Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God – Phillipians 4:6
This week has been a bit trying so it was certainly worthy of a little creative outlet. I recently sent out a request to many asking for prayers for our family. As always, the response was tremendous. We are incredibly blessed with a network of truly caring individuals who, despite their own busy hectic lives, will stop at any given moment and offer prayer on our behalf. It is one of the truest and most evident expressions of God’s love at work in the hearts of mankind. Just one more way that He provides in the gap between home and this temporary place that we live.
At the end of last week we got a call about an infant that could potentially be placed in our home soon. We have spent many nights with bowed heads, and heart-felt requests for a second child to bless our home. This isn’t the first of these type of calls that we have received. There have been many others before this one that, for one reason or another, did not come to be. It’s always an emotional challenge to wait in anticipation for a child that may never come whether you’re talking about adoption or infertility or troubled pregnancies. You can’t hope enough that they’ll soon be in your arms, but you can’t let go of nagging fears that they’ll never make it there at all. When we first made the decision to become foster/adoptive parents we had to prepare our home for whatever we might need. Part of this process involved purchasing a crib. I can’t express how long I had desired to have that moment. I must have looked at a hundred cribs trying to find the one that was just right. I got so wrapped up in the moment as we carried it home that evening. I couldn’t wait to unpack it and set it up, and decorate it with soft little blankies and animal prints. I really let my guard down that day. I even have a plethora of photos of my husband piecing it all together while I sat in the floor with him smiling from ear to ear, as if I was too fragile to lend a hand. I kept telling him, “Oh no, this is the Daddy’s job!” He didn’t dare remind me that I was just as un-fragile as I’d ever been in the last 6 years. He just let me be in the moment. One of the many reasons that I love him so deeply. For the first few weeks after the room was set up I would go in there and just sit and stare at it smiling uncontrollably. Sometimes I liked to run my hands along the smooth rounded rails and adjust the Noah’s Ark blanket that lay folded over the front rail. It really is beautiful.
It has been almost 2 years since we bought that crib. Sometimes I look at it now and feel guilty that I had gotten so lost in my excitement and made such a frivolous purchase. It hasn’t gone completely unused though. At one time my daughter used it as a couch for her stuffed animals and a bed for her baby dolls. Other times my baby sister (she’ll be 2 in May) has used it when she spends the night. It started out in my daughter’s room, but as her toy collection expanded it had to be moved. We thought about packing it away to storage, but I just couldn’t do it. I sat crying in the hall that day telling my husband, “We just can’t, it’s like we’re giving up!” I know he wanted to shove that THING in the deepest corner of the darkest storage unit and forget about its exsistence entirely. In some ways I felt exactly the same. I just couldn’t though. Naturally, it wouldn’t fit through the door in her room so we had to disassemble it to move it to the spare room. Then we had to put it back together. It wasn’t as much fun as I recalled it being before. I sat in the floor across the room with my face covered and cried. My poor husband was bewildered. He would stop and come to console me saying, “We can get rid of it if it hurts you so badly.” I trudged on though shaking my head and pointing for him to finish it. The job was finally done with and we slammed the door and left that room in the dust hoping all of our hurt and disappointments would stay barricaded up next to that mocking forsaken hunk of furniture. I knew that would never really work though.
Sometimes people have a hard time understanding how I can feel such angst over the arrival of another child after the incredible blessing that we experienced when we adopted our daughter. They would never tell me they found me to be ungrateful, but it’s on their minds all the same. I know the difference though. In my heart of hearts I can tell you that if my daughter is the only child that I am meant to have then I believe that God has already given me more than I deserve. She is NOT the minimal expression of His desires to be my good and gracious Father. Loving her and being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Before I ever dreamed of white wedding gowns, and home purchases I knew that I wanted to be a mom. God has blessed our hearts with an incredible love for children, and as parents we have so much that we want to give. I don’t believe that’s all for not. I believe with all that I am that God placed this extraordinary love inside of us for a very important purpose. He prepared in us as hopeful parents so that when that time came, no matter where our children came from or by what manner of circumstances they arrived, we could love them like we’d known them since they took their very first breath. What an amazing gift of grace. I may not have carried my daughter in my womb, but I have held her in my heart my whole life until she came to be with us. So….I have a crib. I hold onto hope even though it doesn’t make worldly sense to do so sometimes. I remember that everything God does in our lives is meant for our good, and we wait for His timing.
I hope that you’ll join us in praying for our family that God would see fit to bless us with this new child in His time. At times our flesh fails us and the fears of the unknown can weigh heavy on our hearts, so I hope that you will also pray for strength, patience and trust. Pray that the Holy Spirit would fortify us, and sustain us. We continue to pray that our desires for God come before and above all others. We are abundantly blessed to wake up every morning surrounded in evidence of His outpouring of love over His creation. We remember to say thank you, and tell Him that we love him, too.
Be blessed friends!