I have a feeling that I should post this quote here so I can refer back to it over the upcoming years! A lot! It is from an adoptive mother/author/blogger (Jen Hatmaker) on the adoption process:
the excruciating wait/delays: Oh my, I can speak to this. First,
forget whatever timeline you were given at the beginning. Forget you
ever heard that. Put that in the trash can. Adoption will change,
shift, slow down, hit snags, be weird, be difficult, take longer than
you think, take longer than you can stand. This will happen. This is
the normal thing. When someone gives you a timeline, say, "Thank you
for that cute little sentence. Flush." Potential adopters, let me tell
you this: Get your "YES" straight at the very beginning. Decide on
it. Roll around in it. Put it on the table and shellack it. Because
you cannot let every delay and snag derail your certainty about
adoption. When you say YES, you are saying YES to enter the suffering
of the orphan, and that suffering includes WAITING FOR YOU TO GET TO
THEM. I promise you, their suffering is worse than yours. We say YES
to the tears, YES to the longing, YES to the maddening process, YES to
the money, YES to hope, YES to the screaming frustration of it all, YES
to going the distance through every unforeseen discouragement and delay.
Do not imagine that something outside of "your perfect plan" means you
heard God wrong. There is NO perfect adoption. Every adoption has
snags. We Americans invented the "show me a sign" or "this is a sign"
or "this must mean God is closing a door" or "God must not be in this
because this is hard," but all that is garbage. You know what's hard?
Being an orphan. They need us to be champions and heroes for them,
fighting like hell to get them home. So we will. We may cry and rage
and scream and wail in the process, but get them home we will. " - Jen
I love so many different aspects of this quote. It just grabs hold of me each time that I read it. Although I must interject that I don't exactly believe that Americans invented the "show me a sign" or "this is a sign" thing...I'm pretty sure that's been around for thousands of years...but I do think it is a lot of people's crutch! I do agree that it will be more productive when I'm struggling to remember that indeed her suffering (and of course that of our daughter's family also) is greater than our own.
And the part about getting our "yes" straight at the beginning...I received advice similar to that from Brandi. She was the caseworker who had the heart to heart conversation with me while I sat on the Target store's floor (the night before leaving for Europe). She explained that there would be more snags, hangups, and unexpected things to come and that if I let every one of them question whether we should be proceeding with the adoption or if the program was in danger of closing...that we wouldn't make it. It would be too much on me, and too much on our family. I was overcome as she told me that and I knew she was right. As Mark and I talked about things over the following days - we got our "yes" straight. I may not like the way things play out over our journey, and as Jen Hatmaker says I "may cry and rage and scream in the process"...but amidst that I will know that we're doing the right thing and is part of that "yes"! Not too different from the "yes" I said when Mark and I were married. It wasn't a "yes...as long as it doesn't get too hard" it was a "yes even WHEN things are hard"!
I also love the part of the quote that says, "Do not imagine that something outside of "your perfect plan" means you heard God wrong." That rang so true for me...there are times where I can face difficulty, change, frustration when it is out of my control...but if it results after something I chose prayerfully, I do tend to doubt that I heard right. Not that God had it wrong, but that I heard Him wrong. Because of that I am grateful I have had cause to stop and really re-consider whether to move forward with this adoption so early in our process. I knew it was for sure what I wanted, but I struggled with knowing it was right for our family and committing to that "yes". Because of our wrestle with that, we now we have that "yes" straight and it's a matter of relying on Him and one another to stick things out, and to remember that it's not about us - it's about her.