“And I’m an olive tree, growing green in God’s house. I trusted in the generous mercy of God then and now.” ~ Psalm 52:8, MSG
I was just thinking about the day we were told we could not have children.
I remember coming home from our doctor’s office and slouching into a chair on my porch. I remember the tears, too. It was a sunny day, which seemed spiteful to me at the time. News like that was meant for rain and thunder. I wanted all creation to commiserate, or at least show a little sympathy.
That morning, everything changed. And of all the places I felt the blow, perhaps my expectations were hit the hardest. I expected to have kids by now. Or, at least, someday.
That mournful passage in 1 Samuel, when Hannah was taunted for her childlessness, still makes my stomach turn. We haven’t endured taunting from the outside, but we’ve definitely suffered a sort of internal mockery. We’d see friends and relatives with their children, and we’d ache. We’d hold babies, smell their sweet faces, give them small kisses. They’d wrap their arms around us and drift to sleep. And we’d wonder if we’d ever have our own little ones to tuck in at night. Year after year, we were taunted by our own minds, by our expectations.
It’s been five years since that morning. I like to think we’re a little wiser now. There’s a kind of peace that comes with the passage of time, and maybe that’s the root of whatever wisdom we’ve gained. The evidence of that peace is that we’ve learned how to wait well.
We have learned how to wait in peace. Wait with hope. Wait while working. Wait with prayer. Wait with patience. Wait with thanksgiving.
And I think all these things combine to create the essence of “waiting well.”
Waiting well doesn’t mean ignoring the reality of our situation. It doesn’t mean we’re naïve. On the contrary, we’re probably more aware than ever.
Waiting isn’t fun and it isn’t what we’d choose. But we spent the majority of our lives in wait for something – a family, a spouse, a job, a vacation, a phone call, a birth, a death, a change.
Waiting can be agony – a watched pot and all that – but it is a fact of life; the question isn’t whether we’ll wait but how. When I think about sitting on that porch, a day of bitter sunshine and anguish, I wince over the fact that I lived there for so long.
As you know, we are now waiting for our Little Shope. We have such hope for the day we will meet our kiddo. And we believe the waiting – including all we have learned and done in that time – will serve to bless our house in the future.
I had lived so long with expectations of what I believed my life “should” look like that I’ve missed the grace that was being poured over me daily. Even in the in-between, there can be life and growth and the sun can do its good work.
In the past five years, we’ve learned to loosen our grip on expectations, and we’ve been blessed abundantly for that decision. The baby that comes into our home is the baby that was meant for us. I trust God to choose that child for me. I have hope in His provision.
So yes, right now, we’re waiting. Without fear, without judgment, without anxiety, without impatience. That’s the goal, anyway.
We choose to wait well.
And being with you makes that waiting sweeter. We sent out our first round of thank-you cards for everyone who has donated to our fund. Writing them cost us many tears of gratitude. Our hearts are full. We have been blessed with support and kindness, from friends, our families and even from strangers.
It’s been five years of longing, and so much has changed in that time, including us. We have much waiting yet to do, and much to do while we wait. (Right now, we are waiting to do a home study. After that, we wait to be chosen. After that, we wait for the Phone Call. After that, we wait to sign papers.)
Wait. Wait. Wait. It’s our physical address right now; we have a tent set up in the in-betweens and the unknowns, a little plot of land centered in a time vacuum – a place that Certainty just does not visit. But we have another address too. It’s the one where our hearts and minds live. You can find us on Hope Boulevard, near the corner of Thankfulness and Prayer.
Thank you for your prayers for us, for our Little Shope and for the orphans everywhere.