March 16, 2012

Not like Hannah but blessed still...

My sweet friend is pregnant after four years of trying unsuccessfully and a failed start down the path of adoption. It is a miracle to be sure. And to God be the sole glory for it. We rejoice when a barren woman finds life within and we call her “blessed.” And we remember that the Bible teaches that children are both gift and reward and we say “the Lord has bestowed favor on you, sister.”

And I look from the outside in wondering how God chooses those whom He blesses. And this (mis) understanding that the gift of life that we call miracle can only come from your own womb breaks my heart for I have not been favored.  Have I not been found faithful? Have I not asked with enough fervor? And forgetting that God’s blessing finds many paths I fail to remember there are miracles in adoption as well.  

I have watched friends eagerly answer the call to adopt after mourning the loss of their biological children never to be. I have watched them fill the paperwork, take all the right steps, answer all the right questions, and, finding themselves “paper-pregnant,” have gestational periods that last years. And years.  And years. Empty arms, once eager to be filled, now disillusioned again by yet another path to parenthood that does not seem to bring them the desire of their hearts. And still they wait, even today.

I have known of friends matched with a child, hope soaring high, nursery ready, only to be denied the dream at the last minute or, worse yet, after a few weeks of experiencing it. I have seen loss, and wait, and disappointment, and shattered dreams.

Yet I have experienced none. Our first adoption took two months. We had not yet settled into waiting. We had no nursery, no baby-gear, not even much of an expectation when the call came. Two days later we were parents. Papers signed. Full arms.

Our second adoption was a surprise. We did not pursue it. It fell on our laps and three weeks later there was a boy. Papers signed. Arms even fuller.

So I think about this as I ponder why I don’t belong to the favored group of barren women who have seen their tears wiped away by God in the secret whisper of life in their wombs. It’s true: I have not been blessed like Hannah, or Sarah, or Leah, or Rachel. 

But I have seen my children come to me in miraculous, unexpected, God-ordained ways that I could not have predicted. There may not be a great number of scriptural examples of my type of favor but you can definitely call me “blessed.”

We are daily aware of the ways God moves in the life of infertile women who beg to conceive and are granted their deepest desire. Our hearts are moved and turned to the Lord because of their stories of faithfulness and we praise Him for His love and mercy in their lives.

But adoptive mother, rejoice! 

Miracles happen in adoption too, and you have seen plenty of them. You have lived them; you are experiencing them now. And your story counts! You, also, are a testimony of His promises and His goodness. He has seen your tears and He has not forgotten them. He has answered your prayer and given you what you most wanted. 

Sister, God has blessed you, and favored you, and honored you as well. You have been gifted and you have been rewarded. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!