Monday, January 31, 2011

The Flood Gates have opened...

When talking about "the Flood Gates" I am referring to my emotions. If you know me you know I'm not very emotional. I've been referred to as even-killed, melancholy, and even been compared to the Winnie the Pooh character Eeyore. That could be taken as boring which may be true but I like to think I'm just not easily angered or excited, and when I am I usually have a hard time showing either of those emotions. However, there are a few things that really tug at my heart and can always bring a tear or multiple tears to my eyes. Thankfully this adoption is one of those things. It brings me hope in knowing my heart is in it. For a while I was trying to suppress any and all emotion I had toward the process. Waiting is hard because you know who your children are going to be, you want to start preparing for them, you want to be with them, know them, and love them, but at the same time you don't know when you will have the opportunity to do so. Because of that I've been trying to "guard my heart" from fear of not knowing. I've tried not to think about the adoption very often, I didn't look at their pictures every day, I haven't done a lot to prepare and I simply cannot watch their videos anymore without crying my eyes out. But doing all of these things scared me. It scared me that I was hardening my heart towards the adoption and the children and scared me that I would have the same hard heart when they got here.

A couple weeks ago at church I started attending a Women's Bible Study. It was the first night of the study so we always go around with introductions and talk a little about ourselves. Well It was a large group of ladies and I was the second to last to go. As I was listening to everyone talk about what they do and what their families are like I knew it was soon going to be my turn and I was soon going to talk about the adoption process. Well from the second person on I felt the tears welling up inside of me. I thought, Oh No, here it comes. I'm not a big cryer in general and I for sure do not enjoy crying in front of others. The whole time people were going around talking about themselves I was trying not to think about the adoption and praying to God that I wouldn't start crying. After all this was the first Bible study and I didn't want people to think I'm a crazy emotional person and we were only doing introductions, we weren't even talking about anything. Well it got around to me and I started off pretty well. I talked about being married to Tony and what we do on Campus and then just simply said we are currently in the process of adopting two little boys from Ethiopia, then I decided to add the statement, "and it's currently very hard," and there it was. The tears just started to flow. I didn't know what else to say, then I tried to make a joke or something to make it a little less awkward that I was crying so hard around several people of whom I'd never met and was only introducing myself.

Thankfully there were several other adoptive mothers in the room who knew exactly what I was going through and were able to have some sympathy tears and able to help me think through the process better after the study was over. One conversation in particular has had a big impact on how I can think for the children right now and helped me not be so scared that I'm not going to love them when they get here.

One lady in particular whom I respect and look up to very much asked me afterward how I was doing and what was going on in the process. This became an wonderful opportunity for me to unleash all of my thoughts and questions and feelings. There were a couple things she really helped me think about.

1. It may be hard now but that will make it easier when they come. She told me about the difference between her and her husband during the waiting time. She said it was very hard and emotional for him during the waiting process. He wanted to be with them, know how they were and it almost made him sick thinking about it. She on the other hand didn't have a lot of time to think about it because she was busy taking care of the kids they already had and didn't really think about it very often. The hope came when she said, when they got here it was an easier transition for her husband than it was for her. He had been waiting so long and longing for them so much that it made the difficulties of transitioning them into the family not a big deal and he just loved having them. On the other hand it was a shock to her because she hadn't had sufficient time to prepare. This gives me hope in knowing the waiting and emotions and difficulties now are going to be outweighed when they are actually here.

2. The second thing she helped me see was that God loves the boys more than I do and He can take care of them much better than I ever will. One thing that is so hard for me is wanting to be the one to feed them and hold them and take care of them when they are sick or when they cry. We received some pictures of the boys and Abram (the oldest) was crying and looked like he was pulling on his ear. He had a fever during that time and it gave me a longing to be the one to love him and take him to the doctor and give him his medicine. She helped me think about everything God has already done for them and how he is helping them now. They are no longer in the poverty where they came from. They now have food to eat, a place to lay their head, and people who are loving them, spending time with them, and giving them the medical attention that they need.

That night at church helped me realize that I should've live in fear but in faith. I don't need to guard my heart from those boys because I know that whatever God has planned is going to be the best for us and for them. I look forward to the day when I will be able to hold them, play with them, and feed them. But until then I know and pray that God will provide for them, comfort them when they are sad, and love them with the same unconditional love he very mercifully gives me everyday.

"Though our outer nature is wasting away our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is creating for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. For we look to the things not seen, for the things which are seen are temporary but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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