We have been together for 64 days.
64 night times. 64 good mornings. 64 baths. 300+ doses of medication. 300+ meals. A bazillion snacks. 20+ “iwuzyoo”s (AKA I love you) spoken from their sweet voices. 50+ English words learned. 390+ diaper changes. Lots of cuddles. Lots of tears. A gazillion giggles that make my momma’s heart soar.
We are nothing but floored that they are Ottingers.
I have been so teary eyed this week. I think the stress of the process is waning and I am finally able to reflect on all that has happened. I am able to step outside of the moment and breathe it in. We knew the first few months would be hard. Adding two new people to our family would take some time and adjustment for all of us. It has. Each one of us has gone through our own process. Each child has responded uniquely and in line with who they are and how God wired them. Even in the difficulty, we are so proud of each of them. So proud of the way they have processed honestly and openly. So thankful for the ways we have seen them grow and open their hearts, in their own time, to two new siblings.
Fin and Mae are just delightful. Even in the exhaustion of the transition I am over the moon. So deeply grateful I get to be their mom. Humbled beyond words.
This adoption process has been different from our others, in that we fell in love with them BEFORE we started the process to adopt. With the other kids we felt a desire to add to our family. Started the process and then we found or were presented with them. Neither way is better or worse…just different processes.
With Fin and Mae, we saw them in blog posts as “prayer focus” kids in late 2012. Our hearts were so deeply drawn to them. We started praying and advocating for them. Inquiring about their adoptablity and asking God to bring families for them. I blogged and told my friends and strangers about them.
But with every prayer for God to bring them a family, I gave them each a little more of my heart. I cried out to the Lord on their behalf. I quietly longed for them to be ours. BUT the way was TOO treacherous. The obstacles TOO high. The mountains TOO big. I grieved before the Lord resigning to being “done” growing our family and asked to be content with our four blessings. From my perspective there seemed no way we could add to our family again. We live on a pastor’s salary. We have several special needs medically fragile kids, who require a lot of me, and I homeschool so there is no time for me to work and make any extra money for our family. To add more children would be crazy. To add more with medical expenses would be crazier. The mountains loomed over me and I sunk deeper into sadness and grief. I cried out to my “heart friends” and asked for prayer. I deeply desired to be a Mommy again. And not just to anyone. I have given my heart fully to a few precious Little Ones in China with liver disease. My heart longed for them.
Almost 7 years to the day after stepping off the airplane from Hong Kong with Mallie, we got the miraculous call that Mae’s file was available to our family if we desired to adopt her. (Followed by Fin a few months later)
7 years of pondering in my heart.
7 years of wondering if God would make a way.
7 years of longing.
7 years haunted by fear that there was no way.
7 years of giving myself to the fabulous 4 God had blessed us with but silently begging God for more.
7 years of some hard long lonely wilderness days.
7 years of serious trauma and connecting parenting and healing work in our kids.
7 years of strengthening of our marriage.
7 years of growing and changing and healing in ourselves.
7 years of planting and sowing in our family.
7 years of ache.
7 years of hope w/out promise.
7 years of waiting.
Then God made a way in the wilderness. He spoke. He led. He said YES. He said IT IS TIME.
He provided beyond our wildest needs.
He flattened massive mountains.
He parted seas.
He showered us with everything we needed and I am in awe.
I can not believe it. I get overwhelmed and undone when I drink it all in.
Fin and Mae are Ottingers. The babies I loved with every part of me for over a year and saw no humanly way they could be ours. The Lover of my Soul made a way. I am still in shock. There are moments when I wonder if I dreamed it all up (then they wake up from nap time =) )
Dear ones, if you are in a season of waiting. A season of wilderness. Of longing. I beg you don’t close your heart off. Don’t wall yourself up. Hope beyond hope that Jehovah Jirah will provide for you. That El Roi sees you. That He will satisfy your soul. Call out to Him. Let Him be your portion and your strength. Give Him your heart and desires. He is trust worthy. He is able.
On my face in thanksgiving,