In the adoption world, when someone asks you how long you have been waiting, what they are really asking is, “How long have you been registered with the country?” It is as if there was no waiting before then. This often frustrates me because the moment your heart decides to adopt is REALLY the moment you begin waiting to hold that child in your arms. It is as though the year (or more) of applications, home studies, paperwork, medical and mental exams, dossier, training, notarizing, contracting, ect. doesn’t count for anything. It’s as though all that time is overlooked.
This month we will meet an adoption milestone. One year ago we mailed in our application to adopt a child from Bulgaria and began waiting to see how God would write this story into our lives. We made the decision to adopt a few months before Cora’s first birthday (April 2013), and prayed about when to began. I will always remember the burden on my longing heart Mother’s Day 2013–a day many mothers baske in, I cried (sobbed) on and off all day. I, of course, felt beyond blessed and in love with my three sweet gifts, but the weight placed on my heart had become overwhelming for my child who was possibly hungry, neglected and lonely across the world. Andy and I are a pretty good pair…..I (a typical woman) function mostly on emotion; he (a typical man) looks at how things will practically work. My emotions wanted to start the adoption, like, 6 months previous. His logistical mind wanted to build up our savings for the first $10,000,and have a plan to fund the remainder of the adoption. As we pulled the covers up that Mother’s Day night, a night when I was reminded how many children knew no one called “Mother,” we prepared for bed, and after a minute or two of silence, Andy quietly informed me he had come up with how we could move forward with adopting on the financial front. I cried (yes, sobbed) yet again, as we found ourselves both ready to begin the process. We met with a financial adviser, and both felt ready to move forward.
We mailed our official application on June 13th, and then found ourselves in a frenzy of adoption-related meetings, appointments, and schedules. I am sometimes amazed at how much has transpired this past year. I know God has transformed my heart in this area of orphans and the least of these. Two years ago, I felt bad for orphans, I felt a tug on my heart-strings when hearing about orphans, but I did NOTHING. Since God has placed this desire and plan in our life, I find myself ACHING for orphans. I find myself trying to find ways to actively advocate for these precious children who have no voice of their own. I find myself wondering where my little one is right now, and if they know we’ll be coming to get them as soon as we can. I wonder about the older children, who have never called anyone “Mom” or “Dad,” and who have faced the reality that they are aging out of a system that will no longer “care” for them, and they are alone in this hard world.
These children, God’s children, have waited much longer than we have. They have suffered more of a burden than I have. They have been forced to rely on their Maker and true Father more than I have. These children are loved by the Father, and He has a purpose for them, but brothers and sisters–part of that plan is OUR purpose too. We don’t have to stay in the comfortable land of “feeling bad about orphans,” God has equipped us to DO something. That has never been more real to me than it is right now in my life.
We have been waiting for a year.
And if you’re wondering how long that is in the adoption world…..a short and long 4 months.