Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Soul Searching

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about adoption. Most of my thoughts have been counter-productive, frustrated, and upset. It occurred to me that there must be something God wants to do in the lives of the people that choose to adopt. It’s got to be as much about the journey as it is about the outcome. I must not have learned enough the first time around. Either that or I’m unteachable. I’m taking a refresher course of sorts.

Everyone who experiences waiting (and waiting and waiting and waaaaaaiting) for a child they love learns a little about God’s love.

Everyone who experiences losing hope and faith along the way learns a little bit about placing their hope in the Lord. Certainly we can look back and find Him faithful.

There has been so much uncertainty deciding HOW to go about adopting Phoebe without knowing exactly WHAT to do in our unique situation. (Our situation is unique for a variety of reasons.) We’ve changed directions numerous times and received all sorts of conflicting advice about the best way to do things. We started with an idea of who would process the papers for us, and that too has changed three times. All of it brought me to a point of losing hope that we’d ever figure out how to make her legally ours.

Throughout all of it, during the last almost 5 months that we’ve had her, I found myself holding back. My hope in a long-term future with Phoebe seemed to be directly tied to my ability to give her 100% of myself. I have been acutely aware that there is a tiny bit of me holding back. It’s bothered me greatly, and even in confessing it to my family and God I found I was not changing, not moving in the direction I wanted to be moving. I don’t think Phoebe knew, but I knew. That was enough.

It’s been a different journey than with Hope and Isaac. With them I was 3,000 miles away longing for them; I could not physically and emotionally bond with them due to the distance. I just waited for them to “be mine” to do that.

With Phoebe I have the blessing of being with her very early in her life and getting to bond with her BEFORE she can be labeled ‘LEGAL child of Troy & Tara Livesay.’

Over the last few days we made some decisions about the adoption. Some logistical hang-ups are beginning to look possible. For the first time in months it seems that we have a solution and a plan. It has given me such hope and renewed faith. I can feel myself having enough hope in our future with Phoebe that whatever I was doing to hold back, feels lifted.

That is nice … but …

I am totally convicted of my lack of faith. I did not expect to be so troubled, but I am. It took something positive happening in the adoption, before my cruddy outlook and faith in His plans and timing began to improve.

I am asking myself lots of questions. Why could I not trust God implicitly when things looked bleaker? Why do I need to be promised tomorrow in order to give myself today? Is that the way God loves me? If I loved with 110% and then lost, would it hurt any less? Is God sufficient for me? Shouldn't I be able to love Phoebe the way He loves me? Wouldn’t He still love me if I walked away from Him tomorrow? What does it mean about me that I want to hold back unless I have guarantees?

If you’ve adopted and gone through bonding or struggled with bonding, I appreciate your feedback. If you just want to tell me how shallow that was, don’t bother. I know it. The truth was out there between God and I … now I am just telling you, the blogosphere.

I’m thrilled to finally feel hopeful about Phoebe's long term future with our family; I am just examining myself and hoping to grow in the meantime.
Forgive me for not trusting you. Help me to have faith in your care for me and your hand in my life even when I don't see it. Teach me things in these difficult circumstances that will make me more like you. Thank you for Phoebe. I love her so much Lord. Help me love the way YOU love.