I woke this morning, of course much earlier than anyone else and couldn't stop thinking about where we have come from in this adoption.
When we began over 6 years ago (for the first time) it was all romance and rainbows. We were going to sweep in and rescue some poor lost child and make all of their dreams come true. I remember exactly where I was standing in my house in Florida as I spoke with our agency. I was smiling as she told me how it all worked and how long it would take. Then she told me how much. Believe me, it wasn't long after that that I started to seriously doubt if this thing in my heart was Rachel-made or God's design.
Soon after, in an effort to keep up with the Jones's we moved into a much more-more-than-we-could-afford house, our agency called to say they had lost their Hague accreditation and so everything just stopped! At that time adoption was the last thing we could consider. We were drowning in a sea of debt, a house payment we couldn't afford but the dream of adoption that would not die.
We moved from day to day just existing. This is what happens when you're house poor. And then two job offers and an email introducing us to Dave Ramsey happened and life began to take a new turn. There was hope again. Hope that we could get out of this huge financial mess we had created and hope that there was a little girl whose life we could assist in changing.
I remember so many times talking with B and bringing up adoption over and over again and he would always respond the same. "Why do you think that b/c I don't talk about it, its never going to be a reality?" He never lost hope, only I did. Probably b/c of my microwave mentality about so many things in this life.
Well, fast forward a couple of more years and there I sit in the spine doc's office being told I have 2 herniations and one bulging disc in my neck. After months of therapy, injections (that did not work I might add) I am facing one mammoth surgery to repair at least one herniation that has begun to compress my spinal cord. I was terrified. Terrified of the unknown, what if it didn't work, the months of recovery, the list goes on and on. I literally had hundreds of people praying for me. People would pray over me constantly and lay hands on me. So, on my pre-op visit imagine my surprise when the Doc said, "Your spinal cord is no longer in danger..." I don't think I heard much else b/c I was so excited just to know I wasn't going to need surgery.
And, b/c of the Dave Ramsey program we were pretty much debt free minus one student loan. It was time and we began our adoption process again!
Then the lessons really began. After the months of paperwork chasing and homestudy visits, trips to the USCIS office for fingerprinting and the basic stripping down to our souls our dossier was on its way to China. We received our LID (log in date) and we knew we could be matched any day!
I remember receiving the first referral. I remember exactly where we were. I remember the emotion. I remember the answer was yes before I even looked at her picture or read her file.
I remember the second, third and fourth referrals. I remember the answer was yes. I remember sitting at my kitchen table and not being able to breathe from crying as our doctor explained what her special need meant and what it would mean for her and for our family. I remember receiving the fifth, sixth and seventh. I remember so well the eighth and ninth. And about the tenth referral I help up my hand and said STOP!!!! I can still picture her sweet face in my mind now. She had severe cleft pallet/cleft lip but the special needs didn't stop there. She had monumental problems that would cost thousands and thousands every year. We would most likely spend more time in doctors office/therapy appts than at our own home. But we wanted to say yes. We never wanted to say NO! We suddenly realized enough was enough. We were about to give up. BUT GOD.
Two weeks later we had switched agency's and a month later had a match. Our sweet Jenna Grace.
I learned patience, I learned trust, I learned to truly lean on God. I learned it is OK to be human and to struggle through. I was told one time (before we switched agency's) you're too emotionally into this. You need to take it down. Seriously?! No, I will never take it down. These are children, not animals. This not being emotional enough is what has led us to the abortion epidemic we now have. I will never apologize for being this emotional over children who have no family. Whatever breaks God's heart I hope will ALWAYS break mine.
What I truly learned and saw with my own eyes is that His eye truly is on the sparrow and therefore on me and that His ways are SO much higher than mine and thank GOD for that!!!
By the time we meet our daughter it will be almost 7 months since we were matched with her. But if you want to be technical its been over 6 years from the very first time we submitted our application.
God knew. He knew 6 years ago, he knew 2 years ago. He has been working all of these things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. In this 6 years I have made some of THE most amazing friends. Friends who, even though I don't get to see all the time have some of the greatest influence in my life. I have one friend, who I met in the blogosphere and even though we've never met I just have this amazing connection with. She has been such a source of encouragement for me. And the best thing is, she's been there and done that 3 times. She knows every thing I am going through and feeling right now. I can be so real and I love it. Just yesterday I sent her a picture of how little I'd packed so far. She just laughed. That is the sign of a good friend. The ultimate pen pal.
I just love looking at all of these things and knowing that if the timing had been what I wanted it to be I wouldn't have learned all of these great lessons and I wouldn't have made all these amazing connections.
I don't know how I can ever doubt the goodness or faithfulness of God. But I think that is why I needed to sit and reflect for just a minute before the craziness of travel overtakes me.