The other night, Loren and I drove to the tallest peak around, Mary's, parked the car and hiked to the tippiest part of the mountain. From there we could see the ocean, which is a good 50 miles of windy roads west. We played this weird game that he loves, gifted to him by his momma, and we packed a picnic basket full of treats to keep us happy until the sun said goodbye. The horizon was clear, the sky painted colorfully, our hearts were happy.
We sat and we talked about this thing of adoption, this tragically beautiful thing that has been cracked open in our hearts and our life, a door that will never be closed again. A door that is no longer a door, but now a lifestyle, a thing, a part of us. We sat in silence some of the time, my head on his shoulder, pants dirtied by the grass we were planted in, eyes over the valley and coastal mountains, watching the ocean ripple as the last round of the sun tucked itself behind the curvature of the globe that is our world. While we waited, the view was breathtaking - the wait was not agonizing, but full of beauty. The destination was not exactly the sun setting behind the world; the goal was to enjoy the wait while it set into its place. The wait was full of beauty.
Life with this guy is only getting better. As we spend the days apart and together, living life and working and doing what people do, I cannot help but see my love for him grow imperfectly deeper. But deeper. SO much deeper than it ever has been. He is sweet and tender, oh so tender with me, he is thoughtful and genuine, one of the most genuine humans I know. We have never had the issue of yelling or screaming at one another; we set the tone for disagreements early on, knowing we wanted to leave a legacy, a legacy of loving communication, honest and not passive, honest and not abrasive, honest and not harsh, honest and gentle, kind and patient. We fail at this, but we get back up and we try again. We apologize and we smooch our lips, the four coming together as one, we hug and we pray.
This is my favorite mug and I have been wary to post it here, for months now, but here it is. Here it is, loud and proud. It was a gift from the dearest of friends. I carry books and a small notebook with me everywhere. Going to acupuncture? Grabbing my book, just in case I can't sleep. Heading to the doctor? Got my book, waiting rooms can be full of waiting. Driving to a meeting? Don't worry! My book will keep me company until you arrive. Or my notepad full of notes and thoughts and little things I don't want to forget, like the way my tea tastes or the way that lady smiled just right or something I overhead that hit the spot of my soul or that quote or verse that I cannot stop thinking about.
At the laundromat, all I could do was pray. We have now heard of four different moms, through the grapevines of Washington and Idaho, who have discovered themselves pregnant on accident. I want all of their babies, but this is not God's plan; so I will pray for them, by name, daily. All teens, the same ages as the teens that I love and spend so much time with and so many moments praying and planning for. Two of these precious ones are going back and forth between the ginormous decisions of adoption versus abortion; these things are not black and white for these girls, as it so easily is for, say, me. All I can do is pray life over these babies, but also over these girls; not choosing abortion seems like an easy choice for me, I can see all of the negatives, but for them, it feels like the only option. What they are not seeing is the years of carrying that, the years of wondering what their decision did, the years of guilt that I want to remove and displace and shed from their precious hearts. What I know with all of my soul is that I can do my job of praying endless prayers of life and grace and showers of joy over these lives, all of them, mommas and babies. If that is all that my job is in their life, then so be it, I will get on my knees and I will pray.
The process of getting our homestudy going is taking an entire month longer than what we had planned and worked so hard for. We finished the gobs of paperwork, the education hours and training, all within three weeks of receiving the application. Hoping to have our in-home-study and interviews completed by the end of July and applying to agencies by August. Here we are, encroaching on August, ending July, and still not even scheduled for the interviews and visits. But what I know in all of my heart is that I can trust the process. I can do everything in my power to do what I think needs to get done and by when, but after that, I have to trust with hands open wide, surrendered heart, knowing that He is stalling or quickening whatever part of the process is needing those things.
What is crazy is that we have been presented to two moms already -- that part of this adoption process has been quickened and surpassed the few expectations that I had. So though our home study is delaying and taking what seems, forever, I can see that He is already working. He is slowing and delaying one area but quickening in another, and He must know the turn tables better than I, and I must trust.
We were given this beautiful rocking chair. Sunday. I have now spent a solid "insert number here" amount of hours in this chair. It's a lot less organized than in that image - I have books and journals and mugs and cards and pens sprawled out all over at my feet. I sat in it for an hour and a half Sunday, an hour Monday, an hour Tuesday, and now three hours today [Wednesday]. I woke up with a full day of good things planned: cross fit and running [training for that marathon!], bible study with my high school girls, a meeting with a youth leader, acupuncture, meeting with a photography client...anyways, good things, beautiful things, necessary things. But I woke up and my endometriosis is kicking me in the uterus, so I called it a day. I decided that it was okay to stay home some of the day and rest my aching body. I wish I could explain the ache that has become me. I am learning that it is okay to sit, and instead of wallowing in self-pity and pain, I am trying to pray and to read and to write. Forcibly turning my eyes from my pain to others, lifting them up and writing to them encouragements. Because He is good, and He is always always always doing that same thing: encouraging. But as the day progresses, it is becoming more and more difficult. This wait feels emptied of any and all beauty.
He is here amidst all of the chaos that is completely unknown and uncertain. He is here amidst the prayers and the unfinished-scrambled-eggs, the raspberry leaf tea, the journals and the books and the cards. He is here amidst my endometriosis, amidst my cancelled good-things and plans, amidst all of the waiting.
He is here while we wait, and while we wait, I am learning the dance of grace and prayer. Graceful prayer, the dance of wait. I am wondering if there is more beauty to the painful waits that we want to see? Than I am able to see? I hope to someday look back on these waits and see the canvas painted with so much beauty, I wonder how I had missed it.
PS. Adoption Puzzle Update coming soon: It is almost all put together so is impossible to turn around. Karen at Michaels and I have been playing phone tag with the customized frame! But you should know that we have about 420 pieces needing purchased! If you have not yet sponsored a piece, we hope you will! Visit this post here.