This is so not how I thought this week would go.
Instead of spending this week getting to know our new daughter, being up every night for feedings and diaper changes, adapting to a new way of life with three children at home instead of two...we're adapting.
I've been up twice now very late at night with Eisley and Jake, having conversations deeper and more heart wrenching than conversations with six-year-olds should ever be. I've been praying, not for the health of this new baby, but for the strength to handle what is coming. Instead of preparing for the baby to come home any day, we are adjusting into a different mode, adapting to our new circumstances. We are confident there will be a baby here eventually, but there's no longer a need to have the diaper bag packed and ready to go, and we're finding a more long term solution for the baby furniture we thought would be needed in the upcoming days. My calendar on the fridge now taunts me with a big circle around a date that once meant we'd finally have the baby home. Now it means...nothing really.
Josh is going back to school next week, the kids shortly after that. We've been buying new backpacks and lunchboxes and ordering school uniforms. I expected to be on maternity leave for the weeks preceding and following their first days of school, and am realizing how much this throws off my timeline and vision of how this school year would begin. I'm adapting.
Some things remain the same. We continue to pray constantly for this baby and her mother. Our prayers have adapted though. We now pray God will show us how to be a light to them, how to best support them and walk with them on this hard road. We pray the Lord will bring us a baby someday, but we pray for extra patience while the wait is now extended past what we can predict.
We had a couple of donations for the adoption in the past week or two, and then yesterday Josh got paid for his summer basketball camps he's been running. As I made the deposits today, I realized...we met our financial goal. We have enough for our final placement fee for this adoption. I felt like it should have been so much more exciting than it was.
Afterwards, I realized how unbelievably shameful my attitude was. Even in the midst of this heart ache, how could I miss it? God blessed us with EVERY SINGLE PENNY we needed for this adoption! I stopped and imagined myself kneeling before Him and holding the exact amount we needed to complete this adoption, and I just thanked Him. It is nothing short of a miracle that He provided the near $13,000 in a matter of months, when we literally started out with nothing to put towards our goal. Nothing! I remember cleaning some yoga studio with Josh to earn the very first hundred dollars we would deposit into our adoption account. That seems like an eternity ago, but at the same time this goal seemed insurmountable in certain moments, and here we are!
I wish I could take a count of how many different people gave and sacrificed for this adoption. We have had people give pennies, portions of their paycheck, monthly donations, gifts and items for fundraisers, allowances from little ones, time, energy, and ideas to help us with fundraisers, huge sacrificial financial gifts, odd jobs to help us earn more, and the list goes on. Not to mention the gifts people have showered on us to help prepare us for this baby! People have offered encouragement and love with each and every dollar, and there is no possible way, even if we said it every day for the rest of our lives, to thank you all enough for the generosity you have all shown us.
We might not be in the place we thought we'd be this week, but that goes both ways. I never imagined we would have reached our financial goal this early. When we started this journey, I would have laughed if you told me that in only a few short months, we'd have enough for our final placement fee without having to take out a single loan. I always knew God would provide what we needed when we needed it, but He far exceeded my expectations and blessed us beyond measure!!!
Though we are adapting to this very difficult situation, we hope you will rejoice with us in this very significant victory!!! It is huge! I felt at first that it was almost inappropriate to talk about finances while we are facing what we are facing right now, but you know what? We all could use a little good news, and this is great news!
People have asked me, very hesitantly, what happens to the funds for the adoption in our current circumstances. We don't make our final payment to the agency until the baby we are adopting is officially placed in our home and papers are signed stating they are legally ours. That might sound like a super petty thing to be talking about right now, but the reality is people are wondering and are worried for us that we might be starting all over again having to raise new funds for a new adoption. I just want to put your mind at ease that we will not have to do that, and God has provided all we need!
I had someone that I really look up to and admire because of her deep experience with loss share with me today an experience of hers that encouraged me so much. She reminded me that it is very possible that God orchestrated this entire situation so that we would be there to walk along side this birth mother, to encourage her and be a light to her very dark situation. I fully believe that God knew all along that this is how things would play out, because He knew if He placed us here, we would be obedient in His request to love on this mother and her baby, despite the heartache it may cause our family. Maybe no one else would do that, so He asked us to. And if so, I want to make sure we are doing that to the very best of our ability.
This baby girl has so many people praying for her! Her mother, though she has absolutely no idea, has an entire mass of people praying for her who otherwise would not even know about her or her situation, had God not placed Josh and me in this exact circumstance.
I have no idea, and I'm not even going to venture a guess, what God has in store for our family. He may choose to do something completely unexpected in this situation with this particular baby and her mother. Maybe not. All I know is that He has each of us praying fervently about the whole thing, and I am truly, deeply excited to see what comes of all of this.
Waiting is so incredibly hard. I thought it would get easier as I got older, but it just gets more complicated. What helps me is to not look at it like we are waiting for anything in particular (because I don't honestly know what we are waiting for...just that it feels like we are), but that we are living in the exact moment and place that God wants us to be. Right now, I feel at total peace that we are exactly where God wants our family to be...praying and supporting this birth mom and her baby girl, teaching our children the lessons that we can glean from the whole experience, and listening very intently for any direction the Lord gives us.
That kind of an attitude is itself an adaptation for me! I am so glad God is changing me in that way, because it is so much more comfortable and peaceful! I'm sure it will take many more years of lessons and experiences like these, but I will take them one at a time.
And I will adapt.