Life, Faith & Running
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
It is March. We have been in the "in process" portion of our adoption journey since October. I have known the pains and discomforts of carrying my older 3 babies for 9 months. And now, I have known the pains and discomforts of carrying my youngest in my heart for nearly twice as long as a "typical" pregnancy. And though these two types of gestations, one in the womb, the other in the mind and heart, seem so very different, they hold some similarities as well.
Like, for example, my mama bear instincts were just as strong on custody day with my youngest as they were on the day of birth with my biological kids. If you haven't seen my Mama-bear-self, she has a monologue that sounds something like this: "Don't mess with my kids, ya'll. Mama's got your back little one."
And yet, there is one profound difference in bringing a child home from the hospital after giving birth, and bringing home your child from the adoption agency after months of paper work and waiting. In the latter case, this little one is experiencing the greatest loss he has ever known in his 3 years of life. When he was an infant and placed in the arms of his foster mom, he did not know of his lost relationship with his birth mom. But now at age 3, his eyes, and his mind, and his precious little heart, though he can not fully comprehend all that is happening, are grieving.
We took custody yesterday afternoon. Surprisingly, when we left the agency JeeWoo only cried for a few minutes. Our eyes were filled with tears as we watched the love JeeWoo's foster parents had for him spill out into their neatly folded hankies. They were trying so hard to stay composed but they could not contain both their tears of joy that we had come for him, but also their tears of sorrow in saying good bye to a little boy they have raised for nearly 3 years. We will eternally be grateful to this brave and loving couple for giving our son the best possible start to life he could've had as an orphan.
The following hours of our first day were filled with JeeWoo investigating our hotel room and experimenting with the remote control. When we tried to take him for a walk, he did not want to go. So we hunkered down, ordered a pizza and braced ourselves for bed time. There are going to be many steps to this journey that are going to be hard and confusing--to us and to him. I truly feel like a first-time mom again: questioning all the things, wanting to know all the methods, desiring deeply to get this all right. But also trying to keep my mind and heart tender and in tune with the voice of Jesus who says, all who are wearing and heavy burdened, fallback on me. I am here for you. I have mountains of of wisdom. peace, and grace that will guide you. Trust me. I have walked the road of loss. I died to adopt you into my kingdom. In me you can do all things--one step at a time.
And so, in the middle of the night when JeeWoo was crying for his Appa and Uhma (daddy and mommy in Korean), and pointing at the door to say "go out there" we held him. And we sang to him and we said, "We are here. We know it is hard. You keep crying. We are in this together." And eventually, he fell into a peaceful sleep for 9 hours.
And so we start today, not knowing at all what it will entail. But knowing that our hearts are ready to take on the world in order to bind our hearts together with this little one entrusted to us.
Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: