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.