I’ve been trying to write this post for a long time… since before we got our referral actually. I keep wanting to write it during a time when I am waiting on God’s timing, not after something has happened. And things just kept happening with our adoption, which was good!
Before I begin, I want to say I would never claim to really understand God. I don’t think it’s possible for our little human brains to fully understand all that He is. And to be honest, I don’t know that I’d want to worship a God I could fully understand.
So here I am again… waiting. That’s the name of the game in adoption. I have Amani, he’s living here with me. He is legally my son, and yet we are still waiting for clearance to come into the US. And we’ve asked for a miracle. Last night, Kim and I sent letters to the Embassy asking for appointments on Thursday. That’s in 2 days. We aren’t even cleared yet. It shouldn’t happen, yet I know if it does, it will be nothing short than God’s intervention. I don’t think I’ve stopped praying since I hit the “send” button on that email.
But if it doesn’t happen, does that mean that God didn’t intervene? Does that mean that God wants it to take an extra two weeks for me to bring Amani home? Those are the types of questions I struggle with when it comes to God’s timing. When a friend loses a child, does that mean it’s God’s timing? Does God WANT us to go through struggles, pain, hardship, suffering?
I thank God for Rob, who is more spiritually mature and just all-around a better person than I am. He’s helped me try to figure all this out. We have an awesome pastor at our church but when I’m truly honest, Rob is my pastor. He’s the one I go to when I need answers. Man, I love him a lot. I’m so blessed.
I wanted to believe that God’s timing would be for Amani to have been home months ago. I want to say that God’s original plan would have been for Amani to never have lost his birth parents. I want to believe that God wants us to have hunky-dory, easy, comfortable lives in which we lack for nothing.
But he made us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. When we have easy lives (like in America), we take the credit. We rely on ourselves instead of on Him. Look at the US. We think we are a nation of “self-made men.” We think we’ve pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps. We think a successful life means more stuff so we work harder to get more stuff: newer cars, bigger houses, fancier vacations. We tend to leave God out of the equation when life is so comfortable.
Here’s what I think. I might be wrong and I’m okay with that – I am always learning God’s heart. And I’d never claim to really understand. But I don’t think God WANTS children to go hungry, families to be separated, mothers to lose children. He doesn’t WILL those things to happen. He isn’t making it happen that adoptions in Ethiopia are taking longer than they used to. He hasn’t sent the US Embassy to put obstacles in the way of bringing children home.
HOWEVER… God can (and does) use every situation for His glory. This is a broken world. We broke it almost as soon as it started. And God knows that. And He has a plan to redeem it… through us, a broken people.So all this crappy stuff happens because of the consequences of sin in our world. We broke the world and now we have to live in it. And God’s going to use us to fix it… but the problem with using broken people is that we do things in a goofy way sometimes.
I think of it kind of like teaching my kids to put on their own shoes. It is much faster for me to do it for them. I could just put their shoes on them for the rest of their lives. But that doesn’t make sense, does it? I need to have patience and give them the opportunity to learn so that eventually they can put on their own shoes and, someday, teach their children how to put on their shoes.
I suppose God could reach down and fix everything for us. I know He can. But in His own wisdom, He’schosen to use us to fix the world. What an honor! But, like my children were with their shoes, we’re slow on the uptake. We make mistakes, we put our shoes on the wrong feet sometimes.
In Eden, there would have been no orphans. In heaven there will be none. But here on Earth there are. God wants families to be together – we need to work on family preservation programs without a doubt. But for many children it is too late for that. And God has established very clearly in the Bible that He is pro-adoption. I think in God’s eyes there can be two “best choices” for Amani. It would have been wonderful for him to have been able to stay with his birth parents. But you know what else is wonderful? Being adopted. That’s another first choice. I’m not a second-best mom for Amani. He’s not having to settle for something “other.” God is cool like that.
So while I wait anxiously for an answer to my prayer. I know God lies in the answer either way. He may intervene. We may get a true miracle and get an Embassy appointment in just two days. Or we might not. God’s hand is in the works regardless. He is using us to “set the lonely in families”.
I am so thankful for the honor of participating in His plan… even when I know it means sometimes my shoes will be on the wrong feet.