IN THE WAITING

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths."

Proverbs 3:5-6

A place to find encouragement when you're trying to trust God in the unknown. "In The Waiting" is the official blog of MyBabysFamily.com; a ministry that supports hopeful families seeking to grow through adoption.

 
 
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I had this "theme" in my life for a while that the things I never wanted or expected to happen to me ended up being what came to pass. I felt like at some point that God was playing a sick trick on me, having to face these things. To start, I had zero desire to become a Pastor's wife, but that happened for a period of time. It's not because I had anything against such an honorable godly role, but that I just didn't believe I was the kind of person that would do justice to such a high calling. Now, here I am, having gone through the pastor's wife season, and having entered a new long season of confusion and endless waiting. I had all these preconceived ideas in my mind about how I wanted my life with my husband to turn out. But it ends up being quite the opposite. Reality has a way of slapping us in the face sometimes.


For four years of my life I've been through some of the most miserable, yet transformative suffering I've ever experienced. The reason why I am sharing all of this is to analyze where I am at, and hopefully come around to showing why hoping in the Lord is more important than the suffering we experience in life. I've had four miscarriages over the last three years. Every medical explanation has come back answerless, and I feel like each day I wake up and walk this path that most of the time I'm not the one living it because of how empty I feel all the time. The hardest miscarriage was my third pregnancy. You can learn more about that here.


I've learned a lot about depending on God, and waiting on God. I've learned the kind of dependence where my back is against the wall and I literally cannot make a move without his first movement. When you're in this place of absolute confusion; a very complicated inner struggle going on of relentless questioning because of trauma. When you face uncontrollable trauma in your life that you had no control over, there is this very sobering reality of the evil that is present in this world and the brokenness from the deeply spiritual battle going on in the hidden places. There is a war being fought in this life over everything because of the great chasm that separates man from God; our sin. But don't mistake me saying these things as blaming sin for the loss of my child; it's not. What I am saying is because of the "after effects" of The Fall (Genesis 1-3), the world has become broken. Deeply broken from the very first rebellion against God. It is seen in evil, destruction, violence, pain, sickness, and diseases. It is also unfortunately seen in the loss of miscarriage.


I'm not sure I am in a place where I can say to on my own behalf, "it's going to happen for me, just wait, there is a greener side to the end of all of this! The Lord is faithful and good! He has ONLY blessings for me!" I have hope in my heart, yes, that this will all work out. I have a deep prayer in my heart begging God silently that I wouldn't be childless. I have people praying for me, who give me encouragement, and those that say they just "know" the time will come. But one thing I've learned that's not so fun from depending on God in these uncontrollable areas is that there isn't always a yes to your deepest prayers. And that thought is terrifying.


I keep facing these hard to swallow moments of life that sober me up to the reality around me. It sucks the life away from my dreams for a family. As we get older, everything becomes more complicated, and it seems like our right to choose is taken away from us more often than we do get to choose. We face darkness through loss, and the pain of questioning why, in so many circumstances of our lives it almost makes it impossible to live. To live, that is, without hope in Christ. Having known Jesus for quite some time now, I am grateful to barely remember a life before him.


My desire is for you to see that even now in my weakness, my weakest point of believing, that God will deliver. That one way or another, he's going to show up. That waiting is not in vain, and we have a hope that never runs dry. His deliverance may not come in the way I expect, and it's just as possible I will not be able to grow my family such as it's very possible that I could. It comes down to knowing God, knowing his faithfulness, and that despite everything seeming so unclear when you're in it, that he will prevail for you. He will always be your rock, your rescue, and the one who brings about ultimately only what will lead to your very good. This world is broken, yes, but Christ is still seated at the right hand of the Father. And God is still on the throne. You should take comfort in that, dear believer, because he is literally incapable of letting you down.


So while we suffer, while the suffering and the constant questioning during the waiting is painful, we can have hope. Not just because Christ sealed our redemption with his blood, but because he's ever trustworthy, ever constant, and ever faithful. Take heart, dear ones, that while we may yet be at our last hope's breath, Christ is strong in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). He can become that hope, that belief, for us--he can carry us in times of hardship so long as we believe.

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Lesson One: It's Not About Having It All Together


The adoption journey, or the overall journey to building a family regardless of the method to get there, is fickle. For one thing, there isn't a set time and there aren't a list of "to-do's" that you can check off in order to get everything right. It would be so much easier if we could all follow a simple formula, A+B=Baby, right? Well, the reality of the world we live in is that we have to work hard to achieve our dreams, and that some of those dreams aren't in our control at all. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, adding another family member to the mix is something that you and I have to let it work out on it's own.


