I have been honored to work with Hope and her husband, J.D. on their adoption journey. Currently they are right in the thick of it. They have their home study behind them and they're in the midst of fundraising, nursery decorating, presenting to expectant mothers, and waiting for God's timing to build their family. Today Hope has been gracious enough to share what what it REALLY feels like to go through adoption as a hopeful adoptive mama. She shares her heart as she struggles with hard questions, wrestles with control, and how this journey has impacted her spiritual life. Her honesty and transparency is insightful, encouraging, and full of hope...
People often ask me how they can specifically pray for us during this adoption journey. Well, I am about to put it all out there…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know the Lord is leading me and is right there with me each step of the way. He hasn’t failed me yet and He never will, but I am human. I have difficult days. I struggle with sin, anger, frustration, sadness, etc. You name it, I have felt it.
One thing I have been struggling with over the last couple of weeks is the simple question “why?” Why does this have to be my path to motherhood? Why did I have to suffer the pain of losing Taylor and Asher? Why is adoption so dad-gum expensive? Why can’t I just go the traditional (free) route of having my own baby? Why, when I want nothing more than to be a mom, am I forced to wait on some unknown timeline? Why, why, why? There are answers to all of these questions. Some I might not know until I am face to face with my Father, but there are answers. This morning part of my devotional was Romans 5:3-4: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” I think that is a pretty good answer. It doesn’t specifically address all of my “why’s,” but what could be better than strengthening our confident hope of salvation? I will take it!
Another area of weakness for me lately has been control. For those of you who know me, I don’t think you will be shocked to hear me say that am TOTALLY a Type A personality. Schedules, agendas, to-do lists…oh, you are speaking my love language! I like to have a plan, I like to be in control. This is not always a bad thing, but many times it is. In a way it is me saying “Lord, I don’t trust you to handle this.” I have had to let go of this control and hand over the reins on many different levels. I am not in control of when (or if) we will have our baby. For someone who likes to plan things out down to the very last detail, this is hard. However, the biggest thing for me lately has been letting go of the fact that I do not have control over who our future birthmother will be and what she chooses to do to her body. Many of the situations we have seen have involved varying degrees of substance abuse. This scares me. If I was pregnant, I would be in control and could take care of my body. I know the Lord will protect our baby in the womb, but knowing we will more than likely have to deal with a baby who will experience drug exposure/withdrawals is terrifying. I think knowing that God is in control and and being scared can coexist…as long as we rest in His sovereignty at the end of the day.
Now the big one. The hardest one for me to talk about because it is such a personal and secret thing I have carried around. My sinful heart. I have let this adoption process take over my life. It has become all-consuming. Quite simply, I have allowed this baby become an idol in my life. I have had to step back and realize that even if we NEVER have a baby, that will be ok. My worth and value are NOT dependent upon having a child. HE should be the most important thing in my life. HE is enough. During our ABF (Sunday School) we have been discussing the spiritual disciplines. Last week we talked about prayer and I became even more convicted. Part of the lesson talked about the motives behind our prayers. We can pray for GOOD things (i.e. having children), but be motivated by selfish desires. This is where I got a big gut check and had to take a step back and re-examine my heart. I was also reminded that God ALWAYS answers prayers and that there are three possible answers to our prayers: Yes, no, and not right now. It could be that we are getting a “not right now” on this adoption, but it might also be a “no.” I have to put my trust in the fact that God knows what is best for JD and me. He will answer our prayers to start a family in the exact way they need to be answered…whether it is a yes, no, or not right now.
So, there it is. The hardest things for me when it comes to this chapter of our lives. I will end with this - a song that has given me so much peace over the last few weeks…
To follow J.D. and Hope's adoption journey, you can follow their blog, JD and Hope Adopt.