On New Year's Eve last year I wrote of some of the deep blessings 2011 brought our way - although it was a hard year in many ways I was rejoicing in the beauty God was bringing through the struggles we had been facing. Check out #4 on our blessings list:
"#4 Clarity in our future dreams. 2 New Year's Eve's ago my sweet husband hugged me and as I cried and told him that I didn't know how to dream anymore, he told me that he would help me dream again. It's taken time, but I am beginning to REALLY dream. That dream includes our plans after his graduations to move to Africa where he will teach and I will hold babies in a high risk orphanage. This dream is most precious to me because we have been in contact with this orphanage for awhile now and are planning to begin the adoption process 3 months after we move there. There are a LOT of variables with this dream - but we are excited about the possibility! We know that God can change the way this dream looks over the next 18 months, but we are taking the first steps and holding onto His mighty hand for guidance every step of the way."
8 days ago I stood in shocked silence as this precious dream disintegrated in a matter of seconds. For months now we have thrown ourselves into this dream - my husband was preparing to apply for a teaching job in this country, we were in touch with our orphanage contact and researching and even planning details like shots and visas and housing and what month we would leave. I don't know if I have the words to express what it felt like for me to REALLY dream after so many dreamless years. I found myself trying to guard my sweet Farmer Boy's heart by reminding him that something could get in the way of this becoming a reality - but my heart began to total believe that our babies were going to come from this orphanage. About 10 days ago I dreamed that I was holding a baby girl in the orphanage and she looked up at me and said: "You're my mama". I didn't want to wake up. All of this is to say that I was entirely invested in this dream.
We had been told the first week of January that adoptions were shut down where we were planning on living and adopting (a problem that is happening all over Africa), we thought that they would open back up by the time we would be heading over there. But our contact from the orphanage only had to say one sentence to express to us that it wasn't going to open back up for us to adopt from this country. Yes, this is heart-breaking for us. But what is most sad is that the reason adoptions have shut down is because of child trafficking. As a country that has the highest percentage of orphans of any country in the world it is tragic that because of evil people these children will be unable to be placed with adoptive parents now. But even in this we have seen how the Church is gathering around these children in love and we know that God can do amazing things even when it seems like an impossible situation.
What was surprising to me about this was that the comment I heard more than any other was that there would be another opportunity to adopt for us. I guess I was surprised because that really was the last thing I wanted to hear. It made me think about how when you loose a dream it isn't wrong to grieve that loss. I remember when my friend had a miscarriage and she said how everyone kept telling her she could get pregnant again and have other babies - but what she wanted was someone just to cry with her and grieve the baby she lost. That's how I'm feeling. Not that I have been through a miscarriage or know that feeling of a baby dying. Since I will never have a baby growing inside me, I guess this type of situation where we loose the dream of a baby we thought God was leading us to is as close as we'll get. I know full well that God directs and that He will use even this to lead us and He may very well have children that He will put into our lives someday. But that thought doesn't actually make this loss any less. I have been praying for our Someday Babies for over 7 years now - and it was such a comfort for me to know that we were making plans to go and get them. It was a comfort for me to know where (what culture and where on the map - what orphanage etc.) our babies were going to be born (or already were born). I think it is very natural for us to try and help by comforting and giving hope to those who are going through some kind of loss. But the most helpful thing sometimes is a shoulder to cry on.
I don't know what will happen - I don't know how to pick up the pieces of this precious dream and start a new and different one, but I know that God is the Redeemer and I trust that even though I can't imagine anything different for us - He can.