The waiting is hard.
This winter seems endless, as does the first trimester of this paper pregnancy.
We've compiled more papers and documents and certificates and autobiographical information than I can keep straight in my mind, and we wait for something to come of the intricacies of that which we cannot see every piece.
We wait for the showing of the pregnancy -- the long-desired baby bump, proof that there is life blooming and growing in the depths, in the secret of a quiet womb.
In my pregnancies with the boys and Selah there was major celebration when each baby bump surfaced and the first trimester began to give way to the second. I celebrated what God had been doing in the quiet, how He'd been knitting together newness deep inside my body.
I, too, have longed as we have waited for the bump to appear, this time in the form of a completed home study packet and a thick dossier, stamped and ready to send over to Eastern Europe, for the same reasons I long for the snow and cold of winter to melt and give way to spring, for the same reasons I yearned for my belly to expand -- I long to see growth.
Because when we have the privilege of watching something grow, the waiting doesn't feel quite as difficult. When we have the honor of watching something grow, it actually seems to help us enter into the fullness of time with thanksgiving and joy, enjoying the process more and more.
In the midst of my longing to see the fruit of the sowing, I've paused for reflection. And I've realized that sometimes we have to look beyond the surface because growth begins long before a bloom emerges. I'm remind of such as I ponder the seeds I plan to place in soil, long before I'll see seedlings take root and turn into fruit in my garden beds.
I've stopped and I've thanked God for the parts of this first trimester paper pregnancy that we've been able to watch grow before our very eyes, these seedlings of grace wrestling and bursting open in the still-cold soil of winter.
I thank God for the "I love you"s we read on a screen sent from half way around the world.
I thank Him for two little boys who never forget to pray for the girl from afar who is embed in our hearts, for the hearts that have expanded to love beyond borders and boundaries and divides.
I thank God for the way others have rallied around our family and given their talents and resources and time and prayers as we journey on, as we wait well.
And I thank Him for the way He's increased in my own heart courage and trust and belief.
I look closely and there is growth even when it doesn't easily and obviously meet the eye, even when it's wrestling just beneath the surface, even when the blossom in still a hope that's yet to be realized.
We've posted an update on our A Just Love Adoption page. Head over to check it out!