Today we have been waiting 7 months. In some ways, the waiting gets easier as we get used to it, and in some ways it is harder. The longer we wait the more of a reminder it is that our family is incomplete. Unfortunately, ugly emotions pop up during the adoption wait. When we hear someone is pregnant, or had their adoption happen much quicker than ours. It is hard for us not to feel somewhat jealous. Now, this does not mean we aren't happy. We have friends who have gotten pregnant while we are in the adoption process, and friends who have received children through adoption and through foster care, and we are THRILLED for them. Our ugly feelings do not have anything to do with them and do not take away from our joy for them. But we are jealous because our family is not yet there, and no one is rejoicing over us in our time of waiting. Luckily, these feelings do not last long and are far overshadowed by our happiness for our friends. But, I want to be honest in this blog - waiting for a long time for a family and seeing others begin their families faster is not easy - but it does help to be aware and acknowledge your feelings, and figure out why you feel that way. And, it is hard because no one understands "the wait" unless you've experienced it. It is HARD. You wait for months, and months and years and years, constantly waiting for a child that you don't know and you don't know their arrival date. And because it is not something you see physically on someone, like pregnancy, people forget you are waiting and that you are constantly going through the best and worst time of your life simultaneously. But, that's ok, because there is hope and you know the baby you are destined to have in your family will arrive the second he or she is supposed to, no earlier, no later. And our rejoicing over our family of 3 will come.
Another hard thing about "the wait" is that the longer we wait the more discouraging things we are told by people who don't understand our position. I was told just the other day that God will bring me a baby, and that God may surprise me and I may get a baby through pregnancy. Now, I know that God can do anything and God can do whatever He wants. But, He has called us to adoption and He knows how unsafe it would be for me to become pregnant, and He knows how much money we have already poured into adoption (if you're keeping track, we've spent over $10,000 so far and we aren't even half way there). We are also constantly being told we should look into _______. Look into foster care, look into international adoption, look into this thing I heard about on the radio. Or we get told how someone's friend's cousin adopted and she did x, y &z and got her baby in 3 weeks so we should do that too. We have both also had our adoption process questioned. Now, most of the time this is purely a question that someone wants an answer to - and we are MORE than happy to answer, but we have also been asked "Why are you on a waiting list when there are millions of children in foster care or in orphanages who need homes? You could have a family now." Again, I don't think this comes from a place of meaning to insult us, but it is hard not be insulted. We have been called to this specific path, if you go back and read this blog from the beginning you can even see how we did not pick this path, but God did and how He brought us here. We are happy with this path, we chose our agency for a reason, we knew about the wait before we spent all of our money. And we researched every option out there.
And here's the thing: no matter what path we would have taken, each path ends in a child who needs a home, and needs to be loved, getting a home and being loved. Period. Foster care, international adoption, domestic adoption, therapeutic foster care, older child adoption, special needs adoption, respite foster care - they all provide a loving, stable home to a child who needs one. One path is not superior to another. Each person or family called to adopt, or to love children who aren't biologically theirs, is called to the path that is the best fit for their family and for a reason. We may not have been called to do foster care because our baby's birth mom didn't put him or her in foster care. We may not be on the path to international adoption because the baby meant for our family is here in the US. And our friends who do foster care, the child they get needs them - no one else- but them, and that child would not have gotten to that person and family any other way but through the path they were called. And when you see this happen - it is beautiful.
I have a friend who is doing foster care for a 2nd grader. And what she provides to that kid is amazing. I've seen this child grow, become more social, learn about family, love, and Jesus. And he would not have gotten that if he didn't belong with her - at least for this time.
This was a hard post to write, but I hope that someone can learn from it, relate to it, or at the least understand a little bit more why the waiting is so hard.
Please continue to pray for us, our patience, and that we can mange our "ugly" emotions. And that we continue to focus on the One who has called us to this path, and that we continue to trust we are exactly where we are supposed to be.
And of course, any questions or comments PLEASE ask or say :)
Adam & Kristen
P.S. our homestudy update was completed and our homestudy is now approved so we are back exactly where we were before we moved! Yay!