Pain, mourning and forgiveness — adoption is hard

Wednesday was the 63rd day since the judge granted our adoption of Aseres.  The next day, we got to share the good news with Aseres before we kissed her goodbye, told her we were going to prepare a place for her, and promised to be back for her real soon (see Going to Prepare a Place for You).  We did not allow ourselves to expect submission until December 15th, the last Thursday that gave us any potential of seeing Aseres again before the new year. We continued to pray for submission on December 22nd and December 29th, January 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th.  Each week we were all in with prayer — staying up until 1:00 a.m. which corresponded to the submission hour in Addis, and each week, we were devastated and mourned another week without our daughter.  We think every week we lose with her is gone forever, and each week we seek to put an end to her living without parents to love her and hold her and teach her.

Against that backdrop came Wednesday.  We had cleared every hurdle we knew about until my cell phone rang with an 817 area code on the caller id.  Crap, our agency contact could only be calling with bad news — otherwise it seems she would wait until the next morning.

“Hello, ——” I said with dread in my voice.  I think I even told her she could only be calling with bad news.  I was right —

An 11th hour review of the documents showed a date typo on one of the court documents which would have to be redone by the Court prior to submission.  It might be ready tomorrow in time for submission.

Might means might not.

Yes, but we don’t have reason to think the Court won’t complete it before Court closes for two weeks Friday.

But if you are mentioning the closure, that means.. I am going to just keep praying for Thursday — I can’t process the court closure…  Didn’t you have this document on November 30th, why only catch it now?  Nevermind, doesn’t matter the answer.  Please. please. please do all you can.

Every time I get off the phone with bad news, I have to let Marissa know.  It is so hard to tell her.  Marissa is already Aseres’ mom and she hurts for Aseres every moment that she is separated from her — Mom Hurts for her.  And Marissa’s expressions of hurt look like some people’s expressions of anger.  We talked, like we always do.  There was less anger which I oddly missed.  I don’t want her to put any emotional distance between her and the situation.  Even thousands of miles away, Aseres needs her mom to hurt for her like only a mom can.  When Maris acts angry, I can see that hurt and I know Aseres can feel it.  Of course, I knew it was there and she was just protecting me from it.

I had a meeting at City Hall and Owen had soccer, so I picked Roni and Connor up and took them home.  I prayed with them, put them to sleep, then poured into my bible — Isaiah, Psalms, Romans — joy, rescue, salvation, crushed, hears the cry of his people, joy comes in the morning, steadfast love, faith, frees the oppressed and protects the orphan.  Maris made it home and we watched a movie and Tebow on Fallon before praying — it’s whatever we ask right.  You called us to this.  It is your glory I will sing.  Yes, let joy come in the morning — tomorrow morning — this night has been long enough.  In Jesus name.

Thursday morning, February 2nd turned out like the six Thursdays before it.  Aseres’ file was not submitted.  I let Marissa know then hit my knees, face down in my conference chair and cried out to God.

Did I miss you in this God?  All the signs you gave us; bring this to completion, in Jesus name.  I have faith that you can but I am running short on faith that you will – forgive my unbelief.  I know you have Aseres back and will write your perfect plan upon her life; we are here for you to work through.  How long until you hear our cry?  Strengthen my marriage, strengthen my faith — strengthen them for these tests.  Reveal your glory; we have staked everything on it.  We are living this out in front of our kids as they grow in their faith and in real time before everyone — for your glory  — let them see your glory.  You created heaven and earth, who am I to know better than you, but I thought I was chasing what you wanted.  Increase my faith, wipe out my fear.  Stand in triumph over those who would keep her trapped today, in the name of Jesus.

Adoption is hard.  It stresses a marriage; it distracts you from work; it demands emotion which is unavailable for other pursuits.  It may take everything you have.  We might lose it all if this keeps going.  But God didn’t promise us an easy road; he just promised to be enough to sustain us, so we count another tear as lost without holding back any emotion the next week.  The further we get out on our rope, the closer we are to understanding how dependent on God we were all along.  We are so honored that he will work a rescue of Aseres through us.   And once he does, he will heal any emotional scar left from our wounds.  I know that; I’ve seen it.

My parents couldn’t have kids.  For years they tried but nothing.  Their friends had kids who weren’t even trying, yet they were married and ready but not them.  My mom hurt like Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel.  Finally, God led her to me, a sick orphan in foster care, and he united us when I was a little over three months.  My parents have this picture of me sleeping on my mom’s shoulder the day they picked me up.  I grew up resenting it in a weird way (see No fairy tales), because I thought their joy at that “mommy moment” was the satisfaction of some need on their part.  What I didn’t realize until I hurt like they hurt is that the fact that it satisfied a need of theirs wasn’t bad, because they didn’t make the moment — God did.  God knew my mom’s hurt, and God gave her just what she needed to heal the emotional scars.  Thank you God for using me when I was three months old and for putting me to sleep out of compassion for my mom’s hurt.  Forgive me Father, for holding that moment against them.  And God,we could use a moment of healing from your perfect grace.  We will trust in that and keep hurting for her every day until you bring this to completion.