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Why has our process taken so long? Why the years of trying to get pregnant? Why the years of waiting on our adoption?

Why has God allowed us to go through these delays?

We may never know the full answer to this question. But we do have a partial answer. Here is our response to the “Why” question. It’s a list of the things that God has been showing us and teaching us through these years of waiting. (And no, we don’t have it all figured out; we still have tons of progress to make in each of these areas.)

Learning to trust. Our journey has brought us face to face with obstacle after obstacle after obstacle.  Big obstacles that we are powerless to overcome. We are learning (slowly) to look to God to overcome our obstacles for us. In the words of Jehoshaphat, “We are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. (2 Chron. 20:12)” We are learning to be at peace while in a state of uncertainty and dependence. In short, we are learning to trust God. We hope that this will bear fruit for the rest of our lives.

The church is beautiful. Our adoption journey has allowed us to see and experience the precious beauty of the church. The church has prayed for us, mourned with us, rejoiced with us, supported us, comforted us, and encouraged us. They walk with us, understand us, and they are genuinely excited with us. Words can’t describe how beautiful God’s people have been in their support of our adoption. Our view of the church will never be the same.

We were created for adventure. We have tasted the thrill of God-glorifying, God-dependent adventure. We feel that we are on a great (and difficult) adventure together with our God. We are going to Africa! And God goes with us.

God himself is our treasure. God has used the years of discouragement and disappointment to turn our eyes toward him. By withholding a small blessing (children) he has directed our focus more fully and completely to a much deeper and bigger blessing (God himself).  “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.” (Isaiah 55:2)

Learning the Gospel. God is teaching us how to apply the Gospel to our situation. Since we are separated by thousands of miles, we cannot care for our sons. We must completely entrust their welfare to God (both their physical/emotional/mental welfare as well as getting them home soon). God is teaching us that we can entrust our sons to him because he gave his Son for us. God has given up his Son for us; therefore, we can know that he is utterly good and dependable. We can give our sons over to God because God has given his Son for us. The Gospel proves that God is for us and that he is utterly trustworthy.

Don’t idolize children. Children are an incredible blessing from the Lord, but they can’t satisfy our souls. If we look to our kids for our deepest satisfaction, two things will happen: 1) we will use our children, and 2) we will be deeply disappointed.

God hears prayer. We are discovering that our God hears our prayers. The ways that we have seen God answer our prayers--specifically in the past 6 months--has deepened our confidence in this simple truth: God is a prayer hearing God. This confidence has spilled over into other areas of our life.

Intensified pursuit. The sorrow caused by our waiting period has forced us to drive deeper and harder into God himself.  Being in a dry desert makes you crave water all the more.

This world is cursed. We don’t mean this in a bitter, depressed, “Eeyore” kind of way. And we don’t mean to say that there are no blessings and joys in this world. But the fact of the matter is that we live in a deeply broken and cursed world. Only a fool would put all of their hope in this world. Our journey has helped to turn our gaze towards the world that is to come—a world of continual, non-stop joy and blessing (Phil 3:20).

Rejoice in the joys of others. We have watched our family and friends have children and move on to the next phase in life; we have had to wait. God is teaching us to rejoice for them and to be content with where God has us. God is exposing and overcoming envy, idolatry, and discontentment.

Outlook on life. God has hit the pause button on our life (in the sense of progressing through the various phases of life: marriage, job, kids, etc.) This has given us tons of time to reflect on what we want our life to look like. To ask searching questions, such as: What is really important in life? What are our priorities? What do we want to accomplish? Instead of rushing forward into the chaos of children, diapers, soccer games, sleepless nights, etc., we have been allowed a time of extended reflection. This has helped us see through the smoke screen and fa├žade of the American Dream. That’s not what we want. Life is about much more than pursuing the American Dream. Our waiting period has helped to transform what we want our lives to be about. To quote Martin Luther, “Riches are among the most trivial things on earth and the smallest gift God gives to a person.”

The church is our family.  As we have had to wait to expand our immediate family, God has shown us that we are—right now—surrounded by a precious family of brothers and sisters in Christ. The bond between believers is deeper and more central even than the bond within a family.  The wait has caused us to open ourselves more fully to God’s people, and to recognize them as our true family (Matt 19:29; Luke 8:19-21).

We are adopted. Our process has taught us that adoption is central to the very heart of God. Our God is an adopting God. God’s people are an adopted people. Adoption is not shameful—it is at the center of God’s plan and purpose.

So why has God allowed us to wait so long? Here’s a better question: Why has God been so kind as to bring us through this difficult but enriching waiting period? Why did he choose to give this blessing to us?

We can only think of one answer: because he loves us. 


Christina said...

This was really, really good.

Rochelle said...

Love this! So amazing to see God's handiwork in your lives through these tough times. You've been such a great example to so many of us! Thanks for this post as you guys reflect on the past several years of struggle, and look forward to all God has for you in the near future. Praying you'll hear of your court date really soon!!!

Dona/url said...

Sara and Don, so often I read or hear of stories where propels faith is tested and think of you. I read your blog and see His strength being portrayed in your life. You remain in my prayers,

Anonymous said...

I'm so encouraged by you both and amazed at God's working in your lives.

tim, brooke, teagan, and wyatt said...

So beautiful and powerful. Thanks for sharing this. You really need to write a book about your journey!