Featuring Joy & Geoff, Big Brother , Little Brother , Sis , and various household (and outdoor) critters...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Retreat, Renew, Resume

Ah, the campground. Our summer retreat. Last year was our first experience having a seasonal site to visit whenever we wanted, and it was lovely. I had just made the transition to part-time work, which made weekends away a nice break, rather than a source of increased stress being away all the time. I had a couple of days off at home, then a couple at the campground. Geoff, while working full-time, loves this as a way of making the most of down time, and really relaxing. Home, sadly, is a hard place to relax. Ok, I can do it (although often with some guilt about all the tasks and projects I can see vying for my attention), but Geoff is a busy type, not one to while away the time at home when there is work to be done. So, we hit the campground, even if just for a quick Friday night through Saturday visit (during May-June and September-October we feel pretty committed to being at church every week - July-August we give ourselves permission for more full weekends away, and we can attend church at camp if we get ourselves up and ready, which is a cozy, rustic experience taking place in a large shed-like building). Anyway, bottom line is that we have been making good use of our trailer!

Retreat is important, isn't it? That mental and physical space, removed from everyday chores and "to do" lists. The time to read, talk, reflect, and focus. We have had some worthwhile adoption-related discussion and reading on these weekends in addition to leisure time and (mostly satisfying) outdoor projects on our camp-site. While I'm not sure I feel great about being so undecided about our adoption plans for the past many months, we do seem to be united in our indecision. Hmm. Trying to see the up-side!

Anyway, we have talked about lots of options and possibilities, and we are both of two minds at the moment. One is that we are still committed to our Africa adoption goal. The other is that, after living so much uncertainty with international adoption programs, we may not want to be quite so exclusive in our adoption process at this time. So, we have been tip-toeing into learning about things like public domestic adoption. We are currently in a more specific exploration/decision-making/waiting process in that regard. Lots to discover, ask, etc. Not wanting to make any unnecessary changes or rush any decisions along the way, but wanting timely responses and information to know whether, or whether not, to move along with anything new. Other options can still be long and complicated as well, so patience and fortitude are still necessary! And...along with progress, or potential progress, I see signs of distraction, nuisance obstacles - nothing big so far, but those little things that creep up to get in the way of clarity, peace, and even pleasure in the process. At least, I suppose, I am starting to recognize the pattern, and to expect it. Hopefully that makes it easier to more effectively respond to the distractions and set-backs as they come.

After 2.5 years+, three countries, and various updates along the way, we are doing more thinking than we did before starting out. Things seemed so simple - do a homestudy, sign up, and wait for a referral. Some of the reflecting I have done recently has lead me to realize that our early dive into adoption, while sincere and based on a true commitment to adoption, was perhaps also romanticized, limited in scope and possibility, and certainly somewhat naive. Through the waiting and change, we have been able to examine our adoption motives, interests, and decisions more critically. I really believe that whatever route we take from now on (even if little changes in fact and detail) will be more intentional, better-informed, and more reflective of who we are, and why we chose this journey toward family, deep down, in the first place. And that will ensure our adoption, when it happens, takes into account everything that is important to us and the reasons why we are doing this. Perhaps more on that in another post - but I am referring to issues like choosing an age range, choosing a country, identifying particular "special needs" we are and are not comfortable considering - so many things we didn't know about or consider when we started out, but which could lead us to a more exciting and fulfilling conclusion, again, if only because we are more certain and intentional about what we are doing.

So, currently, here are our hopes and prayers:

  • Patience and peace for the waiting, even savouring the moment, realizing that at some point things may change quickly - just letting each day come and go as it will.
  • Timely responses - yes, we want to be patient while waiting, but it would be lovely if there are a minimum of unnecessary delays in information-gathering, communicating, decision-making, etc., from this point forward
  • Logistics - we cannot possibly predict or strategize how pieces of our puzzle will come together. One factor impacts another, and we have to allow the unknown domino effects to happen as they will, also hoping and praying that details and situations come together in workable and lovely ways
  • For the "right" to prevail - for obstacles or distractions to be powerless to inhibit what "should" be, or to prevent enthusiasm, hope, and clarity of purpose
  • Wisdom and discernment, in asking good questions, and in considering what is the path to travel at this time - to understand that which we need to learn/sense/hear, and to invest our energy and time where it will be best used - what to read, what options to delve into further, what to discuss, who to consult with...
  • Acceptance of this process, and of the knowledge that we really can't predict where things are headed (as we have seen over the past 2.5+ years) - and then resting in that as contentedly as possible, with expectation

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are those who wait for Him.

Isaiah 30:18


elsie hiebert said...

Great Post. Will be praying.

Gwen said...

Excellent, excellent post. I had a great comment thought out, but then got to the verse at the end and was so overwhelmed and moved that I forgot my comment. Instead, I wrote the verse on a Post It and put it on my kitchen window. :) Thanks for sharing. You're in my prayers as ever; may the Lord direct your paths!