Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stuck

I haven't wanted to blog. In fact the idea of it, to be honest, kind of repels me.

In the exact same way that the idea of praying or reading my bible or even going to church seems like a chore these days.

Tonight I was speaking to a friend who wants to start the process to adopt from foster care. However, this friend is also climbing out of a painful, dramatic incident in her community. She's been wounded and disillusioned.

My advice? Table the adoption till January. Give yourself time to heal, to calm down, to breathe. Because this adoption thing - even if it's smooth - is so stressful on so many levels, is so high drama, is so emotionally soul wrenching that if you dove into it right now it just might push you over the limit and into the looney bin.


It's frustrating to know what needs to be done  and want to do it and encounter roadblock after roadblock. Just Thursday, I told her, I got a frustrating email from our agency and it simply ruined my whole day. When this happens I'm angry and crabby and teary for at least a day. Every time. All day.

Plus, you invest so much in the adoption process spiritually. Adopting a child is a spiritual act. God flows through every aspect of it and shows himself so clearly and screams his presence in every detail. 

Actually, I tell her, I think the only way I'm can deal with the infuriating inactivity, the limbo, the unknowing in our adoption right now is because I have just shut down.

And because so much of my spiritual life is tied up in this adoption, that's shut down too.

I'm stuck.

I know God is sovereign. I know the timing of placing our daughter with us has been orchestrated. Heck, I've blogged about that extensively, haven't I? Like here, remember?

I know this. I knew this.

But then Christmas came, and she still wasn't here. And then in February Smockaholics came. I started this children's consignment business in October of 2009. And when I did, I thought, by the next show in the spring, I will know her sizes and be able to shop like a maniac. I said that again in February of '10. And again in September of '10. And again in February of '11. And again September of '11.

In February of 2012, I didn't look at all the beautiful little girl clothes and fantasize about what I would have bought her. I just got sad.

And mad.

And cynical.

And numb.



Smockaholics is coming up again. For the sixth time.
She's still not here.

The writing has stopped. The praying is pretty pathetic. I start a great book, like this one, but can't go more than a few chapters. I hear good sermons but they've left me by the parking lot. 



I'm not angry at God, I'm just...angry. Wounded. Disillusioned. Tired.

I want my daughter home.

So that's where I've been.

I've always been very open with y'all on this blog, and I'm being very open with y'all now.



Could you please pray for me? As you can see, I need it, rather desperately.




43 comments:

  1. I just found your blog so I am not up to date on your adoption journey, however, I will pray with you. I am in a similar "stuck" situation, although in another personal matter. It seems no matter how much I pray, how much I try to reconcile, it is never enough. I went to a worship service tonight and one of the songs talked about preparing the Way of the Lord. I realized I am doing very little in my life to prepare the Way for Him. I am caught up in the busyness, the hopelessness of it all, instead of doing the things like meditating on His word, worshiping, devotions, etc. Instead the Way is littered with my worry, my fret, my lack of faith..all kinds of obstacles instead of a clear path. So, I say all that to say, you are not alone. I'm there too. I find my peace in knowing Scripture says when we don't have the words to utter, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. I so need Him to intercede for me because most of the time in this season, I am just to weary. Blessings.

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  2. Oh Missy...
    My heart breaks for you. I know the pain, the struggle, the anger of longing so desperately for your child to come home, only to have it go unrealized for so long. So much of what you wrote resonated with me.
    You see, we started our domestic adoption process in May 2009. In May 2010, our profile started being shown. For 25 months we rode the roller coaster that is the adoption journey. It was less than 2 months ago that we finally brought our son home.
    You and your blog were so encouraging to me during our wait that I want to take this opportunity to encourage you. And while nothing can make the waiting easier, nothing can make it hurt less, I want to let you know that you are surrounded by people who are lifting you (and your family) up before the Lord; people being strong on your behalf when you don't feel you have the strength to do it yourself.
    Please know that I fully believe God will bring your daughter to you.
    Rest in His comfort and peace, trust that all this waiting will be worth it, and know that many of us are lifting you up in prayer.

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  3. Oh Missy. I will certainly pray for you. You have been a light to me in so many dark times. I wish there was more I could do for you.

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  4. Certainly I will pray for you, for strength in this hard time, and relief, and joy.

    Hard times are HARD! It seems like it's too obvious to bear saying, and yet, it's always so surprising, when you're going through them. Especially when the thing you're struggling with isn't some vain selfish thing, it's something you're trying to do out of love for God.

