I might have forgotten that I asked for this…

As we continue to wait to be allowed to meet and begin caring for our son, we’ve gone through a million emotions. There has been hope, despair, anger, frustration, gratitude, and more. Each day that we are delayed again, I begin to think it may never happen. I struggle with the depth of my feelings-I want so desperately to bring our boy home. At this point, to us, he is as much our son as any legal documents will ever make him. We long for the day he is in our arms. As I was crying out to God this morning He gave me two things: a thought and a prayer. I thought I might share them with you.
All of the sudden, in the midst of my desperate crying out to Him, He reminded me that I asked for this pain. Umm, what? He brought to mind something I once said. I said it with confidence and a bit of pride in myself for my profound thinking. I said that one reason I wanted to adopt a child was to better know God, since He himself is an adoptive parent. I was so smug in justifying this adoption. I pictured the joy of bringing home a child. I imagined the life I would give him that was so much better than what he would have had without us. I thought of bestowing a name on a child whose last name was formerly “desconocido,” unknown. I imagined how God felt when he did all these things for me. Wouldn’t it be great to know God in this new dimension?
This morning I did come to know God better, but not in any of the “fields of daisies and sunshine” ways I had imagined. As I let the pain wash over me and willed myself to enter into it instead of hide from it (thanks Violet!), I began to understand my heavenly Father in a totally new way. I felt the pain a parent feels at being separated from their child. I recognized the desperate waiting to bring home a child through a process out of your control. It isn’t that God doesn’t have the power to “make” us come home, but He chooses not to exercise it, thus allowing us the free choice to choose Him. He waits for the children he longs to adopt into His family. He wants so much to give them His name, to give them a better and fuller life.
I still hope to know God in the joyful side of adoption but right now He is allowing me to receive some of what I asked for-knowing Him in His longing and desperate waiting. Even though it wasn’t what I was thinking of when I asked for it, I am choosing to be thankful that He allows me to see His heart in a new way. We know God calls us to “do hard things” so that we may become stronger and more mature in our faith and so that we can know Him in His sufferings. How is it that I forget that when I am actually in those sufferings?
So this is the prayer He gave me when my own words failed me and I had no new prayer to pray:

“God, you know the pain of being separated from your children….from the child you wait to adopt. You know the depth of our pain today. Once, you moved heaven and earth to bring the children you are adopting home. Won’t you move heaven and earth once again, to bring our son home? You are the only one who can.”

Will you pray this with us today?


About harleymc31

My wife Abby and I are missionaries in the Dominican Republic, working as a High School Math and Science teachers at Doulos Discovery School. We are joined by our three boys, aged 9, 7, and 5 who attend the same school and bring us untold joy every day.
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