waits up with me at night while I stubbornly try to sort things out on my own, because He knows that a few hours later, I will turn my heart to Him and cry out for His help and His love.
I don't think I ever got to the "Amen" of my prayer that night, because I talked to my Heavenly Father, and He answered. He filled me with His peace, and He quieted my troubled heart, and He calmed my anxious mind. And then it was morning and the sun was up. I fell asleep still talking to Him, and I know He was awake long after our conversation was over.
So while I do not relish the idea of spending nights tossing and turning in bed because I am filled with worry and anxiety, I am beyond grateful that we serve a God who loves us deeply, more deeply and more fully than we can ever imagine, a God who does not leave us to figure it out on our own. On the contrary, He asks that we give Him our worries and our troubles. He longs to carry these for us, because He knows that we cannot do it alone. It is an overwhelming thing to consider: The God of the universe, the Creator of all that there is, wants to, longs to, desires to take on our burdens. Why? Because He cares for us. He loves us. He loves you, and He loves me. And it is not just with a generic "oh yeah, God loves everyone" kind of love. It is so much more than that. He loves you with a personal love, a love that is specific and unique to you, and He loves me with a personal love, a love that is unique to me.
That truth will knock us off our feet if we let it.
"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." I Peter 5:7