The past month has been a whirlwind. The calm waters of waiting in our adoption got stirred, and so did we.
While I can’t go into detail, I will say we had our hearts stretched to consider a scenario beyond our initial adoption-parameters. We took it to His feet. We asked Him. And we received more than just His blessing to move forward. And we gave over our fears in exchange for expectancy. We began to let the story play out in our minds, and understand this new-reality as a great blessing. We stood joyful at God’s course correction.
And then the door shut.
My argument for why every family should not stop at just one adoption (or why every person who has experienced pain should revisit that side of the mountain again) was reinforced when I witnessed, almost as if I was a bystander, the grace of God pour out over my response. I felt utter peace. Just pages before this moment was another testimony of His in my book. Every single blind-curve and dark alley gave way to beauty on the day my fingers first brushed Eden’s cheek and held Caleb’s hand.
God’s plan was better than any scheme I could have conceived.
So this time around, where it appeared we off-roaded, I can say that we rejoiced in the Man who knew the best way. And my heart inched deeper, into Him and away from flesh. True growth, unto someone. This One.
Then, not much more than hours later, a new, similar door was opened. My heart, fresh from encountering Trust, embraced it. Another sign that land had been taken, I was not fearful to hope again. I dove in, Nate’s hand in mine. We said “yes”, again, to a plan that wasn’t first ours, but seemingly His.
But days later we’ve received intelligence that possibly threatens yet another closed door.
“Stretching”, the word that dropped in Nate’s mind a month ago now when we first prayed about this new frontier, is absorbed in my body. My skin is taut around hope’s edges. This time, I wonder if I’m not at risk for breaking. Exhaustion — the kind that comes from interceding for a not-yet and carrying the burden of God’s heart for another’s broken story — seeps in.
How long, oh Lord? words I learned to say in my sleep when we walked our first adoption, fall mindlessly off my lips.
I paced my kitchen today, asking the Lord why I’m back here, spilling all of myself into an undeveloped story. And I knew I had (and still have) the chance to say “no”, to end it all now. I could say no to the possibility that He’s put before us and avoid the risk of loss. But, an even graver decision: I could say no to this birth that’s producing forever stretch marks on my person.
I am here again for many subsidiary reasons, but the main one is the mission written all over my life, with tattoo-ed on ink.
I am here to meet this Man.
And the hope that’s been welling up within me, in the meantime, is all about Him. Again, what else — Who else — is there? A specific, even fervently hoped-for, outcome cannot hold the weight of hope built upon it. Hope is not unto a circumstance. Hope’s most pure expression is when it’s placed upon the God-Man. It’s there that I find fulfillment.
Jesus is asking me to intercede, unrelenting with mother-prayers for these fatherless He’s put before me, and to place all my hope in Him. He’s handcrafting an outcome that my mouth’s praise won’t be able to contain — but we are, again, at risk for missing the great steadiness-of-life He offers if we, oh-so-easily, take our eyes off the ball.
It’s Him. This stretching of us is unto a greater expression and understanding of this Man in my lifetime. I have opportunity to, yet again, be forever changed by the Unchanging One.
He is making me to know hope. Even after having it be so recently, seemingly dashed.
So, I get up.
Yes, me — the one who has spent month after month, knees buckled beside the waste paper bin that holds my negative pregnancy test. Me — whose story, many times, has elicited the uncomfortable gaze from onlookers that says: I’m fine with waiting a few months, but I sure hope I don’t end up like her.
While I wait for the outcome, I’m offered a deeper look at the true end to hope.
Hope is a Man, unbending.
The joy and peace that scripture speaks of as it relates to “hope abounding” aren’t waiting to be released from the sky, like a great balloon drop, just when the outcome is secure.
They are accessible to me now.
Would you, dear reader, pray for us in this moment? We’re walking with trembling knees, shaky hands spread open-wide to whatever God asks of us in this. But it’s not a simple road. Details, decisions — which we wish we could share, but cannot, per Ugandan adoption ethics — all of which are calling us to this moment of stretching into hope, and away from fear.
But, through hazy eyes, we can see that this moment offers glory. All that’s been stretched is not so long away from a great infilling of the Man who responds to our future’s haze.
I get more of God here. While I wait in uncertainty, I find Hope.