The surgeon walked out in his blue scrubs, mask still hanging around his neck, and found us awaiting word that the surgery was over. The stitching, repairing, and testing was complete, and he offered reassurance. But, as we tend to do, we pressed.
What is the prognosis? How long is recovery? How much pain? Worst case scenario? When is the next surgery? Infection likely? Limitations for her?
We must ask, advocate and prepare. But must we be consumed by tomorrow, even in this?
Our news was mixed. Good news? No overnight stay as planned. Bad news? Her little body just doesn’t function as it should and the medical marathon continues. More tests, appointments, and surgeries.
So I had a choice. Start spinning around the tomorrows, or celebrate today’s victory.
I think God is a fan of today, designing each with intention. I think He wants us to engage ourselves in each 24 hours, fully in, gathering the day’s manna, and listening for His voice. He’s been whisper shouting that my whole life. But I still tend to reach for tomorrow, longing for it and worrying over it. And adoption kicked it up a notch, or three.
I spent most of our adoption journey tomorrow-ing.
Application approved. What is the projected wait?H
ow much longer until referral?
Why must we wait? We are ready. Our child is waiting.
Will the funds be there?
How is our girl? Are the nannies kind and meeting her medical needs?
Are we prepared? Have the right medical supplies? Can we handle this?
I have her, but she’s terrified/shut down/angry. When will this pass?
I’m in China, but longing for home. How many more days?
Will we survive the dreaded flight?
How soon can we see a doctor?
My heart just isn’t attaching, my feelings not where I want them to be. How long until I bond?
He clings to me, not letting go. How long will this last?
She doesn’t sleep. Is this our new forever?
What hard news will I hear at the next appointment? Next surgery?
When can I go back for another child?
These are natural, essential to the process, questions. But, I spent too much of the adoption ride tomorrow-ing. And tomorrow-goggles block out today.They diverted my attention from the day I stood in and the people I stood beside.
Our adoption adventure has been wild and precious, with the days falling like dominoes. Some sweet, some hard, and most in-between. I wanted faster movement between milestones, but I’m glad they weren’t mine to control. Because I am living now in awe of the Story Weaver, humbled by how the manna arrived daily at our feet, at every bend in the journey, right on time. The miracles are many. Three times, the referral arrived. The PA, LOA, and TA all came. The funds came. We clutched our babies on Gotcha Days, flew home and got needed medical care. The attachment came, as did the sleep. We walked into hospitals and back out. Not at all easy, but right. Sadly, I often failed to celebrate the longed for milestones because I was already scratching out tomorrow strategies.
Maybe I missed celebrating PA because I was already making a home study task list.
Maybe I missed baking cookies with the daughters at my feet, because I thought only of the daughter in China.
Maybe I missed soaking up more of China because I was focused on getting home.
Maybe I missed snuggling with my boy and his bottle because I was determined to normalize us all.
Maybe I missed fun on doctor’s appointment free days, because I was mentally at the next appointment.
Maybe I missed out on being my kids’ right now mommy.
Maybe I missed out on being a right now wife.
Maybe I missed out on right now life.
And the whole time, He whispered “today”. I think there were times when He wanted me to rest. Wanted me to celebrate. Wanted me to be present with my within reach people. Wanted me to trust Him with tomorrow. Wanted me to scoop the day’s bounty.
The good news is that after our unexpected surgery release, I chose well. I remembered that tomorrow had enough worry of its own, and chose not to consume myself with the coming medical marathon. So, we celebrated with take-out fried rice, some Daniel Tiger, and a mother/daughter walk with my oldest. She and I walked, hand in hand, without mention of kidneys or hospitals. We let tomorrow be tomorrow.
And I don’t want to miss future 24 hour gifts. Like dominoes, they fall fast. I choose more walks, more celebrations and more here and now presence. I want to trust that more need meeting manna will fall tomorrow.
…and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. – Psalm 78:24
Adoption is one of the great gifts of my life. It offered me more than just the new little souls on our team. Adoption drove me to my knees, eventually delivering me from my control illusion, freeing me from the belief that worrying about tomorrow could change it.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:34
See you tomorrow, tomorrow.
*special thanks to the extra talented Tish Goff for the photos