Monday, February 11, 2013

What We've Learned So Far.

Last Monday night, Jody was asked to share a quick update about our adoption journey at a church meeting.  He called me that afternoon just to get my thoughts.  I couldn't help but tear up as I was talking through some things with him over the phone that day.

What have we learned in this adoption journey over the past 3+ years?

I am crying right now just thinking about it.  Here's a little of my heart...

As crazy as this may sound, I have realized that this adoption journey that God has called us on is really not about adoption.  And it's not about our daughter.  And it's not about us at all.

It's all about Him, and what He is doing in us.  It's all about His glory, and the journey of growing in His will.

In the fall of 2009, over 3 years ago, God began to break my heart for something that breaks His...orphans. I knew without a doubt that God told me that our baby girl was in Ethiopia, and that we were supposed to begin the adoption process to bring her home.  I even felt a sense of urgency from Him to begin the process soon.

When we officially started the process in the spring of 2010, I was on what I like to refer to as "adoption cloud 9".  I was on a spiritual high, and I was "out to save the world one orphan at a time."  God had birthed in me a passion for orphans and adoption, and I was on fire.

What I have realized along the journey is that somehow I let a God-given calling and passion come before the One who had called me.  The journey started out so fun and exciting, and it was a precious time of God confirming His will to adopt.  I will always treasure that time in our journey.  But we had no idea what was around the bend...the seemingly unending WAIT.  Never in my life, have I experienced something so hard, so emotional, so raw.  And yet, it's been so beautiful, so refining, so precious.  This is where God has drawn my heart completely back to His.

The wait is where God has pruned me, grown me, broken me and changed me.  This morning I was reading on Day 37 of Draw the Circle, and Batterson says, "We tend to view the goal as the goal, but in God's economy, the process is the goal.  It's not about what we're doing at all; it's about who we're becoming in the process.  It's not about doing great things for God; it's about God doing great things in us."  

The waiting process for our daughter has completely changed our family and our faith.  We're not the same family who got on the waitlist almost 29 months ago.  We've grown physically, but most of all spiritually.  I now realize how God has used this wait for our good.  Had our daughter come quickly like we thought when we began her adoption, then we would've missed the whole growing process.

But the growing process is hard.  I have come to a place in the last several months of complete and utter dependence on the Lord just to make it another day through this long wait.  My heart hurts for our daughter. Lots of days I feel like I am on the edge of an "emotional cliff" and I am teetering!  Scared that I am about to lose it and go over the edge emotionally.  I am weary.  I have come to the end of myself, and that is exactly where He has met me.  His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  His grace is sufficient.

We had a little mix up (long story) last Wednesday with our USCIS fingerprint appointments.  After I had hung up the phone with them, I was driving our kids to haircut appointments in complete tears.  I was literally crying out to God saying, "I can't do this anymore!  I am weary, exhausted, tired, and I just can't do this for one more day!"  Right then, I felt God meet me right where I was.  He knew that I couldn't do this anymore, but He could.  And through His strength, I could face another day of waiting.  Another day of paperwork.  Another day of dealing with USCIS about round 3 of fingerprints.

Then yesterday morning at church, we were singing a praise song and the lyrics brought me to tears.  The song says, "We give all for Your ultimate call.  We've no doubt You are worth it all.  God, our lives are for You.  We live out this holy pursuit.  (And here is where I started crying)  Nothing less than our everything, for nothing more than to honor our King.  God our lives are for You.  We live out this holy pursuit."

I cried out to God in that moment saying, "God, I have given you everything.  I have nothing left.  I am broken before You."  I felt in my heart like God was telling me this..."Perfect.  That's where I have wanted you this entire time."  God is so good, and He has been so faithful each and every day of this journey to our daughter.  He is worth it all...we have no doubt about that!  We pray that through the wait, He is developing character in us that we will need to parent our daughter and for whatever He calls us to in the next chapter of our lives.

But here's where we are now...

Our arms are empty, but our hearts are full of faith.  Our emotions are raw, but His peace is the balm that soothes them.  Our minds are tired of waiting, but His arms are strong to carry us through each day.  Our spirit is hopeful because of who He is, and our belief that He is working all things for our good.  Our lives are for Him, and our goal is to live out this holy pursuit.

I pray everyday that God brings our daughter home soon, and I pray that He finds us faithful.

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
Romans 5:3-4


Marcie said...

My all time favorite post!
Praying that God brings you sweet Caroline Faith in his perfect timing!

Abby Blackburn said...

I cried during that song too!! Praying for y'all!

leemeandthegirls said...

Love this post. Again, thank you for sharing from your heart. Your journey is such a testimony.

Megan said...

ahh...God's hope! We cling to Him and He is so good to cling to!

Sarah said...

God is so good. It has been an honor to watch you grow in grace these past two years!!

Meredith said...

Oh Alison, thank you for sharing this. The wait is hard, but God is with us no matter what.

Praying you see Caroline's face soon.

Rachelle said...

So well put. My heart knows every word. Love this post. I miss & don't miss those days of just barely hanging on. It's soooo hard when another another millisecond hurts & takes effort.....then He is present, and suddenly that moment you are in that you can hardly get through becomes the air you needed to breathe in that moment. Mmmmm I so feel where you are at right now. Those memories are the ones that cause me to pick up my sleeping babies and hold them in the night regardless of if I might wake them...because I remember what it was like waiting for them & how much I hurt between court and embassy. Hugs to you Alison! Hugs!

Unknown said...

So beautifully said. I love your faith on this journey and it's so awesome to hear exactly how God is working in your family preparing you for your daughter. Lifting you up this morning in prayer, friend!

Amy said...

I love your family and your journey to Caroline Faith.
Love you,

Mrs. J said...

this is so beautifully written. Your faith points to Jesus and all glory goes to God. I am praying for your joy to be full in your arms soon.