26 January 2010
Well, friends, I've taken you this far on our adoption journey and I know a lot of you are invested in this right along with us. One of my friends even said she's never had such an intimate look into the heart of adoption. And that is what prompts me to share this post with you today.
The reality of adoption is that here we are again, facing a temporary set-back. I really don't want to go into all the details here, but, on Monday (the 24th) we were thinking we'd be having the placement ceremony (where we would take custody, but not a full adoption because there is still more paperwork to be done over the following months) on Thursday or Friday (27th or 28th) of this week. We were all very excited about the possibility of getting in the car on Wednesday to be with our BB. I had spent the morning buying BB's formula, bottles, and diapers since the trip was impending. Pea even made this drawing at school.It shows the four of us in our van (big purple circle around us), driving to get BB. The kids are wearing their seatbelts (black lines across them) and watching a movie (gumball machine in the middle). The flower next to me is the steering wheel. On the back it says: "I am gown (going) to have a babe (baby) and it is a bow (boy) his nam (name) is (BB) and he is gown (going) to be brown (he's bi-racial)." She even asked if she could read this to the class!
All of this joyful preparation was interrupted when I got a call last night saying there was another delay. To say I was disappointed barely scratches the surface. All the gleeful gathering of supplies I had done that day seemed a mockery to me.
It was about 5:10 PM when I answered the phone. When I hung up, I fell apart, sobbing from my very toenails on up. I expected Aa home any minute and wanted to pull myself together so he wouldn't walk into the house to discover the puddle that had formerly been his wife. But, as soon as I gained control, I thought about having to tell him and the torrents overtook me again. So, puddle he did find.
"It's...(sob, sob)...nothing permanent...(sob, sob, sob)... It's just (sob) a delay (sob, sob, sob) but we can't go for BB (sob, sob) until (sob) next week." (Utter dissolution)
Having thoroughly besmirched his shirt, I began to tell him the details, well-laden with grief, anger, and disappointment. Feeling the same, he suggested we call back our case worker. She kindly repeated everything she'd told me, answered a few more questions, and complimented us on our sweet spirits. I told her she wouldn't have thought me sweet had she seen the tantrum that filled the space between phone calls. She smiled and then prayed with us and vowed to let us know when she heard any news.
After we hung up with her, I recalled a verse that came up in a Bible study I attended Monday morning. Isa 49:25b: "For I will contend with the one who contends with you, And I will save your sons." Now, that's an Old Testament verse and I think it needs to be illuminated by the New Testament. Eph 6:12: "For we are not fighting [contending] against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms." My mama-bear proclivities rose to the surface and, boy, did I want to contend with powers of evil! But, mama bears have to tend the cubs already in the den, so I had to hold that thought and feed my hungry family.
Today I have had a lot of quiet time to think on all this. I even went to church this mid-day (they have been opening the sanctuary for prayer 11:30-1:30 every weekday) to pray. As I approached the throne of grace, I felt I ought to come contending. But, I found, I really don't know how to contend in the spirit. I'm sadly lacking in spiritual warfare prowess. All I could do was beg. And that seemed all wrong too. Quickly, I felt Him nudging me, whispering (and I don't mean audibly, just speaking to my heart), "Daughter, that verse you're clinging to... it says I will contend on your behalf. I will save your son."
"Oh. Well, then, what am I supposed to do?"
"Be still and know that I am God.* Remember who I am and what I've already done for you."
"But I'm afraid! This isn't just about me missing out on a few more days of holding BB. It isn't just about me missing out on his coos and the little ways he changes every day. This is about his DESTINY, God! His whole future is hanging in the balance here. This is BIG!"
"Yes, my child. It is. Do you remember a few weeks ago, in December, when you thought it looked like none of this would come to pass? Can you not trust me?"
There was soft worship music playing in the sanctuary and the lyrics were just extolling God. I felt a little abashed. "How could I forget? How could I forget who You are? I'm sorry. I get it. But I'm so weary. This has been almost 2 weeks of the most extreme emotions, from one end of the spectrum to the other, back and forth. I'm overwhelmed and exhausted."
"Come to me, weary woman, heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest.** Let me contend for you while you rest. You've borrowed many woes with your 'what-ifs.' Just stay in this moment, resting on My promises, My Word, My character."
"Oh yeah. I know I have spent many tears on things that may never happen. But, it's scary to think about never being allowed to hold my son again. Help me turn my thoughts to You, though, when they start to carry me away."
I sat there a while longer, just reminding myself who He is, and soaking in His presence. When I got home, there was a reply to an email I had sent the night before to AB's case worker for her to pass on to AB for us. My note said:
I just wanted to touch base with you while these delays are going on. I know you are very disappointed. I know you know we are too. I don't mind telling you I wept another bucket of tears when I got the call that there would be a delay in getting to be with BB. We are so looking forward to being united as a family. But, I wanted to share with you a verse that is bringing me peace and hope. It is Isaiah 49:25b. It says, "For I will contend with the one who contends with you, And I will save your sons." I know that "the one who contends with you" is no person, but Satan and the forces of evil. God is fighting for what is good and right for BB; He will save our son. I'm confident of that. And, Aa and I are contending in the spiritual realm as well. Just wanted you to know we're disappointed but not discouraged.
Faith and hope to you,
R and Aa
The response said: "I called AB and read this to her....She was touched...I was touched....Traci (social work intern) was touched!!! God will Win!"
And that got me to thinking... During the hours I spent at the hospital with AB and BB, I prayed that God would woo her to Him, that all of this adoption experience would strengthen her relationship with Him, that He would continually reveal Himself to AB through BB's story. So, it occurred to me, that maybe, maybe that's what's going on here. This very well may be for God's glory. In fact, I know He will use it to bring glory to His name. And, that's good enough for me!
I have said that we gave BB the middle name Immanuel because we know that God has been with us (AB and BB included) through all of this. And, I have said that I believe BB's story will be told widely and that it will bring glory to God's name. So, why was I surprised that it got hard again?! Silly me!
Adoption is so close to God's heart, so integral to His plan, indeed to who He is as our Father, that we should just expect it to be opposed. We should just expect the roller coaster to dip a few times. But, the thing is, the dips are what makes the heights glorious. And, when we look back on this time, we will see that God did contend on our behalf and that He saved our son. It will be obvious that God did this thing, that no man or power of darkness can overcome Him. And He will get the glory. Amen.
(If you are concerned about the practical side of all this, we are now looking at doing the placement ceremony on Wed, Feb 2.)
*Ps. 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Pretty good stuff right there!
**Mat. 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
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Round Two Timeline
- 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
- 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
- 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
- 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
- 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
- 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
- 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
- 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
- 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
- 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
- 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
- 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
- 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
- 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
- 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
- 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
- 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
- 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
- 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
- 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
- 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
- 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
- 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
- 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
- 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued