::Page-Turner: A very interesting, exciting, or suspenseful book, usually a novel.
The author of our adoption journey is writing quite a page-turner these days. With every sentence, he is revealing more of himself and reminding us that he, in fact, is the author of our story.
Just when a situation appears hopeless, he turns the page revealing a completely new and exciting chapter. When circumstances appear stale and stagnant, he writes in a twist that you never expected. When the crisis feels unbearable, he introduces the supporting staff of family and friends and when the future looks tragic, he introduces himself as the hero…the ever-constant, faithful One you knew would rescue you all along.
These past two weeks, God has been busy writing this page-turner. We have had two adoption opportunities that have sprung up for Stuart and I. The decision before us was whether or not we wanted our profile presented to two birth mothers. We spent countless hours praying, talking, seeking wise counsel, etc. We have decided in both situations not to move forward. This has been hard on us and yet we know that God is clearly saying “no” to these specific situations. It’s extremely difficult to say “no” to what appears to be a great opportunity in the present. But God is writing the story, not me. He knows the end. I know only what I’ve read so far.
I’m not going to lie. These past two weeks for me have been hard and filled with several hopeless moments. But God has reminded me that he is turning the pages of our story and I need only to keep reading. As I do, another chapter reveals that he is far more faithful than I realized. With every disappointment this past week, God has brought alongside a blessing, an encouraging text, a good friend and I’m reminded we are not alone. He doesn’t want me to dwell on what was or what may appear to be a missed opportunity. He is moving me/us on to the next chapter, so I don’t need to keep reading the previous chapter over and over again.
Like any great writer, God’s story of our adoptions has a fascinating plot filled with high and lows, conflict and resolution, protagonist and antagonist, the moments you want to give up and the moments you think life can’t get any better.
God is writing some story in these days and our role is to keep on reading and trust that his conclusion will be for our good and his glory. I love that God put this on my heart today because we are in the thick of it. We are hours removed from saying “no” to situation #2 and yet I KNOW with full assurance that as today’s chapter ends, tomorrows will hold a new theme. A new start. A new opportunity to trust the author and perfecter of our faith!
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
God has blessed us with so much! Even in the disappointments, we know he is only further clarifying HIS plan for our family. This weekend God gave us a tangible blessing that we really needed.
Here’s the story…
This past Friday night was a pretty chill evening as I roamed through Kroger looking at cleaning supplies. (I’m crazy like that :-)). I happened to look down at my phone and saw an email from Hand in Hand Adoption.
Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, Inc. is a non-profit private operating foundation that offers grants to adoptive families. (handinhandadopt.org) We had applied with them for an adoption grant and were anxiously waiting to hear whether or not we were awarded one.
As I scrolled through the email, my heart was racing and I couldn’t read fast enough. Then I saw it, the news we were waiting for…we were approved for a $5,000 matching grant!!!!! I almost started screaming in Kroger but instead I cried…seriously! What a huge blessing and what an amazing organization. Hand in Hand will never know what a gift this grant has and will be for Stuart and I.
Hand in Hand not only matches dollar for dollar up to the awarded amount but any funds received over $5,000 go to our specific adoption expenses such as agency fees, attorneys, airfare, etc. Our adoption will be around $40,000 so the opportunity to raise funds through Hand in Hand is the greatest blessing yet. The even better news is that all these donations are tax-deductible!
For the first time in awhile, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Before getting the news, I knew God was with us but upon receiving the news I was reminded that God is for us. It’s almost as if this email was a whisper from him to say, I’m still in this with you and working on your behalf. He truly is the one who knows how to supply all our needs.
So, it was an amazing trip to Kroger that night and a much needed reminder that He is at work! Now we can really start fundraising. With every open door this precious child seems closer and closer to be in our family.
Thank you for praying for us even when you don’t know what you are praying for specifically. God is using your prayers to give us favor and wisdom in these days. He is at work to place the lonely in families (Psalms 68:6) and we are honored to be a part of his plan.
Lauren and Stu
*For those of you interested in contributing to our adoption journey, thank you! Here’s more information:
Please send all donations made payable to “Hand in Hand Christian Adoption” postmarked by August 30th to: (for tax purposes please include our name on the outside of the envelope only…do not put our name on the check itself).
Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, Inc.
Attn: Lauren and Stuart Espy
18318 Mimosa Court Gardner, KS 66030
“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting one’s heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.” –Elisabeth Elliot
I love this quote. Regardless of what season of waiting I’m in, I have always found comfort knowing that my uncertainties and unanswered questions are all part of the process of waiting on God. In fact, these uncertainties and questions are actual requirements for waiting on God. Part of the waiting process is hashing through the unknowns and being reminded that “the unknowns” are not unknown to the all-knowing. Waiting on God is hard but waiting on God is worth it.
Our adoption journey is teaching me anew how to wait on God’s timing instead of relying on myself to take action. Often I find myself moving in a direction and informing God that he needs to move with me. I assume that if I don’t act then God won’t know that he needs to act on my behalf. Adoption is teaching me how to move with God not ahead of him.
Recently the Passion band came out with a song The Lord our God. I love every lyric, but my favorite part is the bridge. It’s my anthem right now in this season of waiting. The bridge states, “We won’t move without you. We won’t move without you. You’re the light of all and all that we need.”
I love the posture that this song promotes that we (your people) will not take a step without you (our God) directing us! I love this principle of waiting that we must not move without God leading us!
God has used the adoption process to remind me of this principle. Recently, we had the opportunity to be presented to several birth moms. When you’re presented, a BM reads your profile book and family information and decides if they are interested in you as the adoptive parents. If interested further talks ensue. It’s been very exciting to have the opportunity to present and challenging as well.
The challenging part for me has been the sense of urgency I’ve felt to move quickly on every situation instead of waiting on God. A few weeks ago, I found myself calling Stu at least daily saying, “What about this situation?” or “Do you want to be shown to this birth mother?” Stu would say, “Let’s talk about it when you get home”. Being the ever-patient person that I am, ☺ I panicked every time thinking, “how can we wait 3 hours to discuss this? What if we miss a God-ordained opportunity? What if this is the last baby they every show us? What if this is the best situation out there?”
There is such a sense of urgency to respond immediately to every situation and panic can take over quickly but when it does I’m learning to do two things:
1.) Thank God for giving me Stuart who not only deals with my action-oriented personality, but also constantly reminds me of God’s plan in all this.
2.) Resolve to not move unless God does. I’m learning to position myself behind him instead of running ahead. As I remain in this posture, I find myself not moving without him. This is the best place to be in the waiting.
I’m learning to wait. I’m learning to rest. I’m learning NOT to move without him.