"The journey towards God can have moments of excitement, joy and even rest, but it's unlikely that the journey will ever be easy. Easy is standing still. Easy is doing nothing. Moving forward always requires energy, determination, and letting go - and these are not easy things."  (A Labyrinth Year by Richard Kautz) 

At the start of our Staff meetings at my new job, one of us leads the rest in a time of meditation. A few weeks ago, this quote was read and it helped me realize something about waiting I could never find the words for. I have shared here before that forward moving things (painting the nursery, getting a crib, etc) helps because most days it feels like nothing is happening. It's been months of people asking us "Is there any update?" and we say "No, just waiting. Any day... for 26 months now." which is a reminder of no forward moment. So when I heard this idea of moving forward taking energy, determination and letting go and the fact that those things are not easy, brought me great comfort. Sometimes, I am just so worn down by the waiting that I do not have the energy to do things that feel forward moving and that's okay. 

We're officially in the season of Advent. Advent is SO my season right? Waiting? Oh, I got it. Not to say as I enter into my third Advent season of waiting for "the call" I don't have anything to learn because I always do. I just find tears always on the surface because waiting is a word used a lot this time of year. And what are we all waiting for? A baby. (I know our baby isn't the Son of God but still a baby) On days where I have the energy, I let myself fully feel the weariness and the sorrow I deeply feel all of the time. Waiting with hope and expectant hearts takes a lot of energy. A season of a collective waiting is what we need to stay forward moving. Our community constantly makes it known that they are in the waiting with us, but Advent has that special something to it.

To return to the mediation time that grabbed my heart's attention so much, we spent some time in silence then all took turns lighting a candle. Holding our hearts to the light. Then we closed in a prayer, which I will close this update with: "God of light, God of hope, be with us on this day."

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Authoralisa windsor

Two years. Two years of offically waiting for a birth mother to choose us. Two years of waiting for our phones to ring with news.

I remember October 2015, excited but know we'd wait a while. Living life as a waiting family is one of the strangest experiences. Where "expecting" a baby, but no due date. You wonder a lot if there's something more you can do to get picked. Or is there something you should add to your lifebook to be more appealing to birth families. People tell you stories about they're friends, who are also in the adoption process, just got picked. You know they're saying it to encourage you but your left wondering, why them and not us? Not making big life decisions because you could get the call "any day". We've been waiting for our "any day"  for two years.

We have waited for things before. We know what waiting means. Somehow, this has been so different. We busy ourselves with forward moving things, but we're running out of books to read and things to do for the nursey. No matter how busy we are or things we do, we can not get the thought of what we are waiting for out our of minds. As the waiting has grown into years, it just gets harder because the reminder of what we long for is everywhere.

I want to believe in this idea that since we have been waiting this long that it HAS to be any day now. Right? Here we are, way past the "average" wait time. We've done an online profile and opened up to some surrounding states. I'm not sure how to hope, but I sing songs that remind me to. Somedays my heart fully believes, other days I sing these words to remind my doubtful heart (hence the  repetitiveness) that they are true:

I will say unto my God, my strength,

“How is it you have forgotten me?
O how long? O how long?”

Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him 

Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him
Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him

My help, my God

I spent a day away at a prayer retreat center where I spotted this statue right away. I put off going to pray by it, not because it's Mary and Baby Jesus, but because it's a women with a baby. Not something I thought I'd be seeing in this place. At the end of my time there, I sat right in front of this statue. I called my eyes and prayed for Baby Windsor and our birth mother. I asked God why it is taking so long. And then with my eyes still closed, I felt the sun come out from the clouds and shine it's light on my face. I'm never alone, I'm always being held in the light. 

I spent a day away at a prayer retreat center where I spotted this statue right away. I put off going to pray by it, not because it's Mary and Baby Jesus, but because it's a women with a baby. Not something I thought I'd be seeing in this place. At the end of my time there, I sat right in front of this statue. I called my eyes and prayed for Baby Windsor and our birth mother. I asked God why it is taking so long. And then with my eyes still closed, I felt the sun come out from the clouds and shine it's light on my face. I'm never alone, I'm always being held in the light. 

