while russ was in africa, i stayed home and recuperated. for a week i struggled with clinched fists and angry tears - wondering what russ was doing and fighting bitterness about not being able to make the trip. slowly, God began working in my heart. i started believing His own heart toward me and recognizing my hesitancy in accepting His love. i also started to realize just how reluctant i was in starting the adoption process because...well...starting it meant finishing it.
it meant becoming a mom.
i didn't know this, but on the other side of the world, russ was dealing with his own revelations. working with the orphans broke him and lit a fire in his spirit. he came home saying things like it was the most difficult thing to see those kids come home on the plane knowing we still had a few years and i've never been more ready to become a father...
i started tackling my resistance through my step study at recovery. i'd notice moms pulling daughters close in stores and feel the preemptive tightening of my chest. i'd remember how ic:orphan ripped open a seam in the mom-heart i fought so much. and i never really accepted this work i was doing to recover until a dear friend looked at me and said, how brave of you to face this now.
it was then i understood the past few months - the word jubilee - wasn't for us to cling to in preparation for our baby. not completely. it was to cling to in our own path to freedom.
and in His perfect love He allowed us to stumble through pain in order to refine us.
i became more and more ready for this process to be over. the excuse of the school year was quickly becoming a misnomer with summer approaching, and the paperwork sat collecting dust on my dresser at home.
what i felt was strange. i experienced both a growing awareness of my baby waiting for me as well an uneasiness about international adoption. in the middle of june we called the dossier organization and got information about beginning the process. we started fundraising and setting aside funds.
but nothing felt right.
believing it to be my own selfishness, i continually prayed until one day a friend posted something about in-country adoptions in ethiopia costing families 150 dollars. this meant an ethiopian family willing to adopt an ethiopian child would pay 150 dollars to bring this baby into their home.
our international cost would allow the placement of at least 200 kids.
seeing this discrepancy was the last thing for me. i knew there was no way for me to justify the expense - not when our 30,000 dollars would make such a huge impact on a village willing to adopt. i started questioning prices again and started praying for God to lead us in the direction we needed to go. the next day we got an e-mail from our agency letting us know the average wait time for a referral was 15 mos. from dossier landing in ethiopia. that would place our wait right at three years since waiting for a court date & the second trip could take up to 6-8 months.
it was almost as if the clarity was instant. i could not do this. i could not wait for a year while my child was in an orphanage across the world. others have - and others will - but i realized it wasn't for me.
and i was okay with it.
so russ i talked and i explained to him what God had been doing in my heart since january. he knew the recovery stuff. he knew the hesitation to become a mom. but i never really mentioned my reluctance toward international adoption until that night.
in many ways, it felt like we'd come full circle. almost a year later, we were considering a complete change of course. we sat across from each other, just like that day in starbucks, and agreed to look into domestic.
the next day, i walked into my gym and playing on the television was 16 and pregnant...the adoption special.
as i listened to the stories of these birth moms and adoptive parents, something slowly began surfacing in my heart. it wasn't until i was just about to leave that i realized what i was feeling.
it was peace.
i walked out of the gym smiling because never had i been more ready to be a mom.
there's still more to this story - and still more i'm processing. check back later this week as i begin to tackle some issues i see with the perception of domestic adoption and fill you in on some decisions we've made since changing from ethiopia. also - you can still give! check the donations link to the right of the page - we've had about ten people sign up for the 100 for 1 campaign and we're still looking for some more who will join :)