Closing a Chapter
We have one final update on our adoption before we welcome our baby boy in just over a week. As many of you know, when we found out about this miraculous pregnancy, we were well into the process to adopt again from China. When we found out about our pregnancy, our adoption was put on hold until the baby reaches 6 months old at which point we could resume the process again at our own pace.
We received a very unexpected call from our adoption agency about a month ago letting us know that due to China’s change in adoption regulations, we would not be eligible to resume the adoption process again until our baby is three years old. Moreover, a lot of steps we had already taken in the adoption would need to be redone. On top of that, the kinds of special needs and ages projected to be available may not be the best fit for our family. This was incredibly hard to hear. Adoption is such an emotionally intense journey, that even without knowing the face or name of our child, we felt connected to this child we believed God had ordained for our family.
After many conversations with our adoption agency, it is clear from their and our perspective that we have to close our current adoption. We had hoped to find a way to remain “in process” but unfortunately, that cannot happen. This means a pretty significant financial loss for us. When we found out about the pregnancy, we had the option to complete our dossier, which would have cost us a few thousand dollars. At that time, after paying several thousand dollars into the process already, we did not feel that was a cost we could incur. Sadly, we found out that if we had completed our dossier at that time, we would have been grandfathered in under the old regulations. Ironically, we are losing far more money than the two thousand dollars we would have paid to submit the dossier.
It was a painful question to ask our agency, but I had to know. Could we have been grandfathered in under old regulations? Tears streamed down my face as they confirmed that we would have been grandfathered in. At 9 months pregnant, the tears quickly turned into weeping. Yet after the tears dried, I had an odd sense of peace.
This was not a decision we made lightly. We prayed. We asked others to pray. We sought wisdom. It was clear to us that we couldn’t move forward with the dossier at that point. We may never know why God seemed to lead us to adopt again only to leave us without our second adopted child from China and many thousands of dollars less in our bank account. But we trust that God has precise purpose in the closing of this chapter. The reality I fight to remember is that the good that God is working in us is worth far more than the thousands of dollars we lost.
I don’t see God’s purpose now. Some days the tears remain. Some moments, the questions and shame fill my heart. Where did we go wrong? Am I falling so short as a mom to Kai that God isn’t allowing us to adopt again? But I cling to the truth that this interruption is a sign of God’s grace and goodness to us. There is mercy and grace in the disappointment and sadness. God is not surprised by this closed door. In fact, His hand is somehow graciously and intimately involved in the closing. He is near. My disappointment is not too big for him. My questions are not too weighty for him.
The decision this week to close our adoption felt so final. The ending of this chapter hurts. But here is what I have learned as the final words of this chapter have been penned. There is grace and purpose in this closure. It has revealed to me things that I cling to more than Christ. It has revealed to me how easily I look to adoption as part of my identity rather than Christ. I read an article this week that spoke to me so sweetly. It talked about how God works in disappointment. We are quick to expect the wrong things or the right things at the wrong time from God. Brian Tabb writes, “Jesus had a surprising path to the throne. He conquered by being conquered… Jesus didn’t follow the happily-ever-after script people craved because the heavenly script prescribed a deeper victory over a darker enemy.” God knows our deepest needs. God knows every one of the millions of orphans in the world.
If we never return to China to adopt again, God is still in control. No government regulation or change can thwart God’s redemptive plan. I often think of the 600 kids in Kai’s orphanage, 500 of whom will probably never be adopted. I picture the wall to wall cribs with often more than one child per crib. My heart breaks to think of the brokenness and hopelessness that fill these children’s lives. Yet God remains King over all. He is still sovereign. He is near and sees every tear of these precious children. God knows. He is not defeated. This world is not as it should be. God is still King.
Would you continue to pray for our family? I know it seems strange to be talking about disappointment and grief when we are just days away from meeting this new miracle that God has so graciously given to us. We are so thrilled and incredibly grateful to God for this gift. Yet as life doesn’t happen in a vacuum, we continue to wrestle through the other changes and challenges that God allows in our lives.
As God brings us to your heart, would you please pray for the following?
Please pray for adjustment for our family. Kai has been home with us for 14 months. While he is older, our family is still relatively new as a family of four and we are very soon going to be a family of five. Our lives have been so full of change these past years with infertility, adoption, ministry and job changes, health challenges, etc. Pray that we would be faithful to the Lord and gracious with each other in the midst of these changes!
Please pray for our adoption journey. Like I mentioned, we do believe that God still would have us adopt. We certainly plan to allow for time for our family to adjust to our new baby, but also will continue to be seeking the Lord’s plan for our family. Right now, it seems as though our primary options would be domestic infant adoption or international adoption in India. There are many things to consider and financial provisions that we would need. Pray that God would make clear His path for us.
Please pray that God would continue to reveal to us areas in our lives where don’t trust and depend on him. Pray that we would see grace and goodness in the closing of this chapter and have renewed hope in His perfect, redemptive plan.
This update is as much for me as it is for you. I need to remember the truth of the Gospel in the difficult days. Even when it feels like His plans must be thwarted, His power is infinitely greater. This chapter is closing, but we have great hope that He isn’t done. Another beautiful chapter will begin. Our faith will emerge stronger and more pleasing to Him as we face the disappointment and loss. Hope will continue to win.