I think about Cate's story, which Greg + I whole-heartedly embrace as our story, every day. Different days I think about different aspects. And generally I always end up thanking God for her, her birth mother and the way God was weaving all these details together.
But there were a lot of lessons learned in the adoption process, from the moment we began pursuing this way to have a family to the first nights we spent together in a hotel room off Exit 2 in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Really, there are lessons every day, but I've especially been thinking about the ones God taught me through the adoption.
I remember one time I told Greg me he didn't understand what I meant when I said I had a "good conversation" with someone. "Good conversation" probably doesn't do the exchange justice most of the time. But, sticking with the vague description, I had a good conversation with an old friend Monday evening. It was encouraging + real. He and his wife are considering adoption + he wanted to hear our story.
Yeah, you know me, no hesitation to share Cate's story. Our story.
And it got me thinking.
Cate is only 1 1/2 years old. But I enjoyed reminiscing about the details of the process I consider a blessing. The outcome is obvious, but there's a reason people refer to "adoption processes." It's a process. And for me, it was a journey of faith.
We're hoping to have a second process underway ... at some point. We're waiting to be led to a birth mother.
But until then, I thought I'd share a few of the lessons learned along the way.
I don't memorize much. But some of Paul's words to the Philippians have remained pretty clear in my heart: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7
I thought I got it. But it wasn't until I traded our desire to "get pregnant" to pursue adoption that I really got it. I experienced that peace, the one that transcends all understanding. I felt free. I wasn't questioning why my body didn't make enough of the right horomones. I wasn't wondering if this was the month. I felt at peace at a time people were surprised I was so OK with the realization that I probably wouldn't have a biological child.
I've never been pregnant, obviously, but I don't feel like we settled for something less. I believe with all my heart and mind that our daughter is our daughter and she's the daughter God meant for us to take care of. That may be a simplistic view, but to me that's God's peace in my heart because I don't have any doubts, hesitations or worries when it comes to raising this beautiful girl.
If you know me, you know I'm naturally a worrier of details and plans. This peace, that transcends all understanding, is much more comfortable. Even if it did take me awhile to get here.
Greg + I (and our friends) prayed for a long time to "get pregnant." I cried about it. I got mad about it. I was frustrated about it. Looking back, I see that God heard our prayers. Even if we weren't praying the "right" words. He heard the meaning of our prayers. He heard me cry out because I wanted to be a mother. He heard Greg's longing to have a baby in our house. He knew we wanted a family.
So while I was wondering when + how we'd get pregnant, God was orchestrating an even better plan. He answered my prayers by leading us to adoption, then to Cate's birth mother, and finally to Cate. And I learned like never before that God does care about the desires of heart. And he does hear us. Just don't be surprised when he works because it may not be like you expect.