We have reached the 37 week mark of our pregnancy! How fantastic is that?!? I’ve never looked or felt so good, I mean…my feet aren’t swollen and my back isn’t aching – amazing!
At a quick glance, and if I wanted to save a whole lot of time and self-reflection, I could just make a joke and say how excited we are and amazing this process has been and call it a day. But, how much can you learn and how much can you grow when you live for quick glances and surfaced confessions? Honestly friends, it’s been really hard. You would think the fact that I’m not actually pregnant, waddling around carrying the child, that things would be VERY different and we would be not only well-rested from being able to handle a solid night’s sleep with zero pee breaks, but also be of sound mind and not be emotionally frantic in handling all of the hormones that come along with late-term pregnancy. Unfortunately for me, upon further investigation, I’m sorry to report that THIS expecting momma is still a bit of a basketcase.
It’s so very hard to explain outside of sounding like a sound bite for the Hallmark Channel, but it’s like a part of my heart is somewhere else and it won’t be whole and we won’t find rest until that baby is in our arms. And I’ve been distracted…SO distracted. Like I got lost on my way to pick up my kids after work today. And I’ve been emotional. Just ya know, weepy at the sound of a good song, or seeing a drawing Eden made of her swinging with her new (and very brown) baby brother. On my own strength, putting God and His eternal power and sovereignty aside, I have tried tirelessly to rest by making lists of things to do outside of the normal groceries, cleaning, and play dates, and then crossing them off as if that satisfaction will warrant me what “I deserve” = REST. Ya know, when the nursery is painted, when Hayes’ busy season is over, when I have spent enough one-on-one time with each child attempting to enjoy them while I have the time (when does THAT end?), when my journaling is up to date, when our birth mom’s medical report is reviewed, when our flights are scheduled, when our paperwork is notarized, etc. etc. etc. THEN and only THEN can I rest.
We have gained a great deal of perspective this week as we have experienced a huge loss – dear friends who has been an amazing support to us have been going through a tough time, and because our friends are mourning, we are mourning along with them and are trying to find meaning in it all. Through our grief it has been hard not to think about our adoption and the loss that we could encounter at the end of our journey with this baby. His birth mom could decide to keep him. We could be doing all of this planning, and To-Do list-checking…for what? We have been praying for God to help our friends to rest in His perfect and sovereign plan as their family goes through this hard time, and I can’t help but reflect back, why aren’t I resting in His perfect and sovereign plan for MY family? My To-Do list isn’t resting in Him who called us on this journey. And our baby could be home, the busy season long-forgotten, and yet an unsatisfying To-Do list would still remain until I give it all to the Maker of the Universe – I’m pretty sure He could handle it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
My new To-Do List has one item on it: REST in Him. He has afterall, proven to be faithful and has provided for our every need. Have I mentioned that God gave us a beautiful house to stay in for two weeks while we are in Florida waiting for our legal paperwork to go through? For FREE. Oh, and we’ve been having fun finding a name for our new little boy – it’s so weird for us to actually know that it is a BOY. My dad agreed to let us use his first name as our son’s middle name. We are ecstatic because my dad is awesome and is responsible for so much good in our lives by being a faithful servant to God and to his family. He has blessed us immeasurably, and I know they will be buds. We love that even though our adopted son won’t technically be born of our family, his last AND middle names will bear legacies born from generations of them! As Hayes’ aunt would say: “Genetics don’t make a family. Love does.” Amen! We are still unsure of our son’s first name, we have a few options in mind but are open to suggestions, so please feel free to send them our way if you have any!
And last but certainly not least, God has been faithful to bless my relationship with our son’s birth mother. She called me this week because she “had a rough day and just needed to hear my voice.” We had a conversation I will never forget: about her pregnancy, the demands of life as a college student nearing finals, and how different things will be after the baby is born. I have been so reserved with her up to this point – polite and cordial. This is a very delicate relationship and I need to treat it with a tremendous amount of care. That night we took a giant step forward – laughing and crying together. I can’t wait to meet her. I always tell her that we pray for her daily and she says, “REALLY?!?” like no one has ever prayed for her before. I pray (you pray too – PLEASE PRAY!) that she sees the love of Jesus through us. God could not have matched us better, and I hope she feels that way too. And even if this adoption fails and his mother decides to keep him, we still have so much to be thankful for. So much to trust God for. So many reasons to rest.
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8