February 15, 2010
Expect the unexpected in life. Not something we necessary are good at, especially when our expectations are way off the mark from how reality pans out. This can be especially true in the arena of adoption. It is such an emotional venture and once our hearts have settled on a particular child, we expect heaven and earth to move to help us accomplish the goal of getting that child into our arms and into our home.
Last summer, the last thing on my and my husband’s mind was hosting a child from Ukraine. We were honestly looking to the near future when our own three children would be leaving the nest. However, unexpectedly, I heard from an old friend and from her came the question, “Would you be willing to host a little boy from Ukraine through a hosting program?” Well, my first thought was that my husband would never go for this and my second thought was that giving consideration to this would drudge up from my heart, old desires to adopt. Then my friend shared pictures of the children who were coming on the hosting program. It was all over for me. My two daughters certainly weren’t expecting mom to show them pictures of Ukrainian orphans, let alone, bring up the possibility of hosting one. They were over the moon with excitement.
Just as I expected, my husband was adamant, “Absolutely not,” he stated. Even after we showed him the pictures, he was standing firm. My son entertained the idea but knew better than to question his dad any further regarding the matter, myself and the girls however, we weren’t ready to give up. Finally my husband agreed to talk about the possibility and eventually agreed to serve as an advocate only, for a particular little guy we had chosen. He firmly warned me however, that we would not be adopting a child; however, he would be willing to show hospitality for a few weeks.
From the time we were first shown the pictures to the time we meet our special guest at the airport was only a little over two weeks. This certainly came up very unexpected. Over the next few weeks, we learned a lot about ourselves; about this special little boy and experienced some unexpected moments – difficult, challenging and wonderful, magical moments.
The day we took our little guy to the airport for his return home, was hard for all of us. Our ride home was very quiet. I asked my husband what he was thinking and he blurted out, “I want him, I want him for my own so badly!” What an unexpected statement from the man who a few weeks prior, wasn’t willing to consider adoption.
Why do we think that once we have settled on adoption or a particular child that there won’t be unexpected delays or issues? Sometimes, the greatest lessons God wants to teach us come when we have to wait, when things don’t turn out as our romanticized notions believed they should; when we finally realize that God has a plan and that he indeed is in control. During our adoption process, there have been days I have had a total melt-down when a delay I wasn’t expecting toppled my self-made time-line. I’ve gotten better at taking it all in stride, keeping in mind that I am the one who has set the expectations of when and how. I must keep in mind that the whole adoption opportunity came to us very unexpectedly and we have been so blessed each step of the way. Not blessed because it has all been easy or fun, but blessed because we know that God is teaching us, preparing us for our continued journey, that will be full of unexpected hills and valleys with a son. Sometimes the most unexpected events in life turn out to be the greatest blessings.