Planning to go but willing to stay

I knew we’d be entering a new world, unfamiliar to us yet. The adoption fairy land. I expected it to be challenging, intense and equally beautiful.

Bernard, a dear friend, scholar and pastor at PBCC, said a couple of weeks ago that, often, marriage is viewed as a finish line, and crowning of a sort of race, but in truth it’s a starting point. What’s to come is exponentially tough and rewarding. The same goes for adoption. The waiting, the fretting, the paperwork, the years are just the preparation to begin the actual race. The world doesn’t stop at the “first meeting” pictures. It’s just beginning.

I know a handful of people, friends, who went to meet their adopted kids this week. It almost feels like adoption is everywhere around me, and what a joy that is to see. Orphans around the world are called daughters and sons, one call at a time. Hearts are moved in their own respective stories, in each corner of the world. How hopeful is that! How encouraging!

A friend just shared in an email a saying that changed her approach to missionary work, saying: “I’m planning to go but willing to stay” instead of “I’m willing to go but planing to stay”. She is across the world, adopting, as I write this.

So here is where we are. In a week we are returning to frozen Romania. And believe it or not, we are excited about it. It’s home. Conrad and I took quite a few evening walks around the neighborhood, and we talked. Like the old days. Uninterrupted, looking ahead into the night, breathing deeply the Californian fresh scents of eternal spring. And it became clearer and clearer that we want to embark on the adoption wagon again. And no, it’s not any easier the second time around. My heart is in knots as I walk into the unknown. Is there another little face and another little heart needing to be loved by us specifically?

“We are planning to go and actively pursue adoption again but willing to stay as we are.”

Open hands, open hearts we walk by faith. None of our small vision and plans could match God’s work. Praying for a trusting heart, a tuned-in ear, humility and courage in the same breath.