Here, we talk about that "lack of control" from a Christian perspective, but in this blog I want to try and write this message to be as relatable as possible because it is a worldwide struggle. Truly, family planning is not a walk in the park, and the hardest part can definitely be that waiting period between when you started your journey to reaching that ultimate goal of a baby in your arms!


Have you ever heard the song, "Even if You Don't," by MercyMe? If not, I highly recommend giving it a chance because it's almost the perfect reflection of what it looks like to struggle during a painful wait. One line specifically speaks volumes into this phase of life, "I know the sorrow and I know the hurt would all go away if you'd just say the word... but even if you don't, my hope is you alone." The idea of still being willing to have your heart open to God in some of the most crushing times of our lives can seem like being a fish out of water. The thought of it, the concept is just--foreign--to those of us who have been in a painful place for such a long time. You can feel like your spiritual life has dried out, like you're mentally walking through the desert on a hot day; I remember many days where I was just in so much pain and so tired of being in hardship that I wished for any kind of relief and constantly wanted to give up. But yet still, God sustained me...



There is so much truth in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 for anyone experiencing a painful waiting season. The reality is, you and I have no control over when that season will end, how long it will be, and sometimes a harsher reality is that sometimes we also don't have enough strength on our own to get through it. Some people have more difficult seasons of hardship and waiting while others have shorter and less burdensome seasons of waiting. It's really all about the individual path that God has designed for each of us, and only He and you can understand why things are the way they are.


But, back to the part where I said that sometimes we don't even have enough strength to finish the wait. Yes, I did say that because it's true. When I lost my son in 2019, I couldn't move forward on my own. How do you move on from something like that? It took the strength of God to get me out of bed each day and move around, simply, to survive. I've battled relapsing depression over and over for the past few years because of that loss among many others. Besides myself, there is an all-too-common pain of wondering when it will be your turn to be a parent! It's an agonizing cycle of wondering when, considering "what else you can do to push it along faster to your goal," and questioning if you did something wrong to make cause closed doors. But, what I want to get across to you is this: you didn't do anything wrong, you didn't sabotage your own journey to make the wait even longer, and if you have everything in place that you have to check off to make sure you're prepared and ready for a new baby to enter your life--there is not much more that you can do to make the journey shorter.


We live in a nation where there are more people who want to become parents than there are babies available for those wonderful loving homes. Not only that, we live in a world where miscarriage and infertility is a real problem for women to carry to full term or even have a pregnancy for that matter. In a broken world and a highly competitive system, you can't blame yourself for what "you didn't do," and you may have to start seeing that there is a bigger plan for you in all of this. There is someone out there who has more in store for you, and can see a wider version of the plan you laid out in your heart. Perhaps part of that waiting is to draw you nearer to the one who knows you better than you even know yourself.



So today's lesson, folks, is to encourage you to receive the fact that you don't have to have it all together. You don't have to have the answers to the questions why God is making me, and you, wait to have a child. When I say that, I'm not saying it's wrong to want to know because it's natural to want to ask these questions. But I'm saying it to help you see, just like Christ is saying it in Matthew 11:28, that you don't need to do everything alone. You're not alone, and you definitely don't need to carry such pain and heartache on your own. Allow yourself to become unburdened and be freed by the grace and strength of God in Christ Jesus. He can be the reason you get out of bed tomorrow, and he doesn't care if you put on a brave face or not to do it--he just wants you as you are. Give yourself the freedom to understand that it's okay to not be okay, and that even though the future doesn't seem bright, you can still hope for it to be.



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If you are just joining us, you’ll want to know the beginning of the story! Click here to read part one of “A Story of a Birth Mom”. You’ll hear about her background, the support she did or didn’t get, and why she decided to place her child up for adoption. Today, in part two of the story, we dive right into her picking a family and how things have turned out for her, the child, and the adoptive family. Below is a continuation of the transcript to our conversation.



Pearcia (Me): That’s amazing. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Can we back up? How did you choose the family to begin with?

Sue - Not Real Name (Birth Mom): I was able to give my qualifications on what type of family I wanted for the child and then I was given 15-20 resumes of parents that fit these qualifications. I narrowed it down to four families and from there was given “Dear Birth Mom” letters.

P: What are those?

S: Since what I was initially given was rather a sterile description of the family, this is the opportunity for the family to help me get to know them a bit. To let me know why they are adopting. Basically, to let me know why I should choose them.

P: Wow, that’s a lot of pressure on a letter.

S: It was oddly easy. Two of the four letters naturally rose to the top for me so it was set up that I would meet both families before choosing one.


