When Words Are Weary And Joy Runs Deep

I originally wrote this post back in June of this year and have hesitated posting it.  By now I don’t even know if it’s an accurate reflection of where I am right now… but since this was a real part of my story when I wrote it, I thought I should probably share it — even after the fact.  I want this blog to be an honest look at our adoption journey as a whole.  So here it is!  

*     *     *

Sometimes… you get a little weary of words.  You get weary of words in answers.  Weary of lengthy explanations — words that somehow don’t seem to quite satisfy the simple inquiry, no matter how you try to untangle and clean them up.  (The web is already written on their face.)  You even get weary of the words in short answers — especially when it’s the same one over and over.

I don’t mean I dislike questions… The excitement in someone’s voice, the interest expressed in merely bringing up our adoption: these things are encouraging and make me extremely grateful.  Sometimes I just wish this process was as easy as a quick reply.  I wish it was a simple as an uncomplicated explanation.  The truth is, the path to adoption isn’t a straight, quick-and-easy one.  I don’t think I ever expected it to be.  (Nor do I necessarily think it should be.)  But somehow that expectation is challenged just a little bit any time a hopeful, well-intending person asks how it’s going, have we heard anything — now that it’s been a while since we started this journey.

The short answer is simply that out of all the expectant mothers who are looking at profile books (and we don’t know how many or how often), we have not been chosen yet.  It can take a long time, and there is no waiting list or certain number of people ahead of us.

As much as I would like to say, “Oh didn’t you hear?  We got the call, it’s happening in two weeks — we’ll send you a photo!” sometimes I just have to smile and say “thank you.”  And hope it’s ok.

I actually really do love when people ask how it’s going.  (That’s the part I want you to hear — and the whole reason I have hesitated publishing this post.)  We love knowing you’re interested, we love having your support, and we love how questions lead to the most amazing, lengthy conversations about adoption.  We had one just recently that reignited a spark inside of me that I was SO grateful to feel.  So grateful to share.  Those conversations are such a gift.  The best SHORT conversation I’ve had in a while was just recently, too — beginning with a question that was both gentle and genuine…  Not seeking the happily-ever-after answer, just sincere care in its tone.  No expectations.  Kind of an understood recognition that this is our life and our feelings and a real experience.

I realize this is not anything new for any season of life.  (How often do those of you who are single hear, “So when are you getting married??”)

Right now it’s just tough because there is this unspoken excitement in the air about being in the “waiting” phase.  It’s a very exciting time (for sure!!) — but there is nothing about being in this waiting time that means it’s going to happen any time soon.  So the tension is to balance the deep appreciation for people’s excitement with your own daily reckoning of what this season means for you.

And that’s just the honest words of a waiting mama.

The unfolding art of finding a balance between letting my guard down/not being prepared, and also not living each day on the edge of my seat.  Neither one is good, and neither one is a truthful expectation.  The real truth is: It will happen when it happens.  And God is in control.

I especially need to remember this in the waiting phase — it’s so easy to think you have some control when you’ve got paperwork to fill out and appointments to make and trainings to attend… right? :)

The weariness I sometimes feel after answering questions is not at all a reflection of the person asking — turns out, it’s my own refinement in areas of humility and grace and patience.  It’s God’s work in me!  Honestly, this is an incredible time.  We are so grateful and joyful in hope — AND excited (are you kidding me?!?!).  But I also just want to shed a little light.  It’s been a year and a half.  Sometimes people will see me and all of a sudden it makes them think about the adoption and they get super excited.  And that’s great!!  But when words sound weary, and they don’t exactly match the jubilant intensity of the question — it’s just that I’m wearing that question every day.  Wishing I could tell you what you’d love to hear, but knowing that the answer is yet to be known…

{ This is when I really appreciate the philosophy of our agency, Bethany Christian Services: that they aren’t out to find a child for every family but to find a forever family for every child.  That’s a big difference.  It’s not about us. }

But the real joy?  The real joy is tucked away somewhere deep inside a heart trusting in God’s timing… hidden much deeper than an outward response.  It’s what consistently drives each new day… resting on an unshakable, silently smiling truth that can’t be found in that honeymoon-phase excitement — but rather in the abiding, steadfast joy found in God’s goodness and sovereignty here and now.

Sometimes I love that we don’t have answers and we don’t know when.  It means that God is completely in control.  Our non-control is where we rest in His perfect sovereignty.

That’s where joy runs deep.

Even when words are weary.

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One response

  1. Pingback: For Those Who Are Waiting… | Glenhams Grow

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