This is the part of adoption that so many don’t know. When a child is identified, there has to be a certain level of understanding and knowledge before an adoption is pursued. Especially in the cases of older children (i.e. five and up). In other words: some semblance of bonding takes place even if you never meet.
When we learned about a five year old, originally from an African country, who needed to be placed in a new home—we sent out an inquiry. We then received over fifty pages of information about this child. After reading and discussing many of the ramifications of such an adoption, we sent back a request for further information. Somewhere in the middle, after loads of paperwork and phone calls, the process halted.
The child was placed and we did not get him.
It was okay. But it was hard.
So, why am I thanking God for this, and other, failed adoption attempts? Because I’ve learned some hard, brutal lessons that I am grateful for.
- I’m thankful that I’ve learned the foolishness of the words, “just adopt”. Mark this down: it is not that simple.
- I’m thankful that I’ve begun to catch glimpses of how deeply God views prayer. All that time and all those prayers spent on each child would be worthless except that it goes deeper than human eyes can see. It reaches further, touches depths, and builds faith in ways that I can only begin to understand.
- I’m thankful for the lesson of open hands. Holding palms upward, fingers forced down. There, in this position of surrender, hurt is bearable. The moment fingers curl upward to cling and long and grab—breathing stops. Oxygen cuts off. Desert-lostness and dying-thirst exudes.
- I’m thankful for the knowledge that it is not an accident that we are childless. If we never pursued and doors never closed there would always be a “what if” in our minds. Now, there is not. We surrendered everything, knocked at every door, prayed, sought God, opened our hearts and our home—and the doors stayed shut tight. I can say with confidence: God’s will for me today is to not have children.
- I’m thankful for the comfort of a God who loves. One of the adoptions that we looked into was for a set of twins. And in the midst of the waiting and longing and hoping… we found out that one of my dearest friends, Julie, was expecting her own set of twins. When it became evident that we were not going to get our own babies, I cannot tell you how comforting it was to know that Julie would soon have her little ones. It was like God saying, My loved-one, I am still here. Because, you see, Julie also once walked the road of infertility and if I could not bear my own children, the next best thing in all the world, is one of my best friends having them. What a gracious God I serve.
This post could go on for quite some time. There are many lessons. There have been many God-moments. And today, I am thankful for each and every failed adoption. And I believe and say, again, that God is good.
Can you say, in the middle of your hard things, that God is good? Why or why not?