Expecting: When you don’t get what you expect, but still expect to get

We didn’t get what we expected.

But now we wait in expectation for what we will get

We will get

Strength when we have none.
Faith to ride the storms.
God moving, moving in our children, when I’m rendered too weary for the job.
Order when I can’t be the one to enforce it
Joyful trust when we don’t understand the plan

I really should have known this would happened. Many  life experiences show, that as soon as we have a plan, a course of action we are following, Jesus moves us down a different path to remind us that he told us , “Come follow ME” not “come follow the plans you think I led you into”.

So, the very week we finish our adoption homestudy paperwork, we find out where our newest family member is.

He or she is growing…

in my womb.

And shock sets in, and grief over the seemingly shut door to adoption*, questions concerning all that had transpired this fall that seemed to make it so clear this was our season to adopt, but then also excitement over the newest little Iverson growing and the wonder of who this little person will be and become, and then the sudden realization and reminder that pregnancy.is.not.fun.

At least its not fun when you have five other little kids to keep up with and care for and naps are no longer an option in your life except at the extreme cost of finding plastic toys in your oven, every room in the house tornadoed through, and an inability to find your keys because the 1 year old was playing with them while you dozed during the supposed reading time that didn’t last long for mommy.  (cough, cough, its not like I’m speaking from experience…from this week)

Pregnancy is a cross to bear.  A giving up of one’s own life so that another might have it.  It is the gospel worked out, into every nitty gritty too-fatigued-and-nauseous-to-keep-up-with-the-housework-much-less-the-blog-i-wanted-to-be-more-faithful-about moment, in which I exchange my “right” to pursue my own passions and desires, my”right” to my body, my “right” to my own energy, my “right” to have a certain figure (let me tell you, when you are on your seventh pregnancy*, your body wastes NO time stretching right back out to the way it looked for 47 months of its previous existence). You give up your “right” to keep up with the New Years Resolutions, and you give up the “right” to have enough strength to keep your kids in line and do everything you need to keep things running.

But with all the suffering involved, even if its nine long months of it, it is worth every moment to impart life, a body formed around a soul entrusted, right there in your own womb.  Its worth it for who that child will be, how that child will bring laughter and joy and sanctification to his or her awaiting family members.  It is worth it for the sake of every life that child will impact throughout its life.  And most of all, its worth it to provide a place in which that little body can grow, grow eyes and ears and a heart and mind and a body to experience all the wonders of his or her Creator on this miraculous planet called earth. It’s worth it to bring a child into the world in which he or she will come to know God’s incredible redemption story. This child will come to know that although, he or she is born with a sin-cripped heart that will never need to be cultivated, only exposed, he or she will also find that this sin-cripped heart has been dealt with by the Sin-Crippler, Jesus Christ, the One with a pure heart. This child, I pray will gaze upon the cross that Jesus died upon, and come to realize this is his or her means to  a new heart, the very Heart of God, come to dwell in us. This message is what cripples sin within us, that only His heart can live abundant.

This is the greatest of all miracles, all mysteries, and it takes the miracle and mystery of pregnancy to invite a soul into such wonder.

So in the meantime, as cells reproduce rapidly, and God works miracles within, I will have to wait in expectation.  Not getting what I expected, but still expecting to get.

Expecting to get…

Strength when I have none.
Faith to ride the storms.
God moving in our children, when I’m rendered too weary for the job**
Order when I can’t be the one to enforce it.
Joyful trust when we don’t understand the plan.

For His promises declare it…that the waves of nausea and tiredness and aches and pains will not sweep over me, but rather the same Lord that created me and now forms this child, has commanded me to not be afraid but rather trust in the fact that I, and this child, and my family, who will all be affected by this pregnancy, have been called by name. And we are His.

So my three year old is HIS, when I really should be doing a better job of discipling him but can’t keep up with everything. And my 6 year old is His when I’m going to have to ask her to prepare lunch for her siblings. And my 8 year old is His when he’s just going to have to figure out a way to get his homework done without me. And my four year old is HIS when she’s going to have to settle for staccato-style reading of her older siblings rather than mommy always reading that book to her. And my 1 year old is HIS when he’s dressed in mismatched clothes because his four year old sister dressed him and that was the only way we could get out the door in time. And my husband is HIS when he comes home to dishes begging to be done and a wife fallen asleep at 9pm.

