Saturday, January 1, 2011

waiting, hoping, coping

So when does he come home??

Six weeks ago I was saying, "Hopefully in about 6 weeks!" Last week I was saying, "Hopefully in about 3 weeks!" And now? Now I am just smiling and saying, "We're not sure."

Along with many other families, we are waiting for an appointment with the US Embassy in Ethiopia where we will receive Zeke's passport and visa -- the very last step before bringing him home. Usually an Embassy date is given about 6 weeks after the adoption is finalized, but lately the Embassy has been making changes to their investigative processes which have added to the wait time. Last week several families were given tentative Embassy dates of January 4, only to be called a few days ago and told they would have to wait because the Embassy had requested more documentation on all their cases.

I don't know how all of this will affect our time-line, but I am trying to focus more on how it will affect our attitude, preparation, and mindset over the next weeks / months. Jon has a mantra he has been repeating throughout our whole adoption journey, through all the typical ups and downs we have experienced: We can't control what happens, we can only control how we react to it. We have been asking God to renew our minds, prepare our hearts, and reset our attitudes as we walk through these last weeks or months of waiting. The other day I had to laugh when I saw this sign on the ferry dock:

Please turn off engine. No-idle zone. God was showing me the coping strategy I will need for this season: turn off the engine of frantic stressing, planning, prepping, and expecting. Look around. Enjoy where you are. Have fun.

So that's my plan: the month of January is going to be fun. I just bought concert tickets for January 22, I'm setting up play-dates, girls nights, and maybe even an overnight getaway without kids. Or maybe I am going to Ethiopia. Either way, I am going to enjoy where I am and what I am doing because it is all a gift from God.

To those of you who have already been through this or are currently waiting with us, what are your coping strategies? I'd love to hear what has helped you stay hopeful and emotionally healthy through the hard stages!


  1. I've just come to this place myself. Trying to see what more I can accomplish and enjoy right where we are for however long this delay lasts. Clearly, this delay is not news to he is surely going to work even this to His glory and our good. I am constantly reminded too that even/especially during this waiting we are living witnesses to the world around us. My our lives reflect more than lip service to the truths that God is in control and his timing is perfect.

  2. Your God-centered perspective is remarkable and honorable. His grace is sufficient for you, my friend.

  3. My husband and I just received our referral about a week ago and we now are waiting to hear when our first court date is going to be. What God has shown me through this process is that His timing is PERFECT and to have peace in this. He is driving each step and knows how and when we need to move. I have decided to trust His timeline and wait on Him, because each time I have set it we end up disappointed and frustrated. Hang in there! Zeke will be home before you know it!

  4. A friend of mine used the mantra (or prayer opener, I guess), "God, I trust the plan that you have for ____." It totally works for me when I'm anxious.

  5. Well..... our babies weren't really putting on any weight between our two trips, and one of them had pneumonia, so it was HORRIBLE. I was so worried about them - I was pretty sure that at least one of them was going to die. I felt battered and broken like never before. I cried ALL the time. The only good thing was that my utter powerlessness did remind me that only God could do ANYTHING in that situation. It really gave new meaning to what trust was - did I really trust him to care for these babies? And if the worst did happen and they didn't survive the wait, would I still continue to trust him? Could I continue to trust that he was good even in those circumstances? Morbid, yes! But for me it was good to face the reality of what all of life is like, really - total dependence on God. We just can't always see it quite so clearly.

    Ummmmm... also I ate quite a lot :)

  6. Haley, I hope you don't mind - I linked to your post from my new blog. I just can't stop thinking of you and the other families. God WILL bring your boy home! It's His desire and we're praying him home!