It’s been almost two years since we brought home our youngest child, and I feel my heart longing to grow again. The thought of six children would make some readers wide-eyed — yet I know in my heart we are called to grow again. I’m learning to be still in this “in between” place and trust God in the middle.
Have you found yourself here too?
Maybe with adoption — or something entirely different.
You know you are exactly where you are supposed to be, but you have felt the tugging on your heart as if the Lord is preparing you to grow again. Yet the current circumstances in your life — whatever they may be are clearly saying — just wait… be still… trust… focus on today and what God is doing today…but keep listening and waiting because there IS something (maybe someone) still waiting just like you are.
I’ve learned I’m really good at the moving forward — if there was an award for completing paperwork in record time — it’d be on my wall. But the waiting — being in the middle — not so much. But when I look back on the miracles the Lord has done in my waiting, it reminds me how perfect His plans really are — and how good it is to learn to trust Him just as much… in the middle.
Take a minute to look back on your own life and where you are…
Where were you the VERY first time God called you to something significant in your life that actually resulted in years and years of waiting?
There is no doubt that you see now the end result was so worth the years of waiting!
But more than that — take some time to reflect on EVERY THING THAT HAPPENED IN THE MIDDLE — the growth, new relationships and even miracles that you might have missed had you moved before He said move. Righty now — your middle is for a purpose. There are miracles in the middle — and remembering thee miracles in the middle remind me why I want to rest and trust Him in the wait…
I first felt the call to adopt from China long before I ever married. I was living in China after graduating from college, and I held her hand. We were at a blind orphanage and as we sang Jesus loves me — my voice began to crack as I sang. In that moment, I knew all my heart ever wanted was to be a mom through adoption. I might not be a great world leader, hold an office or have letters behind my name, but if I could just love one child — from this sweet place — my heart would forever rejoice and be thankful. And so… my middle began.
I thought I would come home and pull a Hudson Taylor (You know—like he did — packing everything he owned in his casket to board a ship for China to never return home. Okay, so I’d fly China Air or Delta — but I was focused. And I didn’t need a husband to be a heart mom to these children my heart longed for.) Seriously — in my twenties — I had this vision to just return home, spend a year connecting with my family and then I’d go — forever… to love kids like these in China. Maybe I’d run an orphanage — who knows — but I was determined. And then… nine months later I met the man who I’d try to convince he didn’t want to marry me because I was returning to China — and like…never coming back.
God did something big in my heart in the months that passed after meeting Richard, and although I felt called to China — I felt more called to be this man’s wife. The first miracle in the middle! I went to counseling, and was coached to visualize as the chapel doors opened — to leave China at the cross and to trust the Lord to bring China back in His perfect timing.
My heart longed. But it was also content.
Five years later, we had 3 children and we were completing paper work to adopt. Only the paperwork— to everyone’s surprise — was for Africa… not China. In our first years together, God had called us to start a school in Zambia with a couple friends. When we called to ask our adoption agency about waitlists and our desire to grow through special needs, they encouraged us to consider Ethiopia. At the time, the wait was very short and we were quickly matched and home with our little guy just 9 months after starting the process.
In the back of mind, I held on to that moment at the blind orphanage. Seven years had passed, and when my mind drifted — it drifted there. My husband and I prayed, and we finally — finally — started paperwork with the intent to bring home a child with special needs from China.
I was elated. Excited. Finally — I would travel back to the country of my heart taking my husband with me. Seven years later!
Only — the REAL “middle” was about to begin. It would actually be almost 3 years before we would travel. We completed another home study, but little did I know that when I went for my medical blood work some of my levels were off and everything would be put on hold.
Looking back now, God had so many miracles in the middle. But some times the miracles in our “middles” — when you are in the midst of them — can some times be really hard to see.
THE MIRACLES IN MY MIDDLE…
God called me to homeschool because one of my children got diagnosed with a sensory disorder and dyslexia. But now I think He actually called me to homeschool to connect on a different level with the hearts of my children. Some have needed this more because of different family dynamics and changes. Y’all. I am NOT a natural homeschooler. For real. Trust me. God knew! A miracle in the middle I would have never run to myself.
I got really sick before I got well. I learned to rely on others and ask for help. I had a lot of pride in thinking I was a supermom. I wasn’t. I learned what the body of Christ really looked like. Instead of always serving, I was served and humbled. I learned to love deeply and see God’s hands and feet from a different perspective. God knew! A miracle in the middle I would have never run to myself!
I experienced complete healing and wellness, but needing a clear bill of health for a certain time before we could adopt — we decided to open our home for a summer orphan hosting program. A teenager was placed in our home, and our worlds were rocked. Our eyes were opened to the realities of what aging out means for many kids. And now — we loved… like seriously loved… one of these aging out kids. We also saw God perform a miracle in bringing a family to adopt this teenager. Months later she was in a family who lived just across town from us. Years later she is STILL part of our lives! God knew!! A miracle in the middle I would have never run to myself!
We found out we were expecting again! A surprise! We were elated. But at 12 weeks — we had a miscarriage. This was something I hadn’t experienced before. BUT — in this loss I experienced deep grief and His love and meeting me in my loss in a holy way that I didn’t know existed. I have been able to use this to identify and minister to other women. Hard. But so good. God knew. A miracle in the middle I would have never run to myself!
Four weeks after that loss, the doctor told me we could try again — but my sweet husband who was worried about my heart asked me to just start by praying for waiting children like I had done for the sweet teenage we had hosted. (Something us adoption moms often do — dangerously pray over waiting children pictures online.) That night, on a special needs site we saw our son’s picture. We were both so completely moved — AND he was from China! We knew very little about the special needs he had, but our hearts were pulled and we knew — he was our son! We sent his paperwork to doctors and before even hearing back we called the agency with his file and said yes!
It wasn’t until that Delta flight took off months later as we were leaving to bring him home that tears really came down my cheeks as I realized how faithful and how good waiting on God really is. I looked over to the man I said yes to — and realized we were about to celebrate our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY. I thought about me in that white dress — coaching myself before I walked down the aisle, “Leave China at the cross and trust God to bring it back in His perfect timing. China at the cross Andrea. Now walk forward.” (Picture Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride!) Could a 10 year anniversary be any more perfect? This one — I couldn’t have planned!
I could hear my children in the seats behind us on that plane fussing over whose turn it was with the Kindle. I smiled at the man beside me with me with his eyes closed — so proud of his new noise reduction headphones not being able to hear the engine… or the children. I looked out at the clouds beneath me and knew… that in just a few hours (okay that flight is more than a few hours!) we would step foot — for the first time together — in this place that I had once left at the cross. But this time — it would be to bring home our son! God knew!
To say that trip was the trip of a lifetime for me is an understatement. God’s faithfulness typing this now — just makes me weep with joy! He is faithful…and how thankful I am for the miracles that fill our middle.
So here I sit.
And maybe this is where you sit too.
Knowing He isn’t done.
Feeling Him pull your heart.
Not wanting to wait 10 years, but so willing if that’s His will.
Because the miracles in the middle are beautiful.
And even those — I don’t want to miss.
Remember His faithfulness no matter where you are.
He has purpose for the middle of every story and wait!
I’m so thankful for everything that happened in the middle…that led up to this moment. Because in every ending—there’s a million miracles that happened before you got there. Thank you Lord for all the middle miracles that this video represents…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. — Philippians 4:6