we are in a season of waiting.
paperwork is done and processed, interviews are taken care of, trip number one is long over, and there is nothing else for us to do but wait. as i write this in tears, this is definitely the hardest season. the season where doubts creep in and feel like they are going to take over and swallow me up. it happens every time someone asks, “where are you in the process?” and we reply with smiles on our faces, “just waiting.”
it happens every time someone asks, “so what’s your timeline?” and we say, “we don’t have one.”
it happens every time someone says, “so…you’re just waiting for a phone call then?” and we reply, “yep, could happen anytime, tomorrow or 5 years from now.” then their brow furrows a little, they give a half-smile, look at us like we’re a little crazy and may have lost our minds, then reply, “i’ll bet you’ll get one really soon!” we reply, “we hope so”, but know in our hearts there is no guarantee it will be soon.
but we’re not the first to be in a season of waiting.
abraham and sarah were promised to have a son. they waited another 25 years before that promise was fulfilled.
hannah prayed for many years for a son, but it wasn’t until “due time” that her petition was granted and samuel was born.
israel was in egypt for 400 years, crying out for deliverance, and even when moses came and promised that God would deliver them, they still had to wait, and their treatment as slaves got worse.
israel was promised to be brought into the Promised Land, yet they wandered for 40 years in the desert before it was fulfilled.
israel was promised a messiah, yet there was nothing but silence for 400 years before that promise was fulfilled.
it seems like an impossible task.
all of the paperwork and timing that goes with that paperwork (including some things that expire), dealing with two governments, response from the embassy and their approval, 7000 more dollars left to raise, all of the things that have to align seem like a completely impossible task. sometimes i sit here and think, “how do adoptions even occur with all of the things that have to happen properly?” over the past month i have sat in front of my husband and a dear friend in tears and said, “this is such an impossible task. is this ever going to happen?” though much has been done and taken care of, i am still overwhelmed at times at what is yet to be done.
but this is not the first impossible task.
abraham and sarah are referred to a few times in Scripture “as good as dead.” they were old. way past child bearing age. it’s why they both laughed at the promise. it’s why when they were waiting and nothing was happening, they tried to take matters into their own hands.
Scripture is clear that hannah was barren. the Lord had closed her womb. she wouldn’t have any children.
moses was told to go before Pharoah and tell him to let the Israelites go, but Pharoah didn’t let them go. continually. and the israelites doubted and grumbled. after they were released, they wandered in the desert, not really sure where they were going, and got so impatient and frustrated with God they started worshiping a calf.
noah was building a giant ark on completely dry land while everyone was jeering at him off to the side.
when gabriel told zechariah he and elizabeth would have a son who would prepare the way for the Messiah, he didn’t believe him. elizabeth was also barren and well beyond child bearing years, and then there was that whole 400 years of silence thing hanging over their heads.
yet in all of these instances and more, He was faithful despite their faithlessness. that’s the great thing about the God we serve, He takes what is impossible and makes it possible. He fulfills every one of His promises. nothing and no one can thwart His plan. it’s why He gets and deserves the glory and not us.
this season of advent has been made ever more clear to us. while we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby J, we are getting a teeny, tiny glimpse of what His people felt when they were longing, and anxiously awaiting their Messiah. other than for His glory and our good, i don’t understand why He calls us to wait. i do know i am the most impatient person. i am a total sarah. i’m impatient not necessarily because i want everything instantly, but because i want to be in control. i want to get things done. like sarah, i get impatient and try to take things into my own hands, depend on myself, and it never goes well for me. like sarah, i doubt and laugh at the impossible. but i know that in this waiting and my attitude towards it, He is starting to develop a mary-like faith and obedience. i love her story, because she just believes instantly and obeys. i think that’s one of the many reasons favor rests on her. i hope my faith grows to be like that.
during this advent season, jonathan and i have been doing our own study of the people in the line of Jesus and looking at God’s promises to them and their fulfillment. it has been a great encouragement to us. Jesus’ family is messy. Jesus’ family is full of diversity. Jesus’ family is full of the unlikely.
i am humbled and thankful that through adoption, our little family will be a small picture of that. and i am encouraged that He keeps every single promise, no matter what his faithless people do. we know that unlike these examples given in Scripture, Baby J is not promised to us. but, we know that our family is called to adopt, and we know that Japan is the place laid strongly on our hearts. there just wasn’t another option to us. we know that He has prepared and laid our path before us, opening impossible doors, making them possible for us to walk through.
we know that He is good and works for our good – and He knows what “our good” is better than we ever could. we know that our hope is in Christ, not in agencies, or governments, or embassies, or any human being. so it is with that hope that we rest in Him to see this adoption through, to make what seems impossible possible. this season of advent makes us even more long for His coming again to make all things new.
dear friends who are also waiting, we love you and are praying for your babies to come home soon too. dear friends who are struggling with infertility, we hope you take comfort in the fact that the bible is filled with women who are barren, and the Lord blesses them. friends who are waiting to go serve overseas with people who you love and long to see know the gospel, just a little bit longer. friends who are waiting for marriage, new jobs, healing – no matter what season of waiting you are in, we hope it pushes you to hope and trust in Him. we hope it pushes you to evermore say “O come O come Emmanuel.”