Twenty years ago in October our twins made their grand entrance into this world. I wish that I was with them on that special day, but it was nearly two years later when we met and adopted them into our family.
When we celebrate their birthdays in October, it reminds me of some lessons I learned through their adoption story. The lessons are timeless. But unfortunately, I forget.
So today I’m sharing these four lessons with you (as I remind myself). Whether you are adopting, or just feeling a little out of control in your own life story, these lessons will help you get through…
1. We are not in control. In 1993, the year the twins were born, I was feeling pretty out of control on all fronts of life. In January we moved to Venezuela with our two year old son a week after I lost a baby in a miscarriage. While we were trying to find a comfortable couch to buy in a new city and learn how to buy a kilo of “carne” at the meat store, we also desired to get pregnant again and grow our family. None of it was going smoothly.
The year was coming to an end and I still wasn’t changing a newborn’s diapers or wearing maternity clothes. Our son prayed every night for a brother or sister and asked when God was going to answer his prayers.
That was a good question. I had been asking God the same thing for a few months. The months turned into a year, then two years, then three.
As the months passed by and our oldest son blew out more candles on his birthday cake, my talks with God became more intense. I thought we could get some special consideration since we were in Venezuela doing His kingdom work. Couldn’t there be some fringe benefits to our working arrangement? Surely He could answer this plea from our family and give us a brother or sister for Travis. I believed the stories about Him making old ladies get pregnant, and that He even made a virgin get pregnant. Surely he could make this missionary get pregnant.
But He didn’t.
I felt totally out of control. I couldn’t control my life–I could hardly buy groundbeef at the meat counter, and I was unsuccessful at controlling God with my bargaining. Truth is, we aren’t in control as much as we like to think we are. My circumstances reminded me of this lesson.
2. We can’t see the big picture, God can. On October 14th, while I was doing something insignificant like running errands with my two year old buckled in the back seat, the twins were in a struggle for their lives as they had their first race of many to see who would be declared the oldest. They were born that day on the other side of the country in a big city of chaos, and I was totally clueless of how that occasion would change our lives forever.
3. God listens and has his own timing to redeem brokenness. I didn’t realize that while I was on one side of the country pleading for God to grow our family, there were twin babies—”los morochos”—on the other side of the country also crying out to Him. He heard our cries, all of our cries.
While I was feeling hurt that He didn’t work the miracle of new life in our family, He was orchestrating a miracle in the life of the twins and the Green family. Adoption in Venezuela—that was no small miracle. It took time for the whole story to unfold. The twins were almost two when we finally met them, but soon enough Travis was thanking God for his new brother and sister—and asking if we could get more soon.
4. “Just in case you were wondering…” About six months after we brought the twins home—you guessed it–I found out that I was pregnant. I feel like it was God’s way of telling me, “Just in case you were wondering, yes, I could have done this whenever I wanted.”
So it’s October–a birthday month in the Green house. Twenty years ago Jacob and Jessica’s stories began. And for twenty years I’ve been trying to internalize these lessons. Just last week I caught myself desperately trying to grasp for control in a messy situation, and I had to remind myself-
- I’m not in control.
- God sees the big picture, I don’t.
- He listens and can redeem this brokenness in His timing.
If you’re find yourself grasping for control, I hope these lessons will help you too.
What are some times that you feel out of control? How have you seen God answer your cries?
“You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.” Psalm 10:17