it's true. i really hate races. i've never been a fast runner. i never participated in the races at the skate center (the ones they did at the very end of the night before they closed) even though all my friends did. i always hated races in p.e. class, and i never really understood why p.e. teachers seemed to enjoy making unathletic kids feel bad about themselves. side note - i remember several times in elementary school when our p.e. teachers just had us run laps in the gym for the whole class. what a great way to get 3rd graders excited about exercising!
well, that's not totally true. races kick butt when you are winning. i would have loved racing if i had ever been fast. i love winning, so i would have been all about racing if i ever thought i could win. i am not a good loser at all. i am a sore loser. and when you already know you are slow/unathletic, losing something (which just serves as a reminder of your slowness/unathleticness) is really not fun at all.
so really, i guess i should just say this: losing stinks.
so what does this have to do with anything?
right now i feel like i am losing the most important race ever.
and it really, really stinks.
i KNOW the adoption process is not a race. i know that. but it's so hard to remember that. i know our situation has been different than others...we started this journey differently than most others do, and our journey has taken turns that we did not expect. our agency (which really is wonderful - they have been so good to us) does things differently than other agencies - and for most of those things i am very, very thankful! however, our process does seem to be moving a little slower than those around us. and it stinks.
it stinks because we already love her, and we want her to be here. it stinks because i don't know who is caring for her, and i want to be the one caring for her. it stinks because our friends and family already love her, and they want her to be here. it stinks because i don't know if she has a warm bed or if she has a full tummy or if she has clean hands or if she is getting hugged and kissed and told that she is loved. it stinks because everyone seems to be in a panic about the future of ethiopian adoptions, and we don't know what it means for us or for her. and it stinks because i really don't know what i can do about it.
it stinks for all those reasons. i am not ashamed to say any of that. but, i am ashamed to admit this: it stinks because i don't feel like i am "doing the adoption thing" as good as everyone else.
i thought this was going to be different. yeah, it's no secret that i have never been the prettiest/skinniest/smartest/richest/most organized/funniest/best dressed/most athletic/most spiritual/kindest/you fill in the blank-est. but, i thought i might be really good at this. i thought i would start the process and get a blog and meet all these other adoptive moms and they would love me because we are all going to have racially diverse families and we would be best friends and i would go to fundraisers and i would know all the right things to say to inspire others and i would find my niche and our adoption would go really fast because i would be all over the paperwork and i would have everything timed perfectly and i would be in touch with all the right people and everything would just be great.
it hasn't turned out that way. i am not winning the adoption race. i am not the cool adoption mom that i wanted to be.
somewhere in the midst of all my competing and comparing and stressing, my loving, patient, all-knowing Father God gently reminded me:
NONE OF THAT MATTERS. AT ALL.
the ONLY thing that matters is that God be glorified through the adoption of our precious child.
this adoption is not about me. this adoption is not about how quickly (or slowly) brent and i are moving through the process. this adoption is not about what we want to do for this child.
this adoption is about our getting out of the way and letting God work a miracle to bless our lives, her life, and to show others what an incredible and mighty God we serve.
if i try to "win" this race, i will lose. it's a good thing that God wins every time. He's just waiting for me at the finish line. He knows i'll get there, and He knows the exact moment i'll get there. He's not concerned with me being the fastest. He just wants me to "run with perseverance the race marked out..." (Hebrews 12:1). and whenever i get there, it will be exactly as it should be.
ps - i need to make sure that everyone knows something: i have met a lot of other adoptive parents. they have been nothing but wonderful to me and brent. we are so blessed to live in a community with so many families who have adopted (and are in the process of adopting) and are more than willing to encourage us and share their stories with us. my thoughts are relating no one's shortcomings but my own.