waiting.

I've been silent on here for so long.  I think I just keep processing all that is going on but never find the time to actually type it out here. 

The wait is something we anticipated.  We knew, starting our adoption, that waiting would be a part of the process.  What I didn't know was just how long the wait would be and just how emotional I would be through it.  

We were logged into China (which means we were eligible to be matched with a child through our agency) in March.  We anticipated waiting two to four months to get a referral.  Two months came and went.  Four months came and went.  And we were still waiting.  Then six months.  Then seven.

We are just so excited for this little one to be a part of our family!  We have been referring to him/her as China Baby.  It's been sweet because we talk often, like multiple times a day, about China Baby.  Our boys are always asking about what time it is in China, devouring any books they find about China, and they pray for China Baby at every single meal, every bedtime and any other time they pray.  In fact if one of the boys forgets, Worth always yells "DON'T FOR-DIT TIINA BEBE".  The question we answer most frequently (other than "can I have a snack?") is "when is China Baby going to be here?".  The way this process has united all our hearts in waiting for our newest addition has really be a sweet thing for our family.

It all sounds sweet and precious and, don't get me wrong, it has been.  However,  it's not been without big emotions on my end.  I have been in this place of longing and hoping and praying for what seems like forever.  I've cried more tears than I can count and prayed harder than ever and fallen asleep with China Baby on my mind every.single.night.  I just can't wait to have our child home.  Although China Baby is already a part of our family, I am so ready for them to physically be here, with us.  There have been ups and downs of potential matches and watching other families get referred and watching friends go to get their kids.  It's been tough.  We were hoping our sweet China Baby would be home by July or August.  It's October.  

But you know what I know?  

I know that God is faithful.  

I can hang my hat on His faithfulness.  Throughout all this waiting, we've known that God's hand is in every part of this process.  That He knows which child is ours and that all of the parts of the process that have moved more quickly or slowly are all for a purpose.  We KNOW that to be true.  We fully trust the God that has called us to this.  

He is sovereign, He is in every detail.  He has not forgotten us.  He has not forgotten China Baby.  As I stand in worship every Sunday tears stream down my cheeks and I sing with every ounce of my being that God is faithful and it is there that I realize, as crazy as it sounds that it hurts so good.  

I am truly aware in these moments that God is faithful.  I know it to be true.  So, in the midst of the heart-wrenching waiting, I must still claim that He is faithful.  

He has put the call on our lives to bring our baby home from China and He has put the faith in us necessary to trust Him when our feet are to the fire.  And, as I wait, I know my heart is growing a bigger and bigger hole that is the shape of our China Baby.  Just waiting to be filled when God says it's time.

Lest you think we have it all together...

Lest you think we have it all together over here, let me paint you a picture of my day last Monday.

Before I can begin telling you about my day I must set the stage.  A friend who is also starting to homeschool this year had been asking me to come over to look at her new set up and help her brainstorm some new ideas.  I had forgotten to go on the first day she asked me to come (awesome friend alert) and after many attempts to reschedule, we finally landed on Monday.  

This friend (we shall call her Lucy to protect the innocent, or at least to protect me from you all reaching out to her and telling her to avoid me like the plague) had texted me multiple times in the last month because her three year old son was getting glasses and she was just bummed.  Bummed because it costs a bajillion dollars, bummed because it's one more thing to constantly have to be worrying about, bummed because she didn't want her son to be picked on, just all around frustrated and bummed.  I talked her off the ledge and told her how cute he would be and true story:  with his new glasses he's the cutest kid you'll ever see.

Lucy also called me one afternoon a couple of weeks ago to ask me for some parenting advice.  A baby rabbit had been stepped on by her son and she wanted to know the best way to parent in this situation.  How to discipline or correct and how to allow him to be a little boy but also teach him that's not okay.  (I get these questions occasionally. The ones that go something like this, "you have boys that are ALL boy.  Can you help me figure out how to navigate this?".  At first I'll think oh, that's awesome that you think I can help and then I'll realize that people want to know what I have done because they assume with our circus that we've definitely gone through whatever they're going through because my boys are, yes, ALL BOY".)

Anywayyyys.  Lucy asks me how to handle this situation and although I'm not exactly sure how to handle it (for once this actually had not happened to us) but we talk through things and she gets off the phone with at least a few ideas.

Okay, fast forward to Monday.  We pick up donuts and arrive at her house 20 minutes late (shocker).  When we all grab one, Miss Size Zero Lucy doesn't get one and I realize it just as I am cramming my face with the first warm, delightful, calorie-packed bite of a giant maple donut.  After we (ahem...I) finish, we send the kids outside to play with one rule.  Her husband had just laid new gravel in their driveway that weekend so the rule was "Do not play with the gravel.  No digging holes".  

About ten minutes into looking through homeschool stuff her son comes inside with crocodile tears in his eyes.  As soon as she asks what's wrong the flood gates open and he begins sobbing and says, in between gasps, "Twin 1 (to protect the innocent) told me he was going to throw rocks at my glasses and break them".  

Hashtag awesome.

Not only have we threatened to break his glasses (I'm feeling three feet shorter at this point) but we've also broken the ONLY rule to not play in the rocks.

Immediately I storm outside to find the twins both pretending to do things way off to the side hiding from me (gotta love that...they're just out there pretending like they've been twiddling their thumbs).  I find out that it's actually Twin 2 that made the threat (this happens often, kids can't figure them out so they just pick a name).  After lots correction we go over and apologize to him.  And the moms go back inside.  Me, stumbling all over myself as I apologize no less than twelve times.

About ten minutes later her son reappears holding the gas cap to the kid four-wheeler that's in their garage.  Lucy gets on to him tell him that he knows better than to take that off.  Tears begin again.  He says he was bringing it in because Twin 1 had taken it off.  

Again I'm back outside.  He's picked the right twin this time as I find him sitting on the 4-wheeler with the helmet on pushing every button possible to see if he can get it going.  I get him down and tell him for the third time that we will not be riding the 4-wheeler unless the daddies are here (sometimes I pull the daddy card...it makes my life a little easier...)

We head back inside and I, unknowingly, make some sort of foreshadowing comment like, "we better hurry and wrap it up because it seems to be going downhill".  And within three minutes I hear a tiny little voice.  "Ummm...mommmmmy?".  I turn around to Worth waddling into the house.  Yep.  I'd forgotten to take him potty in the last two hours and we were just starting to potty train.  Lucy offers me a pair of her son's underwear while I clean him up and ask where he had an accident.  

Me:  "Worth, was it inside or outside?"

Worth: "Outside."

Me:  "Oh, thank goodness."

Worth:  "In the gator."

Awesome.  He's peed sitting in the driver's seat of their kid's battery-powered gator.  

I call it right then.  Umm...Lucy, we've got to go.  There's no way to end this well.  I go to grab my stuff and just as I'm turning to leave, in run the twins yelling excitedly, "Mama look!"

Carrying a hoe.

WITH A DEAD FROG ON IT.

Twin 1 says, "We found a frog outside and we KILLED IT so we could bring it in for the mommies to see".

Mortified.  Completely mortified.  

So I instruct them to TAKE IT BACK OUTSIDE RIGHT THIS SECOND while also apologizing profusely to Lucy (now feeling like I'm only an inch tall) and telling her that she should CLEARLY never call me again for parenting advice.

And as I walk outside to load them in the car they're burying the frog in a hole they dug...

....IN THE GRAVEL.

The Conklin Family, folks.  Making people feel good about their parenting since 2011.