Beeeepppp…..Beeeeeeepppppp……that alarm is always too early and too loud. I lean over to silence it and breathe a deep yawn. With my head still on the pillow, I realize it’s a new day.
Lord, can it be today?
We’ve been in our adoption process for almost 5 years now. For much of that time, I knew that there was a very slim chance we’d get to see our daughter’s face that day- so it was easier to push that anticipation to the future- telling myself that we were not in the season to expect that just yet. I could still pray, be satisfied knowing God’s plan is perfect…anticipating that time when “it could be any day now”.
And now, for the past three months…every day of those months…“it could be any day now”. We are anticipating that moment when we will get a phone call- that leads to an email- which contains my daughter’s face. This part- the “any day now” part- has not been what I expected.
“Mooooooommmmmmmmyyyyyyy….I want cereal! Moooooommmmmmyyy!!” Instead of hopping out of bed, I pretend that they really aren’t there and beg my pillow for a few more minutes of sleep. Thankfully, my husband arises to feed the hungry and make coffee.
Kids are sent to school, husband heads to work. It’s finally quiet and I have some head space. Time to spend with Jesus. We talk and I’m honest. I worry that there is something he’s waiting on me to “figure out” before we get that call. Something I can control or fix before it happens. Ha! Why are you always grasping for that control, Lissa?!?
And he tells me, “Child, I love you. Rest in my timing. Her redemption is coming. She will be home in my perfect time." So, I ask again that our phone call would come. Can it be today, Lord? I pray about the other hard things in my world- things that seem so much bigger than our adoption. Gracefully, my Savior hears it all.
Work begins for the day and takes over my brain waves. Emails, texts, images to edit. It’s family photo season and as I look at the sweet faces of the families I photograph I wonder, “What will ours look like next year? This time last year I was sure there’d be another face in our photo…”
During my efforts to lessen the chaos of my email inbox, I see an email from our adoption agency. Could this be it?!? And maybe I just missed the call?!? Hurriedly, I open the email. It’s just a monthly program update. It’s nice, and encouraging, but not the email I really want today.
The email prompts me to check our agency’s private waiting child website. There, I can see the faces of the children recently matched, as well as some who are still waiting for their families. It is exciting and heartbreaking- in some of their faces I can imagine my own daughter’s, and seeing some my heart breaks knowing that they wait still- and that we are not the family for him or her. I should be praying over this list. All of these children are in a wait, too. It’s not just me. And I have a husband to hug, and babies to hug. I’m ok. Lord, bring these kids a family.
Before I know it, it’s time for my daily school pick up parade. I pull up to my daughter’s daycare and jump out of the car because as usual, I am riiiight on the edge of being late. As I approach the door, a few Taiwanese mothers stand talking as their children play nearby. What will they think when I have a baby in my arms that looks more like them than me? Will they ask about her? And how will I respond? I’ve never spoken to these women before, but I have gazed upon their beautiful children more than once, thinking of my own beautiful Asian. We do not yet have any close friends who are Asian- though we are dying to find some…but what do you say? Hi, our daughter is coming from China and will you be our Asian friend? Really, Lissa?!? I roll my eyes at my inner thoughts as I open the glass doors of the building.
Daughter in tow, I hop back into the car, and I’ve got a voicemail on my phone from a friend. She’s just checking on me. Tells me she’s praying for that baby to come. It is sweet- because I know she knows. Her adopted baby girl is now approaching 3 years old and is absolutely beautiful and full of just the sass and flavor God knew my friend could mother well. Don’t forget, Lissa, she waited too- her daughter is your reminder. I haven’t forgotten you.
My littlest and I head to my son’s school to pick him up. As we wait for the 1st graders to file out of the school building, I chat with a mom friend who happens to be holding a very tiny, very new foster daughter in her arms. She asks about our adoption process and I have no real news to tell her. I love that she asks- that she cares- but I wish I had something new to say today. Her family has been fostering for about a year now and I have seen several sweet children in her arms during that time. The vast differences of our current journey with international adoption versus the rhythms of foster care hit me. While we wait, she has babies in her arms. When we bring a baby home, it is permanent. When they welcome one, there is no promise of permanency. Still, both take care of children in need. Both are a means to a family. We have so much in common and yet so many differences.
My son smiles as he approaches us. We wave goodbye to teachers and friends, and head to the car. Loading my two and getting them buckled amidst school pick up traffic proves to be more challenging than anticipated. How in the world am I going to do this with three kids?!? Ugh. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
The next hour or so if full of homework and play, snacks and tying up loose ends from my work day. Before I know it, it’s 5:00. Our adoption agency is closed for the day. Ok, another day done. No call. That’s ok. Maybe tomorrow. Just be where you are and enjoy your family.
We eat and my husband and I talk about our day and discuss plans for the weeks and months ahead. Will we be able to make that trip? There is still so much in the air. We can’t make plans too far in advance. We don’t know when that call will come. We don’t know when we will travel to pick up a new daughter. But there are still schedules, and jobs and trips in the midst…and we can’t just stop living…
We clean up, do the bath time and bedtime routine. Our youngest is 2 1/2, and still wants to be rocked to sleep. I’m ok with it- because it’s as much for me as it is for her. I can’t rock my baby in China right now. But I am so very thankful for this one I hold in our warm house, snuggled under her blanket. I turn on our songs and we sing as we rock.
Take courage, my heart, stay steadfast, my soul- He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds- He’s never failing, He’s never failing
("Take Courage" from the Bethel Starlight album)
One daughter in my arms, and one half a world away. Both in the protective and loving arms of my Father. It’s now 8:15 p.m., which means that China is waking up- men and women are doing their morning exercises in the park, maybe my daughter is eating breakfast. Maybe she was done with that hours ago and now she’s playing. Maybe she is crying or being held my a nanny, or a foster mother…I don’t know. And I won’t know…and maybe I’ll never know. But that’s ok. God’s promise is good and He has her right now, just like he has me. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new chance we will get that call.
Lord, can it be tomorrow?