Sunday, October 24, 2010

Waiting, Still....

More thoughts on waiting.  Not because I've learned new ways to be content or have learned to enjoy the waiting, but rather because I am struggling once again with impatience.  We feel like we are continually walking the line that narrowly divides complaining vs. contemplating and impatience vs. introspection.

We wonder why we have to wait at the #1 spot for a toddler girl for months only to see no toddler girls get referred.  And then this past week, one of the families ahead of us on the overall waiting list changed their parameters to include toddlers girls.  This results in our moving from #1 to #2 on the toddler girl list after being #1 for months.

We know the number of orphaned toddler girls in Ethiopia is unimaginable.  We know our agency and associated orphanage in Addis are doing everything within their abilities to help the most needy orphans reach a family and a home.  And we also know that our little girl is sleeping another night in an orphanage without a mom or dad to hold her, care for her, provide for her.  She remains a body in an institution, being cared for as best as they can, yet still in an institution.

So with these thoughts I think about our Peaches.  Who is taking care of her?  Who is feeding her each day?  Who holds her at night when she is afraid?  Who picks her up when she falls down?  Who protects her from other kids?  Who tells her that Jesus is with her?  We have been told that the orphanage is filled with people who really do care about the kiddos and that the conditions are not horrible considering they are in a third world country.  But, even so, the kids need a family, they need a mom and dad, they need the love and permanence that only comes through adoption.

The recently enacted two-trip policy for Ethiopian adoptions was instituted to help prevent adoptions from going bad.  Additional layers of protection have also been enacted in Ethiopia with the same purpose.  This has resulted in a major slow-down of the whole process.  It has resulted in children and families waiting longer, enduring more obstacles, paying more money to be united.  Is this a good thing?  There are many, many families who are painfully in the midst of the dark time of the waiting list.  We know many of these families through our own agency's listserv.  They are a group of loving, Godly, encouraging, determined people.  They will all become amazing parents.  I wish it could happen more quickly for each of them.

As I have walked the narrow line between impatience and introspection, I realize that I am very good at seeing things from my own point of view.  That is what gives way so easily to complaining.  Complaining really is our internal way of trying to convince the world of the things aren't happening the way we would like.  That things would be better if I were in control.  It is during these times that God's Spirit speaks to my heart and reminds me who is in control, and that His purposes are perfect.

I've been reading a book by Ted Kluck called "Hello, I Love You."  The book is about the author's adventures through two different adoptions from Ukraine.  He candidly shares his thoughts and feelings through much transparency about the inefficiences and deficiencies of the country of Ukraine and the unpredictability of an international adoption.  He is also wrestled by God's Spirit of his own complaining and his own lack of pause under God's sovereign plan.  Here is an excerpt from the book as he is writing in Kiev on their second adoption from that country - each time having to spend more than a month in-country (from page 143):

Kristin and I (mostly I) have been feeling convicted about something of late, and that is our propensity toward complaining.  I complain a lot here.  A lot of that complaining finds its way onto the page and results in good writing, of the laugh-getting variety.  But that doesn't make it right.

I've felt increasingly convicted that complaining is essentially a rejection of God, who is sovereign and sends every circumstance into our lives and intends it for our good (Romans 8:28).  I've always said that one of the drawbacks of Reformed theology (which I love) is that it doesn't leave you anyone to be mad at.  So when I pace the apartment and rant, I'm pacing the apartment and ranting at God, and suggesting that what He's given is somehow insufficient.  

When I rant about the dirty sidewalks, or complain that I'm not at home in my comfortable house, I'm doubting God's provision.  I'm disappointed in myself that this contentment lesson has been so hard to learn, but I'm thankful that He sent me Numbers 11 this morning, and pray that He will forgive me for this besetting sin.

So there it is.  A summary of the importance of allowing my impatience and complaining to fall at the feet of Jesus.  To know that He is the one who is taking care of Peaches tonight.  Her life this very moment rests within His care.  He is actively caring for her right now in a greater capacity than my feeble attempts ever will accomplish.

Thank You God for Your conviction of my heart and Your care for Peaches.


  1. I have been thinking about you guys so much lately. It's so hard to believe that after going on the waitlist in April, you would still be waiting for a toddler referral in October. When we started the process in January, we were told that the wait time was 0-6 months for an infant, and with our parametes (0-3) we would not be waiting long at all. But then all the new restrictions came about, and I'm sure that way more paperwork has to be completed on these toddlers. But God knows exactly who we need and when we need them. His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are so far above our thoughts. Blessings to your family, and we're hoping that a whole bunch of toddlers become available quickly! Just wanted you to know that you're in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Erica,
    When we were first put on the wait list, we were told to expect a referral "soon." So as time went on, we felt like we were 39 weeks pregnant...due any time. To our surprise, we are still waiting. We appreciate your encouragement! It's amazing to know that we are in this process with so many other wonderful families.

  3. Let me just say that although we've not been waiting nearly as long as you all, I get it. Our parameters are for 0-3 yrs and we've been waiting for 2 months (we're towards the bottom of the unofficial list). My husband and I have had this same conversation recently, to the point of tears. It's difficult to see photos of a room FULL of toddlers at Bethzatha, and not wonder WHY we cannot go. I am thankful for the encouragement from those on the list serve, and thankful you brought it up! We are needing to constantly lay these fears/worries/thoughts/frustrations at the foot of the cross. God has this worked out, I KNOW that, but I also know He burdens our hearts with what burdens His. We need to be praying for these toddlers. For God's perfect timing, for God's will to be done, for protection over their hearts and for Jesus to hold them while we cannot! Blessings to you... we are praying for all our children!

  4. God is so good to give us both the ability to vent and then the conviction to realize we must be content with His provision... and timing. We are praying for you guys and for your 'reunion' with Peaches. We can't wait to meet her!

    Mr and Mrs Beaver (from Russia... with love)

  5. Janet -
    Thanks for the encouragement. I know when you say "I get it" that you really get it.

    The photos of the Bethzatha toddlers roll through our minds too. We are ever so looking forward to seeing our little girl....hopefully soon.

  6. Waiting is the hardest part! This verse always get me through the waiting:

    "But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fufilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day" Habakkuk 2:3