It can happen for a myriad of reasons. Hearts change. Visions and goals change. Life situations change. Sometimes it happens because hope is lost. Sometimes it is for lack of resources, or follow-through. It can happen gradually over time, or it can be dashed in an instant. Sometimes it is welcome. Other times it is not. Sometimes it is because you let it die. Other times it is out of your control.
I have a story to tell of a dream that is dying. It is not welcome. It is not in our control. Visions and goals are needing to change, yet our hearts have not changed, and hope is not lost.
In 2010 God spoke. "Bring one of mine home into the family and the home I have blessed you with," He said. Our hearts were kindled with this vision, and it was frightening and exhilarating all at once.
There were so many ways to accomplish this; It took a long while to find the path. We started along many before they were blocked, each in their turn. We took a blessing of a detour, as we put things on hold in order to grow and welcome and enjoy our Zachary Asher. Yet when it was time, we resumed our journey. We were adopting an Ethiopian child.
We have invested much in this journey. Our hearts, our privacy, years of our lives, thousands of dollars. So many of you have come alongside us (and we thank you...so very much.) Even complete strangers have come along us and assisted and encouraged us in this journey. It's humbling.
the mounds of paperwork
the home visits
the multitude of trips to obtain needed documents
the multiple fingerprinting
the re-fingerprinting (at all sorts of inconvenient, government-appointed times)
the fundraising efforts
the scrimping to save
the heartache of knowing there was a child waiting for us, clear across the world
And oh how we wanted him or her or them to come home to us.
During these last three years, we've dreamed about that phone call which would say we had been matched with our child(ren). We dreamed about the traveling to meet her, and the visit to the orphanage. We dreamed of having someone hand us a beautiful, hand-knit-by-the-Lord, little brown bundle....of the tears we'd shed as we smiled in disbelief that we'd be entrusted with such a precious gift. We dreamed of returning home, and introducing our sons to their new sibling(s). They too, have dreamed about this.
These investments and sacrifices and hopes and plans do not change that Ethiopia is closing to inter-country adoption, however slowly. Nobody can tell us with any confidence that we will be matched at all. If by miracle we would be matched before a complete closing, it would be no sooner than 2016. And so we are left to grieve our Ethiopian child that might have been ours to love. Our dream is dying.
I want to hold on to it, but the funny thing is, when certain dreams die, the seeds still remain.
To hold on to those old dreams would be to squeeze them and smash them so that they could no longer take the flight needed to give birth to the new dream.
So we'll try and let it go, gracefully. As this door is closing...when the answer is "no, not this way,"we'll continue to look and see how He's leading us in another way for adoption. This, amid tilting my face to the sky as I question, "Why did You have us go so far and invest so much, just to say "no"?
"Because," He says, "My plans are good and perfect for you, and I want you to watch as I make something beautiful out of this dying dream."