Saturday, June 5, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

As a child, I was full of questions and curiosity.  I asked 'why' to the point where one of my high school teachers disciplined me for asking that question so often, and then refused to answer any more of my questions.  Unfortunately for subsequent teachers (and family and friends), his discipline never had the intended consequences.  Now, like then, I am tempted to pursue that question:  why did it take us so long to settle on Africa as the country where we wanted to find the means to complete our family?  why couldn't we have decided at the outset of the process that we would be ok with a referral of one child because we likely would have had a referral before the hell of Imagine's bankruptcy last year?  why didn't we decide on our 'one child or two' dilemma six months ago, so that we could have saved ourselves the second trip now required by Ethiopia?  why couldn't we have decided even a few months ago, to avoid the risk of getting stuck in this fall's Ethiopia court closures?

There are so many why questions I've been asking myself.  And I can come up with only one answer:  it took us every moment of the past two+ years to reach this point of decision.  Everything we've gone through, every hurdle in the road, every painful moment, every instant of indecision, has culminated in our being able, with a good measure of peace, to be where we are today.  I've rarely understood so clearly the old saying that life is really about the journey.  Just like the miracle of Matthew would not have happened without the years leading up to his birth, so too, our new momentum towards a likely single child referral will culminate in meeting the precise and precious child (or children) that God has planned for us.  I certainly wouldn't trade Matthew for anything, despite all of the pain involved in the years leading up to his arrival; similarly, I wouldn't trade for anything the opportunity to complete our family now either, just because it's been a bumpy road getting to this point.

I think it's going to be ok.  We're moving forward.  Looking backwards a bit, granted, but moving forward nonetheless.

* Thanks for the comment, Michelle.  And oh yes, I've also asked so many 'why' questions about the 18 months that we 'wasted' in China before transferring to Ethiopia...but it wasn't really wasted, was it?  I'm becoming more and more convinced that it was just part of that journey we're on towards the family we were always meant to have.  Sound too fatalistic?  Perhaps.  But I'd like to think of it more as a God thing.  Thanks Michelle!


  1. Oh, I understand those questions Ruth! Why didn't I see that Ethiopia was available and not 'waste' months and months waiting in the China program. Why did we ask for AYAP and not open our request up to begin with.
    But those questions all have answers now - just like you said about Matthew:
    If we hadn't waited the three years we did, E and B wouldn't be our children. They weren't ready for us back then. We had to wait for them.
    You are so right - you are moving forward. I have such good feelings about this and can't wait to see the referral photos of your child(ren)!!!


  2. Ruth -sorry that I haven't commented sooner...with my two Bead for Life parties this week and one sick daughter, I haven't been on the computer other than to check e-mails so I didn't know about your final decision until now. My heart really goes out to you. I understand the "why" thing on so many levels, not so much for this last adoption but for our first foster-to-adopt that ultimately failed.

    Anyway, as far as this goes, there was one point in our Ethio. adoption journey where we decided to switch our request to sibs. from single and then waited for the changes to be made for months. Later we found out that the reason we hadn't heard back from our social worker is that she was no longer employed by the agency. I wasted months waiting for her to return my calls or e-mails. In the end, making that change cost us SEVEN months. Later there were many days when I questioned why I hadn't pushed harder, asked more questions, gone over her head. Now I know that our kids were not even in an orphanage yet. OUR KIDS were not ready. It was never about us. It was about them. It wasn't about our timing. It was about God's. If you have peace about this decision, then that comes from God. The answers will come when your child(ren) is home and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that every step and supposed mistep along your journey brought you to them.

    Hugs and blessings...