Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Flashbacks: I Told God No

Caroline turns two, Feb 2010
In early 2010, during our process to adopt Amelia, Ugandan adoptions shut down.  I fell apart.  It was the first of many unsettling delays in our adoption process. 

It was also a gift from God. 

Like many adoptive parents, I started our process to get Amelia with an illusion of control... I'd pick the country, the parameters, the age and health of our child.  But the uncertainties of international adoption violently stripped all facades of control from me.  Sure, in the end, Amelia came home a young, healthy, Ugandan baby, just like we'd hoped from the start.  But HOW THANKFUL I am today that our road to get her was not easy, so we finally knew only God can add to our family. 

The richest spiritual gifts I've ever received have come through struggle, uncertainty, and pain.  What a joy, after finding out you're not in control, to find you can REST in the God who is.

A post from February 17, 2010, when we were unsure whether we could continue the Ugandan adoption process.

The prayer I prayed at the start of our adoption process:

God, we will obey you in whatever you ask -- but only if you're asking us to parent a young baby.

God, we will give our care to whomever you place in our arms -- but we will not let You place in our arms any child with severe medical needs.

We will follow Your will whatever the cost -- unless the cost would make life hard on our Caroline. (Heaven forbid we show her that the difficult road walked in Your presence is far more amazing and rewarding than a comfortable and empty life on our own terms.)

We trust you endlessly -- until You ask us to do or believe You through anything frightening.
I was so wrong. Thank God that He allowed there to be such uncertainty in our adoption. Yes, I want to know the answers. But this time of irresolution has taught me one thing: I am not in control. Not over our our adoption's timing, not over our child's age, health, and nationality, not over anything. And I am so glad. I believe that God's will is best -- regardless of what it is.

It is like I am now letting go, only to realize that my hands were clinched tightly around nothing at all. I never called the shots in the first place. And now, I want obedience. My eyes are open to the beautiful possibilities in all of those things I said "no" to at first with this adoption... special needs, different ages, different countries.

We have no reason to change course with our adoption right now. We have no reason to stop waiting for something to change in Uganda at this moment. But I told God this: My heart is open. I am ready for You to do whatever You will. And I am willing to follow. There is beauty in YOUR plan, God. Not mine.

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