14 Hours (and more) Away From Our Little Girl
Almost a month ago, I picked up my phone and saw that I had missed a phone call from Grand Rapids. I listened to the voicemail and learned that it was our adoption agency and my heart started to beat more quickly. I know our social worker and I must have exchanged some kind of greetings when I called back, but all I can remember her saying is, "we have a referral for you, and it's a little girl."
We have been in this adoption process for 2 years, and in some form of waiting all throughout; and yet, I wasn't ready for her words. I had been prepping myself to wait for much longer for that call. I also expected that we would be matched with a boy. Both surprises brought tears to my eyes. Emotions are so telling when we give them room to breath.
When the file arrived, I sat there reading every piece of information over and over again, while looking at the 4 pictures I had in front of me -- again and again. I moved from shock, to fear, to shock, to compassion, to numbness, and to fear again as I wondered why I felt numb, to a million other emotions, including happiness over her chubby cheeks.
A week later, we said yes to our referral. During that week of decision, I grew very attached to this 9-month-old little girl and her already-complex story. I prayed a lot, asking God to give us wisdom, but also just sat with God and my big bundle of emotions without words. That's prayer too. A good friend and adoptive mama I admire, told me to pray, yes, but to listen more than speak as we sought the right decision. How I needed that advice!
The husband, of course, was much more calculated, calm and level-headed. I felt like a crazed squirrel running in circles around him and all of his calmness. While
every once in awhile on most days I know our differences together are
strengths, it doesn’t cease to amaze me in situations like these. I will
never forget when we made the final decision and he called her our daughter for the first time.
When he verbally named her ours, it
felt like 2 years worth of waiting, working on mountains of paperwork, and
being poked and prodded in every area of our inner and outer lives broke some sort of protective dam I had carefully built; and
everything spilled over with the force and power of water gone wild.
It's been almost a month now. We just sent in all of our acceptance paperwork and we are waiting for a court date from South Korea. I keep telling my close friends that I was very okay with waiting for the last two years; and now, now that we have a little girl, with a name and a face who is a 14-hour plane ride away, I feel like a lunatic. I wake up at crazy times in the night, just thinking about our little girl and about all the details ahead, not to mention the rest of our family here and details here. Between us is a 14-hour plane ride, 14 hours of day and more waiting.
In all of the joy and excitement, I am struggling with waiting. I just wrote a whole post about the good of waiting, and yet here I am now, just 2 months later, feeling my own version of crazy. Despite me, I hear God consistently and graciously reminding me that he has purpose and good in the waiting. The kind of waiting in our adoption process has changed in a big way, but, as in everything, he is still the point.
I recently heard Wendy Pope say this in a video over at first 5 :
"WE CANNOT LET THE OBJECT OF OUR WAIT REPLACE THE PERSON OF OUR FAITH."
These words were so timely for me. Aren't we all tempted to do this when we are waiting? And yes, I am shouting that quote (mainly to myself), but I wonder if one of you needs to hear it in all caps, too. It might not be a little girl across the ocean, but perhaps for you it's a dream, an answer, a relationship, a change, or an invitation that you are waiting for. While it would be easy for whatever we are waiting for to become the goal, especially when it requires so much of us and we are actively working for it and praying for it, it cannot hold the weight of that place in any of our hearts. Jesus is the faithful one and he wants us to find him, to trust him, to see him, to keep stepping out, and to be transformed by him in our waiting.
So, now we wait for the call that says we can go to Korea and meet our little girl. We wait for that and for the day when we can bring her home. Above all else, we wait for Jesus, the one who holds our hearts in his hands, no matter what.