Every day this week our lawyer in Uganda tried to meet with the registrar at the court to find out what was happening with our adoption case. For three days in a row our lawyer reported that the registrar either told him to come back tomorrow or he wasn’t anywhere to be found that day. Finally, yesterday our lawyer spoke with the registrar and the answer was that our case has not yet been assigned a justice. It was explained that there is one justice hearing cases about adoption and he’s been really busy but it was promised he would attend our matter next week. (I’ve heard that for four weeks straight…not sure I know how to trust this statement.) This news caused my spirit to plummet with disappointment.
It has been difficult practicing patience on this single item for four weeks as I’ve also been told be ready to leave any minute. There are stacks of suitcases zipped up and ready to roll out the door. I’m finished with all my preparations and I am now existing in a state of limbo. I looked “limbo” up in the dictionary and this is what it is, other than the dance played at children parties: “a state or place of oblivion to which persons or things are regarded as being relegated when cast aside, forgotten, past or out of date.” That was a good summation of how I felt… cast aside.
I wasn’t sure whether to have a good cry or throw a tantrum. So I did what I always do to feel better when I feel agitated and can’t sit still, I wandered the bookstore for an hour seeking nothing but distraction from my disappointment, perhaps hoping for some inspiration on how to best use my new found time knowing that a pity-party was the worst choice but probably the default if I didn’t make some conscious decisions. I flipped through baby knitting patterns, art books, photography manuals and avoided ALL the self-help aisles. I browsed movies knowing how refreshing it feels to escape into a story other than my own, but not one inspired me. I left the bookstore empty handed. This was a sure sign that something was terribly wrong with me! So…I called a meeting with my self and the agenda was to come up with a strategy for coping with the delays in our adoption.
I went to a coffee shop, curled up into the overstuffed chair in the corner, opened my journal and had a long talk with God about this situation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a bible with me, and oh how I wish I had. I relied on my memory and I asked God to bring to my mind the important lessons He’s taught me about coping with disappointment and practicing patience. I knew times like these were when I could lean heavily on the promises God makes in the bible. I knew I could lean on God as Lucy does to me when she needs something. And I love my dog, so, naturally I try to understand what she needs and then go to help her. God is who I rely on when it seems I might slip into the dark pit. I know He doesn’t want me in there any more than I want to go there. Nor does he want me to be a turtle and pull into my shell until I get our court date. If I’m honest, that’s what I feel like doing. I was refreshed leaning on God’s promises and I really felt His counsel in my heart.
I got productive in my ‘meeting’ and came up with a list for how to best use my new found time. I set some photography goals, and some writing goals. I will completely finish Christmas tasks. I will create two digital photo albums. I would like to try and get out of town for a day. I will cook a new recipe for the boys. I will take long walks with Lucy where there are no cars. I will accept that patience means carrying around a lot of “wait”. And I ate chocolate.
When I left the coffee shop I won’t say I felt better as if I could do a tap dance to celebrate my inner change, but I felt strengthened and refreshed to endure more waiting. And that’s good enough for now. I readjusted my focus from the nearsighted disappointment and onto my precious little baby girl who is there in a little orphanage in Uganda waiting for her Mama to come hold her for the first time. My contentment was restored.