This is one of those pictures that captures such a poignant moment in time, far beyond what you see in the image. Three years ago, my husband and I were at a pumpkin farm with our family. And we were having fun. He was pushing me as fast as he could around the pushcart track and it was ridiculous and it made me laugh and still does.
This also was a momentous day. We went to that pumpkin farm specifically to meet two children who needed a forever family.
It had started that July. We had seen their picture. They were far outside of our “age range” we had told the county we would consider taking, and there were two (not the one we thought we could handle), but we had prayed and both had felt stirred to look into their case.
I pulled up the email thread this morning - 49 emails back and forth with our worker over three months. So. Much. Waiting. We were waiting for information and for next steps with the county - and the kids were waiting. These kids who had experienced loss after loss.
At the same time we responded to their picture and inquired, a flood of other families did the same. I believe there were 70-80 homestudies the county was reviewing as the calendar days clicked on. And then there were 40 and we were still in the mix. And then 10. And then 2.
Two families. As time went on we continued to seek direction from the Lord. This was terrifying. Did He really want us to do this? We would obey. But was this the path He had for us? He kept confirming. He kept opening doors. So we felt confident. We bought bunk beds and a zoo pass for five kids. We felt like this was so clear and inevitable.
So on this day we went to the pumpkin farm, knowing the other family being considered was also there somewhere. We met the kids. We loved them. Our kids loved them. I remember saying I felt sorry for the other family because it was sortof a waste of time to have them there!
A few weeks later, we got the call- the county chose the other family.
This is still to this day the most confusing chapter of our foster and adoption journey, and one of the most confusing chapters of our spiritual walk in general. We have NO doubt God led us down this path. No doubt.
But why? We will likely never know.
It was a strange loss to grieve kids who were never ours but who felt like they were, kids we only met one time but whose names and faces are burned into our hearts. Kids who we knew would be an incredibly difficult challenge for our family. We knew we would be facing attachment issues and behaviors that would stretch us to what would feel like the breaking point- but if God was taking us there, we would go- and we knew He would be faithful.
How do you grieve that? I do not know. I think somehow we still are. And some of our turmoil with TE’s case came from wondering if what God had made seem so clear would end up breaking our hearts in the end.
He is good. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. And His ways are not our ways, His paths beyond our tracing out.
The walk of faith sometimes is confusing, and He doesn’t owe us an explanation.
So now I look at this photo of my husband careening me around a pushcart track, and it reminds me that Jesus is steering this ship. Sometimes it’s a wild ride. Sometimes I feel like I’ll be thrown off. Sometimes we look foolish to the onlookers who weren’t willing to take on the adventure. We might not know where He’s taking us, but we can feel confident that He loves us. Sometimes we need to laugh and throw our hands up and revel in it.