September 4, 2014

Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee

Much of my life, things have come quick and easy. Especially in regard to big decisions. God knows I am indecisive by nature. When picking a college, that was easy: the biggest school I could go to and the cheapest (thanks UT! GOVOLS!!!). God was again clear and direct when choosing whom to marry. From the moment I met Luke (and to this day) I am 100% sure that he is God's best for me as a spouse. Luke and I decide to start a family and literally 9 months later (10 if the doc's would be honest, because 40 divided by 4 is 10. ahem.), there was Sam. In much the same way, along came Ms. Caroline. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy. My way, right away.  Once we decided to do something, I'm not sure I even committed much time to pray about it. I mean, I would throw out the "please let your will be done...keep my baby safe...etc" but to be honest, they were prayers like warding off a curse or passing on a chain letter. "if I don't pray and ask, then God might make my baby ugly." Which is ridiculous (Sam and C say 'ridiclious,' and we are trying to keep that one cause its too cute) because all newborn babies are ugly...except mine of course.

As we began the adoption process (a phrase I'm starting to loathe, I've used it so long), we approached it much as we had always approached big decisions. We felt led to go in this direction, and because it wasn't a typical decision like going to college, having kids, etc. we took it a bit more prayerfully. When we were pursuing China, we prayed over our paperwork before we sent it in. On sleepless nights I would pray for the orphans there and the families faced with these decisions. However, since with China you are basically in one long line, we didn't think about it a ton. It was nowhere near the front of our minds because we knew it would be about 4 or 5 years. However, the line grew (and sadly continues to grow) slower. Our 'doable' window started expanding to 6 years, then 7. For the first time, Luke and I looked at each other, a bit shocked (picture minions: 'whaaaa?'). This isn't quick nor is it easy: we must have missed something. Did we not do the right things? How is this not working out the way we thought? We were forced to face reality and this began a real faith struggle. When God doesn't behave like the American Dream (the one where you do the right thing and things work out perfectly just the way you wanted when you wanted), what do you do?

Options:
1. Cut bait. We tried to do the right thing. This must be God saying 'no'
2. Stay in line and hope for the Chinese government to grow a heart (NOT LIKELY, BUT THANKS FOR COMING OUT!!)
3. Get pregnant
4. Explore other options

If you read my 'letter to myself' after having Caroline (its in my blog somewhere) you know that pregnancy is great, but we felt called to adopt. Considering the Chinese government is so darn consistent, we weren't holding our breath for them to speed things up. Neither of us had a peace about cutting bait. So we began to do something that we hadn't really REALLY done before: pray about other options and for God to lead us where to go from here. I wouldn't say our hearts were open open, but there was a crack. If you want to read about how we came to the decision to do domestic open adoption through CPO, here ya go and here ya go. Open adoption is such an amazing gift to everyone involved and I love this ministry.

However, I'm learning that God was/is not looking to change how our family looks as his end goal. He wants to change how I look. Regardless of the outcome of this adoption journey (yet another phrase that is beginning to wear because it feels more like one of those 100 mile mega marathons that only crazy people run), I know we are in the right place. There has been growth and a dramatic shift in my relationship with God, with Luke and definitely with my kids. I don't know about infertility, but I know the agony of the wait and the unknown. I don't know about miscarriage, but I know the sadness of 'not this time.' I don't know a perfect relationship with God, but I know closer and I know more than I did before. I don't know what it was like to be Paul, but I know what its like to have God step in and change what you thought you knew...

...Boy that was a long and winding path to get back to the title of this post!

He is working. We are waiting and growing. We are thankful.


So there it is folks. Probably WAY MORE than you wanted in an adoption update. We've got our boots on, and we're walking, and we are going to keep walking until He's done.

If you have made it to the bottom, I owe you, like, coffee or something. Whew!

Peace Out,
Michele

Notes to any editors or english majors out there:
1. forgive my copious amount of commas and parenthesis. I often think in parenthesis.
2. I never got (NORDOICARETOGET) the It's vs Its rules.
3. Sorry for that last set of parenthesis

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