Saturday, March 26, 2016

Faith or Foolishness?

This week a package came in the mail for Kate. I don't let myself buy things for her often, because we have no idea how old or how big she will be when she comes home... but when I saw this little bunny dress I made an exception. (If you know me then you know I have a thing for bunnies! It's actually my nickname from my husband.) The dress was already on sale, and I knew it probably wouldn't be around once she came home. I asked Rusty if it was silly to buy it, and he said "if it will make you happy, then do it." So I did. And then I forgot about it...

Until the package came this week, right before Easter.

I opened it up, pulled it out, and sighed. As if he could read my mind Rusty said, "This is depressing." Holding tiny little dresses for a little girl we haven't even seen yet (after 4+ years of waiting) is pretty sad and depressing. "Maybe I shouldn't have ordered it", I replied. "What was I thinking?!" and before I could stop myself I went on... "I mean... is this FAITH, or foolishness? It feels pretty foolish..."

I've asked that question again and again in my heart the last few days. "Is this faith, or foolishness?" We have been been pursing this adoption for more than 4 years. We're getting very close to the 50 month mark. Our agency has taken away all timelines and are telling us to "just be patient". We are still not matched with a child. We don't even know who our daughter is. I've never known any other adoptive family who waited this long under these circumstances, or who faced the specific challenges and delays we have faced.

We are to the point now where most people don't ask for updates anymore. Many friends and some family members have asked if this is a scam? And if it's time to change agencies? Some have come right out and asked the hard question - "Do you really think this is going to work out? Do you really think this is going to happen? Or are they just going to keep stringing you along forever?!" Others have sent us information on waiting children from other countries, or the file for a domestic child. Our own agency even asked if we wanted to change to the Korea program!

I understand. This seems impossible. I know that we must seem absolutely pitiful as we wait, and wait, and wait helplessly. For the first few years I felt determined and SO full of faith. We would press on, do paperwork, buy things for her room, and our hope was high. But as time drags on and all we do is wait... well, it all starts to feel a little foolish. Trusting our agency is hard. Buying things for a child we STILL aren't matched with feels naive. Continuing to believe against ALL odds for this long feels foolish.

Because it is.

Is this FAITH or FOOLISHNESS? The answer is both.

You see, what is FAITH in God's eyes seems foolish to the world. What is the definition of faith anyway? It's belief in things unknown and unseen. "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1) If you really think about that, believing in something you've never seen before seems completely crazy! 

Abraham waited for 25 years for the birth of Isaac. He was 75 years old when God first made him a promise - to make him "into a great nation" and to give specific land to his offspring (Genesis 12). Can you imagine being told you would have a child at that age?! In Genesis 15 we see that Abraham thought maybe he'd misunderstood - and that one of his servants would be an heir. But God confirmed a second time that it would be a son of his own flesh and blood. 11 years passed and still Abraham did not have a son. He and Sarah got tired of waiting... so she took matters into her own hands. She refused to believe God would fulfill His promise through her, and had Abraham sleep with a servant (Genesis 16). Abraham did have a son with Hagar - but that wasn't the fulfillment of the promise God had made Him. In Genesis 17 we read that God confirms - one more time (for this stubborn couple) that He will give him a son by his wife, Sarah. Sarah thought it sounded so impossible - so foolish - that she actually laughed out loud at God ! (Genesis 18) But we see in Genesis 21 that 25 years after God first spoke this promise to Abraham, Isaac was born! Sarah was 90 years old when she gave birth to her first child, and Abraham was 100. That's a long time to wait for a promise to be fulfilled. 

When I feel foolish, I need to remind myself that this wasn't my idea. I forget that sometimes... because we are so excited to adopt, and we already love Kate so much! But we didn't just randomly choose the most difficult country to adopt from for the fun of it! And this certainly wasn't the timing we would've picked. God chose this path for us. He began speaking to our hearts... then confirmed this calling very specifically again, and again, and again. I need to remember that more often - because if He called us to this, I know He will bring us through it!

I look back at the story of Abraham and Sarah's waiting (and Sarah taking matters into her own hands) and I'm reminded not to waver. I know that we could go a different direction. We could try to get pregnant and have biological children... we could adopt domestically... we could choose a different (easier, faster) international program. But that's not what God asked us to do. He didn't just say "have a child". He said, "you have a daughter waiting in Thailand... and I want you to go find her." Before we ever thought we were ready, He sent us on this journey... and I don't want to take a short cut and miss His blessing just because I'm tired of waiting. 

I think it's meaningful that God gave me this revelation to share on this day.  It's the Saturday before Easter. 2000 years ago, on this very weekend, a lot of people thought Jesus and His followers were pretty foolish... and crazy... and pitiful. Jesus was dead. Everyone saw him crucified... they saw the sword pierce his side... they saw him buried. It would be foolish for those who loved Him to do anything but mourn His death.

But that wasn't the end of the story. Jesus rose from the dead! Can you even wrap your mind around that?! Our Lord and Savior conquered DEATH. No one believed it was possible, but it happened. And now, it seems a little foolish that people didn't believe Jesus when He said He would do that very thing, doesn't it? 

The Saturday before Jesus rose from the dead must've been a dark, hopeless day. I told my husband that I feel like that's where we are right now. When it comes to our adoption, we are stuck on Saturday. We know there is a promise to be fulfilled... but it's hard to have faith that something so seemingly impossible could still happen!

Today I'm reminding myself that our Sunday is coming. Our miracle is on the way! The same God who was faithful to Abraham and Sarah will be faithful to us. The same God who conquered DEATH can surely handle completing our adoption. If He can bring Himself back from the grave... then I know He can bring our little girl home!


  1. Faith is such a scarce commodity these days. The vast majority of us are patiently waiting on something by our faith. I literally wondered for 50 years why my sister was born with the challenges she had. I couldn't see the purpose. Her medical bills almost bankrupted my parents, her illnesses caused my mother to become so depressed and withdrawn. Of course this made me feel helpless for all of them, but I had faith that God has a purpose in all things. Sissy taught my boys to be accepting of people that are different. My God gave me a hero right here on earth that no one could even imagine with her broken body, cancer ridden leg, brain, and spine. God showed me that my Faith in His mercy and PERFECT plan was being fulfilled right before my eyes.
    God is using you to remind us of the power of faith and the acceptance of His perfect plan for each of us in His time. Many prayers of comfort going up for you. If your Kate is too big to wear that precious dress when she arrives, have it made into a shadow box. Let her know that you had the faith to wait for God's plan to unfold, but you were always prepared for her and her arrival. Much love to you and Rusty...

    1. Thank you so much Leonda. I do pray God is using us and our story to bring others closer to Him! (And we appreciate your prayers more than you know!)

  2. I am prAying everyday for Kate.....I look for these updates because, they teach me how to have faith...foolishness would be if God told you that you should do something and you chose to ignore his voice....

    1. Thank you Anonymous for this comment! It is encouraging to me!