With our dossier being so close to finished up and heading to China in the imminent future, our brains have begun to travel to what is next:
Being matched with our Elliott.
To say that we are excited about knowing who our Elliott is, seeing her precious face, being able to prepare our home and lives more specifically for her, and moving towards the finish line is definitely an understatement. But I would be lying if I said this step didn’t come with fear.
Through the course of the past few weeks, Russ and I have had several conversations about how I am struggling with my fears. The themes? Will I love Ellie as much even though she doesn’t come from me? Not just sweet, positive-feelings love, but the kind of desperate love that makes me work hard at being a good mother for my kids. The kind of love that drives me to pray, keeps me up at night, and makes me search the house in a panic to find a beloved stuffed animal because I don’t want my baby to hurt?
The truth is, I am scared. Scared I won’t feel the same. Scared I won’t attach. Scared it will be harder than I can handle. Scared I will feel resentment if it’s difficult. Scared, scared, scared.
Last Sunday during worship, my worship leader husband said something along the lines of “We often spend so much time focused on how we think our lives should go, the plans we have for ourselves. Yet there is One who has a greater story for us. I challenge you today to lay your own ideas about your life aside and rest in the story being written for you & the arms of the One writing it.”
To be transparent, my first thought was “this doesn’t apply to me. I am following God. I’m being obedient. I mean, I’m doing this scary thing!”. But as I sat quietly with the Lord for a moment, I realized that I am very much not trusting God as I wrestle through all of this looming in front of me. That even though in the big picture I can believe that His plans for me ultimately are good, I am staying in this place of fear in the present – not sure if I believe that He is in what is coming for me in the immediate future.
It occurred to me that as I prepare myself for this next step, I am putting a lot of faith in both Elliott and myself. Will she be right for us? Will she fit with our family dynamics? Will her health needs be manageable for us? Can I do this? Can I love her enough?
And all of those may be legitimate questions, but the point that God hammered home to me as my church family sang around me on Sunday was that my faith does not rest in “the perfect” Elliott being matched with us or even in us having our stuff together enough to do this well. My faith rests in the One who started this story. The One who has been writing my story all along.
So much of the unknowns in our life we stumble into without preparation. And there is much wisdom in that. I could not have chosen to fight for my marriage as a young twenty-something. But God has been making beauty out of that mess we made for eleven years now. Five and a half years ago, I could not have knowingly walked into a desperate health situation with our only child, but God has always been in that. And almost two years ago, I was not prepared to begin to lose my dad. I would never have chosen that. But I have seen God to be faithful in the every day, in the pain, in grief so great it takes my breath away sometimes.
And in all of that I see His hand of preparation. Giving us this foundation in marriage, the knowledge that we will fight through anything to keep standing next to each other. Teaching us how to love and nurture a child that has trauma and fear from a place we can’t fully understand. And giving me this understanding and reverence for grief that I never had before. I hope I am better able to love and empathize with our daughter, who in her brief life has lost more than either Russ or I in the entirety of our lives.
Elliott will be right for us because when God created me, when he created Russ, He had her in mind. He knew we would get to parent this very special little girl. He knew that. And as we have walked through life and circumstances, He has prepared us for her. I don’t have to fear that anything that is coming is a surprise to Him. He is writing this story.
As you think of us, we would love prayers as we approach this exciting point. We believe God brought us into this process knowing which little girl He would make a King. We are asking that He give wisdom to our agency as they seek out a referral for us, give wisdom to us as we wade through emotions and medical jargon and fears, and that we would hear from Him and know and have peace – this is our daughter.