Grinding the Hills of Adoption

HillsMy husband and I are coming up on the one-year anniversary of accepting our referrals of our two little girls (M & G), with no finish line in sight. When we initially started the process, we were told to anticipate a 6-8 month wait between accepting a referral and traveling to bring your child home. Little did we know that our country’s process would be uprooted, stalled, and transformed…but we did know that we had said yes to adoption, which will always bring uphill battles, along with moments of celebration.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were attending our birthing class (oh, did I mention I’m also 36 weeks pregnant…talk about an unexpected year in 2013!) and the birthing instructor was explaining similarities between the Tour de France and laboring through contractions.

Now I’ve never ridden the Tour de France, but I have biked RAGBRAI (don’t be fooled, there are monster hills in Iowa) and El Tour de Tucson. Biking up hill after hill can be one of the most physically challenging ventures you can put your body through, and it can also be mentally draining when you look up and see just how many hills you have left to grind. The best thing you can do as a cyclist is to lean into the ride, focus on the hill you are pedaling, keep your head down, keep breathing and take your mind to a more pleasant place (i.e. the hot tub after the ride).

Labor is similar in that if you focus on all of the contractions you will have to experience prior to birthing your precious newborn, you could very well completely fall apart through the process and have a less than desirable birthing experience. My birthing instructor said, “Lean into the pain, focus on breathing through this specific contraction, and don’t think about all the ones coming. Visualize a place that will bring you most joy.”

After class that night I was thinking through her words and realized just how much that can relate to adoption. The hills and valleys that adoptive parents walk through during the waiting stage can bring about moments of pure fear and desperation if you think about all of the steps that must fall in line in order to bring your little ones home. I know that when we were walking through the court process, I thought my head might explode a few times because I was too focused on what will happen after this step.

Looking back, what I wish I would have known is that God had me in that extended season to teach me to lean into Him, to focus on the here and now, to thank Him for how He will knit our family together for His glory and in His timing…and also to breathe in His promises for my life and for the lives of my children.

One way that I have been able to wait well lately is to spend time using the creative gifts God has given me. I’ve been spending my early mornings/middle of the night awake times (pregnancy insomnia) writing letters to all 3 of my daughters.

For some of you, your gifts may be writing, so journaling to your waiting child can help or maybe it’s knitting/crocheting a blanket. Or maybe you like to paint, so paint a picture that will go up in his/her room. Are you athletic? Find a race to run in honor of your child and as you train, pray that God will continue to give you strength to wait.

Redirecting my thoughts back to God and towards the gifts He gave me has helped me grind out those difficult hills of the adoption process.

Sisters, we can’t make the journey go any faster, but we can be women who wait well and use the time God has given us to lean into our pain and experience the beauty that comes from the ashes.

(this post was first found on the MercyFound website where adoptive moms can find community and encouragement)

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