“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” There’s a lot of truth in that saying, and it has been on my mind lately. I’ve been thinking about it in the context of our desires for our lives in human terms and in human timing versus God’s desires for our lives in His terms and in His timing. Of course, His timing is always the right timing. I know that, but I’m human, and sometimes my human desires get in the way.
Looking back, my husband and I got married a little later than most. I was 27, almost 28, and he was 30. I remember the years before that and the prayers that I prayed that God would bring a godly man into my life to be my husband, and if that was not His will, to please give me a peace about being single. I had some great times with friends and family during my single adult years, but God never gave me that peace about remaining single. I knew in my heart that He was going to allow me to marry, but it would be in His timing. I also remember how difficult it was during those single years to attend the bridal showers, and the weddings, and to act as a bridesmaid in someone else’s wedding. Of course, I shared in my friends’ joy, but deep down, it did hurt. But the time came, and God brought my husband-to-be into my life. We knew each other as friends for a year before we started actually dating. Once we did start dating, we knew almost immediately where things were going, and were married within 7 months-ish of our first date. Looking back, we both feel like we benefited from our years of singleness. We also entered into marriage with a more mature perspective than we would have had we married earlier. (Not to say that people who marry younger can’t have successful marriages. Quite the contrary...we know plenty of people that married young and are doing quite well.) But looking back, we can see God’s hand and His timing. We have been married now for 10 1/2 wonderful years.
Then there was the next phase of life...the “when are we going to have children” phase. For those that don’t know our story, once we decided the time was right to start our family, like so many, we expected things to happen more quickly than they did. Then we went through several years of unexplained infertility. As with weddings, every time I heard that someone was expecting or I was invited to (or hosted) a baby shower, that hurt was there. Possibly even more so. Mother’s Day was awful. It was not my brightest hour--lots of feeling sorry for myself, I have to admit. We had already thought that we would adopt at some point, but we thought it would be after we had biological children. Notice that “we” thing. After praying about it and doing a lot of research, we decided to seriously move forward with the adoption process. God’s hand was so strongly felt during all of this. And His timing, as always, was better. Without going into details, I will just say that God provided financially for us in a way that helped us begin our adoption process sooner than we had originally planned. To put this in perspective, if we had continued with our timing instead of God’s, we would likely STILL be waiting on our referral if we had remained in the non-special needs line. Instead, we have been home with our girl for almost 5 years now. So, we were in our mid-30’s and first-time parents. At that point, with the fertility issues we had faced, we thought that our dream of a family with 4 children would not happen, and that in a few years, we would return to China to adopt a younger sibling for MJ.
That obviously was not what God had in store for us, either. We returned home from China with MJ in September 2006. In November, we found out that I was pregnant. People give us the “that always happens” line, and although everyone seems to know someone who has been down this road of having a biological child after adoption, the statistics are no different for people who have unexplained infertility whether they have adopted or not. It’s just more obvious for those of us who have. In our case, it was a total God thing. We feel like He wanted us to bring MJ home first, before we had biological kids. Also, if I had been planning, there is no way I would have planned to have 2 children less than 2 years apart. But God knows better. There are challenges, but we actually love having children close in age. And of course after K was born, M came along less than 2 years later. So, here we are in our late 30’s/early 40’s and our oldest child is just getting ready to start kindergarten this fall. Thankfully, God has brought friends into our lives that are in the same phase of existence, and that has been great.
Now, back to my original quote, “The more things change, the more they stay the same...” I’m back in that same phase of existence. Praying, feeling pretty certain of what God’s will is, but praying that I will be accepting of His timing. Ever since we brought MJ home, we have felt like we would adopt from China again. There was a period where we thought we were done at 3 children, but we just can’t leave the idea. We want MJ to have a sibling who shares her heritage. And, it would be very nice for M to have a brother. One day, we plan to adopt a little boy through China’s waiting child program. We want to stay in birth order, so he will need to be younger than M by at least 5 months (that will put them in different grades at school). We have already begun doing some basic research onto what special needs we can handle in our family. Our current plan is to start the process when M is about 4 and to bring home a child who is around 3. Note I said “our” plan. We are also praying and seeking God’s will about His timing and His plan for our family. And those old feelings are coming back...I have such a strong desire for us to be able to start the process. We have local friends who are waiting on their travel dates to bring their daughter home. A childhood friend just arrived home with her little girl. A college friend and another couple we know are paperchasing. Plus, we have a number of families on Adoption Voyages right now, and there are several bloggers I follow who are in various stages of the process. It’s hard not to feel those very human twinges of jealousy. We have said over and over again that if God miraculously provided the financing for us, that we would start the process today. (In a couple of years, we will be in a much better place financially.) But His timing and our timing are not the same, as we have said many times before. Sincerely, I don’t think the timing is right for us right now. For one thing, I don’t think M is quite ready to give up his “baby of the family” status just yet. But, if you would, pray for us about this. Pray that we will seek and know God’s will for our family, and that we will have a sense of peace about waiting.
I don’t wait well...