Waiting, as defined by American Heritage Dictionary, is the act of remaining inactive or stationary.
If asked what our family is doing at this point in our process, I would have answered, "We are waiting." But this is hardly true. We aren't remaining inactive or stationary. This journey of adoption, which the Lord began in February of 2007, has far more to do with changing our lives than it does with changing the life of one little boy. People frequent the phrases, "Oh, this child is so blessed.", "The Lord is blessing this little boy.", or "I can't imagine what a good thing you are doing." All the while inside of me I yell, "This process is changing me. It's blessing me. This child is transforming the way we think and live. God is using this child to bless us. This isn't a random act of kindness, this is the birth of our newest Knight, who just happens to be in Ethiopia. I love him."
In 2006 our family didn't know that more than one billion people in the world lacked clean drinking water. We didn't know 15% of the world population is undernourished and hungry. No one told us about the effect of AIDS of Sub-Saharan Africa. There wasn't a debate with the last election which discussed the work America wasn't doing to save lives in underdeveloped countries. As churches discussed building projects, growing the body, whether to follow Sunday school or small group models, new parking to reduce the pain of walking a few blocks to worship, people all over the world struggle to live and walk miles for unclean water, one daily meal, and to hear the Word of God preached (not concerned about the convenience of their circumstances). Our two worlds began to collide. How do we justify the affluence God's given us and remain resolved to supply the token 10-15% of income to tithe and the additional mission project here and there? How can we distribute these Christmas gifts to neighbors and friends and family (most which end up unused and donated within weeks) when poverty forces so many to live on less than $1/day? Is this next pair of shoes going to fulfill my love of fashion while so many lack a single pair of shoes to protect them from heat, cold, parasites, and silica? God do you intend for us to focus 90% of our resources given to the church body on bettering the church body as opposed to living pure religion and reaching out to a lost world? Why can't we resolve this paradox?
We aren't waiting. We are active and moving to change the world in the name of Jesus Christ. I John 3:16-18 (NASB) teaches, "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." This year our children practiced sacrificial giving. For one month they chose to fore go any unnecessary pleasures. At the end of the month, they were able to give away the excess monies which weren't spent on ice cream, eating out, nail polish, movies, and new clothes. They realized sacrifice didn't hurt but made them ever mindful of the needs of others. Our two oldest asked that in lieu of gifts for Christmas shoes be given to children in two orphanages in Ethiopia to prevent podoconiosis. Our family didn't exchange gifts this year. We found a way to build a business which supplies jobs to 20 unskilled orphans in Addis Ababa. We can't supply food or water to over 1 billion people. We can't adopt the 132 million orphans in the world today. But we can be faithful with the resources with which God has entrusted us. We can adopt one little boy. We can raise our children to recognize need and do their part in a needy world in accordance with God's call and in His name. This is worship! And Jesus reminds us, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40.
Yes, we are waiting to hold our child. We are waiting to be united as a forever family. We are waiting for him to know the love of his new family. But we are not waiting to move and change things. What are you doing? Why wait?