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After waking up my son Knox for school this morning, we lingered a while in his bed discussing possible ways to make his bedroom more toddler-friendly before bringing home a new little brother/roommate. Involuntarily, I found myself saying “if,” instead of “when.” “We should go through all of the tiny pieces that go with your Star Wars figures if we bring Ezra home…” Fortunately, Knox didn’t catch my slip-up. He happily jumped out of bed and ran to the kitchen like always. I, on the other hand, have felt burdened by this alteration in my vocabulary. My hope has waxed and waned throughout our adoption process but I have recently felt myself spending more time at the “Depressed Pessimist” side of the spectrum as opposed to the “Expectant Optimist” side. With document expiration dates looming in the very near future, we’ve begun the updating process for our files. Nearly all of the paperwork we filled out so many months ago must now be filled out again. The first time was exciting. This time is just depressing.

Kind friends encourage me with: “Just keep praying!” They say, “Trust God’s perfect timing!” I hear their words but it doesn’t ring true. I can’t imagine that God is pleased with orphans having to wait for a family. How can He approve of the under-staffed Embassy that makes investigating these cases take so long? Is He busy elsewhere when children die of malnutrition and diarrhea when they simply need something to eat and clean water to drink? From my inferior, earthly point of view, God’s timing really stinks.

So there’s the chasm I must jump to have a faith that can move mountains. Trusting God when everything’s going great is a breeze. Trusting God when He’s not going in the direction nor at the speed I’d prefer feels foolish and a waste of time. So I ask myself, who was I reallytrusting when there was smooth sailing and calm water for as far as the eye could see? God doesn’t change but I have more moods swings than a Miss America pageant has costume changes. My consolation during this Faith Battle Royale that’s being waged in my heart and mind is my faith in Him doesn’t change His faithfulness toward me. He is the same God no matter how poorly I try to define Him. His power isn’t diminished just because I can’t see the evidence of it. He is gravity, tethering me to this Earth with invisible bands. I can spend the rest of my days denying the existence of gravity–something I can’t see or hold–but I can’t escape its reality. I’m grateful for the friends who continue to pray for our son and the millions of other children who need families. I have days when my prayers seem to bounce back to me like a hollow echo–empty and mocking. It’s a great encouragement to know that when I can’t (or won’t) pray, there are others who step in to fill that chasm.



From “When” to “If”

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