on Waiting ( & waiting).
There have been many times in my life where I have waited for something.
Or on someone, some process, myself – even God. I'm pretty sure it's simply part of the human experience - we wait. & wait.
The thing about waiting, is it never feels short. Ever. If you're waiting those two weeks between attempting to conceive and seeing whether there are two lines on a pregnancy test, those two weeks seem like an eternity. And then those three minutes you have to wait after dipping the stick into urine before the lines show up? ... hours. If you're waiting weeks to find out whether you got the job, it feels like months. If you're waiting for a diagnosis, each second can be crippling. If you're waiting for an important email or document, you hold your breath until it comes.
Waiting has this uncanny ability of stretching out time and making it feel like we are being jipped until the awaited time has come. Like the time now is worth less than the time we are waiting upon.
When we wait, our eyes are focused on some desired outcome in the future. Perhaps it's an undesired outcome. Or an unknown one. Nevertheless, our eyes focus on it; furthering the gap between what will once be, and what is right now.
There are few people who would say their adoption process was 'fast'. I would dare say that almost ALL who have adopted children have waited months, but more likely, years. & how many children have waited for their forever families?
To an adult who waits, time crawls slowly. But to a child?! Gosh. My son literally couldn't wait for me to finish typing that last sentence without screaming for me to help him out of the bath tub. "I'm dooooone!" he shouted. "One minute buddy!" I shouted back. 15 seconds pass, "Mum! I'm DONE!!!!! Hurry up!" I have a feeling those 15 seconds felt more like 30 minutes to him. Actually, I know it did, because he said "I've been waiting, like –30 minutes!!!!" Now, I know time is abstract to young kids and the word 'yesterday' is often used to describe something that happened one month ago, but the way my kids demand food or kisses IMMEDIATELY, leads me to think that waiting is much harder for them than it is for me. My heart breaks for the centuries that pass within a child's heart as they wait for their forever homes. It's not right.
As I've said, we have grown well acquainted with waiting. In one way or another, we have been waiting for over 9 years in our adoption journey. We have waited for answers, for emails, for documents, for lawyers, for government officials, for relatives, for processing times, for miracles. Throughout those 9 years, we have waited time and time again for smaller desired outcomes, all part of the bigger picture: for Joy to be our legal daughter. We are still waiting.
Here are some of my thoughts on what it feels like to wait:
Waiting feels like your sense of hearing is elevated.
You sit at the ready, hearing crickets, planes, the wind, the sound of dishes clinking, feet rustling, and heavy breathing—waiting for the sound of a gunfire—but it never comes.
The clock hand ticks loudly, tick-tock, tick-tock, but it never gongs at the top of the hour.
The parched mouth waits to quench its thirst, the weary eyes to sleep, the lungs to breathe in deep, but the relief never comes.
The heart races fast, finger on the trigger, legs pumping with adrenaline, and yet— the time never comes.
On and on, and on and on.
This will be the moment, this will be the year, the month, the day, and still—nothing. Just deafening silence and the agonizing pain of hope deferred.
When you're still licking your wounds after a sore defeat, only to be kicked back down in the mud again.
And oh the pain, it runs deep, and flows into every area of your body.
And yet—you don't give up;
Because the hope that's been branded on your soul.
Because there is no other way.
Because the love is stronger than the pain.
Because to walk away would be worse than death.
Because of her.
That baby girl who bewitched my heart before she could lift her head.
Because of the seeds of faith we've found scattered along the path; the moments of bereavement and cool winds that have refreshed us.
That constant, steady whisper: "hold on".
We've just enough strength to pick ourselves up and march forward,
waiting for the appointed time,
ready to charge,
and ready, finally,
(Photo by Kelly Margaret Photography.)