Perhaps the title of this post overstates the importance of my 30th birthday – but only by a bit 🙂
Tomorrow is the day we’ve been waiting for for months – the day that I sometimes felt might never arrive – the day when I am officially age-eligible to adopt from China! I’m not sure I can express how excited I am.
Of course…tomorrow brings with it its own challenges – many of which are more significant than those we’ve faced up until this point.
Thus far, we’ve been scurrying around, collecting (and notarizing and state certifying and authenticating) documents, having meetings and answering questions for both our homestudy agency and our placing agency, raising money, doing some of our Hague-required parent training, researching various special needs, reading as many adoption books and articles as we can get our hands on, and, in general, talking about adoption as much as we can to anyone who will listen.
But tomorrow, in a sense, we “go live” with our adoption process. Everything we’ve done so far is preparation for tomorrow (and beyond), when we are officially eligible to make real commitments. The choices we make will have incredible, lifelong ramifications for Matt and me, as well as for Miranda, and certainly for whatever child we next bring into our family.
I’m excited, but I’m also humbled. I remember feeling, after Miranda was born, the awesome weight of the responsibility of God entrusting this tiny, wonderful human being to us. And now we are hoping to adopt a little one – perhaps surrendered by a birth mother hoping for a chance at better health and a better life for her – to love and raise and parent her, too. The weight of that is no less.
And just like in pregnancy and birth, there is so much we will not be able to control. Most of the timing of the process is completely out of our hands. There is still the possibility that China or the US could turn us down as adoptive parents for whatever reason. We won’t know whether our little one’s paperwork is totally accurate – and even if it is, we won’t know much beyond the 5 or 10 pages of information it communicates. Imagine a life, a person, summed up into a few pages of descriptive information. There is no way it could begin to capture the essence of her being, who she truly is. We won’t know much, if anything, of the first days, or perhaps years, of her life.
And in the midst of it all, what I come back to is God and my belief that He is in control and He has been and is leading us on this journey. He knows us, and He knows what is best for us and for our children (all of them). And though I expect I would be crushed if something does not work out for us to adopt from China, I believe that God is good and is in control. And assuming we are approved by both the US and China to continue, I trust that God is sovereign over our entire process – our timeline, our uncertainties, the less-than-complete information we receive. And I believe that He has offered us guidelines in His Word about how we are to proceed. I believe He means it when He says that true religion is, in part, “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27). I believe Him when He calls us to care for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). And so we take another step forward, hoping and praying that God is going to bless us with another daughter, this time from China, and trusting that whatever this path looks like, He is its author and our guide.