On Tuesday, we will have a visit by our social worker to update to our adoption home study, because we have moved to a new location and our paperwork has to be reprocessed every 18 months. Our original home study was done in the spring of 2007, and these past 4 ½ years of our adoption journey have been some of the most stretching and challenging years we’ve ever had.
God has remained faithful throughout and has been gracious to teach me a lot through this painful process about Welcoming Unmet Expectations and Experiencing God's Goodness. At the point where we stand today, we still don’t know what the future holds for us. But God is reminding me again as we face our paperwork renewal that He wants me to trust deeply in Him.
Henri Nouwen has become one of my favorite authors. I borrowed several of his books from some friends recently and have been greatly blessed by them. The following quotes from Here and Now: Living in the Spirit have spoken to my heart about our adoption journey.
“There is an intimate relationship between joy and hope. While optimism makes us live as if someday soon things will go better for us, hope frees us from the need to predict the future and allows us to live in the present, with the deep trust that God will never leave us alone but will fulfill the deepest desires of our heart.
Joy in this perspective is the fruit of hope. When I trust deeply that today God is truly with me and holds me safe in a divine embrace, guiding every one of my steps, I can let go of my anxious need to know how tomorrow will look, or what will happen next month of next year. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God’s love within and around me…
When we trust profoundly that today is the day of the Lord and that tomorrow is safely hidden in God’s love, our faces can relax, and we can smile back at the One who smiles at us.” (p. 41-42)
“We have to keep asking ourselves: ‘What does it all mean? What is God trying to tell us? How are we called to live in the midst of all this? Without such questions our lives become numb and flat.
But are there any answers? There are, but we will never find them unless we are willing to live the questions first and trust that, as Rilke says, we will, without even noticing it, grow into the answer.” (p. 98)
“Why is it so difficult to be still and quiet and let God speak to me about the meaning of my life? Is it because I don’t trust God? Is it because I don’t know God? Is it because I wonder if God is really there for me? Is it because I am afraid of God? Is it because everything else is more real for me than God? Is it because, deep down, I do not believe that God cares what happens…” (p. 101)
“True spiritual gratitude embraces all of our past, the good as well as the bad events, the joyful as well as the sorrowful moments. From the place where we stand, everything that took place brought us to this place, and we want to remember all of it as part of God’s guidance. That does not mean that all that happened in the past was good, but it does mean that even the bad didn’t happen outside the loving presence of God.” (p. 108)
“Children are gifts from God. They are given to us so that we can offer them a safe, loving place to grow to inner and outer freedom. They are like strangers who ask for hospitality, become good friends, and then leave again to continue their journey. They bring immense joy and immense sorrow precisely because they are gifts. And a good gift, as a proverb says, is “twice given.” The gift we receive, we have to give again… “our” child isn’t really “ours” but given to us to become a true gift for others….They do not belong to us. They belong to God…” (p. 166-167)
I believe that God wants me to know that my three precious children are gifts from Him, and that any future children (while not guaranteed to come) would also be gifts from Him.
God, may my hands be opened to allow You to do as You determine best.
Not my will, but Yours be done.