    I imagine you're not looking for pragmatic suggestions; I imagine you've thought about the situation from all the angles many, many times, but sometimes hearing something from the mouth of a stranger can be a prompt, so I'll ask something you've probably already asked: is there anything about any aspect of the currently stuck process that you can jiggle by approaching it in a different way? I don't even know what these would be, but, for instance, would it be possible to save up money and go for two weeks, say, to volunteer in the orphanage? (Would that help move things forward?) Is the government there simply not allowing out-of-country adoptions at all right now, as has sometimes happened in other countries? In that case, I wonder if there would be a way to build good faith that would help move things forward. Is there any sort of Ethiopian community near you at all? If you were able to work for the community, and developed connections in the community, would that maybe help? (That seems like a very long-term approach to take, I know, but on the other hand, considering how long the process is taking...)

    Like I said, you've probably already thought about all these angles, and probably there are things about them that make them totally impractical, or they just wouldn't help. But maybe just reading them will give you a new inspiration?

    Meanwhile, I'll certainly pray for you.

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  5. Oh Missy,
    I so resonate with what you have written here. My husband and I are struggling through infertility and I feel so much like you do. Sometimes it's all I can do to just be alive that day and know that tomorrow is another day closer to God's plan being revealed.
    Praying, sister.

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  6. I know we should praise Him in the storm, but it's datum hard. So, I will praise Him FOR you. I will ask Him for peAce on YOUR behalf and I will praise Him in the storm for you.

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  7. Read Paul Miller's "A Praying Life". I think you will relate to much of what he has to say and it will encourage you.

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  8. I'll be praying Isaiah 58:11 for you, Missy:
    "The Lord will guide you continually,giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever flowing spring."

    This Henri Nouwen daily email was in my box this morning, and seemed appropriate:
    Sunday July 29, 2012

    Spiritual Dryness
    Sometimes we experience a terrible dryness in our spiritual life. We feel no desire to pray, don't experience God's presence, get bored with worship services, and even think that everything we ever believed about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is little more than a childhood fairy tale.
    Then it is important to realise that most of these feelings and thoughts are just feelings and thoughts, and that the Spirit of God dwells beyond our feelings and thoughts. It is a great grace to be able to experience God's presence in our feelings and thoughts, but when we don't, it does not mean that God is absent. It often means that God is calling us to a greater faithfulness. It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God.

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  9. Oh, Missy! I'm praying! I feel stuck in some phases of life and jumpstarted on God's timing, but maybe a little ahead of my own in other phases of life. If that even makes sense!

    Heavenly Father, we know You are there, here. We know you are here. We don't always "feel" it, but our head knows what our heart cannot always grasp. Please show Missy your abundant love. If it is Your will, Lord, please come alongside her in a physical, tangible way that she can see You are getting her unstuck. Lord, we worship You for You are good, even in our weaknesses. In Christ's name, I pray. Amen.

    Missy, are you familiar with Hillsong's Forever Reign? I was really struggling earlier this week. Lonely. Just moved to a new place. Searching for a church. (Doing that as a single is HARD, btw!) I was walking into a singles' Bible study and feeling oh, so alone and the worship leader was playing that song. "You are peace, You are peace, when my fear is crippling." Um, to say "I lost it" would be an understatement. That song is what I'm clinging to right now. Maybe, you can cling to it, too?

    (Ok, this comment got WAY longer than I intended!)

    Praying!

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  10. Missy,

    We too are waiting to bring home a little girl from Ethiopia. I know how hard the wait is, but having brought home our first daughter from Ethiopia four years ago, I can tell you that like childbirth you forget the "pain" of the wait and will rejoice in the miracle of your daughter.

    In the meantime, praying God will provide peace and comfort during the crazy wait.

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  12. I can so relate. I've been trying to put words to how I feel about our wait in adopting our 3yr old daughter, about how we accepted her referral almost a year ago next month and she is still sitting in an orphanage in the Congo. She was supposed to be home in April. It's a painful thing.

    Thank you for your honesty. In some ways it was encouraging to me to know I'm not alone in how I feel. When I pray for my daughter I will remember to pray for you and your daughter.

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  13. I am prayingnow that you can feel the nearness of the Lord and His overwhelming love; that when you cry, you cry on His shoulder. That you would be with the Father who cares so much for you and is completely aware, full of grace, of what you're going through spiritually and emotionally. I pray that in your pain you would allow Him to comfort you. Thank you for being an instrument of comfort for us, your readers, so many times. May the words of the women's comments above do for you as you have done for them.

