It was June of last year when we pushed send on a preliminary application for adoption. My husband was adopted as a baby and I was adopted as a teenager. Adoption has always been a part of our lives, our story and our future dreams. For us, it wasn’t a matter of if we would adopt, it was a matter of when. In June, we decided to take tiny, exploratory steps. We weren’t expecting to feel more peace with every tiny step.
The tiny steps led to bigger steps within a long process, but our agency did a great job preparing us for the wait and the workload. Being “paper pregnant” has been much different than a physical pregnancy. With my other three children, I ate and they grew, and as 40 weeks approached, they came out. The paper pregnancy has been an active process. The steps of the process haven’t been as glamorous to document (belly pics were fun) but it’s still just as exciting. We’ve been through psych evaluations, background checks, mounds of paperwork, classes and certifications (pool safety certified even though we don’t have a pool!), book reports, home inspections, interviews and more. Every hurdle we jump through solidifies our eager desire and growing love for this child. We’ve teased about the arduous process, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. The process, as extensive as it is, will make prospective parents say either “this isn’t worth it” or “I would jump through a thousand more hoops for this child.”
We’ve now sent our dossier to the country from which we’ve chosen to adopt. Upon approval we enter the referral process, which means a life changing match could happen in a month, next year or two years. We wait. Many have asked if we are anxious or impatient; we aren’t. We feel at peace.
Although we are excited for that life-changing day when we get to see our child’s face and pray for them by name, we are enjoying the journey with the three little ones already under our roof. Christmas – Advent – reminds us that waiting doesn’t have to be a strain, waiting can be a joy. The kids counted down the days until they could open presents and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus (with pumpkin pie, of course). They bounced around the house like wound up toys, singing songs about our savior and using ornaments as action figures.
The Christmas Eve service at Canvas Church was beautiful. During the first worship song, I got teary-eyed looking around the room at the village that will help raise my children. One young man sat in the front row, my son looks up to him immensely. A young girl was helping lead worship, my youngest daughter leaned over and said, “I want to be her!” Their little eyes gaze at role models who lift their hands to praise our King. Our friends and family mean more to us than they will ever know. To us, they remind us we aren’t doing it alone, the waiting and the raising.
Advent may be over this year, but the waiting for the Millers is not over. We wait for the piece of mail that will unavoidably bring us to tears. We wait for the day we book the most anticipated flight we’ll ever take. We wait for the day we board the plane and take a frivolous amount of pictures. We wait for the stepping stones that lead us to the arrival of our special person. We wait, but we don’t wait alone.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” Matthew 1:23