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Guarding Your Heart While Presenting

You get that email or phone call about a potential adoption situation and immediately your heart races.  Maybe this is it?!  Maybe this is our baby?  You talk with your spouse, you pray, and decide to jump forward with both feet.  

I remember presenting to our first situation.  The baby was already born and he was beautiful.  We were a ball of emotions ranging from anxious to excited to scared.  What if this was our son?  And then I'd jump aboard the crazy train and hold on for dear life...

what would we name him?
I wonder what his birthmom looks like?
we don't have any boy clothes.
we don't have diapers.
we could be bringing home a son by the end of the week!!
what about work? I hope our bosses will be ok with us giving zero notice.  
what's the weather like in his birth state right now?
maybe I should look at hotels... you know, just in case!
I wonder if someone is holding him right now?
I'm going to mapquest it, maybe we could drive?

And for the hours after presenting my mind would race through all the possibilities.  Ben was much more composed than I was.  He didn't let his emotions get involved, and more importantly He trusted that if this was our child, awesome!  If not, God has another little one planned for us.  Me on the other hand, I threw all caution to the wind and for the next 24, 48, 72 hours until we would get that call to tell us whether it was a yes or no, all I did was eat, sleep, think, and breathe the hypotheticals.  Every time my phone would make a sound or I would see I had a new email it would feel like my heart was about to jump out of my chest.  

Adoption can be plain old hard sometimes.  You fill out mounds of paperwork, get physicals, fingerprints, home visits and then you wait.  You see some families match the first time they present, and while you are happy for them, your heart sinks a little.  Others wait months and hear dozens of no's.  All the while you can't help but wonder when it will be your turn?

We heard several no's before we heard that beautiful God ordained YES!  The first no was by far the hardest for me.  I was devastated and cried myself to sleep that night.  You know why it was so hard?  Because I did such a poor job of guarding my heart.  In my head and heart, I had already made that sweet baby boy mine.  

It took a couple hard no's before the Lord began to reveal how poorly I was guarding my heart.  I would say I was trusting His perfect timing for our adoption, but my actions and heart revealed that was certainly not the case.  After the second no, I knew it was time to make some changes.  I didn't want to spend my days like an emotional basket case.  I wanted so badly to trust God's timing.  We had already seen Him be so faithful with providing the finances.  I knew deep down that He would be faithful to bring the adoption to completion, but I didn't know how to do this waiting season well.  

I cried out to God and felt like He was telling me first to trust He was in control and second to find purpose in the wait.  I started to build up walls to protect and guard my heart.  We had set our parameters for adoption situations and if a situation fell within those parameters and after prayer we both felt comfortable moving forward, then we would.  And instead of letting my mind wander, I would focus my energy on praying for the expectant family.  Every time I would want to jump aboard the crazy train, I would pray.  Not for us.  Not that this baby would be ours.  But, that God would make himself known to this birthmom.  That He would give her comfort and peace.  That He would prepare the adoptive parents to love not just the baby, but the birthmom well.  

And you know what?  This perspective changed so much for me.  I was no longer devastated when we heard no.  Was I bummed?  Of course!  But, I was no longer going to let the devil use this season to discourage me.  And with that came so much less heartache and a sense of purpose in the wait.  Maybe that baby was never supposed to be ours... maybe we were just meant to stand in the gap for the birth family.  

I'd love to challenge you, if you are in a season of waiting to not let the wait be in vain.  Take the steps to guard your heart.  Find purpose in the wait. 

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