Tuesday, September 1, 2015

3 years on the waiting list!

I would like to share a story with you. Please engage in the seemingly irrelevant details and try to resist the temptation to skip ahead. 

A mother and her two sons went to a store to buy balloons. The mother decided to purchase 3 solid color balloons and 2 "happy birthday" balloons. 

The boys gleefully watched the employee air each balloon up with helium. First the blue balloon, then the gold, then silver and finally the two birthday balloons. 

The cashier rang each balloon up individually and passed them to the mother. As the mother grabbed each balloon, she noticed that the solid balloons all had white strings attached to them. Then she noticed that one birthday balloon had a blue string and the other had a yellow. 

The family left the store with 5 balloons in hand. 

As the mother was closing the door of her van, she noticed one of the birthday balloons had gotten loose and was flying away. She ran after it. She tried her hardest to grab the blue string on the balloon. Unfortunately she was unsuccessful. She stood in the parking lot watching the balloon fly away. 

Exasperated, she sat down in the van and her oldest son said, "Mom! Now we only have one birthday balloon!" 

"Oh well," replied the mother. "We really need to get home." 

They drove home. 

When they arrived home, the mother opened the back of the van and was simply shocked to see all 5 balloons inside! 

3 solid balloons
2 birthday balloons

"What in the world?" She said in astonishment. "There must be some mistake. This is impossible!" 

Questioning her sanity, she said to her oldest son... "Please tell me that you saw the birthday balloon fly away in the parking lot!!" 

He replied, "Yes I did." 

She grabbed the balloons and examined the strings attached to them. 

They were just as they had been in the store. All the solid balloons had white strings. One birthday balloon had a yellow and one had a blue string. 

"There has got to be a mistake!" 

So she rushed to find the receipt from the store. 

She thought to herself, "surely they sold me 6 balloons and I didn't notice. How else would I still have 5 if I lost one in the parking lot?" 

She examined the receipt. 

Then she paused. 

There were only 5 balloons listed on the receipt. 

Astonished... She checked and re-checked. 

Everything was just as it had been when they left the store. 

It was unexplainable. 

Or was it? 

Yesterday was our 3 year anniversary for officially being on the waiting list for Malachi. DTE means that was the day our Dossier was sent TO ETHIOPIA. 

It was a bitter sweet day. When we first began this journey, I never dreamed we would still be waiting to see Malachi's face after 3 years. I wish I knew when this roller coaster of a journey will end... But I don't. 

So we wait.

Yesterday I did a lot of reflecting on our adoption journey. 

The pain of the wait has been real. But the pain hasn't necessarily been soley a longing for my child. In the past 3 years I have learned that this adoption journey is actually more about my relationship with God than my son in Africa. 

God placed me on this journey to draw me closer to Himself. 

In His love, He has used the pressing circumstances of adoption to expose my unbelief. He has exposed my true thoughts about His character. 

I have doubted the character of God. 

Is He good? 
Is He faithful? 
Is He Just? 
Is He able to do the impossible? 

I didn't just ask these questions. I wrestled over them. My heart ached over them. Just ask my sweet friends who have drug me through the trenches these past 3 years. 

I shared a blog post a long time ago about not being able to sing the lyrics "nothing is impossible with you" because I didn't truly believe it. I felt like adoption was impossible and that God wasn't able to complete it. 

So what does the balloon story have to do with all of this? 

I am the mother. 

I am the one in the story. 

And yesterday... As I tried my hardest to figure out what happened with those balloons... 

I stopped. 

And I realized that the real miracle wasn't the balloon (although I was pretty... Umm.. Freaked out)

The real miracle was that I actually BELIEVED that God was able to do the impossible. My mind was tempted to settle with the idea that it was  "unexplainable." 
But for the first time, I stepped into belief that God was able to do a miracle. 

Six months ago I would have been a huge skeptic and said that something "weird" just happened, or that I was surely wrong about the balloons. Rationalizing would have been easier than believing in a miracle. 

I will never know for sure what happened yesterday with those balloons. And honestly, it doesn't matter. 

What matters is that my faith grew the instant I believed God was able. 

And as I reflect on these 3 years... It has been hard and dark at times, but to taste the goodness of The Lord makes it completely worth it! 

I am so thankful He loves me too much to leave me as I am! 

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