Monday, April 17, 2017

Dear Sugar: To Those Who Are Waiting for Their Baby and Need Encouragement

Dear Sugar,

Those of you waiting for your baby, whether your first or your fifth, I get you.   I know exactly how you feel.   And it sucks. 

"Sucks" is a word I wasn't allowed to use growing up.  It was made popular by Bart Simpson, a potty-mouthed kid with a crude family.   Saying "sucks" was a big no-no. 

But it is absolutely the best word to describe waiting for a baby. 

I know.  You feel helpless.  And hopeless.  You are both tired and full of energy.   You pour that energy into the wrong places.  You know what I mean.  You're going to stalk other waiting families via their online adoption profiles.  You're going to compare yourself to them.  Then you're going to watch Lifetime and Hallmark movies where adoptions happen in a matter of two hours, nicely wrapped up at the end.  Happily ever (freaking) after.  Then you gorge on ice cream while wearing an oversized tee shirt (you wipe your eyes with) that you have NO business wearing anymore.   

And it sucks.  

Let me talk to you as someone on the other side.   Every adoption journey was hard and challenging in its own ways.   Every journey had its beautiful surprises and frightening moments.  

And every single journey, every single second and minute and hour and day and week and month and year waiting was WORTH IT.   Every tear.  Every doubt.  Every phone call.  Every "no."  It was all worth it.

I can't tell you how or when you're wait will end.  Only God knows.  

But I am certain of this:  if you are a hopeful-parent who is diligently open to adopting ethically and in education, you are well-prepared for your future child.  Your heart is open to possibilities, and yes, even to challenges, that come with any adoption journey (including the ongoing relationships in open adoption with birth family). 

A word-of-warning:  

It is unhealthy and dangerous to go into a deep pit, stay there, stop getting educated, stop pursuing ethics (saying "yes" to any and every possible adoption out of desperation).   It is unfair to bring a baby into a fragile, shaky family that isn't prepared for the ongoing emotions and challenges that adoption can pose.    

Today, I want you to be encouraged.   God is using the wait to teach you, to give you opportunities, to develop your character, to prepare your heart.   Be open to the lessons, the learning, and the loving. 

Remember the saying, "April showers bring May flowers?"  This is you, Sugar.  Right now.  In the wait.   You are in the month of April.   A sitting duck, as they say.   But guess what?  MAY FLOWERS ARE COMING.   

Are you ready?  


If you'd like access to daily encouragement, please check out the book I co-authored, Encouragement for the Adoption & Parenting Journey:  52 Devotions and a Journal.   

-This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

1 comment:

  1. This piece speaks to me so much. Reading this, I'm awash in memories of the anxiety and grief of waiting, of false hopes, and of failed matches.

    Our first adoption journey began with the almost-immediate joy of the "perfect" match, which crashed to the earth ten weeks later in a hospital in a strange city. After we gave ourselves time to grieve, we sat down to make our "waiting goals"; that worked so well for us that now I always recommend it to friends who are struggling with their wait. These were our three goals:

    (1) We will make choices throughout the adoption process so that we can look into the eyes of our future child when they are 13 years old and say, "We did as right as we could by your first family." [I'm not sure why we picked seemed like a scary age before we had kids! ;-) ]

    (2) We are ready for this wait and for parenting because we have carefully tended this marriage for 11 years. Every day during our wait, we will each find one way to tend our marriage so that it is even stronger when our child arrives.

    (3) The work we do is important and valuable, and we have colleagues and students who need us. Each week, we will find a way to share our best selves professionally.

    In retrospect, every moment of our sucky waits was worth it.


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