Jon and Stacey barreled through their to-do list.
They completed their paperwork, finished classes, and officially took their profile “live.” All that was left to do was wait.
(Which, as anyone who has gone through the adoption process knows, waiting no small task.)
Still raising the extra funds needed to bring their child home, they shared the following update on their mySTORY crowdfunding page. And if you’re going through any period of waiting, we’re confident you’ll be encouraged by their words of wisdom.
I pulled the car door shut on Saturday afternoon as we started the five-hour drive home from Birmingham.
The two-day conference we’d just wrapped up at Lifeline Children’s Services marked the final step of the first phase of our adoption journey.
We’d spent the last two months gathering information, interviewing agencies, talking with adoptive families, birth moms, and adoptees, watching hours of required educational videos, poring over mandatory reading material, wading through mounds of paperwork, securing reference letters, driving to doctor appointments for family physicals and lab work, getting fingerprinted, meeting with social workers, completing a marriage enrichment assessment, and cramming our life story into a 28-page profile book for expectant mothers to examine.
We’d barreled through the to-do list like it was nobody’s business. And now, as we merged onto the long, winding highway, there was nothing left to do but wait.
Nobody Likes to Wait
The toddler defiantly demands the cupcake before dinner. The five-year-old groans from the backseat, “Are we there yet?” for the fourth time in three minutes.
The truth is, we want what we want when we want it. We want it our way, not God’s way. We want our will, not His will. And while we may learn to master our indignant and impatient attitudes as we mature, the waiting itself never gets any easier, and the stakes only get higher.
We’ve all been there.
Waiting for a job.
Waiting for a spouse.
Waiting for those two pink lines to appear.
Waiting for the marriage to improve.
Waiting for the wayward child to return home.
Waiting for the test results.
Waiting for the grief to subside.
Waiting for the darkness to lift.
Waiting for healing.
Waiting for justice.
Waiting for a vaccine.
Or, in our current case, waiting to be chosen.
While often grueling in the moment, these seemingly endless seasons of waiting plunge us into a deeper reality that rests just beneath the surface of our daily distractions.
They remind us that the world is not as it should be (Rom. 8:19-25). They bare the brokenness and futility of this life and expose a deeper longing within us for all things to be made new (Rev. 21:3-5). And for the believer, they spur us to hope in the coming finalization of our own spiritual adoption in Christ (Eph. 1:5, 13-14) and assure us that everything we’ve ever longed for finds its ultimate fulfillment in Him (John 4:13-14; Rom. 8:18).
After Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem in 587 B.C., the weeping prophet Jeremiah declares in Lamentations 3, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
This man’s city had just been razed to the ground. Bodies littered the streets. Children cried out for their mothers. Thousands had been taken captive. Others were dying of starvation—some even boiling their own babies as a means of nourishment. And yet, Jeremiah, sick with anguish, his eyes “spent with weeping,” tells his readers that in this season of suffering, in this season of helplessness, it is good for them to wait on the Lord.
Did you catch that?
According to these divinely inspired words, waiting—“expectantly” and “with hope” as implied by the Hebrew word—is for our good, even if it doesn’t feel good.
Growth in the Valley
The late evangelist Billy Graham once said,
“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”
It’s in the valley of unmet longing that spiritual growth soars.
It’s there that our faith is tested and strengthened. It’s where we’re stripped of our pride and all sense of control, with no one to depend on but our Father in heaven. It’s where we learn that He is God and we are not, and that He is enough (Lam. 3:24; Ps. 16:5, 73:25-26).
But it’s also where He proves Himself faithful.
It’s where He shows up in mighty and miraculous ways. It’s where we taste the peace of His presence (John 14:27, 16:33; Phil. 4:6-7) and see His power perfected in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10). It’s where we receive wisdom (James 1:2-5), comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-4), rest (Ps. 23), and renewed strength (Is. 40:29-31). And it’s where we become more like Christ, who, but for the joy set before Him, endured the agony of waiting for God’s love and justice to collide at the cross (Luke 22:41-44; Heb. 12:2).
As Jeremiah proclaimed, it is good for us to wait on the Lord because waiting produces the kind of fruit that couldn’t have grown any other way.
It yields humility, maturity, perseverance, character, hope, and yes, even joy (James 1:2-4; Rom. 5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). And though we may never get what we’re waiting for this side of heaven, we can trust that God is at work, that He is good to those who wait on Him (Lam. 3:25), and that those who wait on Him will not be put to shame (Ps. 25:3).
An Indefinite Wait
My husband and I don’t know how long we will wait to be chosen.
We don’t know how many no’s we will hear before someone says yes, or whether we will match with a mama who ultimately chooses to parent.
We don’t know the hardships, burdens, and sorrows that our brave birth mom will bring into the delivery room, how she will handle the heartbreak of placing her child into our arms, or how our relationship with her will evolve over time.
We don’t know how our new baby will cope with the trauma of a broken biological bond, or how his or her sense of identity will develop in the years to come.
We don’t know how many sideways glances we will get, how many awkward questions we will field, or how many snide remarks we will hear should our son or daughter look nothing like us.
But we do know that God reigns, that He will be with us, and that in Him, there is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11).
And so, while we will not wait perfectly, we will wait quietly—with eager and expectant hearts, trusting in His perfect timing, resting in His sovereignty, and praying for growth in the valleys ahead.
SEEKING TO FUND AN ADOPTION?
Crowdfunding is a useful tool to share your story and make it easy for friends and family to give. But many sites charge an additional 5-7% in administration fees. With mySTORY, Lifesong’s crowdfunding platform, only credit card fees apply!
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Ps. 62:1-2