Waiting for them to come home

Comments   1   Date Arrow  June 6, 2007 at 1:35am   User  by joel

So we got some exciting news the other day about our Ethiopian adoption: our court date was successful! We are now the proud parents of two more children! As those of you who’ve been faithfully following my non-existent posts (*ahem*) already know, the court date is one of the final steps to happen before bringing your children home. Really, it’s the first time you can truly refer to them as your children. Up to that point, anything can change at anytime for any number of reasons. But once the judge in Ethiopia has approved your petition, the children are legally yours. Unfortunately, though, you can’t just go pick them up and bring them home. They need immigration visas, which means they need to be seen at the US Embassy, which means you have to wait for another date to be assigned. Once that date comes up, then you fly across the ocean to pick them up and hold them and be with them even though they may not fully understand yet quite what’s going on, and you take them to the Embassy and hang out for a few days to make sure everything’s copacetic, and then you bring them home and there is much rejoicing.

Until that point, though, we’re stuck in this mind-bending limbo. To be sure, the process — any international adoption process, for that matter, and quite possibly a good bit of domestic as well — is almost defined by periods of limbo. You get a bunch of documentation together and then wait for your homestudy. You get all the homestudy visits done and then wait for the final product. You get more documentation together and then send in your dossier, and wait for a referral. You accept the referral and then wait for the kids to be moved to the care center. Etc., etc. It’s just the nature of the process. But this particular limbo, by its very nature, feels the most awkward to me if not flat-out wrong. Not that anyone’s doing something wrong, or isn’t doing what they should — not that sort of wrong. But…well, here’s the deal. I’m a parent, right? Been one for over five years now, three times over before this adoption, and while that’s not “long” by parenting standards and I make no claims to having parenting all figured out, I at least can say that I have the parent mentality somewhat figured out. I love my kids, I want what’s best for them, I want to provide for them, etc., etc. Not that I’m making light of it, but it’s all the sorts of things any half-decent parent would readily say about their kids. And what would any half-decent parent do if a couple of their kids were suddenly stuck halfway around the world and needed to get home? You’d do whatever you had to do, make whatever arrangements you had to make, sparing no expense, to make sure they could get home or you’d go and get them yourself, right?

That’s where I am. I now have two children halfway around the world, and I want to bring them home. But I can’t, because it’s not time yet. And that’s what just feels wrong. Even though they don’t understand it, even though they know nothing about me yet except a single photo I’m hoping they saw today, I’m their Dad now. But I’m here and they’re way over there, and I can’t fix that. It’s not time yet.

I was telling one of our pastors about this on Sunday after worship, about how it just feels weird to suddenly have two more kids and not be able to go get them and bring them home, and his comment became a trigger to a deeper realization for me. He nodded in understanding of what I was trying to convey, and then he said, “You know, God knows exactly how you feel. He has children all over the world…”

And suddenly it hit me. It hit me so hard I couldn’t help but blurt it out even as I was still grasping its reality: “And he wants to bring them home!” Now I’m not talking about “coming home” as in believers dying. I’m talking about people who are incredibly loved by God and don’t even know it yet. People who have no idea how much He loves them and wants them to come home to Him. People who don’t understand how much He paid to give them a way to do that, no matter how far away they are now.

Is that you? Please come home. He loves you so much, and can’t wait to pick you up and hold you and be with you. The ticket’s already paid for, in full. You just have to get on the plane.

Tagged   Adoption · Faith

1 Comments

  • #1.   Jacque 06.06.2007

    Joel–
    What a wonderful post this was! Thank you for that insight. Wow — I hadn’t thought about it in that way. That God loves all of his children and some don’t even know they are loved and what He has done for them. Thank you for that! Thank you Jesus!

    –Jacque :)

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