While We Wait
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33
Over the last year, we’ve been on a journey called adoption. We’ve experienced both extreme highs and lows through the process.
We’ve been active since January of this year and patiently, but eagerly, waiting to be matched. In August we found out we’d been matched. When we got the call telling us the baby was here, we ran around the house throwing things in a bag and jumped on a plane. But before the plane door shut we got another call telling us the birth mother had changed her mind and decided to parent.
Before we left the airport to come back home, we received a call from our agency that we were matched with another baby due in November. Late one afternoon in October we picked up the phone and found out that our baby decided to come a month early. Having practiced this earlier, we jumped on a plane and walked into the hospital by the end of the day. We held our baby for three days before the birth mother decided she couldn’t give him up. The emotions my wife and I felt those three days are still indescribable, but the feeling of God’s embrace around us was not of this world.
We’re currently in a state of “unknowns” right now, and waiting to be matched again. The only thing we know for sure is the desire God put in our hearts to adopt is stronger today than it ever was. His plan is perfect and always has been. But it’s not easy.
There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the journey of adoption.
There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the journey of an adoption that did not finalize.
There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the journey of multiple adoptions that did not finalize.
I’ve been asked the question “Why are you adopting?” so many times. It’s also a question I ask myself—especially since our failed adoption attempts. I get it. We look crazy to a lot of people. Why would anyone put themselves through this, right?
Crazy for going through this not once but twice and, only God knows, a possible third time.
Crazy for putting our children through the heartbreak of telling them we aren’t coming home with their baby brother or sister.
Crazy for risking money on situations that aren’t 100 percent certain.
Crazy for putting our hearts through a situation where we may get to hold our son for three days—only to give him back because his mommy changed her mind.
Crazy, crazy, crazy, almost insane, right?
I like how The Message articulates Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:13-14:
“If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.”
In other words, when we follow Christ his love will compel us do things that make absolutely no sense, not just to an unbelieving world, but also to ourselves. Why are we still on this journey? I can honestly say the only answer I have is Jesus.
When someone asks, “Why are you adopting?” I answer Jesus.
When someone has seen what we’ve gone through and asks, “Why are you still reaching out to the birth mom from your adoption that did not finalize?” I answer Jesus.
When someone says, “How can you put your children through this again?” I answer Jesus.
When someone asks, “How can you love a child you don’t even know yet?” I answer Jesus.
When someone asks, “How can you risk your heart being broken again?” I answer Jesus.
I answer Jesus because sometimes, through tears, that’s the only answer that makes sense to me. I didn’t deserve what God did for me—to come down from His throne and pay the price to adopt me as one of His own. I didn’t deserve a loving God who went through everything possible, and more, for His children so I could endure anything that I’d encounter in this life. I also didn’t deserve to be part of the Father’s plan to show His love to a broken world.
The only answer I can give, even when nothing at all makes sense, is Jesus.
To anyone out there struggling through the journey of adoption, I don’t have all, if any, of the answers for you, but I do have the only thing you need as your hope, joy and encouragement and His name is Jesus.
You see we GET to walk through the journey of adoption because Jesus first walked through it before us and allows us.
My hope isn’t in adopting a child, my hope is in Jesus Christ. Yes this journey is unspeakably hard, a lot of the time, indescribable, but my Savior has overcome the world. My hope and joy is in the FACT that I will one day worship my King face-to-face and all will be made perfect (Revelation 21 & 22). It is because of that I can endure hardships no matter what the cost.
Join me in praying for His church and asking the Holy Spirit to impress upon the hearts of His children the urgency of caring for the orphans in this world.
Adoption is Hard.
Adoption is Messy.
Adoption is Worth it.
By Jesse T. Jackson
Jesse is husband to a beautiful wife, and father to 3 beautiful daughters. Since writing this piece, the Jacksons are finalizing their adoption, and Jesse became a dad to an amazing son. Learn more about their story here.
Original article appeared on Faithit.com