Ecclesiastes tells us that “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven…a time to be born and a time to die…a time to cry and a time to laugh….a time to grieve and a time to dance…” just to name a few. Life is full of seasons. Sometimes there is a wide span of time in between and sometimes it’s short.
The Lord continues to astound me as He unfolds a beautiful story of adoption in our family. We are just now in the introduction, the prologue, the first few chapters of this book. The final chapters are yet to be written, but we are eagerly awaiting the rest of the story.
Many of you know that I recently had to undergo a major surgery. It wasn’t in my plans or something I desired, but I wanted to share with you how good God was to our family in this, especially as it factored into our adoption process. In July of 2015 I began having some physical issues. I went to the doctor and was put on medication for something that’s fairly common and, as a result, isn’t a big deal. For the next few months, I kept having issues with the medication I was taking. Although I only took it occasionally, it made me feel terrible every time, almost like I had the flu. I tolerated it for a while; I even tried taking half a dose, etc. Finally, though, I got to the point that I just couldn’t handle it anymore and made an appointment with my doctor for December 9 at 11:10am (remember that time – it will soon be important). I made sure Micah could be at the appointment with me since my doctor talks fast and I figured I’d need extra ears to help me process all the various medical options I would be presented with.
In the meantime Micah had a speaking engagement come up at the last minute. It would require a 5-hour drive each way and he was swamped with work, Ph.D. study and just really didn’t have time to drive there and back, so I offered to drive for him so he could work in the car. Our friends kept our girls for that overnight trip and in between phone calls, book-reading and answering emails, we got to have good conversations on the way there and back. That was December 7-8. We needed to have some serious conversations as we had arrived at a point where we were considering making a major shift in our adoption plans. Let me take you back about a year.
In January 2015 and again in March 2015 we got emails from our agency encouraging us to perhaps think about switching countries to adopt from. At the time movement with adoption in Lesotho was very slow. We gave it very little consideration, though, because we felt so strongly that our family was drawn to adopt from a country in Africa. We did agree, and we asked our prayer partners to pray specifically for us to be matched with a child by the end of 2015. We decided that, if nothing happened by then, we would consider other options.
Now here we were at the end of 2015 and no match had been made. We were really discouraged. Since we were open to an older child, our agency originally told us we would likely “move to the front of the line” to be matched since very few families in the Lesotho program were open to older kids, but here it was almost 14 months after submitting our dossier and nothing was happening. Micah and I began having the conversations on that little road trip about what our next steps would be. We talked about fostering to adopt. We talked about possibly trying to get pregnant and just having more biological children. We talked about domestic adoption. The end of the year was upon us and it was time to start thinking and seriously taking steps towards something and somewhere besides Lesotho and so that’s what much of our conversation on that road trip was about. My heart was sad.
December 9 (the very next day after the road trip) at 10:50am Micah meets me in the parking lot of my doctor’s office. He hops in my car and I could tell he was excited. (If you know him at all, this isn’t unusual – he gets pretty excited about a lot of things!!) He had just gotten a phone call and wanted to tell me about it. The phone call was from our agency and they had a potential match for us!!!! We nervously and excitedly opened the email the agency had just sent us on our phone and scrolled through documents and pictures of this handsome little 8-year-old boy. We were just simply beside ourselves!! Of course, yes!! We’d be matched with him!!
But now we had to go into the doctor’s appointment. We were literally shaking and giddy with excitement. I almost didn’t even care about going to the doctor at that moment. It was so hard to wait for her to come in! We just wanted to get home to tell our girls we had a match!! I explained my situation and the doctor (as anticipated) took care in giving us MUCH information and medical options we could do to treat my condition. And then she examined me. She immediately halted and said something to the effect of, “Scratch all that. Things have changed significantly. We have to do surgery soon. What are you doing next week?” I didn’t know exactly what all that meant. My condition was rarely cancerous, as she explained to us, but with the rapid change in my physical condition over the past few months, she was concerned. She went on to explain that the only way to fully treat it was significant, invasive surgery. Surgery that would mean that we would never be able to have children biologically again. Wow. That was not at all what we were expecting to hear that day. God’s timing was astonishing, though. The Lord had prepared my heart just 30 minutes before by giving us the child we’d been waiting 3 years for on the same day….within the same hour….that He gave us the news that even if we wanted to try to have more kids, it wasn’t going to happen. “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) And with the grace and lovingkindness of our Father, we took that news better than we would have any other day.
We planned with my doctor for the surgery to happen just after Christmas so we could still enjoy the holidays. I’m fully recovered now and grateful for how the Lord has once again been a Faithful God, providing not only every financial need, but also every emotional need we have had in this adoption journey. (And let me tell you, my range of emotions that day was off the charts!) It was a confusing span of all of the “times” Ecclesiastes speaks of, but I can rejoice in His sovereign plan, His perfect timing and knowing indeed that He. Is. Good.