God is so gracious. He continues to provide in the details of our lives and we are so undeserving. Yesterday we found out that there were no referrals this month, so we are still #12 on the waiting list. I have to admit that I felt a little like I'd been been kicked in the gut. We've been praying for a referral by the end of the year, and yesterday made that previously seemingly achievable hope seem less likely. Well, boo. Of course we know that God is not bound by a waiting list, and that all things work together in His timing. We know this, but it's hard.
But oh but grace abounds...
A few weeks ago I asked my mom to write guest post about adoption from her perspective. I thought it would be interesting/fun/helpful/encouraging for people to read about adoption from a family member's perspective, specifically a grandmother's perspective. My mom is amazing, and she and my dad have embraced our decision to build our family through adoption with open arms. They have learned the lingo, learned about attachment, and have been so diligent to support us in every way possible. I'm so excited to share her post with you, and when she texted me last night that she was sending it to me, it was just the boost I needed to look ahead and keep praying, hoping, and waiting.
My name is Tricia, and I am Jessica’s mom. When she invited me to write a guest post, I immediately knew that I wanted to write specifically about adoption through the eyes of a mother, watching her daughter travel down this emotional road. I want to indulge in the very female version of this story that comes from the deepest part of a mother watching her own daughter become a mother in her heart, even before she holds her child. It is a story of extended pregnancy – something that is physically impossible, but emotionally and spiritually, oh, so, real.
I must point out before continuing, that I truly love my son-in-law, Jason. He rejoices with his “Sammie” (his nickname for Jessica – it comes from her maiden name), and he hurts with his wife. He jumps on the roller coaster of emotions, while keeping one stable foot on the ground, as he dares to ride along with her, just to be there for her. I am sure that he is having his own journey as a dad-to-be, but he makes our daughter his priority, and we love that… and we love him!!
For 26+ years, we have had the privilege of raising three daughters. The oldest of the three, Jessica (yes, the founder of this blog), is a young woman who is sensitive, intuitive, resourceful, passionate, genuine, and I think, above all, loyal. Of course, if you know her, or know of her through this blog, you have probably recognized these qualities.
I know that I am her mom, so I ask for your grace on my bias toward her amazingness (sorry Jess, I know that’s not a word!). I will, however, share something about Jessica that makes her seem more human – she likes for things to happen, um, RIGHT NOW!! She will work tirelessly, with great intensity, with the endurance of a triathlete to accomplish this. I don’t mean to imply that she is impatient, she is simply passionate, meaning, I want her on my team!!
Knowing my girl like I do, I can only admire her for jumping (not tiptoeing) into the world of adoption!! She has surrendered her own propensity toward “getter-done now” to God, because He called her to WAIT, WAIT, and WAIT for Judah! Waiting is hard, waiting is lonely, waiting is emotional, and waiting gives us time to create doubts about what God is doing. But, when we deny our own flesh, God’s word tells us that waiting builds strength, waiting builds character, and waiting builds faith. It forces us to wrestle with our own lies, our own unworthiness, and our own limitations. It puts us right where we need to be in order to submit to the One whose ways are higher than our ways. It puts us on our knees, crying out for Jesus to draw us under His wing while we long for our baby Judah!
Jessica is longing for Judah. I read James Dobson’s books while we were raising our girls. I remember what he wrote about longing for something. He said that we should let our children long for some things. Maybe it’s a toy, or a special trip. He said that when children experience a longing for that thing that they want so badly, that the gift becomes a bigger gift because it is so much more special when they finally get it.
It is hard to let your child long for something… or someone. Jessica’s dad and I pray every morning that God will use this time of longing and waiting to prepare Jessica and Jason and even Swanson, their dog, for Judah’s arrival. We also pray that He will show them how to use this time.
It has happened - I look up to my daughter. She has given her heart to a little boy across the globe who she hasn’t yet met. She IS his mommy in her heart. She let her guard down and gave in to the calling to be Judah’s mom above her own nature. She embraces the wait, not with her own strength, but with the strength and power of He who created Judah.
The heart of a true mom is unselfish because of her great bond and love for her children. It is incredible how we feel our children’s hurt feelings and their excitement! It is almost impossible to separate our hearts from theirs. We become able to love soft and love tough without one lesson.
I wrote at the beginning of this long blog, that I wanted to indulge in the female side of this story. Woman to woman. Jessica, you are already an amazing mother and I look forward, with your dad, to watching our grandson grow under the nurturing of you and the leadership of Jason!
I am immensely blessed by my mom each day, but this was just something else. Thank you, Mom, for your incredibly kind words, sincere heart, and loving encouragement through this journey. We can't wait to bring Judah home and make you his Honey! Jason, Swanson, and I love you and Dad so much, and I appreciate your willingness to put pen to paper for this post. My hope and prayer is that it is an encouragement to others who may be able to share it with their family members as they pray toward or walk through their own adoption.