Am I the Only One Disappointed?
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
We got such exciting news this week. Our home study got final approval from our agency’s India team. This is the culmination of months of hard work, hours of creating documents, organizing lists, and consulting with adoption staff. This is the result of hours of labor, mostly after the boys were in bed, because adoption paperwork with three little kids isn’t the easiest task! To be honest, this process has been much more tiring than the last.
Lately, the Hymns Live album from Shane and Shane has been playing on repeat in this house. The adoption process can feel depleting at times, and this has been a way to infuse my weary soul with truth and perspective.
When the email came through that the home study was complete, "His Mercy is More" was playing (listen below!).
What riches of kindness He lavished on us. His blood was the payment, His life was the cost. We stood beneath a debt we could never afford. Our sins they are many, His mercy is more.
This truth overwhelmed my heart. Tears fell. This is why we are adopting. The riches of God’s love and kindness. My sin, my disbelief, my fear, my selfishness, my wandering heart abound. To be honest, the heat of this adoption process illuminates this sin in my heart. But His mercy is more. His mercy is more for me.
Stronger than darkness, new every morning. Our sins, they are many. His mercy is more.
His mercy is more than the literal darkness our baby is living right now. His mercy is more than the spiritual and emotional darkness that accompany this process at times. His mercy is more.
Hurry up and wait. Can you relate? This so often defines the adoption process. You rush to complete paperwork and education to arrive at your next destination, fully relying on another person, organization, or country.
We had all of our next step documents already submitted, waiting for this finalized home study. The day after our home study was complete, we received notification that the next step, which is fully reliant on the Indian government, may now take double the time originally thought. We don’t know why. We thought we were closer to being matched with our baby, but now it may not be until the summer that we would have the approval to start the matching process.
I know God is purposeful and near and faithful in all of these details. I believe that God is working in the small and large moments for His glory and for our good. We have seen how God worked in every joy and disappointment, delay and miracle in Kai’s adoption to weave a beautiful tapestry declaring God’s good redemptive glory. Yet, in these moments of disappointment, my heart aches.
I resolved that maybe this delay would allow us to raise funds and focus on other things. I started diving into our list of possible grants. A few hours later, I collapsed on my bed, tears flowing, looking at our initial list of possible grant sources, red ink scratching out agency after agency that has depleted funds or no longer is a fit for our family. My heart, saddened by the delay, anxiety ridden now that my financial plan wasn’t looking as straight forward as I thought it might be.
These are minor disappointments. Many of us face even greater disappointments, and deeper disappointments may be waiting for us as we walk forward in this journey. These kinds of disappointments aren’t fully soothed by positive thinking or trying to find a silver lining. These exercises can often give me momentary relief or much needed perspective, but the relief is not long lived.
What do we do in the face of disappointments? We remember that God sees us. He not only sees us, but moves towards us with incredible compassion. We remember that our greatest need, our sin and separation from God, has already been met. My greatest need is not a smooth adoption process or financial security. My greatest need is that I am a sinner and I cannot please God. But Jesus lived the perfect life I could not and died the death that I deserved.
Not only are my sins forgiven, but I have Jesus’ perfect record. Jesus was the only one to respond to disappointment and loss without sin. As I face disappointment and loss, I have Jesus’ righteous record. This gives me incredible freedom to move towards God, fully confident that Jesus’ record is my own. I can clumsily move towards God with a broken, grieving, fearful heart, finding Him full of compassion, love, and nearness. I can remember that He is not just concerned about the end process of our adoption, but even more concerned about making me more like Him and drawing me near to Him in the process.
As I preached this truth to my tired heart, the song “Is He Worthy” from the same album was playing (listen below!).
Do you feel the world is broken? We do. Do you feel the shadows deepen? We do. But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? We do. Do you wish that you could see it all made new? We do.
Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole? Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll. The Lion of Judah, who conquered the grave. He is David’s root and the lamb who died to ransom the slave. From every people and tribe, every nation and tongue. He has made us a kingdom and priests to God to reign with the son. Is He worthy? Is He worthy? Of all blessing and honor and glory. Is He Worthy? Is He Worthy? Is He worthy of this? He is.
This is how we deal with disappointment. We acknowledge the disappointments, the brokenness in this world. We preach to our weary hearts the truth of who God is, who we are, and the eternal, unbroken hope that awaits us. We remind ourselves that He is worthy.
Embracing disappointment. Making financial sacrifice. Feeling alone. Depleting our resources. Welcoming brokenness. Seeking out the forgotten. Forsaking comfort. Relinquishing control. Appearing weak or foolish. Stepping outside of what feels good. These are all small parts of our adoption journey, parts of just one aspect of our lives. I'm sure you could, too, list hard things in your lives. These challenges beg the question, Is He worthy?
Would you pray?
Pray for expedited processing of our paperwork and favor with the Indian government.
Pray for protection for our child.
Pray for financial provision.
Pray for emotional and spiritual strength in the waiting.