My friend, Jennifer, visited with me yesterday afternoon, and we talked about what she calls my "paper pregnancy." Jen and her husband adopted their daughter from China, and it was so good to spend time with someone who understands me and the roller coaster of emotions that I have been feeling. It was good to hear that my feelings of impatience, fear, insecurities, jealousy when other people get their referrals, my desire to think about and talk about nothing else, among many other emotions, are all "normal" and shared by many "expecting" adoptive moms.
I love how God connects us with people to support us through the different seasons of our lives. When I was grieving over my miscarriages, it was miraculous how many women showed up who could comfort me because they had been through it themselves. Now that I'm going through the long paper pregnancy, God is again miraculously setting me up with a great support system of people who are in the process or farther along who can give me wisdom and commiserate with the tough stuff.
One example of this is an email I got from a friend of mine from Junior High. She found me on classmates.com and wrote to say hi and touch base. When I emailed her back, I mentioned our adoption. Just this afternoon, I opened a new email from her with the subject line of "You Won't Believe This!" She and her husband are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, and she had been praying for someone to talk to who could relate to the adoption process. I think it is so neat that we have been able to reconnect through email right at a time when we are both needing adoption support. God is so good.
Again and again, God has been telling me to slow down, to wait for His timing, and to really use this precious time to grow in Him, to prepare for the change, and to prepare my family, and to diligently pray for our son. I'll use another post to comment on some of the great things He's teaching me about this time of preparation.
This paper pregnancy is such a privilege and so exciting. It is hard for many people to relate to and get excited about, just because it's not what they have experienced. That's OK, I understand. I'm just so thankful that I am getting to experience it, and just like the early stages of pregnancy, it is the most "real" to me. I'm excited to see how God is going to work in the next year.
I'm also thankful for supportive friends and family. On the adoption yahoo group, people have been sharing painful experiences of unsupportive friends, family, and churches. They've shared examples of racism in their own families, and some of the persecution that they have faced in this process. It has been heartbreaking. I am so grateful for my support system and that we are not facing any negativism, racism, or prejudice against adoption. I am learning more and more how adoption reflects God's heart toward all of us as He adopts us into His family, and I am so privileged to be living through an example of His great love for the helpless, and a reminder of how He has adopted me.
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27