It has been hard to write.
Too many loose ends, drifty ideas, disappointing moments. Too many books lying around half read, piles of commitments on our google calendar. Too many quick judgments, short nights, deep sighs. When I am quiet it’s usually because I’ve allowed just too many noises.
I have to wait until the dust settles, until my flailing calms and I begin to see the cream of life rise to the top once again. I have to wait until I find my way back to the path paved with forgiveness and accepted limitations and thisisimportant and thatisnot. I have to drop the rattles and tambourines that I have inadvertently been shaking with nervous, thankless energy. I have to again listen for the sound of a melodic, beautiful number called Grace.
Some rattles are not bad I get off beat. I have been in the thick of thinking about grief. I am in the middle of a book I love but that makes my life difficult (isn’t that always the case?)–a book about God and innocent suffering and what in the world to do with both. I am swirling in a cycle of pleading prayers, for my sisters, for my friends and our work, for my family. Short prayers, question prayers. I don’t know very well what to pray. They are scattered throughout my days, like cheerios and crumbs that find their way throughout the house. Soggy offerings from soggy days.
In the midst of the Daily, we are also in the middle of adopting. Correction, in the middle of getting approved to adopt. Very different tales but I would like to think that we are farther than we probably are. We are not in a hurry but I am falling in love. Instead of ultrasound pictures and elastic jeans, we have paperwork and inspections. Behind the checklists, there are more of those prayers. The harmonizing with the song Grace, where we refrain from panic but add in our two cents. Notes that hang and sustain and seem dissonant at times. Notes to be resolved later. I wonder more and more, when, how, Lord, will this story unfold? Is she growing even now? Is she okay?
It has always been a dream to adopt. My family of origin’s influence including my own adoption obviously aided my vision. I was old enough to realize the miracle of adoption when my three youngest siblings joined our family. I was 13 and 14 at the time. They were our family but we had just met them. We belonged to one another but nothing explains the mystery.
Perhaps even more than the miracle of conception – which is just plain unlikely yet startlingly commonplace – and aiming to have a child biologically and the rush of emotions, questions and possibilities that all of that entails, adoption is not friendly to the control-freak. I’ve heard. We are at the mercy of the county. We are at the mercy of the state. And we will then simply be waiting, hoping, more praying–for our daughter’s safety, for her birth parents, for her arrival into our family, for her adjustment. It is all very much beyond our control.
In my own life, adoption is an archetype for the against-all-odds power of redemption. Of plot twists, inbreaking love, a Good Shepherd, and a cosmic connection that surpasses DNA. Adoption has not defined me but it has certainly been a cornerstone that tells me that there is a Provider, there is a Comforter. That grief and disorientation are not conclusive and that children’s hearts are turned to their parents and what rules them. I pray that this is true for my birth mother–that somehow she has lived in peace and known God. A God who has unrelenting solidarity. Who does not exist despite suffering but enters into it. A God who extensively and frivolously cared and cares for the child she could not.
“He found them in a desert land and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled them, he cared for them, he kept them as the apple of His eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the Lord alone guided them,” Deuteronomy 32:10-12.
What a lullaby. All the action is on Him. Attentiveness drips from the story of Israel, which we have been told is our story too. He loved them and opened Himself to grief. And me too. And her too. Whoever she is, she is His. His love encircles her. Her grief is shared. Our hearts are stirred as we wait and pray and trip and forgive and wait.