pressing on

Tomorrow I was supposed to be wrapping up a road trip with my mom and arriving in Oklahoma. Had things gone differently, the next day I might have been sitting down to lunch with the expectant mother who had chosen Joe and I to parent her baby girl. By the end of the week that same baby girl would probably have been nestled in my arms while I went from feeling overjoyed that our wait was over to feeling heartbroken that another woman's pain was just beginning. Adoption is so complicated.

Instead of doing these things, I'm at home. I got to spend today with both of my sweet boys, P and G, under the same roof, which almost never happens. Instead of being in Oklahoma waiting impatiently for the courts to process paperwork, I'll be helping P get ready for kindergarten and walking him to the bus stop in a few weeks. Instead of worrying about how we'll budget for adoption expenses and whether or not we have everything ready for a baby, I'll know that we are more than prepared with budgets outlined and baby bags packed. I've been able to count a lot of blessings in the last week.

Of course, blessings don't erase the fact that we are grieving. When I got the information on Monday that baby girl, the little one we thought would be ours to love for her whole life, had been born and her mother had chosen a different family to adopt her, I spent a few hours crying ugly, snotty tears. I was just so tired of being on this journey and experiencing disappointment. It's tiring to hope and enter into each new possibility with the same energy that you took to the last one. I don't regret one minute of planning and prayer that we poured over the mother and her baby girl or the time that we have now spent praying for the new adoptive family. It was all worth it. Still, I'd only be painting half the picture if I didn't also say that this journey feels like it may never end.

I sat in church today listening to the music and cried again. With each new bend in our road it is brought home to me more clearly that Christ did not die so that I could be happy, but so that I could be redeemed, so that when I am crushed by the things that come to my life, grace and love pour out of me instead of anger and bitterness. It is one of my deepest desires that God would add children to our family, that we would see redemption for the these years that sometimes seem full of struggle and empty of result. But, if at the end of our adoption journey the only thing I walk away with is the ability to love others better, to extend greater compassion and grace, I think I'm beginning to believe that it will be it's own reward.

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." Philippians 3:12