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Authoralisa windsor
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"Faith is a way of waiting—never quite knowing, never quite hearing or seeing, because in the darkness we are all but a little lost. There is doubt hard on the heels of every belief, fear hard on the heels of every hope, and many holy things lie in ruins because the world has ruined them and we have ruined them. But faith waits even so, delivered at least from that final despair which gives up waiting altogether because it sees nothing left worth waiting for.”

- Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark

I've started to write this update many times, and I cry every time so I put it off. The tears don't seem to be going anywhere, so I press on, with a very honest update. Waiting is a weary business. Here we are, 23 months into waiting for our baby and these days, it feels like it just will never happen. With that 2 years of officially waiting being next month, it's hard to believe.

What I do believe in is Emmanuel, which mean God with us. Emmanuel shows up in the friend who hands you her baby cause she knows baby cuddles is therapy. Emmanuel is in the prayer you didn't request because our people don't forget us. Emmanuel is the texts from friends hoping for us. Emmanuel is our parents being excited when we find it hard to be. Emmanuel holds our empty arms close to him always.

We wait and wait and wait. We have no choice but to do so. Wish I had something that felt forward moving instead of stuck in this limbo. Life feels like it's on hold. Even with having a nursey ready, it doesnt feel forward moving, it feels normal for it to be empty. I don't know why we are still waiting. I have my theories and guesses, but none of them are helpful or actually give answers. I struggle with feeling left out because I'm not a Mom. I worry we'll be super old parents. I have a hard time fighting the feeling of any of any this being fair. 

I hold to the promise that I read on so many adoption blogs (and a onesies a friend gave us): worth the wait. I can not wait (ha) for the day when I know that feeling to be true.

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Authoralisa windsor

Our 6 months of waiting photo has 6 BIG baby items in it...high chair, doorway jumper, hippo walker, swing, exersaucer and a crib mattress. Everything was given to us by generous friends which simply blows us away (my Mom called it a mini-shower). Its hard to not think when walking into the guest room that a baby will soon be living in there! Other than its not set up at all, but these items give so much hope for "soon" to feel not so far away. I worried items like these would be a constant reminder of what we didn't have, but they haven't at all, just a reminder of hope that is not too far off.  

Last week I was in Jamaica for our youth groups 3rd trip to the Jamaican Deaf Village. Each year my love for this trip deepens because of the people and experiences we get to be a part of. The first year I went on this trip I was in a really hard place when it came to babies. I was a week shy of my last treatment for breast cancer (still had my port in!) and we visited a Children's Home. I wasn't nervous about anything else on the trip, other than I just didn't know how I'd respond to holding babies who needed a home when all I wanted was for a baby to be in our home. It was hard that year for sure, I remember those feelings like they were yesterday. Im thankful that these days, holding babies is like therapy to me and I just love it. No sadness that came with it just a few years ago. 

While in Jamaica I was talking with some of the missionaries there who asked how the adoption process was going. I told them that we're close to 6 months of waiting and they asked how long do you expect to wait? I told them a year and a half. In that moment, it clicked for me that a year and a half was April 2017. That there is a high chance I could not be on the trip to Jamaica next year, which I verbally processed out loud to them. There has only been one trip I didn't fully get to be a part of since starting my job over 8 years ago, and it was the summer of 2013 because of treatment. It broke my heart to watch all those vans drive away without me being on one of them. I got to be there for the last few days but it wasn't the same. When I explained to the missionaries that it would be really hard for me to not come next year, the wife said, you won't have as hard of a time not coming with a baby to hold at home. I know she is right, its a harder feeling to reconcile with at the moment. Also crazy to think about that at this point on... we are hopefully less than a year away!

A few days ago, something crazy good happened. We hit the $20k mark in fundraising! Currently we have $20,774 raised... thats only $4,226 left! And all of that has come from our super generous and loving community, which we can not thank you all enough for being our biggest cheerleaders through prayer and giving towards our adoption fund. Before we ever started this process, the biggest fear was having enough money to make it happen. Sharing this fear a dear friend told us "You guys could raise that, no problem. People love you." Which we know that our community loves us so much, even before any of this. Giving of your money to support our adoption, I wish I had the right words to tell you guys how much it means to us. Please know it means so much and each donation, no matter how much, brings hope to our hearts. So from every inch of our hearts, thank you guys for coming along in this long journey with us. Hoping with and for us has us in such an encouraging place. 

 

 

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Authoralisa windsor