family update

family update: reality | sarahsandel.com

I'm beginning this with a huge sigh and bit of quiet. Because if I'm honest, that picture above is possibly-maybe a more accurate reflection of life some days than the cutesy family pic I will be sharing later. #reality

Over a month ago we made a big to-do about our adoption plans and hopes. We launched a website, a YouCaring fundraising site, and posted our girlie's "Big Sister" photos all over the internet. We were ready to brand and market our family's growth plan like nobody's business.

So this post is not the post I thought I'd be writing here at the end of the year. You see, nothing appears* to be moving forward.

In fact, I can say with no small degree of frustration and embarrassment that our "adoption campaign" was flung out into the public eye rather haphazardly and in a whirl of emotions and was a knee-jerk reaction to a frustrating roadblock we were facing. When the project we were relying on fell through, I felt wild and desperate to just get on with it. If God indicated we were free to pursue adoption again, then let's just do the damn thing. (Sorry for saying damn. But I mean....)

Many of you know the first story. How two years and three failed pregnancies and four lost babies tired my heart out and then a miraculous phone call resulted in our adoption - our daughter - our fantastic and spunky little girl. I love this story and I talk about it a lot. I don't talk as much about the second story: how in the last two years we've had one birth mom drop us and 4-5 calls to adopt from foster care that just didn't suit and how, most recently, after some changes with which we were not comfortable, we parted ways with the agency that had accepted our domestic adoption application over the summer.

I don't know, you guys. I cried and stomped and then went and spent our home study money on new bookshelves and don't judge me about that, they look great and were easier to put together than a crib or something so whatever. At least bookshelves come with an instruction manual, which is more than I can say for a new baby. (Yes, I know. #bitterjokes)

* * *

When God says, "Yes" - I want Him to mean "immediately".

I don't want to wait and wonder and have this Giant Big Thing of Adopting hovering in my brain and heart and taking up energy & space if we're not "doing it". I don't want to move at His pace or on His timeline.

I am doing that thing we all do and all don't want to do: making demands and shaking my fist and telling God what the best course of action would be. Because I am so smart. Oh, God...forgive me...

* * *

This year of being still and small has crushed me. I believe God is deepening my wells - creating in me a greater capacity to absorb life and to absorb hurt and pain - to absorb suffering with and for others. I suppose God is always doing this in all of us who belong to Him, but this year a mentor gave me new words for this sanctifying process and I find a soothing mantra in them...deeper wells...deeper wells...deeper wells.

I want the deeper wells to result in less grumbling. More hope.

*I wrote "appears to be" moving forward and it struck me that my problem is, of course, with the appearance that God is not answering in our lives the call we believe He initiated. But as He carves out these deeper wells and increases my absorption levels, I cannot - must not! - trust appearances. If I had chosen to put my trust in appearances on March 26, 2012, I would never have been open to the call that came on April 4 - the call that launched our family into a whirlwind adoption and resulted in one amazing little daughter.

So today, on December 1, 2015 - I am not trusting in appearances.

I am re-learning 'hope' and I am choosing to trust in the author of family Himself. John Piper once said, "God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them." I can surely identify more than three things God is doing in my life in these days - three good, righteous, sanctifying, holy, precious, beloved things. These are mere foretastes of the glory He is working. I don't know how He will work it out or what He will do on our behalf. But He is always working.

We want a baby and we hope for a baby and we have no idea how or when or if God will do that for our family. But we are not trusting in the appearance of "no adoption" and "no money" and "no way for this to happen". The Psalmist reminds me that some trust in chariots and horses - the ways and means of getting from one place to another. I have no chariot or horse, so I will boast in the name of the Lord my God and wait on His loving hands to work good for our family.

family update: reality | sarahsandel.com

family update: reality | sarahsandel.com