But hope lately seems to waver and wane. I wonder what I will do if -when?- it dries up and disappears completely. Let me back up a little.
When we set out to adopt Isabelle, I falsely assumed that God would allow the process to be quick, smooth, painless. And, oh. It nearly undid me. The longer and more agonizing the journey became, when the laws and the people involved and even the profoundly stupid things like the notary's signatures not looking "neat enough" threatened to break me, I clung to hope. It's all I had on my darkest days. Its glow might have been dim, trying to cut through thick, foggy thoughts of despair, but it remained.
Then that night.
That phone call.
I locked myself away in my dark closet for hours, shimmied up against the wall under the shelf that held our winter blankets. I never thought the tears would stop coming that night. My heart had had it. No more, I cried. No more pain, no more suffering, no more risking.
I suppose what I was really saying was, No more hoping.
The laws in Guatemala were changing again, and after a series of events directly related to our case, I felt certain that I would never again see my baby girl. (I had traveled the thousands of miles to Guatemala twice to spend time with her at this point.) There really are no words for that feeling, that frenzied angst and desperation. All the while, I heard the fear in my little boys' voices, wondering what was wrong with Mommy, why wouldn't Mommy come out to eat dinner, to kiss them goodnight. That was the second most gut-wrenching and horrifying night of my entire life. And all throughout that night, I wrestled with what I knew to be true.
God is good. Always.
His plan is perfect. Always.
His timing is perfect. Always.
It became my mantra. My hushed prayer-cry in the dark. And Jesus met me there, weeping alongside me, inviting me to trust.
As I sat crumpled in a heap under that blanket shelf, I felt Jesus whisper back to me. Just keep moving forward. Let Me handle the details. There was more, and it was so sweet, and in time I realized that I could trust His heavenly perspective. The things I'll never know or see or understand here on earth, the problems, the glitches- He saw all of it, and while I couldn't control or handle any of it, He could. He can, and He does. And that became my hope renewed.
So I thought I'd learned that hope lesson well. I thought I'd never again struggle with that feeling of losing hope, yet here I am, in that pit once more.
It began with the same false assumption that this adoption would be easy. That surely God would bless us with a speedy and easy process after having endured not only my personal crisis earlier on, but especially after having been so ripped apart by Isabelle's adoption.
I do wonder why this has been so hard. Someone needs a family, and we are here, wanting to bring her home and love her. That sounds pretty simple. Why the complications, the setbacks? We have faced dozens of rejections, several after allowing myself to get excited no matter how much I scolded myself for doing so. I'm not sure if that means the same thing to someone reading this who has never experienced it. Each and every rejection is painful and raw. Why doesn't someone want me to be a mother to their baby? How am I not measuring up? Am I not good enough? The list goes on and on, if I let it.
And then the baby who was to be placed in our loving arms, and then who wasn't.
But I don't want to be a hope-less person. I don't want to be bitter and hide away from the rest of the world, to stop dreaming because of my fear in hoping they might ever come true. So while life hurts, and even while my reluctant heart still aches, I will choose hope because I really believe that God is good, that His plan is perfect, and that His timing is perfect. Always.
I don't have to know all the details, I just have to keep moving forward.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.