Yesterday I was listening to my favorite podcast and the host was interviewing a mom who is waiting for a referral from the Philippines and who has been in the process for four years. Sometimes it's hard to listen to people talk about their experiences because every adoption experience is different and it's difficult to not compare our experience to someone else's.
Yesterday was the exception though. Amidst their conversation about adoption, the host said that she would always tell her husband during their domestic process that if they didn't do certain paperwork right away or if they didn't do this or that, then they'd miss their child - and this is a feeling I've felt way too often. Of almost anything I've heard adoption related, this hits home a little too strongly. It's so easy to feel like we have the weight of responsibility to get the right child at the right time by turning in paperwork on a certain day or getting approval back quicker, but that's simply not the case.
I love what the podcast host said her husband's response to this was. She said he would always say, "It's impossible for us to miss our child that God has for us."
What a comforting truth that is in such a chaotic system. We often feel like we have no control, which we don't, so why would we think that turning in a piece of paper at a certain time would change the chaos or the lack of control? It doesn't. Of course there are certain deadlines we have to meet, and of course we had to originally answer the call to adopt and work on saving and raising funds to pay for it, but just like our salvation, we cannot work or earn our way through this process.
So many times we talk about the illustration of adoption being about how God rescues us and places us into His family. Typically when we do this we put ourselves as the adoptive parents in the "God" placement, for the sake of the illustration, and we put our future son in "our" placement, as the one who needs a savior. We do this because it makes sense to the world. It's an easy ministry tool because it's pretty easy to comprehend. However, we are not God, we are not saviors, and in every situation and illustration, we are the ones in need of rescuing.
Here's the truth: The illustration of adoption is about faith. It's about the fact that we cannot work or earn our way to any gift or blessing. God freely gives us these gifts because He loves us and He died for us. Job 1 says, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
God has called us to adopt, and He has been faithful to carry us through. We must have faith that no matter our story and no matter our journey, He alone will provide. We will not miss the gift He has for us, even if it's a blessing we cannot quite fathom. And in all things, good and bad, we declare, blessed be the name of the Lord!