If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that we’ve been expecting to bring home a new member of our family soon. This is the news that completely changed our plans…
I woke up and thought about the dream I’d just had. It made me smile. Bodie and I had made it to the orphanage and were told we could take our daughter out. “Really?” I was surprised they’d just let us take her. Just for a ride right? We brought the sweet little girl to the car and were so happy to be there for her. She looked very unsure so we tried to calm her and assure her. “What a good dream,” I thought. The only odd aspect had been that the girl had not at all seemed like the little Joy* we’d committed to and hoped to bring home.
I walked down the stairs thinking I should tell Bodie about the dream. Instead I got caught up in kids and breakfast and to do’s. “Oh! I need to make a phone call,” I remembered. The day before the leader of our adoption facilitation team had asked for me to call.
I dialed and she answered right away. She went on to tell me how they’d just found out. It’d been an international family with a blind referral, Perhaps Italian. She was no longer available.
Our “Joy” wasn’t going to be our “Joy.” She’d been adopted.
I didn’t expect to cry but all of a sudden my tears wouldn’t stay in. My three year old put his plump little hand on my shoulder and cuddled close. “Why are you crying mamma? Do you need a kiss?” This girl I’d hoped for, prepared for, worked for and prayed for was suddenly out of our reach.
One year. That’s how long we’d worked on papers and the home study and medicals and home assessments and two dozen other things. We’d been getting so close but run into so many obstacles. We’d seen other families start their adoptions and finish while we were left behind. What began as a 6-12 month process had seen problem after problem. Now this.
I knew it was possible. The country we hoped to adopt from did international adoptions differently than others and this was one of the differences. In the beginning we were told how a child was not officially ours until we made it in country and accepted the child’s referral from authorities. It was a possibility but almost never happens.
Immediately my mind began to wonder “how does one get through this?”
I knew that our next step was to either choose another child to commit to or travel to the country blind. Both options seemed painfully impossible at the moment.
The next day we went to church and I felt nervous thinking of sharing the news and hearing over and over how sorry everyone was but how wonderful that she was going to have a family.
Yes. It’s wonderful for her. It’s what we’d hoped for.
But it wasn’t wonderful for us. I hated to admit but it hurt bad.
She’d gained a family while we’d lost a daughter.
I remembered the sweet feelings that “this was how it’s supposed to be,” the first night Bodie added Joy to his night time prayers.
Though disappointed to have missed her baby years I’d kept a baby book just for her. Letters from “mom” covered the outsides of the pages. I’d planned to fill it with whatever pictures and information we could find about her first year of life. No more.
That night we sat down to look through the pictures of other orphans needing a forever family. Bodie echoed the same feelings I’d had the night before. “I don’t want to do this!”
The pictures on the computer screen looked like just that: pictures. The words next to them seemed more like I.D. tags of special needs that labeled each one.
This wasn’t how it was meant to be. We both knew that. To commit to a child we needed to have open hearts and we weren’t there yet but the time was ticking. Our paperwork remained overseas just waiting to be submitted. The longer we took, the more likely documents would expire and we’d have to redo them. More preparations and it couldn’t be done until we were decided.
“God, open our hearts to these kids!”
Ideally, one would have time to grieve and rest but in the world of adoption we had times of waiting and times of rushed preparation. No longer was this a waiting time.
We went back again the next day and the next. Our prayer soon changed from asking for an open heart to asking for direction and wisdom in our commitment. “Who God? Who?”
Yes, we still ask “why” but a wise friend reminded me of this:
“One can’t simply ask ‘why’ about the agony without asking ‘why’ about the blessings as well.”
Perhaps because of the good, because of the blessings I can trust that this will all be worked together for good.
To be continued…
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”