P: How do you know which family to choose? Were you looking for something specific?

S: Well, it’s kinda like a first date. Even though you might be looking for something or hoping for something when you meet, you either have chemistry or you don’t. That’s how it was for me anyway. The family I didn’t choose was great! They had everything I was looking for in an adoptive family, but when we met, we didn’t “click”. When I met with the other family, we did. It was that simple.


P: Some of my readers are wondering if there is anything prospective adoptive parents can do to help during this meeting to be chosen, it sounds like there isn’t.

S: Honestly, be yourself. Don’t try too hard. Just be you. You will be you with the child for the rest of your life. So be that person, that is who I was hoping to meet. Just like a first date, if someone is being fake, the other person can tell. Relax and trust the right family and birth mom will find each other.

P: Trust is so simple and so hard all at the same time. So it sounds like, the in-person meeting is where you made your decision?

S: Actually, the “Dear Birth Mom” letters made a huge impact. I think I knew before I met with them, and the meeting just confirmed what I already knew. The fact that I had chemistry with the family sealed it for me. I felt bad not choosing the other family, but I knew the family I chose was the best choice.


P: I love how God brings peace to us in hard decisions! Do you mind talking about after the adoption was finalized too?

S: Not at all.

P: What did you envision for the child’s future?

S: That’s actually a tricky one. Nature versus nurture, right? I spoke with the adoptive family about this, but each family is different and we all grow and change over the years. Early on, before I was even choosing a family, I was nervous about the biological father and what he could have passed down to the child. This was a fear of mine, but nothing I could control. Maybe it was self-preservation, but I was able to separate early on that I wouldn’t have influence on the child, just like the biological father wouldn't. There are some natural characteristics that might get passed on, but the family would nurture him to help him grow.

P: That’s a really mature thought process.

S: I’m not sure it was a cognitive one, but looking back, I somehow knew these things and it helped me process. One of my main things was wanting two parents for the child. I was confident that with a positive and supportive father in his life, he wouldn’t turn out like the biological father. This gave me hope for whatever future he eventually chose for himself.


P: Since it’s an open adoption, I assume you know some of the things he’s chosen and how he’s turned out?

S: He is a sophomore now. I actually visit them regularly and sometimes bring my family. My kids don’t know the connection yet, but they all know each other.

P: That’s beautiful. Sounds like you have a good relationship with the adoptive family.

S: Yes. The family has adopted 3 kids. I’ve been able to meet with their other birth moms at the hospital and talk and share with them.

P: That’s amazing! Okay, a couple more questions that might be a bit hard. You ready?

S: You bet!


P: Since you are still in contact and spend time with the family, some of the readers are curious if you’ve ever wanted to say something when the adoptive parents disciplined or taught the child in front of you.

S: Oh! Well, I’m not the parent. The "adoptive parents" are simply the parents. I’m not “Mommy”. I’m the birth mom. So I don’t know why I would say anything.

P: That sounds very clear. Are your emotions just as clear in the moment?

S: Yes. I’m not the parent. They are. It doesn’t matter if I would do something different with my own kids. I’m there to visit, not influence what the parents have been doing the last 15 years of his life.


P: That’s a great perspective.

S: It’s reality.

P: Well, speaking of reality, do you still feel like you made the right decision?

S: Absolutely. It’s a loss of a child, but it’s different because they are still out there and thriving. It is still a grief process, but I would make the decision again. Having an open adoption helped me with my grief because I can see how great his life is now. No regrets - I’ll have sorrow from time to time - but never regrets. I’m 100% confident I made the right decision and would do it again without question.

P: I’m so glad. Okay, the last question came straight from a reader and it’s rather beautiful, so I’m just going to read it to you: “Do you understand that what you’ve done for your child is possibly the most loving and selfless act you could ever do and that by making such a hard choice you’ve given hope and a chance to someone who may have never had the opportunity without you? It is because of this that the adoptive parents will always love you and hold a place for you in their hearts with gratitude as well as your child. Did you know?”

S: *Sigh* It’s taken a long time to accept this, but I agree with it. I’ve had to get past the shame I was initially given and the guilt I laid on myself related to why I hid it from people as the years passed, but this whole situation is so beautiful and blessed. *Pauses* The reality is that this child was always supposed to be theirs, I was just the vessel.



Dear reader: We ended the conversation with details on the pieces you’ve just read, but that really was the last statement she made about the adoption process. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful, I’d like to just leave it there. May the Lord bless you and your family as you embark on this journey. He has a bright future ahead for everyone involved. Trust him as you wait.


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