I am one of those people that hates waiting. (Are there actually people who enjoy waiting?) If there is a wrapped present, it kills me to have to wait to open it. If I am in the middle of a suspenseful book, I flip to the end of the book to see what happens. I’ve learned to fight this urge, if it’s a good book, because it really does make all the stuff in between less exciting. If it’s a poorly written book, I’ll skip to the back and close the book for good. I always have to know what happens at the end, though.
I have had to do a lot of waiting in my life, so I should be good at it by now. But, I’m not. Sometimes I find myself fretting and wringing my hands wondering what is going to happen at the end of each life chapter. There is a temptation to try to speed things up or “help” God orchestrate His plans. But, even though I don’t like it, and even though I don’t always do it well, God has shown me His faithfulness over and over. And, even as I struggle with waiting, in my heart there is an assurance that I can trust God, even though I still really want to know what’s going to happen next.
I wanted to tell you a story about waiting, but there are so many! I don’t know which one to choose. Maybe I will touch on a few. I will start with waiting on “our calling”.
I have always wanted to be a mother. When I was little and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I listed a few things: Movie star, writer, singer and a mom. The list changed over the years, except for the mom part. I would always tell my mom that I wanted six kids. She would always say, “Well, you better marry a doctor!” (I didn’t actually set out to do that, but it’s kind of funny that I did indeed marry a doctor.)
Also, I always had a heart for adoption. I always knew that I wanted to have babies and adopt babies. I dreamed of a big multi-cutural family. For me, if a man who wanted to marry me said he did not want to adopt children, it was a deal breaker.
I met my husband in 1990, when I was nineteen. I remember that one of the first non-antognistic (I was antagonistic) conversations that we had was about adoption. He didn’t share my passion for it, but he also didn’t say he would never do it. We got married in 1996 (after much WAITING!) and we were pregnant just before our first anniversary. I was so excited! My dreams were coming true. I had it all planned out. We would have some and adopt some and our house was going to be full of children.
I never expected that anything would go wrong, but I lost that baby just before my second trimester. I was devastated. That was not part of my plan! I went on to lose two more babies. I was beginning to panic. On top of that, every time I mentioned adoption, my husband said, “Not yet.” I was dying inside. I didn’t know if I would ever be a mother. My whole life, that is what I felt called to do. I didn’t really have a back up plan. I was battling becoming bitter.
I would often sit outside in my yard and pray, or cry, but most often, it was a combination of both. I prayed for faith and hope. (Are faith and hope the same thing? I don’t think so, but you can’t really have one without the other.) I asked the Lord to give me a word. My husband wrote this scripture down and gave it to me one day, and it became something that I held on to. It was my hope.
“He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 113:9
When I would start to freak out and be afraid, that Psalm would come to mind and I would recite it. I reminded God of that verse all the time! Everybody told me that once you had three miscarriages, your chances of ever having a live birth diminished significantly. When I heard these things, I would close my eyes and recite that Psalm. I knew that God was going to give me the desire of my heart, one way or another. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I was focused on staying pregnant. There were daily shots, weekly appointments and ultrasounds, and plenty of bumps in the road. I just kept praying and remembering that verse. Finally, in March of 1999, our daughter was born. Her middle name is Faith. That was the theme of our lives during that pregnancy!
Just after she turned one, I was pregnant again. That pregnancy was rough and things got bad pretty early on. I remember sitting in the exam room and my doctor said, “Chrissy, this has to be your last pregnancy. You cannot do this again. It’s too dangerous for you and the baby.” We were confident that this baby would be okay, but I ended up spending over half of the pregnancy on bed rest.
My husband still didn’t share my passion for adoption. I was prepared to be content with what the Lord gave me. Early on I had nagged my husband and was very upset that he didn’t share my enthusiasm about adoption. However, the Lord showed me that my attitude was disrespectful. You cannot force another person to want what you want. Furthermore, God’s plans will not be thwarted. If God had truly called me to adopt children, it would happen, in His time. So, I shut my mouth, stopped whining and waited.
Right after I got that news, we went on a family vacation. I remember very clearly that I had prayed and told the Lord that i would trust Him. I thanked him for my little girl and for the baby that was growing inside of me. I promised that I would not complain, but that I would be thankful for the children that he gave me. I didn’t know if we would ever adopt, and I was okay with that.
One evening my husband and I were strolling on a path by the bay. Our daughter was in her stroller and my husband and I were talking about what the doctor said. I remember that he put his arm around me and said, “After this baby comes, we will adopt.” I was shocked and amazed!
After our son was born we did begin the process of adoption through foster care. There was plenty of waiting involved, but that’s another story for another day. We are now the parents of five children. My screen name is Merrymom5. I am indeed a happy mother of children! I should also add that my husband loves adoption every bit as much as I do. He encourages people to adopt all the time, and my heart always wells with joy when I hear it.
I still hate waiting. I still want to know what’s going to happen next. I still fight the temptation to help God make things happen. I’m still a pesky little brat at times, who begs to know what’s in the package under the Christmas tree. But, I am learning that God’s timing is perfect. I don’t have to make things happen! I just have to put my trust in Him and follow Him. He is faithful. He gives, He takes away, and in the midst of it all, He is good. Even now, as I watch yet another chapter in life unfold, I will trust Him, and with the strength that comes from Him, I will be quiet and wait.