I slumped to the kitchen floor. The time had come for the conversation I had dreaded. The moment was right. I could feel it in my bones. I needed to tell him the truth.
I motioned for my not-so-little boy to come near. He slid onto my lap. His frame pressed against my ribs. I couldn’t tell if it were the weight of his growing body or the moment upon us that squeezed the air from my lungs. Either way, the gentle pressure was a reminder of days when with a shallow breath came constant anguish. I sucked in a new, deep breath – proof I was no longer encamped in that sorrow – then prayed wisdom over my tongue and grace for his ears as I dove in.
If my count is correct, at this point in our adoption journey we have seven times been passed over for a match. Seven. The number seems so small when I think of dishes I wash in a week or cups of coffee I drink. Yet with all the emotion riding on each case, surrounded in the “Maybe this time” and “What-if” thoughts, each dismissal feels like a rejection; a label of disgrace or a badge of dishonor layered on our chests.
“Not good enough.”
“Not strong enough.”
Each one digs a little deeper at a rejection by which I have already been impaled. A wound scarred over and never fully healed of the hurt. The pain fresh and raw with the words, “Not chosen.”
“When a mommy has a baby in her tummy, she feels very different than she usually does.”
With wounds still tender, I looked into the impressionable eyes of my firstborn. It was a lame start. We both knew it. But how could I fit into words the massive hormonal imbalance that fueled the emotions I was about to spring upon a six year old?
He asked why. Of course he did. This child of mine has never lacked a questioning spirit to test out the knowledge he’s confronted. I love that about him. So I explained the best I could. Then I dove deeper into one of the hardest things I have ever shared with my child:
The fact that I once questioned whether or not he was wanted.
This simple fact undoes me. It threatens to rip to shreds my innermost places I try to keep hidden and safe from scrutiny. It’s a horrible, horrible thought I nursed for weeks and months with no one, no one, in whom I could truly confide. I talk of the depression. Sure. I share of my heartache and questioning the future. Yes. But this fact, how deeply embedded the roots of my depression sunk before I found revelation, this I’ve keep tucked away.
In hindsight, I can give myself grace. After all, my Jesus has grace in abundance the moment I ask and accept it. And I now know pregnancy hormones do not bode well with my fairly pleasant demeanor. I also now know the truth: It was all a lie. I couldn’t comprehend in my emotion-riddled state what an abundant blessing I had been given in the shadow of what I could physically see – my changing body. My son wasn’t unwanted. What was truly unwanted all along was the state of being pregnant. But the enemy twists and distorts wherever he can. And the fact remains: I questioned everything.
So I sat there, on the oak floor with my incredible blessing. This boy whose favorite verse of late is, “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20) because he says, “It is so true! Once you know Jesus, you can’t help but talk about Him!” This boy who makes my heart swell with pride and humility on a daily basis; who constantly reminds me God’s great plan is sometimes hidden for a while. This is the boy I had to look in the eyes and tell him I once believed the lie I didn’t want you…
I knew the moment had been right as my wiggly six year old sat on my lap through my entire teary spiel, mesmerized by my every word. Words that unleashed devastation were then able to be morphed into everything fantastic about this child. He left our conversation with more grace that seemingly possible and with a fuller understanding of the enemy’s schemes but God’s great redemption. Still, I lingered there a moment. Awed. Humbled. Full of love and sorrow and amazement. And that’s when the still small voice broke through:
“Don’t listen to the lies this time.”
Of the seven, four of these “rejections” have happened within the last month. Have I mentioned how hard these past few weeks have been? Sure, from the outside looking in, there was a week in there that should have been hard. Two if we’re generous. Everything else looked normal…except, I’m no longer normal. This catastrophic event happened to my family. My entire world threatened to implode. And just like before, on the brink of life altering moments, I’m left questioning every decision I’ve ever made. Because, well, that’s the tangled weave of the female brain. Nothing can be compartmentalized. It’s like boxes and boxes of Christmas lights that got partially dumped and then danced within by a two year old.
And in all this upheaval the enemy has tried to see that same lie take root once more. I walk through the baby department with longing and grave doubt. I answer each situation presented to us with “Yes, of course!” while quietly preparing myself for another let down. I look ahead to each child we’re presented to see where the stars might possibly be aligning for us to finally see the word “Chosen” without the “Not” before it, yet struggle to believe that is even possible. And in an effort to protect the softness of my heart, brick by brick, I layer on the reasons rejection would be better.
Do we really want to start all over, diapers and all…?
I sleep all through the night now, do I really want that disrupted?
I can barely handle the level of crazy I have, should we really be pursuing this?
Maybe we really aren’t the right family…maybe I’m not right…
Yet, at the root of every statement I’ve dwelled on, is inconvenience. What is truly unwanted, once more quite frankly, is for my convenience to be sacrificed. But do I really value my convenience more than following God’s call? Would I sacrifice the gift of another blessing, a reward, from the Creator of Life on the altar of convenience?
So with perspective renewed, I will gladly sacrifice my temporary convenience to dive head-first into a calling that is just out of my reach. A calling that pulls me deeper into relationship with my Creator God. A calling that invites me in to know His heart. A calling that once more crushes the enemy’s head beneath my heel with a “Not today, Satan.”
What I want is all He has for me…even if His plan is hidden for a little while. And I have the perfect example right in front of me. Eyes that burrow deep into the places of my heart I have yet to enclose within the barrier and shatter the wall from the inside out. God’s ways are not my ways. And these eyes that mirror my own show me daily His ways are far greater.
Therefore, I resolve again (and again and again and again as necessary). At the end of the day, I don’t want to be found questioning. I want to be found believing. Believing in what I can’t see, but what by faith I know is coming. For “In Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.”
So, with reevaluated motives, I share yet another possible match. This week, our profile book will once more be shown to a couple considering an adoption plan. I realize I’ve drug you along through all the ups and downs of this journey. I’m tempted to not even share the possibilities anymore. But just as I’m resolved to believing this could be the one, I’m resolved to share the journey – even the painful places.
So today, if you’re willing, would pray with us once more? And as you pray I challenge you to consider for yourself: Is there an area in your life, you are sacrificing God’s best for you in pursuit of a convenience-first mentality? It’s worth surrendering; the moment is right. I can feel it down to my bones.