Today, Nate and I met in a parking lot on the westside of Jacksonville to get re-fingerprinted. RE-fingerprinted. Because fingerprints in an adoption are only good for one year - and ours expired.
Last week I was reminded by Facebook that a year ago we "announced" our adoption to our friends....which to me, at the time, felt almost silly since we had already been doing paperwork since the end of July. I felt like we had a good jump on things - like we had safely made it through the first trimester and had been holding on to an announcement for our friends...
To be one-hundred percent transparent - when we started this journey at the end of last summer - I was (in my perfectly-planned-out-plan in my head) bringing home a baby at the beginning of the next school year. When we first filled our our application I had this - 6 months of paperwork, 6 months to bring her home -maybe a smidge longer - and boom - we would have a new little to love. Because wouldn't it be super convenient if we were matched in the spring/early summer 2017 - had the summer with the kids at home to prepare and get ready - and then off to school they would go with me at home to adjust with my sweet new one? Perfect plan, right? The paperwork went through at some points faster than expected - which made me think "Awesome, God! I can't wait to see how fast you push us through! Thank you! Your timing is awesome!" This also sounds a lot like "Thanks, God - Your timing is awesome because it is the same my timing!" [True story.]
Then the summer got here - some of the adoption laws in China changed and our wait has seemed to be getting longer by the day - even though, truth be told, no one is ever given a "specific" wait time. There is NO TELLING when we will be matched and from there how the rest of the process will go. But, since planning and attempting to control my circumstances is my specialty - surely these new laws wouldn't derail any of my plans. Right?
Wrong. Ya'll. The Lord is doing a big work in my heart. He is having to rid me of myself, my need for control, a clear plan, and I am having to do a whole lot more trusting and resting (and trusting and resting and trusting and resting and trusting). So. Very. Hard.
We have seriously been blessed with the best circle of friends and family. I don't think I have gone more than 48 hours since we started this process without someone asking me about our girl, asking about the process, letting us know they are praying, thinking, wishing, hoping with us. This is a blessing. Knowing that we are not the only ones on pins and needles.
I can look back on my life without a shadow of a doubt and know that God's plans are always better than the ones that I have for myself. He has made that clear, apparently I'm just not the fastest learner. Or, maybe I know it in my heart but my head just wants to ...I don't know....control.
The biggest blessing in this whole journey so far has been the constant prayer and closeness with Jesus that I crave - and watching Skylar and Wyatt pray for this baby like they know her. I guess we all kind of feel like we have another family member that has gone missing - and we are just waiting on God's perfect timing to go find her.
Two weeks ago on a Thursday - on a day where I was feeling particularly discouraged we were leaving for school, not even out of our neighborhood yet - and Wyatt let out a big sigh followed by "Momma whhhyyyyy is it taking so long to get our China Baby? Why can't we just go get her?" (This is starting to be a question I can barely answer without tears.) I simply told him I didn't know why - but the only thing I know to do is just keep praying for her. Then he asked me to pray - so we did. In the car, driving to kindergarten on a regular old Thursday - we prayed. I thanked God for all the things He is teaching our family, patience, perseverance, love and compassion, I prayed for our baby and our home and what it might look like when we come home. I said several specific prayers over Skylar and Wyatt and then said amen. As soon as I finished, Wyatt started praying. With tears overflowing I listened to him pray thanks for his China Baby, that she would come home soon - he listed his own specific prayers for her - and then he prayed that the next time Papa David goes to China he could find her, give her a hug and keep her warm for us.
This wait is hard, but this wait is good. I am watching my children grow in faith that God will answer their prayers. I am realizing how much growth I have to do in my own life in trusting that my prayers will be answered - all in His perfect timing.
Sunday as we were getting ready to go to church, I heard this song Take Courage - and it spoke to my heart. Take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul. He is in the waiting. I went to look up the lyrics to be sure I had them correct to include at the end of this blog -- and this is what the website opened....
Isn't God so good to speak to me through the smallest thing?
He is in the waiting. We are learning in the waiting. This big sister and big brother are learning so much - in the waiting. So, here we are - we wait patiently for you, Sweet Baby Girl.