7 months ago we saw a picture of our daughter for the first time. Since that day, there have been periods when the wait has seemed tortuous, and there have been periods of relative relief. December was the hardest month yet. We were expecting to receive an update (including a picture), and never got one. Every day I felt the pangs of disappointment when I didn’t receive an email. At this point I’ve accepted that it’s not coming.
She’s probably changed so much in the past 7 months! I can’t get through the day without wondering about her. My sons serve as a constant reminder that one of my children is missing. When I hear them laughing, I wonder what her laughter sounds like. When I comfort them crying, I wonder if anyone comforts her when she’s upset. When I watch them happily playing, I wonder if she is happy. When I listen to them yell at each other, I wonder how well she gets along with others. I wonder whether she is shy or outgoing, playful or serious, easygoing or a troublemaker. I also wonder whether she’s living in a small home with a few other children, or if she’s in a large building that houses dozens. I know nothing about her orphanage, or the caretaker to child ratio, or how she’s being treated.
The not knowing is the hardest part. I’m not typically prone to anxiety. Even in regards to her, my struggle is usually a dark cloud of sadness that she’s not here, rather than worry over how she is doing.
But sometimes I worry.
Sometimes I worry that she is not comforted when she cries, that she is never made to laugh, that she is not playfully engaged. Sometimes I worry that she is neglected and will have trouble with attachment. Occasionally I wonder if she’s suffered at the hands of abuse. To be clear, I have no actual reason to be suspicious of this. The (7 month old) picture we do have, gave every indication that she’s being nurtured (as much as a picture could).
But I don’t really know.
And on top of worries specific to her treatment, I can worry about the rest of our process. How long will the judge take to give us approval? Will the fact that my dad is a pastor strike against us, as India is growing increasingly hostile towards Christianity? Could we possibly lose her? I think of her as my daughter, refer to her as my daughter, but legally she is not my daughter. We’re almost there, we have every reason to believe she will be our daughter, but it is not finalized. And that just might be the scariest thing of all.
Absolutely everything about her day to day life and the finalization of her adoption is outside of my control. But when my wondering leads to worry, I can have a rock solid confidence. Whether her days have been bad or have been good, God has planned every one of them. Whether she carries scars of trauma or memories of love, God is working all things for good. Whether she attaches easily or recoils at our touch, God will be faithful to our family.
I want her here as quickly as possible, mostly because I’m dying to know her! I also want her here, because I want to feel some iota of control over her life. But the reality is, being “in control” is only an illusion. The only place I can find true peace and comfort is in knowing the God who holds her. He intimately knows every struggle she has already faced and every struggle she will face, and He is with her. As He has been my rock of refuge in times of distress, I am confident that He will be hers. Her ultimate hope is not in being adopted into our family. Her ultimate hope is that Jesus paid the price to adopt her into His family. Her hope lies in a Savior who can sympathize with her sorrow, and an everlasting Father who will never leave or forsake her.
So today, I am thankful for this comfort: Jesus not only knows the answers to my wonderings, but He is the answer to my worries.