It has been wonderful to see all of these referrals going out this month. Few things make me happier than seeing children matched with their families. And, of course, all of this means we are getting closer to seeing our little ones, as well. So we have much to celebrate this month, and I will circle back to that in a minute. But all of this movement is the first of its kind this year.
Let me explain.
If you have been following along with us here for a while, then you know that 2013 has been sloooow in the way of referrals. It seemed like each month we were moving one or two spots. Just dragging. It was pretty much exactly the opposite of what I had been praying for and expecting. You see, 2012 was an extremely difficult year for us. We had a lots of bad news and heartache last year, and so I had been looking forward to 2013 as a new beginning of sorts. I just knew that we would have our little one home before we closed the books on this calendar year and that the arrival of this sweet one would mark the beginning of a new phase for us.
Well, that has not happened. In fact, the first half of 2013 brought the slowest movement we had seen thus far on the adoption waiting list. And there was nothing we could do about it. Everything was (and still is at this point) completely out of our hands. I felt like all I could do was watch in sorrow as month after month slipped by and we barely inched our way forward. Sadness and despair consumed me. The month of May, the month when I had prayed and prayed that we would receive our referral, came and went and we were sitting at number 55. Nowhere near seeing our babies' faces. I began to feel myself sinking. It was a terrifying feeling. I wanted so badly to be strong, to rest constantly in the assurance that God was and is sovereign over all of this. Yet I found myself struggling.
Has that ever happened to you? You know who God is and that He has promised to never leave you or forsake you, and yet you find yourself feeling very much alone, lost and confused? That is where I was. I know who God is. I know what He is capable of doing. But it seemed like He wasn't doing it. Instead, it seemed like He was allowing things to drag on at a barely noticeable speed.The result was me feeling very lost. I reasoned that we had done what God asked, so He should make a clear, straight (and short!) path to the end result. That has not happened.
Instead, we find ourselves on this long, winding path with no clear and definite end. And for so long I have missed the significance of that, the fact that all of this has the ability to strengthen and deepen my faith. I was spending all of my time being sad, even angry. Sometimes I still am. This is hard for me. All of this is so very hard for me. I seem to lack the ability to compartmentalize my life. Adam will tell you that for sure. When I have a bad day at work, I bring it home with me. When I am feeling sad about not having children in our home yet, it reads on my face and in my voice; I cry in public places and am anything but a joy to be around. My mind appears to have been made without barriers. And so I am not one of the people who can detach herself from the adoption process. Sometimes I wish I could. But I cannot. It is with me every minute of every day. I live it every single hour, sometimes every single second. And over the last 6 months it has started to consume me, and not in the good way. I have let the sadness, the anger, the frustration, the fear, the resentment, the exhaustion take over.
And I have missed out.
I have missed out on communion with God. I have missed hearing His voice. I have missed seeing His hand.
And so this weekend, yesterday in fact, I was praying, and I asked God to please bring me back, to pull me out of the depths I am in and bring me to the surface. Back to Him, to a place where I can hear Him and see Him and feel Him.
I am still sad. I still cry. A LOT. And I am sure I will continue to. I am ready to be a mother, and it seems I cannot be one yet. That hurts my heart more deeply than I can explain to you. I am still working up the courage to try to explain it all to you. And so, yes, I am still sad. But I am working on looking for God in my sadness instead of just shrouding myself in it.
I think that might be part of God's plan with the incredible gush of referrals this month. He seems to be reminding me what He is capable of doing. I just have to trust Him.
And this brings me to my request for you. If you are a praying person, I would like to ask for your prayers in the following ways:
1. Please pray that the Lord would open my eyes and heart to Him during this seemingly impossible season of my life. I want to hear from Him in tangible ways, and I know I need to be focused on Him, not on myself, in order to do that. This is an area in which I have been really struggling this year.
2. Specifically for this month, I am praying that 16 families and children would be matched. Another adoptive mother from our agency said she and her husband felt like they were being led to pray for this, and I am joining them in that. I ask that you would do the same. It would be incredible for us to be at number 31 on August 1.
3. When we started this process, I was praying for a May 2013 referral. Well, it is July. My new prayer is that our Christmas gift this year would be to see the faces of our beautiful children. I am praying for a referral by Christmas of 2013. Would you join me in this?
Thank you to all of you who continue to follow our story. God is doing incredible things. Thank you for being a part of it.
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.