In June of 2012, our family was matched with a beautiful African boy to be his forever family. Wait, let me back up…
In July of 2011, my husband and I began the process to adopt internationally, choosing the Democratic Republic of the Congo as our future child’s birthplace. Nope. I’ve got to go back a little further…
In August of 2010, our youngest child was preparing to head off to kindergarten. I asked my husband if he would consider adopting to add to our family. He wasn’t ready so I waited and prayed, and I did the thing I’m horrible at doing—nothing. I didn’t nag or scheme or guilt him into agreeing with my plan to adopt. I waited.
And we continue to wait. Our son was 15 months old when we were matched to him. Now at 3 ½, we can’t point to any concrete prospects for his imminent release to us. We feel foolish at times. We play the “what if” game nearly every day. (What if we had started earlier? What if we had picked a different country?) We pound our fists on the floor when we cry out to God during the low times and we smile and sigh when we get new pictures of our boy. But, no mater what, we still wait.
This week, I was reminded of Noah. You know the story: God looked around at the wickedness of His people and decided to start over. He told Noah to build a boat for his family and the animals because a flood was coming. He followed God’s instructions and made the ark. The rains came down and the floods came up (wrong Sunday school song but it works here), and they were saved. Cue rainbow. End scene.
Then I got to thinking about how it took Noah 120 years to build the ark. That’s about 43,000 mornings of Noah waking up, dragging his 500-year old body out the bed, and starting another day of carpentry with his sons. And you know how difficult it can be to work with your children. I’m sure there were days when Shem gathered the wrong kind of wood. (I asked for gopher wood! Gopher wood! Is that so difficult?!) Ham was acting like a…well, a ham, trying to walk across the upper beams like a tightrope walker. And don’t get me started on Japheth! The baby of the family was always complaining about a splinter in his finger or his sandal was rubbing against his ankle or the male and female tigers had attacked him. Always something with that Japheth!
Even though it took 120 years to build the ark, the Lord held off the rain until they were finished. He told Noah when to begin and then He watched Noah & Sons Building Co. as they were faithful to his word. He watched them measure every cubit and round up every animal. They continued to work without a definite sign the world would be destroyed by flood and God saw them.
This Bible story I’ve heard countless times was a blessing to me, a boon to my sometimes flagging spirit. I believe God gave us a charge, not to build a boat but to save a child. He gave us a start time and I believe He’s watching us as we wait for the finish. It may not end the way we’re expecting (Could Noah have ever imagined he’d see something as glorious as a rainbow?) but I’m trusting God knows how it’s supposed to end. I’m praying we’ll get to bring our Ezra home soon, the same prayer we’ve said every day for two years. And I’ll keep on praying, even if this lasts 120 years.
Cue rainbow. End scene.