I’ve been planning this post for months. I’ve spent entire afternoons imagining how I would announce to you where my heart and head have really been for the past fifteen months.
It’s been fifteen months now.
Fifteen months since we began our paper chase to adopt a baby boy from Africa.
I was going to write a hell of a letter to you to share the news. The letter was going to be about redemption and victory. It was going be about how God comes through for people who lay it all on the line for their dreams that are His dreams, too. But even though I always believe it will . . . life doesn’t work out that way, does it? Life’s not like a movie, where you just have to hold on for another hour to get to the big victory scene. Things don’t always fall into place easily, or ever, sometimes. God doesn’t seem to work that way, even though I really, really think He should. I don’t get God at all.
The past year has been, well, it’s been ridiculous. I’ll get into the details later but in short, we have lived, breathed, and bled this adoption. We have witnessed miracles along the way and lost weeks worth of sleep and traveled all over God’s green earth and cried and cried and cried and learned how to use spread sheets and visited three different police headquarters and taken trips to embassies and spent an entire month worth of time listening to elevator music on hold and met with congressmen and spent our life savings, again. We did most of the adoption preparation on our own. No agency, just me and Craig, with help from a few friends and Sister, putting together a dossier. And each morning, no matter how tired or scared or anxious I was in anticipation of the adoption events of the day, I showed up here. I wrote to you about how Life Goes On even when ours is on hold. I showed up for you because we show up for each other even when we don’t want to. Even when we’d prefer to curl up into a ball and drink forty nine Captain and Cokes. I stayed awake . . . I kept showing up. I did my job. I am really, really proud of myself for that. This past year I’ve come the closest I ever have to loving God with my whole mind, body, and soul. I sure as hell don’t want to come any closer, anyway.
I’ve kept this all secret because, well, because I’ve been completely consumed with this baby. I have learned that when I’ve lost all perspective about a situation it’s best not to write about it yet. Wait for a hint of clarity, is my rule. If I am currently angry, terrified, suspicious, jealous, etc…I don’t hit publish, because those things are the opposite of love and I need for every word on this blog to come from a place of love. That’s why it works. There’s the secret. But I’m breaking my own rules today. I’m writing even though I’m terrified and suspicious and a little angry. Because I’m worried that the other reason I haven’t announced this publicly is that I’ve feared God won’t come through in the end. I’m afraid He’ll leave me hanging. And then God and I will be left feeling stupid. Again. It’s like I secretly and ridiculously believe that I’m His publicist, and it’s my job to spin everything He does in the best light, so He’ll come across looking good for the paparrazi. So I wait to see what He does and then find a way to wrap it up in a bow and hand it to you. I make it seem like a gift no matter what the hell it is, because mostly, I feel like everything is a gift. But I don’t feel like spinning anything this time. I don’t even know how. I’m going to stop trying to be a writer and just be a reporter.
In sum: we thought we were weeks away from receiving our final approval from Africa. We thought we’d be traveling this summer to pick up our boy. We have a name picked out. I’m planning his nursery. Tish keeps saying: WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET OUR BROWN BABY? I know. We need to talk to her about that terminology, I guess.
But this week, after fifteen months, (seven years and fifteen months) we learned that this adoption might fall through for us. I can’t share those details now. But it’s not looking good, all of a sudden. It’s going to take a miracle. Holding onto hope and expecting miracles are completely exhausting. I just want to expect normal for once. But noooo…right up to the end, miracles. Jesus.
So anyway, I’m not waiting to see if the miracle happens this time to write about it. I’m telling. I’m putting God on the spot. At this point, I don’t have much faith. If I had to bet, I’d bet that this is going to fall through. Again. I just can’t see how or why God will fix this. We’ll find out together, I guess, in a few weeks. Until then, if you would – do your thing. Pray, vibe, think of us. Think of our baby. Will him to exist, please.
And one more thing: please, please, please don’t remind me that Jesus said not to put God to the test. Please don’t quote scripture to me, or I’ll turn this car around. Yes, I will. I’m living scripture right now. I’m waist deep in scripture. I’m trying desperately to make the world more beautiful, to prove that We Belong To Each Other, to Do Hard Things, to care for widows and orphans. And my job on this blog isn’t to tell you how I should feel…but how I actually feel, And right now I feel like this:
I’ve done what I can do. I have risked it all, again, for this dream, for this baby. I have spent every ounce of love and energy and money and hope I have. I’ve told people who’ve said No, NO, NO to STEP OFF. I’ve done this sick and exhausted and I’ve picked myself up, literally, from the floor time and time again. I’ve left it all on the field. Again.
Your turn, God. Let’s see what you can do. You better be real, Mister.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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