I remember the moment when Stew looked across the dinner table at me and pulled out a map and said, "it is time". We began to walk openly towards adopting. You know, the journey so far is kind of like marriage. You walk down the aisle and you make a vow. You vow to everything when you know nothing. You vow to take the good and the bad, not able to imagine there would ever be bad.
That has been how our adoption process has gone so far. We vowed to go forward no matter what...vowing to everything but knowing nothing until the Lord would/will show us or lead us through it.
The Lord has shown so much! Our agency, our country, our son. He has given us people, money, resources, packing lists, encouraging words, new friends, suitcases, plane miles, babysitters, car rides, provisions beyond our recall. Most of all he has given us His heart and story of our own adoption. We still have not recovered, and I pray we don't, from the mirror picture of Kelly's adoption to our own adoption through Jesus to God Himself.
But you know when you get to that point when the "honeymoon" time fades...like all good things here do....and you find the hard things...the waiting...the new things seem old. It is at that point when we either push through and find newness of spring after the winter snow....or we shatter in the waiting and turn to something else for comfort.
I found myself there the last few days of our recent trip to Haiti. It was like someone took a bag and put it over my head and didn't lift it until i got on the plane heading back for the US. I hated it and struggled to push through it. I am still processing it. I couldn't wait to go see Kelly and hold him and i found myself in the end wishing i was back home. I can't tell you exactly why, but as I have processed it over the last few days I have found a few things. 1. I never like to anticipate pain-Saying good bye to Kelly was something i found myself wanting to just run from this time. 2. The reality of the waiting for our son to come home completely disappointed me and I wanted to bail. 3. I became so self consumed with my feelings that I couldn't even see the needs of my own family...(Stew and kelly)
This trip was full of wonderful things. We learned more of Kelly's first mother. I am thankful to gather the stories to share with him and hold honor for him and her. We celebrated kelly's 4th birthday with a party. It was a wonderful normal! (birthday kid throws a tantrum and spits out his cake...but everyone else is taking pictures and says it is wonderful eating so much candy! have to be honest, but still enjoyed it none the less) We got to talk to Kelly about his name. "Kelly Josiah Stewart" He will tell you if you ask him...it is so cute! We got to talk to him about our house here and tell him we are preparing it for him. We got to love him through tantrums and fun times playing together! We learned that his stuff for his dossier is getting ready quickly to meet up with ours when it gets there in a few weeks.
I could and will write down a "proverbs 31" account of all the right and good things and celebrate them. And I will. But in between all the good and right are valleys we don't expect that teach us truths about ourselves, and ultimately are to point us to truth about God. And I want to write down those moments too. Because I have found it is in the moments of valley's or pain that we find our need for God and grow close to Him.
So in our "bliss" I have experienced the truth of myself that I can't keep a "vow". I really only want the right things...the fun things...the happy things...I don't want the low times, the dark times, or the self-centered times. I don't want the waiting. I don't want the pain. But I am learning that the very story we are experiencing of truth, grace and love with Kelly is my own needed story. I can't do anything apart from the LORD. I can never stand without truth, grace or love. I need it as much as Kelly needs it. The last few days there with Kelly are a blur...i remember feeling every insecurity I could have ever felt in my life. All my failures flooding my mind and me doubting everything behind and ahead. But someone told me they were praying that "hope would rise as I waited on the LORD" I could hear that faintly in the midst. By God's grace I waited through it without leaving michael, screaming in the streets of Haiti or hurting kelly. I waited. And hope rose. In my failures comes God's redemption. And all over again, I experienced saving grace...the need for every human life.
And so from this trip I was brought back to the strong truth that adoption (and marriage too) has always been God's doing and only He can do it. And by His love and grace we will all be changed from it in the end.
Continuing on ahead, knowing that to step into everything, knowing little to nothing of what lies ahead, is okay. If there is a step, then there is a place ahead to go. And Jesus will be there all along the way.