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  14. Dear Missy, for six years almost continuously, I have been in this place. I have questioned so often whether or not I was a Christian, begged God to change my heart to desire Him (until I even gave up on that) and pretty much clung to Phil. 1:6 that God who has begun the good work in me will be faithful to complete it. That verse has been sustaining on so many occasions as I throw my prayerless, worshipless, almost faithless self in God's face. May it be a life-preserver for you as well. God will again show up in 3D technicolor for you. He does not let go of His children. 2 weeks ago, our gracious God broke into my life again (ironically, through some really awful circumstances) and the sun broke through the fog. While I have 6 years of bad habits to deal with, suddenly, it's not so suffocating, so impossible. I am grateful. I am praying for you and your family and your sweet daughter. Our Father tenderly cares for you.

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  15. Oh Missy. Typing through tears here. We are still in the same boat as you: waiting with no end in sight. And I've been so angry at the millions of children languishing away in orphanages while we've each waited over three years. So I have no advice or anything, just a reminder that the Holy Spirit is groaning for both of us when we don't know what or how to pray.
    Nancy

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  16. Hi Missy. I'm so sorry. I've felt stuck lately too. We aren't adopting from Ethiopia...but from China. And unlike you, our process has flown {for all intents and purposes}. We are weeks from travel and yet, I've been stuck. And heck, this isn't our first rodeo! We adopted from Thailand in '09. We began again last year and our son, Seth, died from complications to his heart defects while he waited in China. I was devastated. It's been an exhausting and horrible and beautiful road. And here we are, so close to our new son, Gabe, and I can almost feel him and smell him and see him being handed to us and yet I'm stuck somehow. I know you can relate...I've been "stuck" just before all three of our children were born or came to us. My point is, even though my "stuck" is way different than yours, I believe that God would not have us stay there. I just had the weirdest dream about a dumb lady bug being stuck on its back last week. Unable to get up or move or anything. I have been that dumb bug lately. How crazy is that? The dream and the fact that I even blogged about it. lol. I'm sure those who read my blog think I've lost my mind...But the Lord is good. And He picked me up. My stuck is vastly different than yours. Even still, I will pray for you to be picked up. Set back on your feet. Made right. Hold fast, dear one. Rescue is coming.

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  17. Hi Missy. I will pray. I can relate to the feelings of stuck (just as Kam above expressed). We just received a referral from China, and yet, we still have to wait another 6-8 months to have her in our arms. The ways that we have been slowed down or thwarted in this process have been mind boggling. I can relate to the struggle. It is already a hard thing to adopt and it is made even harder by all the red tape and regulations (which I know are there to protect children, but are still difficult). You would just think that with over two million orphans in the world, it would be a tad easy to adopt. I will pray for your comfort. I know you know that God has the perfect child in mind for your family, but I also know that doesn't make the wait time easy. I also know you are committed to Ethiopia at this time, but if God leads you elsewhere at anytime, Holt has a program for children with special needs (some minor, or correctable) from China. We were matched before our dossier was even in China because the need for families for this program is so great. Blessings to your family and the precious child you have not met yet.

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  18. Dear Sweet Missy (oh, yes, you are, even though you don't feel it right now), I HAVE been praying and will continue to do so. I sensed you were struggling when you were silent so long. I had a friend who lost her husband to cancer when she was in her early 20's. She told me that at that time, she couldn't even pray. All she could do was to groan, "YOU know, Lord, You KNOW." And guess what? That was enough. He knows your pain and He cares. And so do I. Praying, sweet friend...

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  19. You don't know me, but a friend of mine sent this blog post to me because she knew I'd understand exactly how you feel right now.

    We began our adoption process (China) in May of '05. At the time, we were told once we turned in our dossier, the wait was 6-8 months. Then it grew to 8-10 months. By the time we turned in our dossier, it was 12-14 months and the wait just kept getting longer and longer. For the first two years, I kept imagining life with my daughter. During the summer, I imagined having her home in time for Christmas. When that didn't happen, I spent Christmas imagining being able to take her with me to the neighborhood pool the following summer. I looked at all the beautiful dresses and pink toys and gladly answered questions about our adoption process.

