This thanksgiving we find ourselves at a really hard place in our adoption. A quiet place. Last year at this time, we shared our excitement as we had started the process to adopt. Based on our agency’s best estimates at the time, we expected that travel would be in sight by the time Thanksgiving came around the next year. We hit some walls, but still expected that by the summer we would be matched with a little one. We faced some other really devastating setbacks and here we are, a full year later, no end in sight, no match on the horizon. Holidays have a unique way of making those aches of closed doors, unfulfilled desires, loss and disappointment sting a little more.
Holidays are a time of celebration and togetherness. The culture pushes an image of picture perfect tablescapes, crafts, meals, coordinating outfits and matching family pj’s. What do we do when instead of togetherness, our souls feel the ache of separation and brokenness? What do we do when not only our lives on the outside don’t feel picture perfect, but our hearts feel it even more? We admit what is hard, broken and aching. We bring our hearts before the Lord, because He is always at work, not only in our situations, but even more in our hearts. He is faithful to draw us near to Him and make our hearts find their true treasure and delight in Him. His ways are higher than ours. He is worthy of our trust. He is full of mercy and grace. He is loving. He is faithful. He is for us. These are not just things that look great on a barnwood sign. These are things we can lean into. These are truths that can not only handle the depth of our struggle, but reorient our hearts to see reality for what it is. This thanksgiving will be fun and full of special moments. It will also feel really sad and incomplete at times.
As we wait for God to move on our behalf and move on behalf of a precious, orphaned little one across the world, we can carry on with faith, hope and sadness, knowing that the world is not as it should be while remembering that He is not only present in our hardships, but is redeeming all things. God is big enough to handle what hurts. God is near enough to pour compassion and comfort over us.
God is faithful enough to carry our questions and uncertainties. God is loving enough to receive our joy and grief filled gratitude this Thanksgiving. Our activities and meals and photos and togetherness are all really wonderful. But remembering all of who God is and all of what He is to us is everything.