The past 2 years and 4 months of waiting fell heavy today as I sat in the drive-through window at our local pharmacy. The lady behind the window intending to fill some amoxicillin and send me on my way ushered in a load of hurt instead when she asked the simple question, “his name please?”
These. are. the. words. I. dread. I have for the past 2 years and 4 months. Every time I sit anxiously in the waiting room of a Dr. office, or have to call to make an appointment, or talk to anyone official; I have to say it out loud. It feels like a declaration, out of my own mouth, that he is not my son. His name is a constant reminder that the wait it not over.
I remember another window. The window at which I was standing when I got the call. She quietly asked “is your husband home with you?” Knowing that the news to come might knock me too far down to get back up on my own. But it was too late, I knew something was not right and pressed anyway.
“They have a lawyer” she said. Those are the only words I remember. The thing that is still clear as day was my inclination to run. To literally bolt clear through that pane of glass at which I stood and run with him in my arms. To keep running until it all fell away. I was sure I couldn’t do this, this was my worst case scenario. After that came pacing and shaking and worry and just trying to breath until he did get home to pick me up off my shaking knees.
The next days were a blur. Filled with phone calls and confusion and questions uttered to God in the dark of night as I wept over this precious son of mine. I could feel the ripping away inside. How did we get here? I don’t want to be this mom, this is not what adoption is about. What do we do?
There were so many questions that God slowly and quietly answered. I had to fight in those early months just to love him. Choosing love while staring at potential visible loss was one of the hardest choices I have had to make. Every snuggle, every rock, became a choice to look the pain in the face and love anyway.
It has gotten easier as time has gone by, mainly because he is a part of me. I could not not love him if I tried. But while the choice to love it easier, the waiting is not. With each passing day the wait has given way to weight and I can feel the pressing, the bending, the breaking.
Some days it feels like anger, deep and burning on the inside. “What is He doing? Why hasn’t He stepped in yet?” Other days tears flow and the waiting turns to grief over the brokeness of it all. And still others leave me looking on at all the “normal” families just doing life. The ones who have prayed for us and moved on to live life leaving me feeling stuck, so painfully stuck in the waiting. Each day I feel it. Some days, in grace, I stand up in the waiting, under the weight. And other days I am crushed by it. Dinners are left un-made, and joy seems like a distant memory. “Will there ever be relief?” Even if it ends happy for us there is a birth mom who is broken and a system who is faulty and just so much pain.
I wish I had tidy answers that could be folded up nice and clean with the laundry, but I don’t. I am still right in the middle of the waiting – feeling the weight. Like David, I cry out to God that he would hear me and come to our aid. I pray that this waiting would produce something beautiful in its wake, that could be offered up to the glory of the Lord.
Most days waiting simply becomes a choice to stay here, in this day, and give thanks. Do the next thing: give the hug, bring the correction, teach the lesson, fall into my bed with the pit in my stomach and give it all, once again, to HIM- the one that holds it all in the palm of His hand anyway.
But the temptation to run is still there. To busy myself to numb the pain. To stuff it down and pretend like all is well. To move on to the next project- anything that will dull the ever increasing ache of waiting.
To me it has been 28 months, but to my God, who is not bound by time, it is merely just a breath, a flicker, a fleeting feather blown by the wind. So I close my eyes and ask that He renew my perspective with His. Give me YOUR eyes that I may see truth. That I may be willing to endure both the wait and the weight of today. Through His grace and under His mercy we will wait.
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans 5:3-5 The Message