    Three years in with no end in sight, I stopped looking at the dresses. I stopped imagining life with her. And I spent the entire month of December in a complete funk. I didn't want to celebrate Christmas without her. Hearing Christmas carols made me cry. In year four, I stopped answering anyone's questions with honesty. Every day it seemed someone at work or at church would ask me "Have you heard anything yet?" or "When are you going to bring that baby home?" and God forgive me, I wanted to smack them. It was like someone kept poking a stick into an open wound, and I just had no words anymore. I couldn't even think about adoption or bringing her home. I couldn't imagine our family whole when it had been apart for so long. Seeing other parents with their beautiful Chinese babies made me ache, and I just looked away. Such a big part of me shut down inside because I didn't know how to survive otherwise.

    Five and a half years after we started the process, we finally got her picture and permission to travel. I was such a bundle of mixed emotions. Happy. Nervous. Excited. And almost unwilling to engage that part of me that had shut down three years earlier because what if this wasn't real? I was so used to waiting, waiting, waiting that I didn't know how to do anything else.

    We traveled to China in November of 2010. I was a wreck inside. All the anticipation, the dreams, the heartbreak, the depression, the numbness inside toward God and everyone else were spinning inside of me and I honestly didn't know how to feel.

    Until I held her. The second, the absolute second, she was in my arms, crying her head off and looking at me with those gorgeous dark eyes of hers, my heart split wide open and only one feeling remained: love.

    It's possible to heal in an instant.

    It's possible to be *grateful* to God for the miserable, aching years of waiting because in that second, I realized with fierce conviction that I wouldn't have changed a single thing. Not a single day of waiting because if I'd come to China earlier, I would've missed out on *her.*

    Adoption is not for the faint of heart. It breaks you in so many ways, but it also heals what it breaks. I pray that you will hang on, you will survive, until the day when you finally hold your precious daughter in your arms, look into her eyes, and know with every part of your being that you wouldn't go back and change a single thing because *she* is worth the heartache.

    Much Love,

    C.J.

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  20. Missy
    First of all I want to jump through this screen and give you a giant hug *HUG* I will be praying for you and for everyone that is involved. I am praying for peace for you and your family and for you to see the Lords amazing grace and mercy in these times for you. I never really comment on blogs but I had to tonight. You don't know how many times your blog has touched me and I sat here and felt like you where possibly hiding cameras in my house. Thank you for having the courage to let us ride this journey with you. It is when we are stuck that we need to just fall at God's feet. He can take it and wants to take it. Autopilot is a fine state to be in for a short time as long as your co-pilot is the Lord.
    Keep your chin up you. *BIG HUG*

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  21. Missy, it would be my absolute PLEASURE to pray for you.

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  22. I am an adoptive mom. I know, sister. Hang in there. His mercies are new every day.

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  23. Missy -
    I haven't commented on your blog before, but this post I totally could have written (not as well) but it is my thoughts and feelings exactly!! We started the adoption process in August of 2010 and have been officially on the waitlist since March of 2011. It is the hardest thing I have done. I am in a season now of just needing a little confirmation. You know when you start the process you see confirmation after confirmation. Money coming in here, paperwork coming at just the right time, etc. I have had about a year of not a lot of confirmation. Don't get me wrong...i know that I know this is the journey for our family. I know we have been called to adoption. I wouldn't still be in the process if we weren't called to it. Just a little nod is all I pray for these day.

    Thanks for your post. I am praying for you!!

    Rachel

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  24. This is exactly where I am at. Thank you for your honesty. Prayers for you . . . and for us all.

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  25. Oh, Missy, I totally get this. We are stuck in the same wait you are...and it is just hard. I know is faithful and His timing is perfect, but it's still hard. I will be praying for you and your sweet girl!!! Hang in there... I pray that we will both have pics of our sweet girls soon! :)

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  26. Oh Missy. {hug}
    I hear you-it's sooo, soooooo hard!
    You are perfectly expressing my resistance to stepping out to adopt again. The Lord has shown us our children. I made a couple moves and felt thwarted at each step. So I just stopped, because I've been through this before (three adoptions, one failed adoption) and I know what is ahead. And I'm just tired.
    Spiritual warfare--and it's tough! Only God. . .
    Praying for you!

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  27. Praying for you, for your family, and for your daughter . . . and for God to hurry up! ;) Sending many hugs your way.

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  28. I will pray for you. You have helped me so much through the past few years and you don't even know me...

    I _have_ prayed for you and I will _keep_ praying for you.

