I find that every year about this time I am over winter. I feel cooped up, ready to get out and spread my wings, weighed down by heavy clothes and the comfort foods of winter, tired of dark colors and trees with no leaves. This winter in particular has seemed to go on forever with never-ending snow days. Even with the beauty of the snow, I am ready for the lightness and colors of spring. One of the things I do each February, the second they become available in the local floral department of our grocery store, is to buy a Hyacinth or Paperwhite plant. Though it sits on my kitchen island, I can smell its springy scent well into my family room. It is a hint of spring, a reminder that it is coming, even in the dreary depths of winter.
As I walked by my new Hyacinth plant a few days ago, taking in its promise that winter will not go on forever; I was reminded of our adoption journeys. Though all of our adoptions came fairly quickly, the days of waiting felt so long. Some days I was very hopeful and positive. Other days I let myself slip into a bit of despair or doubt. Would we ever be chosen? Were we meant to have a second or third child? Have I done all I can? How much more waiting can I take?
Those days were truly the “winter” of our adoption journey. Long. Dark. Seemingly without end.
Waiting is hard and was especially hard for me, as I am admittedly someone who likes to be in control. Yet with adoption, you have control over so little within the process. It is easy to succumb to the “winter” of our journey. So we need that promise of spring. Where do you find that promise? Your faith? The adoption stories of others who have gone before you? The confidence that you are doing all you can? Family and friends that lift you up? Looking into the sweet face of a child that has already come to your family through adoption? It is important that you find that promise somewhere within yourself or within your life - for those days that “winter” creeps in. Don’t let that winter coop you up or make you feel trapped in the house. Enjoy the time you have now as you prepare to be a family or to expand your family. We cannot push the “pause” button on life while we are waiting for it to change. The adoption process can be bumpy. But one day it will be over (it can happen in an instant) and you will find your “eternal spring” when you hold that precious little person in your arms.
Even bulbs have to wait through winter before they can bloom. I encourage you to find your promise of spring, something that will keep you going and help you through your wait. I have to tell you, as we were waiting in the process of our second adoption, I planted a Paperwhite bulb in a pot in my kitchen, watching it grow every day and excited for it to bloom in the midst of the winter days. The day it bloomed was the day after we held our second child in our arms for the first time. One week prior I did not even know about the sweet baby that would come into our lives that day. It can happen when you least expect it. Spring does come.