Saturday, August 8, 2009

When Waiting is Painful

"When you have a child biologically, you basically know when you will be able hold your child in your arms (assuming it’s a normal pregnancy). You will be holding your child sometime between 37 and 42 weeks after the estimated date of conception.

But when you are bringing a child into your family through adoption, you most often have no idea when you will finally be able to hold your child in your arms. Depending on the type of adoption, it can take anywhere from a few months to several years before you’re holding your child.

Adoption agencies usually provide prospective families with an approximate timeframe for how long the adoption process will likely take (e.g., 12-18 months). But even in best case scenarios, unexpected delays are not unusual. You may have good reason to think that you’ll receive your referral within the next two months, but then something unanticipated happens and “suddenly” two months becomes six.

Waiting is never easy, but when waiting is filled with repeated delays it can become particularly painful. As Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

So, if you are an adoptive parent who is waiting to bring your child home, what can you do when this waiting has become painful? Well, let me encourage you to regularly consider how long God’s own adoption plan is taking.

Ephesians 1:5 says that God predestined us to adoption before he created the world, yet Paul says that Jesus came so that we might receive it (Galatians 4:4-6). Think about it: the adoption to which God predestined us before time did not take effect until Jesus came. That’s a long time between God’s decision to adopt us and our actual adoption.

Add to this the fact that the finalization of our adoption is yet still future (Romans 8:23), and you can begin to sense how unbelievably patient God is. God is not in a hurry to bring us home. The wisdom of his adoption plan is perfect.

We must be careful, though, not to look at his unbelievable patience and conclude that he must not be that passionate about bringing us home. No, God demonstrated his adoptive love for us by sending his Son to become a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5). God is far more passionate about bringing us home than we are about bringing our new child home.

So, when waiting becomes painful, look at the patience of God in his adoption of you. It will fill you with fresh hope, endurance, and, yes, even joy. God’s adoption plans are perfect, for you and for your child. And they all end in joy."

(Retrieved from

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