choosing expectancy

We had an opportunity to present our profile book to a woman making an adoption plan for her baby last week. I’ll keep the details vague, but we thought she was going to choose us, and then she decided to parent. This is great for her and great for her baby. This was not good for my emotions.

We had prayed nearly continuously since hearing about her. I’m learning a lot recently about how prayer is used to line our hearts up with God’s and not to tell Him exactly how you think things should go. I thought I felt peace about her decision going either way. And then suddenly I didn’t.

There are probably a lot of reasons. Our adopted-but-not-in-our-home sons were constantly on our minds and in our conversations during the couple of days we waited to hear what would happen. I missed them hard. And I was disappointed that God continues to delay some degree of certainty in our lives. (Reality? He has given us much certainty! He is always constant among a lifetime of uncertain circumstances.)

The biggest thing was that my struggle to remain realistic yet expectant was stirred up again. I can be rather negative and critical. It’s true! And it’s not attractive or pleasing to God.

Because of the other side of the spectrum, I heard about a baby born in a city I love to a woman whose name is important to our family, and I believed she would be part of our family. I imagined the scramble to book somewhere to say and the drive to meet them and the words I would express to this woman I wanted to know better and the experience of holding our child for the first time with nurses and a social worker looking on.

Maybe it was wrong to think all that. Maybe it was right? Either way, I was let down.

I want very much to find a good spot of hopeful realism and total expectancy that God is about to do something great. I haven’t managed it yet. And knowing that God’s always doing something great and that great does not always mean me getting what I want? That is hard for me.

My one word for 2015 is “expectant.” Because on the spectrum of foreboding to expectant, I really think I’d rather be expectant and let down than foreboding and never feel the height of joy He has prepared for me.


  • Annieg

    I’m sorry for your roller coaster. I have been there and it is a painful journey. Maybe this woman played some role in your life to guide you towards a domestic infant adoption? Who knows what God’s role was in your interaction, but there was a plan and reason behind it. Maybe on both ends or maybe just hers. It doesn’t make the wait any less hard. I pray that your boys will come home to you now. I pray that God brings another child to your family with ease and no heartache.

    • I’ve been thinking a lot about how that experience could be preparing us for something else… I think I’m starting to see the possibilities already. thanks for this encouragement!

  • So many prayers for you and your family this year as you expectantly await God’s plans to unfold 🙂

    • thanks! always appreciate the prayers.

  • I’m so, so sorry, Natalie. I can’t imagine how difficult that must’ve been. Wishing for you much peace as you continue to trust.

    • thanks, Kari! doing well and believing in peace!

  • Ashley Smith

    I am encouraged by your writing during the waiting, rather than waiting to write until your life is neatly wrapped up with a bow. I also love reading about your faith and how that impacts you. You may not realize it, but you’re such a witness for Christ. 🙂

    • thanks for this encouragement, Ashely! my general rule is to process privately and then share honestly whether I’ve got a nice conclusion to share or not. I hope it always points back to a God who is refining me daily!

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