When we began the adoption process, I remember a number of conversations between us about how we might experience loneliness during the journey, how we had no family and few friends who have adopted and can relate. We mentioned the challenge that nearly all of the adoptive families I know work with Bethany so we can’t be friends with them. To many, this might not seem like a big deal. But to the needy extrovert who wants to be understood, it can be hard. At the beginning of this process, I feared that I would feel very lonely and misunderstood. We took steps to educate friends and family if they wanted to learn and have a window into this process. I prayed (and continue to) that others in our circle would feel the same call to adopt. (I will talk your ear off about adoption if you let me.)
Lately I have been rejoicing in the fact that this process has been far from lonely. This is not to deny my moments of sadness and self-pity where I wonder why no one else in the world is feeling what I’m feeling (I tend to exaggerate when I’m sad). But we have been surprised by the little ways the people around us keep us from feeling lonely. At times, when it seems every other question is about our adoption, and I’m having a bad day where I want to cry in the corner, I might prefer a little loneliness. But most days, it is such a comfort to know many are thinking about us and praying for our little one to be in our family soon. I don’t think many of the people around us know exactly what to do to support us, but I do know that many are sensitive to the direction of Jesus in their lives. And He knows exactly what we need. I am so grateful for friends and family who listen to Jesus and respond accordingly. They can’t begin to imagine the ways this is carrying us during this tough journey.
I could write for days about each person who has been an encouragement or comfort, but this week I am feeling especially grateful for our very favorite family and dear friends, the Markleys. Adam, Melissa, Lexi and Caleb have each encouraged and comforted us many times during these last two years without even realizing it. They are simply people who listen to Jesus and love people well. And they are also a ridiculous amount of fun. The Markleys have welcomed Jeremy and I into their little family to experience the joys and craziness of raising little humans. We’ve been snowed in together, had campfires, taken trips, shared meals, and sent desperate texts (mostly me).
A few weeks ago, they let us join them for their Mothers Day celebration. This was a hard day for me. My first one without Mom, and my second one not being a Mom but wanting to be in the worst way. We boated, laughed, ate. It was refreshing and healing on one of the the most difficult days. It’s not just Adam and Melissa who love us well. Lexi and Caleb somehow know just what we need too. They are raising some sensitive, Jesus-loving kids for sure. Caleb just happens to think Jeremy is the coolest guy around and has told him he is his “best buddy.” What a gift for Jeremy to connect with the silliest and best three year old around.
And Lexi. This five year old girl has faith that will move mountains. I know she is listening to Jesus and I am regularly impressed with what comes out of her mouth. When I was having a hard day in relation to our adoption two weeks ago, Melissa reported that Lexi spontaneously prayed for our child to come home that night before bed. This past week, Lexi reminded me that she is praying often for our child. And she told me she can’t wait for me to be a Mom. Oh, if we all could be that sensitive to Jesus and the needs of others. Follow Lexi’s lead…listen to Jesus and keep your eyes open today. It will carry others through struggle in ways you can’t imagine.