Wednesday, May 25, 2011
It's been three weeks since we heard of our recent adoption opportunity. Three long, silent weeks. Until Monday. When I woke up on Monday morning and noticed the date on the calendar, I knew something was different. "The baby is due in less than a month," I thought hopelessly to myself. "Surely, she has chosen a family by now..." The silence led me to believe that if the birthmother had indeed chosen a home for her unborn baby girl, it must not be our home. It was a reality I didn't want to face.
After I got the kids off to school, I decided to go for a run and clear my head. As the morning breeze caressed my cheek, I humbly presented my requests to God. "Heavenly Father, if this isn't our baby, please end our waiting. We need closure," my heart cried. While I hoped I was wrong, somehow, in my heart, I knew bad news was coming. For the next few hours, I reasoned and prayed as I tried to prepare myself for the looming disappointment that seemed inevitable.
The day passed slowly and still there was no word. I kept myself busy with errands. Housework. Laundry. Even Facebook. Then it happened. Immediately, I felt a lump in my throat as I heard the words..."She has chosen a family." It wasn't ours. My eyes burned as I listened to the few known details. At last, we had closure. That was good, right? Now, we could move on.
Still, I felt as though someone had just kicked me in the stomach. I hung up the phone, sat down on my bed, and began to cry. All of my efforts to lessen the pain of this day had failed. For this was NOT the closure that I wanted. What I wanted, wasn't mine. She belonged to someone else. I didn't understand and nothing could take that away.
When I told the kids about the news, my daughter Lily reacted most like me. Throwing her arms in the air and stomping the floor she yelled, "Why? What's wrong with our family? Why didn't she choose US?!" I understood her heart. For that had been mine only hours before. So, I took Lily by the hand and pulled her to my lap as I asked God to help me with answers to questions I did not understand myself. It was clear that my daughter, too, needed closure.
Gently, I said, "Lily, I know you are angry. It's okay to be mad. You can yell. Cry. Scream if you must. But let's go back to how we have prayed the past three weeks." I continued, "We prayed for God to guide this young woman and lead her to the family He has chosen for this baby. The LORD is faithful. That is exactly what He did. This wasn't our baby. She has always been theirs. God just allowed us to be part of her story for a little while. I don't understand either, but we must trust that God has a plan and that His plans are always good."
Together, my children and I cried and prayed for God to take us out of the pain that seemed to have swallowed us up. Then, we prayed for the baby girl who we had spent so much time dreaming about these past few weeks. We thanked God for her birthmother who had courageously chosen to honor her life. We praised Him that she would grow up with a Mommy and a Daddy who will cherish her and love her and train her up in His truth. And we chose to rejoice that this family, whoever they might be, are busy preparing a place for her in their home.
Most of yesterday, I felt silent. Words just wouldn't come. Instead, I sat alone with my thoughts and I just kept asking the same question. "Why couldn't we have her?" Why?! It seemed to consume me. And yet, I figured there was little chance I would ever know. More than likely, I would never have closure. While that seemed a bitter pill to swallow, I made a decision to let God be God. That would have to be enough, as it was the only closure I was likely to receive. He is God. I am not. Case closed. This was going to have to go into the growing file of "things I won't understand this side of Heaven". I didn't like it. And I told God as much. But I chose to accept it.
Little did I know, God wasn't finished. Late in the day, I indeed got the closure that I needed. Through a friend, the LORD revealed that the family that is welcoming this precious child is unable to have children of their own. As soon as I heard this, my heart rejoiced for this sweet couple and praised God for His goodness. For even though He did not owe me an explanation, God offered one anyway.
Last night, I shared the news with my children. Again, Lily responded much like me. With a big smile, she simply said, "Well then, that was exactly the right choice Mommy." That was all she needed. Now, it all made sense. We had closure. We may never know why God brought us to this place, but He didn't leave us in our pain. Instead God brought us to it. Then, in His great mercy, God brought us through it.
This morning, I woke early and stumbled to my coffee maker. As usual, I flipped our devotional calendar to glimpse at today's scripture. My heart smiled as I read the words...
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and stadfast." (1 Peter 5:10 NIV)
So today, I raise my cup to Heaven and I thank God for His closure.