There is a show on TV that my kids are really into right now. It's called "Hole in the Wall".
The idea is that a large moving wall comes toward a group of people who form their bodies into the shapes that are cut out of the wall, in hopes of sliding through it without getting knocked into the pool of water behind them. It makes for some fun viewing when the participants are contorting their entire bodies to fit through the holes, while those of us in viewing land are laughing at their wriggling bodies trying to fit through the impending shapes without getting forced into the water.
The point of the show, really, is not so much skill, as it is luck. Sometimes the participants win, sometimes they lose. The losers get doused with water. The winners go to the next round and try again.
There are probably prizes somewhere in there, even consolation prizes for the losers. I never watch the entire show, but the kids love it.
I have a different take on it. I see the participants, who are giddy with excitement, standing close, studying the wall, ready to make their moves. They are in some sort of strange looking wet suits, prepared to fall into the water, but eager to prove that their team will be the ones who can make it through the wall.
They usually get pushed into the water, but drag themselves out, smiling, even cheering on the opposing teammates.
I see myself at the Hole in the Wall in our adoption process. I can contort everything in my life to fit through every shape pushed at me. I can wriggle my way toward every little change being force on me, but ultimately, I feel like no matter what I do, I miss the mark and get pushed into the water directly behind me. I am not drowning, but when I come up out of the swirling mess behind me, I am not cheering at all. I am tired, I don't see any of my team mates and I feel exposed to the world in my wet suit. I am drenched, tired of missing the objective, and still, no closer to the "prize."
Weird, huh? I have had a rough weekend with my thoughts. Those of you who are also on this international adoption path can relate. It's brutal to fill out paperwork after paperwork, just to be told there is still more to do. We know there is a child/or children out there who long to be held in the arms of their forever families, but we fail to reach them. Empty eyes look out at us from agency photographs, and we long to comfort our children, but we are not quite making it through all the holes in the wall. No matter what we do, or how fervent we are at the task ahead, we are not there yet. There are more hoops to jump, more hills to climb, and we fear we will be too late. Will the ever-rampant Malaria of their hometowns kill our weakened babes, or will our prayers for their strength be enough to keep them alive until we get there? Will their medical needs to serious enough for their government to prepare the paperwork that will release them into our arms, but not be so serious that we can not get them what they need before we lose them?
We have fought paperwork for over two years now. We had a couple setbacks where we tried to follow our hearts and go where we thought we should go. This weekend, I am tired. I feel like I am swimming against the tide. Who is for us?
I am reminded that GOD has not changed. HIS plan will come to pass, and we are determined to stay the course.
But it's growing extremely hard. I am worn from trying to fit through each "hole" in the wall of this process, and I am embarrassed to stand exposed to the world. My heart is aching for the child who waits. Pray with me that we will not be knocked down so far that we can not get back up and that we can continue to stay in the "game." We are not losing sight of our gift, but we are growing weary of the path that will take us there.
Sooner, than later, we pray.