Last week, we heard from our case worker that our home study would be approved that weekend. Our consultant sent us our profile book to order. We narrowed down the agencies we were going to apply to. We were ready to send everything in & be "waiting."
I decided I would write us a letter from ourselves at this point, to read later on in case we get discouraged & to document each step of the process and what we are feeling at this point. I felt like it was a good transition point to take a pause and write things down before the next phase started. Process it and pray over it.
Until I woke up and there was a birth mom situation in my inbox. What? I wasn't ready! We hadn't even gotten our approved home study, we hadn't sent our applications in, I hadn't written my thoughts down!! That sweet letter I was going to write to the future us as if we were campers at Young Life Camp or something - I hadn't even thought of what to say!
And then it clicked. The Lord was like, "hey Katie, did I ever say this was going to go how you planned it? Even a little bit?" No, in fact at a women's weekend I went to last fall (at a Young Life Camp, no less) He specifically told me this process was going to teach me patience. Not like we will have this take longer than normal, but more like I am just an INSTANT gratification person, 100% of the time, and this wasn't going to work like that. I was already feeling pressured to keep up with everyone else's timelines. But this is ours. Our adoption. Just typing that brings tears to my eyes. No matter the timeline, we won't miss our baby, the one the Lord already has for us.
We hired our adoption consultant (sidenote, if you are even thinking about considering adoption, please consider going through a consultant. I literally don't know how people adopt without a Casey) in June, we sent our home study paperwork in in January, while other people who hired Casey in August are already bringing their babies home. We're on the slow track, and the Lord is teaching me to be okay with that. Especially since that is not very slow at all compared to the years it can take for an international adoption or even through other agencies in the US. Comparison though. It just robs you of things, and usually without you even catching it!
So our letter to ourselves is different. Even though we didn't present to the birth moms we saw last week, seeing their stories shook me a little bit. This adoption thing isn't about us, it is not romantic or amazing of us. What it IS, is us being obedient to something the Lord put on both of our hearts a long time ago. No matter the heartbreak it brings, on either side of it.
Dear Self, this isn't going to go as planned, even the parts you thought you could control. Even still, your baby is out there and because of that, you should not be discouraged or think less of your journey and circumstances. This is it, the adoption you've always dreamed and prayed and hoped for. You're doing it. Be grateful that you can say yes so easily. Soon you'll have a newborn and these months will be a blur and so worth it.
Some of the birth mom situations you will see will hurt your heart. Pray for them. Know that each baby you don't present to or don't get matched with is someone else's baby that they are hoping and praying and waiting for! Continue praying for their birth mamas. Also? Give yourself grace. Just because you're not physically pregnant doesn't mean you aren't just as emotional. This is your baby. Feel the feels. Go there. They deserve it. Honor your baby during this time so you can tell them about it in the future, how you waited and longed for them gracefully, diligent in prayer and working every day to better yourself and prepare your heart for what was coming.
Mostly, don't lose sight of why you're doing this. Not for you, but for life. For a life that is so very wanted and has a beautiful purpose.
Your baby will be in your arms soon. Go on a few dates before then :) Rest in the comfort of knowing your God knows exactly when and where your baby is. And buckle up, because you have no idea what's coming. Oh, and please remember to keep Jesus first. Don't run to friends before kneeling before Him. He is the author of this story and wants you to seek him first.
p.s. We are still waiting on the approved home study that would be to use for sure three Mondays ago. Patience. Once we have it, we can send everything into agencies and officially be a waiting family!