{Honestly} Adoption: It doesn’t get easier the second time

I could see the museum entrance from here. Waiting's easier if you can see the finish line.

You know the timelines.

Those “won’t go past” dates, the minimums and maximums, the farthest out, the optimistic estimates, the age spreads with your current kids. The readjusting and adjusting back and then stretching the timeline to the breaking point.

It’s part of The Long Wait.

And sometimes, it really does break. Or you do.

The Long Wait does feel different the second time around, after being there. I lived in how things work; I accepted that This Is Africa. And God-in-Uganda taught me so much about trust, and patience, and waiting for Him only. Not even for Him to do things the way I thought would work out best. Just for Him.

But easier? Here I was thinking that because the wait felt different, it was easier the second time around. It felt lighter, simpler. More accepting.

But even if you know the culture and you realize the variables, even if you leave it at the feet of the One who knows waiting, a second adoption can still start showing the cracks. The burden is still heavy. You can still fall apart. It’s still hard when you imagine that the dream you’ve chased for years, the one that started it all, the burning GO you felt in your heart, might disintegrate.

Some days, the weight is just heavier, no matter if it’s your first adoption or your fifth.

It’s the constant ebb and flow of hope and negativity, of rest and frenzy. I think I’m OK with the wait one day, and the next week a sliver of news betrays my heart: I’d been pining away after all. I’d wanted this.

My heart had been groaning in ways my words didn’t let met. My very soul held on while I smiled and said, “whatever happens is okay.”

It turns out, pain that’s pushed down beneath the surface still hurts. Hope still glimmers, even if you don’t want to admit it.

It’s better to let the pain rise, to acknowledge it. It’s okay to admit that this was the craziest, biggest hope I dared to dream, and it’s okay to tell God that I’m terrified. It’s good to confess that I thought I trusted Him, and it’s better to say out loud that I was trying to hide my deepest desires from him. In truth, I thought if I just stopped thinking about it, stopped longing, maybe it would all magically happen. I could slip it under God’s radar.

And so, I’m back in the swirling mess and I lay it down again. I ask for help because I can’t stand up under it anymore. I pray for acceptance, and I beg for trust and faith.


That’s all He wants me to be, because that’s where I say honestly and without the illusion of control, “help me.”

Linking with Michelle, Kimberly and Joy.

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8 comments on “{Honestly} Adoption: It doesn’t get easier the second time

  1. Vanessa says:

    Kim I’m so sorry. All the waiting children and families are heavy on my heart today. I spent seven years on Adoption Limbo Road (smile), I know every mile of the journey you’re on. The endless planning, re-adjusting the plans, the giving up on planning, and hoping and planning again. Did I learn a lot about me and God, and which one of us is in control? Yes. (Hint: Not me.) Was it easy? No. And you’re absolutely right, this is not one of those “it gets easier with practice” things – at least not in adoption programs where the path can be so unpredictable and arbitrary.

  2. Kara says:

    I’m praying that today, when you are on your knees and without an ounce of emotional strength, that you will feel your Father lifting you up with hope again.

  3. Sarah says:

    Great metaphor for everything we hope for and wait for and anticipate. As usual, your honesty is a treasure.

  4. Katrina says:

    Waiting is excruciating. When I think of the verse that says “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength” and I think “Really?! I feel like my strength is diminishing.” But then I realize it was because I wasn’t waiting on the Lord at all because I was preoccupied with counting the seconds of my plan. Once during a particularly long time of waiting I remember praying, “Lord, PLEASE let this process take as long as it needs to take, and make me wait as long as I need to wait, and make me as strong as I need to be because I NEVER want to have to do this again.” It was a gut wrenching prayer, but I think that strength really does come from waiting. Thanks for your beautifully honest post.

  5. I just finished reading every post you have under the “Adoption” category. Thank you for being so faithful to write and thorough in details. It has certainly given me a wonderful glimpse.

    I laughed about the rabbit chasing you and spraying you (though I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time).

    I smiled when I saw you wearing beads made by African women, similar to the ones I’m wearing now.

    I teared up with every picture of Benjamin I saw and of all your children together. It all flowed together beautifully. ( I have a son named Benjamin, too) 🙂

    You have helped me know how to pray and how to move forward. *Thank you*. I am praying for you and your family, Kim!

  6. Annie says:

    Kim, thank you for sharing your story so honestly here. This statement rings so true of my journey too: “It turns out, pain that’s pushed down beneath the surface still hurts.” And I love where you go with it, just the acknowledging and the laying it down again and the “I believe, help my unbelief.” It’s all we can do to just lean into Him. Thank you for this messy, painful, beautiful truth here.

  7. i love your heart, kim. e.

  8. kd sullivan says:

    Why is it that we struggle to trust Him, when after the fact, we can always see His hand? I am so with you on this. Thanks for linking this up with Painting Prose! I hope you will grace us with your words again this week!