When I think about timing, all I can think of is simply standing in awe of the One who orchestrates and is in charge of all time. Because He’s the only answer for the timing of our family coming together. I hear all the time from people who want to adopt “one day” that they are waiting on a better “time.” Friend, there’s no such thing as the perfect time, and sometimes, He moves mountains so you can get to each other, and one of those mountains is time. If we had not been pressed to move and move quick, something we weren’t planning to do, we would not have our son. And just to prove that from the outside, our “timing” didn’t look very wise or perfect to be honest (we got told that a time or two, the word stupid was even thrown out there once from a stranger online), here’s where we were in life when we started the adoption process.
- We had only been married 3 years.
- We had literally just paid off $32,000 of debt from the franchise we bought 2 years prior.
- We had just purchased our first home.
- We had just moved, not only to our first house, but to a new city.
- We were living off of a social worker’s salary and my business was just turning a profit.
We didn’t have $40,000 sitting in the bank. We didn’t have much savings at all. In fact, we were planning on getting settled in our new place and officially starting paperwork in June, taking our time. Instead, we started the process, bought our first house, and moved all in one month. We couldn’t even afford to pay for the $3,200 home study we needed to actually get going. A dear friend offered to pay for it and we had a check in the mail the following week. We weren’t planning on telling anyone until we were home study approved, yet we had to start fundraising right away so we went “public” with our news pretty much right from the start. But, to give you an example of how this timing was perfect and we didn’t even know it:
- Laws were changing in both countries. We rushed to do our home study and initial immigration paperwork. We got our approval letter from USCIS three days before the law about international adoptions changed here in the U.S. Had we not been grandfathered into the old system, we would not have our son.
- We were not required to take two trips to Japan, we just felt it would be wise to do so and go visit our agency in country. We knew it would be cheaper to travel in the fall, so we set our trip for end of September. We arrived at our agency 8 days after our son was born. We met him on our first trip (we had not been matched with him at that point), and I will always cherish that gift from the Lord.
- One of our biggest fundraisers was Adopt My Run, and Jonathan planned to run the Dallas Marathon that December. It iced in Texas and was cancelled. He registered for the Cow Town Marathon in February, but we had gotten the phone call and were on the plane to bring home our boy. Had it been earlier, I don’t know that we would have had the money to fly last minute and stay in Japan. He finally registered for the Irving Marathon, and crossed the finish line looking at our son.
- We started our adoption process on March 1st, 2013. We arrived home with our son on Texas soil on March 1st, 2014. That does not happen with international adoptions.
- There were things that our son’s birth mother specifically requested. We didn’t know until after we read through all the paperwork, but the timing of what she wanted and the way in which we were moved to pray, it is inexplicable. It is truly one of those “but God” situations.
Though yes, our process went “quickly” (we were not done when we came home), the timing at the time, did not feel that way. In no way during our adoption process did I ever think “Wow! This is all moving so fast!” I couldn’t even type that sentence without laughing. The wait, the timing, it was excruciating. None of it made sense until after the fact. Even now, five years later, we are still uncovering miracles of timing in our process.
Timing is a funny thing, a thing we don’t control. I sit here and type out, remembering all these miracles for you, praising the Lord for truly making a way where there was no way, and in the next breath, tears in my eyes asking Him is it time yet to do that again? Please say it’s time.
We didn’t plan for our kids to be more than two years apart. We planned to start another adoption process when Kai turned two. Kai turned two three years ago, and we knew it was not time. We needed more time, he needed more time. Three came and went. Four came and we had planned to foster to adopt next. Yet, the week of his fourth birthday, we looked at each other and knew. We had been individually wrestling with that decision, and finally said out loud that was not the best choice for us right now. I had to grieve that “not right now” for a couple of months. He just turned five two months ago, and though we have a direction (private domestic adoption), we haven’t formally started the process. And that too, is excruciating.
Two years ago we picked up Kai from his class at church and his teacher handed me his craft and said, “he’s your only one right?” We said yes and she told us he insisted he was thankful for baby brother and baby sister. I looked down and it was a typical thanksgiving craft, four hands made out of construction paper about what you are thankful for. One hand said God, the next Mom & Dad, the next said Brother, the last said Sister. We talked to him on the way to the car about how he doesn’t have a brother and sister, thinking maybe he just heard so many kids in class say that he just copied it (he was three after all). But he was insistent he has a baby brother and sister, they just weren’t here yet. And he has kept this up for two years. It’s consistent and never changes. We have carried around dinosaurs and stuffed animals pretending to be baby brother and sister. When we ask Kai what he wants to pray for at bedtime, his response is always “baby brother and baby sister.” He asks us often when they are coming home. I see his face when people ask him if he has any brothers or sisters, and my own heart stings when people ask “Is he your only one? Do you plan to adopt again?”
Of course we do. And I’m not angry or upset when people ask this question. This is just not the timing I wanted.
It’s true, there is no such things as “the perfect time,” but…His timing is actually perfect. We simply don’t see it the way He does. I cling to these verses in the wait and when my plan inevitably doesn’t go as planned:
“For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Is. 30: 19-21, emphasis mine.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is. 55:8-9
Sometimes, yes, we are told to wait. And yet sometimes, we are the ones who actually need to take that step and move forward. We have to put feet to our prayers. For a couple of years we were begging the Lord to help us be more financially fit so that we could start another adoption process, and yet we weren’t making all the changes necessary to actually do so. We realized, we have to move and we did quite literally because that was putting feet to those prayers. And wouldn’t you know…when we stepped out in obedience, things started to progress. We can’t expect to just stand there with our hands open waiting for that thing drop down. He will and does ask us to move. It’s His job to make the way, it’s our job to actually walk in it.
I don’t know where you are today as you read this. The likelihood is, we are all in some kind of wait. Today I just want to remind you that the best thing you can do during the wait, is look up. The best thing you can do in the wait is listen. For the love of all things drown out that nonsense. Do not look to the right or to the left, just listen to the One who is both before you (making a way) and behind you (showing you the way and asking you to move).
I promise you, whatever it is you are waiting on, it’s worth the wait. Now move.
If you are interested in foster care or adoption, be sure to head to the shop and grab my workbook Before You Adopt: A Guide To the Questions You Should Be Asking. This will help you move from “one day” to actually taking a first step.