Monday, September 22, 2008

Waiting is HARD.


I received a comment yesterday that brought up a point that I have been meaning to post. While I don't know who you are, I want to thank you for reminding me to post about this touchy subject... waiting.

I want to start by saying that this blog is like a journal. It is like my adoption/family journal where I can put my thoughts. I realize that my blog has become so much more and I am glad that people follow this blog and enjoy reading it. I think that is awesome. However, I still feel the freedom to talk about my feelings and my desires. I am LONGING for Kate right now, and I'm sorry if you think that I am being un greatful for the GIFT of Kate that we have received. I am SO greatful. You have no idea how excited and thankful I am for my precious baby sister! I feel so blessed that we are in the home stretch of her adoption and I am so excited that she will be with us soon! However, we aren't quite at that point yet and for now, I am having a lot of difficulty WAITING.

My heart breaks for all of you going the NSN track and still waiting for a referral. Our original LID for AnnaClaire was 7/22/06. We have lots of friends with LIDs around that time and my heart just breaks for all of you enduring this long and painful wait. I realize it's hard and I think you are amazing people for sticking to a wait that could and is expected to go beyond three years. That takes a lot to put your life on hold for that long of a time and I applaud you for not giving up. However, there are many people that are called to adopt a child on the SN track. We, as a family, decided in early July 06 (before we were even LID) that AnnaClaire would come off of a SN list. That was not an easy descision, especially being first time adopters. However, we knew that was what God was calling us to do, just as he had called us to adopt TWO girls (that call came in October 2005). When AnnaClaire's referral came on July 25, 2006, we were faced with a really difficult decision because there were so many unknowns (as there are in any adoption.) However, in the end, we knew this was our baby girl and no matter what her SN was, we would do anything for her. We came to realize that if Mom birthed a child who had some SN, we would love her no matter what and do everything for her because she is our child. It is so obvious that AnnaClaire is the child that God intended to be a member of our family. We have no doubt about that. She is perfect for us, she is healthy, she is happy, and she is an AMAZING little girl. The wait for AnnaClaire was HARD. We waited close to 5 months from referral to gotcha day. It was an extremely hard 5 months. I felt the same way then that I do now. I longed for that day to hold my precious baby sister, just as I do now. Those 5 months went by so slowly. Every single day was hard. Finally we got her, and that wait has been erased. She is the joy of my life and I am thankful that God has placed her in our family. Shortly after our 6 month post placement, we filled out the application to adopt a second baby, Kate. We were on the SN list from the get-go and in June 2008, we received Kate's referral. Once again, we had to ask ourselves that question. We at once knew the answer was YES. No matter what happens, we KNEW that "Ling Xu Liu" was our Kate, just as we had known that "Chen Xun Hui" was our AnnaClaire!! For 3.5 months now, we have stared at every picture we have. It is so very hard to have these pictures and know who our precious Kate is yet have to wait for her. We have wondered what she is like. We have questioned when we will go. I realize that some day soon, it will be time. Some day soon, God will allow us to be with Kate. Not as fast as I would like, but it will happen some day soon. However, that doesn't make this wait any easier. It doesn't make the pain of waking up and being half a world away from your baby sister any easier. It doesn't make the fact that she was a 15 month old at referral and she will soon be 19 months old any easier. It is hard to wait. It's hard to wait no matter how long you wait for. 3 months is hard, 3 years is hard. I know... waiting is HARD. The wait is hard for ALL OF US, no matter where we are or what our situation is. We have been looking at Kate's sweet face for way longer than we should be looking at it. She should be here right now, but she's not. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about that. I just have to wait. That is a hard thing to do. I am 15 years old and I am HUMAN. It is part of human nature to want things to happen NOW. I wish I didn't have to wake up every day wondering if this would be the day that xxx came, wondering when she would be in our arms. I wish I could go through a day of school without constantly wondering WHEN or HOW she is doing or WHAT she is like. Unfortunately, I'll just have to wait a little bit longer to know those things. All this to say, I want you to know that those waiting are in my prayers. No matter how long you have been logged in, no matter if you are adopting SN or NSN, no matter how long you have been waiting for the child that you have been gazing at for who knows how long. It's hard no matter how long. It's a painful thing to wait, yet it is something all of us in the adoption community must do. Some wait longer than others, but we all wait.

On another note, SN is a GREAT way to adopt. I know it's not for everyone, but there are so many needs that are so manageable. Some of those things you look at and wonder, "Why is that even a SN?" I realize that there are also many severe needs, but there are a lot of needs that could very easily be taken care of. I hope that you would consider and pray about adopting SN. Sometimes it takes the bold question of, "If I/Mom birthed a child with this need, would we love her/him and do everything we could to help her/him?" Our agency, alone, (AWAA) placed over 75 children off of the Shared List in the summer months (June, July, and August). It is a great program and while I don't expect every family to be open to every need, and I realize this program isn't for everyone, I challenge you to pray about considering a child with special needs.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Emily,

I left the first comment on your last post.

