Monday, June 18, 2012

Waiting Well

Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage.
Psalm 27:14

When one is waiting on something, time seems to go by extremely slow. I remember waiting to get married and how long our 13 month engagement seemed at the time. Looking back, I see how in that time Kelly and I were drawing closer to each other and learning more things about each other through our courtship that made our marriage that much easier to transition into. God always has a plan, even though His time is different than anything we would every choose.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1 

As we wait for this baby to be born, we have been told to "wait well." Some say "It's just like being pregnant. You want the baby to get here ASAP." The problem is, the wait is much different than being pregnant. Our wait can have a lot more bumps and bruises along the way than most and there is NO timeline. You see, once someone decides to pursue adoption, they have reached that point of being ready for a baby ASAP. Then they start the process of the application. For domestic adoptions like we are going through, this process involves about an 80 page document, an interview, doctors visits, a home study, approval process by the agency and a few other minor details. For most, this takes anywhere from a month (if you're organized) to a few months. International adoptions can take even longer since you're not only dealing with an agency, but an outside country and their bureaucracies. After approval, now you can get your name on the list. The LONG WAITING LIST. Oh, did I mention that most agencies estimate waiting for 6 months to 2 years. Your level of pickiness and flexibility will determine some of this. We were not very picky at all and did not have many restrictions, so our wait was given a shorter time and we were actually matched 3 weeks after final agency approval (an extremely short time!) For international adoptions it works a little different, but most of the time the wait is even longer. When you are told by your caseworker to "wait well", the below picture depicts what that feels like...a jumbled mess of emotions.
 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12 

See, part of the problem with waiting well in domestic adoptions with a birth mother matching program (which is what we are doing) is that the birth mother has to pick you. When a birth mother comes to an agency, they interview her (and the birth father if he is present) and see what they are looking for in AP's (Adoptive Parents). Then they give the BP's (Birth Parents) about 5 different profile books of families to look at, starting with families that have been waiting the longest. If they aren't satisfied, they turn them in and get 5 more. They can go through as many families as they like until they choose one.

Upon picking a family, the family is then notified and given information about the BP's. If the family is happy with the situation, the caseworkers will set up a phone call between the two and they get to talk via phone. It's like a blind date...only weirder! If all goes well on the phone and both sides are happy, then they call it a match. The family is taken "off the market", per say, and the BP is not shown any more families.

Next comes the meeting. The BP(s) and future AP's will meet in person and this is set up prior to the birth. Now, every once in a while agencies get emergency calls from the hospital and the BP hasn't met the AP and a placement can still take place. However, the norm is for the future AP's and BP(s) to meet in person. As for us, we will get to meet our BP at the end of this month so we are super excited about it. We will go to lunch and the BP will be present with her caseworker (which works for our agency) to help facilitate conversation. At this time is when any questions can be asked and we can get to know each other more. Our agency told us that most BP(s) that meet their chosen AP's in person choose an adoption plan for their child far more than BP(s) that do not meet them. It helps to bring security to the BP(s) that there is a family that will love and care for their child for their entire life and puts their mind at ease.

After the in person meeting, the wait continues. During this time, most are decorating the nursery and getting things ready for when the birth happens. However, it is also a time of high emotion. You see, in the state of Texas, a birth father can sign away his rights at any point in time from conception up until 31 days after the birth. A birth mother cannot sign away her rights until 48 hours after birth. This means that there are several things that could occur and change the future of this baby.

The baby could be born and the BP(s) choose an adoption plan. This would mean that the baby gets to come home from the hospital with the AP's (us) when he/she is released.

The birth mom could sign the adoption contract, but the birth father does not. This would mean that the baby would go into transitional care until either the birth father signs his rights away OR 31 days has occurred and his rights are automatically terminated.

The birth mom could have the child and then choose to parent. This is the hardest and most emotional option that would be hard to swallow. God created us to be with our biological parents and therefore, this is honestly the best option (most of the time) for children to remain with their biological parents. However, when this does occur, it means that we would have to walk away and start over again. At this point, our agency would give us a time (set by us) to grieve and then would start showing us to BP's all over again.

The last option is why a lot of people choose to adopt internationally or through CPS. It is hard on the heart and to be honest, when I prepare myself to potentially go through it, I in turn don't fully allow myself to enjoy the nesting part. I guess I put a wall up just in case it happens so it doesn't hurt too much and I can heal easier.

What I have learned, is that God designed us to wait well. All through scripture, God shows that His plan and His timing is perfect. We don't understand them, we complain, we wonder, but He remains constantly there; guiding us to His perfect destination. 

I would have never envisioned my life this way by any means. I had what I thought was a perfect plan (with no hurts or obstacles of course). But in my plan I don't think I would have felt the intimacy I do with God. I wouldn't be able to reach out to others experiencing the pains of infertility or the joys AND sorrows of adoption. I wouldn't have scars that I can testify to only God healing! I wouldn't be sharing my story with others in hopes that they too will feel the call to care for orphans in one way or another.

So for now I try to open my heart a little more each day, preparing for baby Carson to come home soon! I know that God has prepared the perfect child for us out there somewhere and I will be ready to take him or her home with us forever.

This has always been one of my favorite Bible verses and the Holy Spirit has brought it to mind many times when I have needed it:

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 

God calls us all to a different path of waiting.
I encourage you to WAIT WELL, as He has created you to do!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post! So excited to see Baby Carson whenever and from wherever they come! Praying for you guys on this journey! :)