Over the past couple of weeks I have spent some time reflecting back on all of the changes and ways in which our children have been growing this year. As a mother we always proudly proclaim our child’s firsts. First words, first steps, first song, first day of preschool. We all love those firsts. It shows us that our child is developing and growing. What a wonderful gift to be thankful for.
Josiah has started a 3 year old preschool program that lasts a couple of hours, a couple days a week. I was unsure of how things would go with the transition but he is definitely loving his time at school. He’s been singing a lot more at home, and making requests for the “Bitsy Spider” and the “ABCFGs”. I love this period of growing and exploring.
As mothers we also know that at some point one of our children will be our last. Wether you have one or twelve, one of them will be the last. Your last child learning to walk. Your last child to start preschool. Your last child to learn to ride a bike. We don’t love the idea of this being the last time we teach one of our children their ABC’s. Or the last time we get to rock our baby to sleep. Deep down inside something screams for us to cherish this moment because this could be it. The last time we get to teach our child to do this important task.
So here is where the confusion comes in. I don’t know if this is the last for me. Yes, we are adopting. But we’ve agreed to a match for a child up to age 4. Which means they could be younger than Josiah, and we are going to go through all of the firsts again. Or they could be older, and this is my last time for some of these experiences.
It just takes all of my roller coaster emotions and makes them even more confused. And so the best thing for me to do right now is take all of this mess and pray. This time though I’m praying for things beyond me, our family, and our adoption process.
This time I’m praying for other families who I’ve connected with, through the adoption process. Families who are so close to bringing home a chid they have met and love, and yet a paper somewhere gets stuck and they are waiting. Their child is growing older in another country without them.
I’m praying for those women who are struggling with infertility. Those who have never had the chance to experience the firsts. I know your pain is greater than mine.
I’m praying for those who have a child and are longing for more. I know your child asks questions about a brother or sister, and you don’t know how to answer them.
I’m praying for those who have lost a child through miscarriage, sickness or injury. You know what it feels like to have the firsts and lasts taken away from you.
I’m praying for those who have children who are developing differently. Those children who may not get to experience some of the firsts.
And do you know what God is showing me as I pray for others?
That this is how I’m supposed to spend this time. This time of excessive waiting. All of these thoughts and feeling that I seem to cycle through as the months float by. This is the time for God to teach me what it means to focus on others. An attitude I should have adopted long ago.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
This process, this waiting period, the very act of adoption itself. It’s not about us. It’s about Christ’s love for us. How He adopted us into His family, and He bears our burdens. We all bear different burdens. Adoption is not for all. But helping each other carry their load is a job for all.
May you find a way to help another carry their burden today,