Let me preface this by saying that I did not intend to hurt your feelings or criticize you for longing for your sister - I have heard before (and I believe it) that once you see the face of your child/sibling the wait becomes even harder because you know WHO you are waiting for. I applaud you for writing this post, I definitely think more people should open up their hearts to special needs children. We actually are adopting a special needs child, but are just now beginning the adoption process because many reasons (age, etc). However, we have been waiting over three years to begin, and I think of our future daughter every single day. I will admit, I am jealous of families that have already brought home two (or more) children in the time we have been waiting for one. It's hard to watch God answer the prayers of so many other families while we continue to wait and wait and wait. I know this is not a Godly attitude, and I am working on it, but I wanted to share my heart with you. Thank you for listening and thank you for writing this post. I pray it will inspire people to get on their knees and ask for the Lord's guidance about this. I know for us, we initially didn't consider special needs but after a lot of research and prayer we are 100% confident that God will help us handle whatever medical needs we need to deal with.

Anne

Those who wait for Me shall not be put to shame~ Isaiah 49:23

Emily said...

Thank you for this comment! It means a lot that you would say this. I know that is is only natural to be jealous of the things you mentioned. It's human and I understand. I realize that it is hard to see families come home with two children when you are still waiting for your first. I think about that all the time and how hard that must be. Please know that I hope that you find your sweet daughter soon! When you do, you'll know why you waited and you'll see how PERFECT she is for you! I am so glad that you are open to SN and I pray that your daughter will be revealed to you soon! Also, I hope you know that this post was not written because of your comment. It is one that I meant to post LONG ago. Your last comment just made me think that I really needed to do this post! I hope that you will continue to read and let me know when you have received a referral. Referral day is just the best :)

Thanks again!

Kathy said...

Emily,
I've posted only once before, but have been a reader of your blog since shortly after anna-Claire came home. You have a precious family and I love watching Anna-Claire grow through your eyes. When you received Kate's referral I was so delighted for your family. I look forward to your wait being over and Kate coming home. You're right. Waiting for anything is hard!
Bless you and your family,
Kathy

Katie said...

Keep pressing on Emily! Your heart is so pure and your love so evident for your sweet Kate. I am blessed by reading.

Amy in Oregon said...

Emily,
I think you are wonderful!! Thanks for sharing your heart with us all!!

Jeanette said...

Emily, praise God that He has called so many to adopt, whether it's domestic or international, whether it's SN or NSN, the lives of families and children are being changed and He is growing families and bringing them together in the way He intends to.

Never ever apologize for expressing your longing for your sister and wanting her with you now. Like you said, this blog is your journal, for your thoughts and feelings. The plan God has for your family is not what Has for any other family. Even if there are other families like yours, from our agency, going SN, or NSN, their story, their wait, their feelings, expectations will never be the same as yours and like wise. That's what makes each of our journeys so unique and special!

No one can compare the wait one family experiences with another. Whether it's waiting for SN or NSN, how God chooses to teach us, mold us, and grow us during the wait is what is important. Does it make the wait any easier? Sometimes, and sometimes not.

What I do know is that when you love someone, and you are apart from them, you'd do anything to be with them. Whether you've been waiting a day or 3 years. I know you and your family are hurting to be with Kate and I am praying for you all!

One of the first things I prayed for when we started our journey was "God, please don't let me waste this time during the wait". I know it's a bit different for me since I'm going through this as a mom. I've got 2 boys who need me now, a family to take care of, friends, responsibilites etc. Not to mention continuing to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I never want to look back at the end of this wait, however long it will be and have regrets.

Do I wish Sara Beth was home with me right now? Absolutely. However, the blessings that have come in the "wait" I never would have received had I not had to go through it. I'm so thankful that God has chosen to show me some of those blessins now! I just have to continue to cling to what God says is true in His Word, that He will never leave us or forsake us. He knows our every need, our every hurt, our every longing. I have to continue to trust that in every moment He continues to call us to wait, He will give us the strength that we need to make it through it.

You are an AMAZING young lady Emily. The things God is teaching you through the adoptions of both of your sisters will impact your life for years to come. You are starting a legacy early on, much earlier than most and I just know that God is going to continue to do incredible things through you. You are right, you are human and you want your baby sister! There is nothing wrong with that. It's hard for us all to understand the "why" of the wait and we may never get it on this side of heaven. Please know that we are praying for you and God is faithful!!!! Hang in there and thank you so much for this post!

Duchess of Lanier said...

Just found your blog and am awe inspired by your wisdom. Your honesty at every level is appreciated. We are all on different journies and all at different milestones along the way. Focus is important, and a shared focus unites us. Thank you for your open heart. It is a blessing.

Amy Jo said...

Emily,

What a beautiful and courageous post! It is such a gift when others share their honest feelings as openly as you do. I know it can be scary at times to put yourself out there...but God has given you a tremendous gift (actually, MANY) and it is so humbling to watch you use yours to glorify Him AND sharing the miracle of adoption (and SN adoption) with others. You are such an amazing young woman...hard to believe you are only 15. I'm thanking God for you today and praying Miss Kate home SOON!!! Love and hugs, Amy (P.S. I would LOVE to know who the other "Amy in OR" is!!!)