I miss my friends- our life- at our old church. I still grieve often, and while I adore my new friends, nothing is the same. I know so many wonderful ladies there, and I know that they wouldn't hesitate to come alongside me in my struggles, but I can't bring myself to open up to them. It just makes me wish things could be like they used to be, but they can't. I know that.
If you've been reading for a while, then you know we have been trying to adopt a baby for nearly three years now. I haven't talked about it much because, well, mostly it just makes me cry. It leaves me doubting, wondering, and after last week's disappointment (which I didn't post about), it has left me soured, cynical, and even angry with God. Why put us through all this when all we want to do is be a family for someone in need? After the agony we went through with Isabelle, why does this second journey have to be equally- or more- difficult? Just so much confusion in it all, and my heart is breaking in the process.
And then I think about all those would-be Moms and Dads who never get to experience the beauty of conceiving and carrying a child, the excitement of the greatest anticipation in the entire world. The nursery to dream about and prepare, the darling photos of the growing baby bump, and yes, of course, those magical lists of what to do, what you'll need, what to bring here and when, etc... I'm not saying that adoption isn't also magical and exciting- of course it is! But having given birth and having adopted, I say with clarity and good conscience that they are not at all the same. Everything is different, from beginning to end, except for one thing: love.
It's a life-changing love. Powerful, strange, and consuming. I think of the many couples I've met over these three years who've long ached for a child, who have risked so much emotionally, financially, and whose arms remain empty. I might understand their pain, if only a little, but I have not experienced their losses in the same way. My heart truly breaks for them as I wonder why their dreams of parenthood are not coming true. Their strength humbles me, as adopting in this country is not as easy as many people would have you believe. If you're reading this and you've dreamed of becoming a Mommy but it hasn't yet happened, please know that I am praying for you often.
Several years ago, when I was going through one of the darkest times in my entire life, I learned about this passage while attending a Beth Moore study at our old church. It reminds me that it's okay to surrender my hopes and dreams to God because I can trust Him. Only He can transform my despair and ashes into something beautiful, and His comfort is like none other.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61: 1-3