The gift of longing, when it's done.

Watching his first snowfall on this side of the world.
I'm working my way through Sarah Young's devotional "Jesus Calling" right now. In yesterday's entry she wrote about Abraham and Sarah and their long wait to parenthood, saying, "How their long wait intensified their enjoyment of this child!"

Highlight, underline, and star.

Boy I can relate to that.

It's not that parenting isn't hard for me or that I floated into these new rhythms of life with unending grace. I haven't. My floors are crumbier than before and my windows are all smeared with little hand prints and (rather disgustingly), lick marks. I hate getting out of bed in the morning just as much as I did before Arie came home and maybe even more so because I can no longer stumble incoherently from my warm bed to a warm shower.  Now there's a diaper with 12 hours worth of pee that needs to be changed standing between my bed and shower.

But behind that pee soaked diaper is a huge "but." Pun intended.

But, oh how my long wait has intensified my enjoyment of this child!

If he makes too much noise I don't think about the peace I had before him.  I think about the empty silence.

If he wakes up in the night I don't remember the sleep I used to get. I remember the nights I lay awake, longing for him.

If he throws his food on the floor at dinner, I don't remember the way we used to enjoy quiet, romantic meals.  I remember how we ached to pull that third seat up to the table.

When it takes me twice as long to run an errand I don't remember the luxury of moving fast without him. I remember all the hurried trips to fedex and the frantic appointments we squeezed in as we panicked over deadlines and adoption paperwork.

Life is better now.  Life is better with him.

We don't have all our rhythms down. We don't have time for everything or a handle on the laundry (or the cooking or the cleaning or the grocery shopping). John and I don't have us totally figured out yet in this new life. We certainly don't that hard-sought treasure called balance in our grasp.

But we have him. And we have the future.

If you've done infertility or adoption or both I know you've heard it like I have: Enjoy this time because you'll miss it someday!

I agree with the first part: enjoy your life at every stage because life is not something that should be wished away.

But as for the second, this is something I am guarding against. I don't want to idealize life before kids. I want to be thankful for it.  I want to honor it for what it gave us. But I don't want to long for it because it wasn't perfect. It wasn't ideal. It was good.  But it was often bitter.

This is the gift of longing when it's done: gratitude. Because we know what it was like to be without.

In parenthood- only three tiny weeks in- I am already depending on this gift for strength.

When I want quiet, I pray, "Make me thankful for the child who makes the noise!"

When I want sleep I pray, "Make me thankful for the child who wakes me up!"

When I want a clean I pray, "Make the thankful for the child who makes the mess!"

When I want quick and efficient I pray, "Make me thankful for the child who slows me down!"

He's home, my son. He's finally home.  The noise and the tired and the mess and the slow- they all come with him.  And so for them, along with him, God- make me thankful.



  1. Amazing. <3

  2. I came across your blog during one of many sleepless nights. I have very much enjoyed reading your story that God planned just for you and your sweet little one. I am in the middle of waiting and paperwork and fundraising! I too am adopting from Russia. It is encouraging to read the thoughts of someone who has completed the process. Thank you for your thoughts and may God continue to walk with you and before you as you continue this story with a precious gift from Him!

    1. Lots of luck with your adoption. My dream is to adopt someday!!. x

  3. I very much needed to read this today. Thank you so much for writing it and sharing it.

  4. What a beautiful post. After a devastating miscarriage a few months ago, I can relate so much to the longing for a child. Thank you for writing this.

    1. Sending good wishes to you Hannah, so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. There are now words :(. You will be come a Mum one day I'm sure, in whatever way is in the plan.

  5. Very true, I dream of adopting a boy one day and have often wondered whether or not I will miss these carefree days! (well carefree in some ways) but you're right!!. I will be happier then!.

  6. This is beautiful. Very well written. As someone who didn't adopt or suffer infertility to have my son, I can totally relate. I think it can apply to all parents, no matter how we came to be blessed with our child or children. The story of your family is so inspiring

  7. This post is a true example of how it never matters how our children come to us, we are parents and these are our children. I can definitely relate to this, praise God I have a beautiful child to clean up after and to drive me nuts at times lol! As a parent the things I have been praying for the most are patience, understanding, and a caring touch always. It's so hard to discipline sometimes!


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