I was thinking the other day about how Judah is now older than Ezra was when the need for families to adopt orphans burst onto my horizon & into my heart. It's been three and a half years since I first longed to add to our family a child who didn't have one. In a month, it will be three & a half years since I got Stephen on board with the logic of the two-birds-one-stone approach: we want more kids; kids deserve families; instead of making another child to increase our family, we can adopt one. [I have my brilliant moments.]
That isn't a long time in light of eternity, but it has been a long time in my heart. We have lost a referral due to the sins of her country's governors (I'll love you forever, little H). We have declined a referral in obedience to God (I pray for you often, precious girl, and for your family). There have been months where I have felt my heart was put in a meat grinder - pulpy, hemorrhaging. There have been months I have been so angry at God I could barely speak to him, and yet there was the hard (at the time) truth that He alone has the words of life. There have been times I thought I was seeing the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, only to have it be a match, blown out in my face.
I reiterate those thing because I can understand why it would seem super emo/dramatic to talk about my suffering. Ugh, I even want to put it in quotes, but I'm not going to. I have suffered through this process. There has been an abundance of pain, loss, confusion, and the peculiar pain of waiting, just waiting and waiting with no assurance of its stopping.
It is hard to fathom that there is every reason to believe we will be done with this adoption in a year.
That our daughter will be home with us. That we will be knitting ourselves together as a family.
So it was sweet when I read Romans 5 again, with its well-known "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." I know I've suffered because I do have more perseverance, character, and hope. And I know I won't be disappointed. When I see Jesus face to face, I will thank him for this process, because it has made me more like him, and that is what I want more than anything. More even than bringing our daughter home, I want to BE Jesus, be just like him.