... Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord ... Luke 1:13-15
I started gathering paperwork for our home study this past week, thus kicking off the process to adopt a second child. Thankfully, we don't have to start from scratch because we're using the same agency that did our home study two years ago.
It's very different this time, for many reasons ...
1. Greg and I are in a different place with our desire to expand our family. There is less urgency this time and far fewer emotions.
2. Every morning we see the face of God's faithfulness in our daughter (who is almost 2) and can cling to that hope as we wait. Plus she keeps us busy so there is less time to dwell on our desire.
3. We're doing the paperwork first. Last time we met a birth mother first, then completed the paperwork we needed. This time we're hoping to connect with a birth mother through an agency.
I'm in the middle of "A Woman's Heart" by Beth Moore with some ladies at church. Basically, the study takes us through the Israelites' experience building the Tabernacle while drawing parallels to the ways God dwells with his believers today.
I've learned about how God wanted the earthly Tabernacle to be a replica of a heavenly plan, so much so he instructed the Israelites on how to build things, where to put them and how to decorate them. Yes, our God is someone who appreciates (and notices!) details.
I've been reminded that the God who instructed the Israelites is the same God who heard my prayer for a baby and orchestrated the details to bring us Cate. He knows our hearts and is faithful. While we don't always understand his timing, God provides when no time could be better.
In the Bible, Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah understood these truths. Decades after they prayed for a family, Gabriel appeared to tell Zechariah he was going to be a dad. He had his doubts, but God proved faithful. Beth Moore commented in the video lesson we watched last week that every time God makes childlessness an issue in the Bible (Elizabeth, Hannah, Sarah ...), he is preparing his people for a miracle. EVERY TIME.
In the years leading up to Cate birth and adoption, I often wondered why becoming pregnant was easy for so many people. The heartbreak that accompanied that question was eased when God turned our attention to adoption and quickly taught us he has more than one way to create a family. But I thought about that question again this week, and loved Beth Moore's perspective: This thing that comes so naturally to others came supernaturally to me. I was chosen not to do the regular thing, and in the process witnessed God's glory in an unique way.
So when Beth Moore used Elizabeth and Zechariah as an example, I found my heart encouraged. And that's a good place for me to be as I continue to gather the rest of the information we need before we meet with a social worker.
"The Lord has done this for me," Elizabeth said. ... Luke 1:25