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  29. My heart aches for you.
    My husband and I began the adoption process in November of 2010 to bring our first baby home. I had spent years researching adoption and it had always been near to my heart. I thought I knew most of what there was to know. Looking back I really knew nothing at all of what we were in for. It's been a wild, indescribable journey. In February we experienced the high of being chosen. Last month we found ourselves in a deep, dark pit when our adoption fell through (due to the birth parents changing their minds.) I have traveled everything you described and I'm still learning to navigate the frustration, the spiritual confusion, the horrid 'stuck' feeling, and finally the shutting down. I've never been able to communicate the above as well as you did today.
    I'm so sorry that you, too, are going through a dark and difficult time. I am storming the throne for you. May God grant you peace and comfort despite it all.

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  30. I'm so very sorry you're there, but thank you so much for sharing. Because I'm in the very same place, different circumstances, but very, very much the same. Thank you for the word "disillusioned:. I hadn't picked it out for myself yet. Strong believer through many a deep, difficult valley for years, and now, stuck...

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  31. I'm new to your blog, but the word "adoption" caught my eye. As an adoptee, I am ever so appreciative of your decision to give a child a home they otherwise wouldn't have. I am so sorry for your anxiety and frustration. As I read your words, I asked myself what the point of your wait could be. Clearly, I'm not privy to the true reason, but my experience of the other side of adoption gives me a different perspective. For you, there will be an end to the waiting. For me, I still wonder who I look like, what my sisters are like and if my father even knew I existed. Maybe the waiting is to give you the opportunity to further research how to handle these feelings for your little one. My adoptive parents, my true parents, have been amazingly supportive and always let me know that they CHOSE me. My brothers have always loved and protected me. I will pray for you and your family. When your daughter comes to you, give her and extra hug for me...and always tell her about this dark time in your life. It'll let her know how much she is wanted and loved.

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  32. Oh missy, I too have been in that place as we waited for our son to come home from Guatemala in the middle of the country shutdown. I understand and I am sory. There are no words that can make it better, so I simply offer prayers. Loving you in Virginia!

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  33. I have prayed and will continue to pray for little Bethie. I'm ready to see another little owl at the top of your blog. Praying.

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  34. I have really felt this way over something different. Thanks for sharing; when you feel you are the only one it gets discouraging. Praying for you. Thanks for blogging; I tried but it hasn't gone very well.

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  35. Missy,

    I haven't stumbled over to your blog for a very long time. I really haven't even read a blog for years unless it's a Facebook (Facebook totally killed the blogging star...) friend who posts their links. My own blog sits there lingering in the abyss wondering if I'll ever come back. Somehow, for some reason, totally unknown to me, but I'm sure orchestrated somehow, somewhere I fell in here today. I feel very much stuck too. Almost like an enemy has put up some sort of veil allowing me to see God, know he's there, but just not connect to him or really to anything. Your post brought me to tears, and brought me to prayer for you and your sweet little one somewhere on the other side of the world. Maybe I'll stop back in before another year or two slip by...

    Praying for you!

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  36. This post made me cry. Been there, done that, and did it flamingly bad. Praying for your heart.

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  37. When we feel like we are going nowhere, we have to know we are a long way down the road. This journey you are on is still in progress. The enemy wants us to think we have gone backwards or that our time was wasted. But he's a liar. I like this well quoted saying, sometimes I hang on to it for the hope it brings; "Just because life is easy doesn't make it good, or just because life is hard doesn't make it bad." Still we can feel cruddy (always feel nervous using slang, my cultures un-offensive, can be offensive in other cultures - hope cruddy is ok). Praying for you. You are courageous for asking for help and opening up.

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  38. I just prayed that God would renew your strength and passion. You have made such an impact on so many. Sometimes those who are capable of the most, those who have come the farthest, are the ones who get attacked the hardest.

    I know it feels like God led you down this hard road and then abandoned you. We have certainly felt that ourselves. But a friend reminded me recently that God is actually, and has always been, and will always be on our side. We're on the same team. And when the evil one is attacking our spirit and attacking our strength, that is when we have to cling to Jesus the hardest. He is right there for you. He wants the same things you want for the orphan. He loves you and He already knows who your child is. He is working on your behalf even when you don't have the strength to ask Him to. He loves you and your child.

    There are many of us praying for you. We love you.

    Brandy

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  39. Praying for you RIGHT now...and asking God to give you a place and a way to write your heart out in time. It will come. Bring the words. Keep writing. It did my heart good to write today...even though I didn't want to. So many other things to do. And yes, going to church in a new town IS a chore. Hard. Right there with you. Love you. Give yourself lots of grace!

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  40. Praying for a little extra easy in your day. Well-behaved kids, an understanding husband, green traffic lights, an encouraging phone call...whatever it will take to give you a little boost. Mostly praying for peace and an extra dose of grace.

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