Maybe I misinterpreted, but as the end of the year posts began filtering into my feed it seemed like most people were as eager to say goodbye to 2019 as we were, looking forward to this new year with renewed hope and anticipation of things to come.
We’ve had some time to think about it, and now I’m not quite as relieved to see 2019 gone. Don’t get me wrong, 2019 was a hard year for our family, filled with uncertainty and doubt and loss, things that tested us in all sorts of ways; yes, I am looking forward to a new year and a new start. But, I’m thankful for everything that happened and the way that it did.
All of our uncertainty about work and health and friendships and our family, our adoption, our “baby sister” that we waited so long for led us here. I have to question if we would be as ecstatic if we hadn’t gone through our own personal drought.
I really don’t think we would be.
And of course, hindsight is always 20/20, right? It’s amazing how just one variable, one unknown turning known, can change your whole mindset. That’s what happened to us.
In October, we inquired to review the file of a little girl in Taiwan; we had enough unknowns and variables going on already that we figured “what was one more?” Of course, we fell in love, not with her picture, but with everything we know about her, and knew almost immediately we wanted to be her parents. When our social worker helped us with getting our home study Taiwan-ready (changing it from domestic to China to Taiwan), she said “If you end up adopting her–if Taiwan says yes–you’ll have an amazing story of all the things that happened to bring her to you.”
As it turns out, she’s right.
We didn’t plan on this, but we hoped for it, hoped for it with everything we had. The night before we heard that we were chosen, I wrote in my journal “I’d rather hear nothing at all than a no, because not having an answer is not a no.” Mind, body, soul…every hour of every day, almost every minute there was some part of us begging God to hear a yes.
1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
And Hebrews 11 begins with “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
We hoped for a yes. We prayed for a yes. We know He could have said no. But now, looking back over all of 2019, the parts we loved and the parts we’d rather forget, we know that all of that uncertainty was preparing us for this.
Because the irony? 2020 will bring us just as much, if not more, uncertainty. The “great humbling of 2019” will continue on. We don’t know when we’ll travel. We don’t know what challenges she’ll face once she’s home. We don’t even know if we can fit our three carseats/boosters in the backseat of our car.
But we are so excited, so thrilled to know God has chosen us to be Abigail Jade’s parents.
Abigail: a father’s joy. Her Father’s joy.