Saturday, January 26, 2013

His Curious Ways

So much for keeping the blog updated at least once a month. We decided to stretch it to two months this time. Two is better than one, no? Alright, that's probably not always true. Regardless, some of you, much to our surprise, actually visited the blog in December and January. First of all, thanks! Second, sorry to disappoint you with two months of nothing. Rest assured, the last two months have been anything but empty.

I realize that at the pace in which we live, Christmas was so yesterday. If you will, though, allow me to share one of our Christmas stories from this past December. If you recall from the last post, we had just completed some major steps towards becoming an active family. Our home study was essentially complete, and we had finally answered all the questions and compiled all the pictures necessary to complete our profile. We had basically reached the point of saving funds and, eventually, calling the agency to activate our status.

In the midst of all this, I sat down on Sunday morning, December 2, to prepare for a study that evening at our church on Luke 1. As I read the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, I was truly encouraged by what I read. Elizabeth, well advanced in years, viewed her barrenness as a reprimand (vs. 25). Even though she and Zechariah were both righteous and blameless before God (vs. 6), she saw her situation as some flaw she was destined to live with forever. If you are familiar with this story, you know Elizabeth goes on to give birth to John the Baptist (the greatest of those born of women according to Jesus). What struck me on this morning, however, was not that God eventually gave Elizabeth what she always wanted. Rather, I was reminded that God's plan for us, while not always embraced, always has the better blessing in the end. There are numerous other examples of this in the Bible alone:  Sarah (Genesis 18), Rebekah (Genesis 25), Rachel (Genesis 29), Samson's mother (Judges 13), Hannah (1 Samuel 1).

As I pondered on this story, I thought about the trials and disappointments we had experienced in trying for another baby prior to our decision to adopt. For our family, the ideal plan had always been that we would conceive our second child and then look into adoption at a point down the road. That was our plan, our thoughts. As God says in Isaiah 55:8 says, though, " thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." As much as we want to know what's best for us, most of the time we just don't. For us, I realized, the better blessing for our family was to adopt now. I was greatly encouraged by this and completely reassured in our decision.

Feeling pretty good about where we were, I stopped studying for a quick lunch break. As I did, Sarah, who had not been feeling well, decided she needed some more medicine. As had become common practice, she took a quick pregnancy test to make sure the medicine was fine to take. Without the slightest sliver of optimism, I headed into the living room to eat my sandwich (these tests had become ordinary). As I did, Sarah walked out of the bedroom and simply said, "Jon." One look at her face, and I knew then what you probably know now. The test was positive.

As much as I'd like to describe our state of mind that afternoon and the rest of that week, I'm not sure I could. Disbelief, wonder, excitement, anxiety, hope, and, finally, belief. Let's just say it was a long week. On Wednesday, the blood work was confirmed. On Friday, a heartbeat was confirmed. The impossible had happened.

An 1/8" long, and it has a heart beat. Amazing.

Today, Sarah is just over 13 weeks pregnant with a due date of August 1. We're excited (obviously) and continue to process the seemingly round about way we got here. We don't have all the answers, but we know we're better people and a better family because of the winding road that brought us here. Had we gotten pregnant a year and a half ago, we surely would have missed out on opportunities to grow closer and stronger. For that, we are grateful for the journey and look forward to what's yet to be revealed in our lives.

Since this is an adoption blog, you probably want to know what all of this means. The short answer is the adoption is on hold. The agency we are using does not allow pregnant couples to adopt unless they were already matched with a baby, so any decision we would've had to make has already been made. In that regard, it's nice not having to make a decision like that at this point. Relating back to something I said earlier, however, we still believe that God may have plans for our family to adopt down the road. The details and circumstances might differ from what they were this time (domestic, international, infant, toddler, etc.), but we have time to figure it all out. Bottom line, adoption has found a place in our hearts, and we never want to completely shut that door.

We also graciously received a number of donations during the process. Some of these donations were cash, while others were items we sold for cash. We're currently talking to those that gave to see what their intentions might be for those contributions. For anything that remains with us, we've discussed starting an adoption fund at our church, and we continue to work on those details.

As for this blog, we don't intend to delete it just yet, so we'll just see what happens. The good thing about it is it's such an easy way to connect with so many of you at once. Having said that, we wish we could have communicated all of these events to each of you in person. We truly appreciate your friendship, support, and prayers throughout this process. As stated, we are certainly better people as a result, and hopefully our story has found a way to encourage many others along the way. With that in mind, rest assured His ways are not our ways. Sometimes they're close. They're always best.

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