And my faith will be built, and there’s will too, as we all depend on the Mighty One, Jesus, together.

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Isaiah 43:1-3

And the battle cry these past few weeks, as morning sickness has set in, has been the calling out into the water that the Lord does.  And the expectation that He will meet us IN the waves, and IN the fire, For HE is the Lord our God, the Holy One of Isreal.

My Savior. from my sin. from my fear. in my weakness. in my need.

*stay tuned for what this means for our adoption process

**we lost one baby, in between our first and second children, thus making this our seventh pregnancy

***I already saw this happen, as last Tuesday I felt like death incarnate, and could not function.  Daniel Josiah and Trinity (first and second born, ages 8 and 6) “sent me to bed” and said, “Don’t worry, Mom, you go lie down. We will clean up the kitchen.  AND THEY DID. AND THEY DID IT WELL: cleaned dinner dishes, loaded dishwasher, started dishwasher, emptied trash, swept, wiped down counters and table and pushed in chairs.  I was amazed. (NOW if they would just do that EVERY night 🙂

 

From the Mouths of Babes…Adoption Options

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Katy-Grace, the girl that is ALL GIRL

Friday we had our final adoption home study meeting in which our caseworker came to our home to approve it as safe and suitable for the addition of another child (we will be paper-ready by next week!).  One of the last interviews was that of our children to ask how they felt about adopting.  Being put on the spot, they offered up their timid “I’m excited.” or “I want a new baby to play with.” or “I want another cute kid in our family.”  Katy-Grace, our not-so-timid child, announces,

“I want a blonde baby girl!”

Judith, our caseworker, knowing we will most likely be adopting a transracial baby, asks,

“Well, what about baby with dark skin.”

No, I don’t want a black baby, I want a blonde baby!”

(I’m quickly realizing that “blonde” doesn’t just mean the color of the hair, but the color of the skin as well)

So we ask her about her cousin (adopted from Ethiopia) and all her little playmates, and her best friends and the babies of our friends who she thinks are so cute who are all black or hispanic. And she still insists on having a “blonde baby”.

And we let it rest, and I praise God we have an awesome caseworker who wasn’t phased by our four year old’s expectation of who, in her mind, we would be adopting.

Then, last night at Chuck-E-Cheese, completely surrounded by all colors of skin and ethnicities (we were the ONLY white people there),

I ask her about it again.

“So, Katy-Grace, why do you only want a blonde baby?”

and she gets right to the heart of the matter.

“Their hair is so soft.  Why do black babies have such puffy hair?  I don’t like it when it is so puffy (some of our friend’s babies have HUGE afro’s…evidently its a bit intimidating for her).  If we get a black baby can we do their hair so its not so puffy?”

“Yes, honey, we’ll do their hair so its not so puffy, and probably we’ll get a little boy baby and we’ll cut his hair like boy hair”

“Ok, we don’t have to get a blonde baby!”

And it was resolved.

The last of the Iversons to agree on the transracial adoption we are pursuing.

What sealed the deal?

A truce over the hair style.

Most of Katy-Grace's friends are black

Most of Katy-Grace’s friends are black

She loves doing Mommy's hair. One of her masterpieces. Great plans had been made for new sibling's hair.

She loves doing Mommy’s hair. One of her masterpieces. Great plans had been made for new sibling’s hair.

She knows what she wants, and watch out! if you get in her way

She knows what she wants, and watch out! if you get in her way

My spunky, wild, girly girl

My spunky, wild, girly girl

Only white girl at Chuck-E-Cheese.  She lives in diversity, so we were surprised she would be opposed to it being in our family

Only white girl at Chuck-E-Cheese. She lives in diversity, so we were surprised she would be opposed to it being in our family

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Editor’s Note:  While reading this aloud to the family before posting it, Benjamin pipes up,

“I…I…I.. want adopt Asher!!! (his cousin, adopted from Ethiopia, who we all greatly anticipated joining the family for over a year)

We can’t do that, honey!  He’s already adopted!”

he settles on the next best option…

“I want adopt a boo (blue) baby….”

and he heads down the stairs to go find something to play with.

I can’t win.  Seven people weighing in on who we will adopt.