Third Trimester

It’s the third trimester, and she’s taking up more space in my heart.

Like any mama-to-be, I’ve started cleaning out closets… clearing the clutter and half-broken toys and when-did-I-ever-think-I-would-use-that-again stuff of life. I’m making room, clearing schedules, excusing myself from commitments, slowing down. I want her to come home to a peaceful nest. We’re preparing as best as we can… watching hours of Dr. Karyn Purvis and talking to insurance companies and looking at car seats. There are signs of Alea everywhere; maybe not in my swelling body, but in our home. Breakables are being moved up a few shelves and her photo greets guests in our entryway. She’s quite literally painted into our family.

Our agency has started sending e-mails about travel. I can’t believe we are already here. We started this adoption 8 months ago. We thought it would take 2 years. Everything seems to be in fast-forward, and I haven’t even begun to catch my breath. They say we could travel as early as March. I might be in China getting my girl for my birthday. What a gift.

Just like the third trimester, I spend part of each night awake. It’s as if the thoughts catch up with me in the nighttime. I’m going to have two daughters! How wonderful. How terrifying. Can I be who they both need me to be? Is there room in my heart for more love? Is there enough of me to go around? I’m thankful for my community of mamas… women who I watch mothering their little flocks with amazing grace and unending love. I see the way before me even if I don’t yet know the feel of the path under my feet. When I stop to think about the fact that in just a few more weeks we will have another child, I’m amazed. And I’m finding that the fear I feel is slowly being replaced with a deep trust that He is walking this path before us and will meet our every need.

These last couple of weeks, our little family has been passing around a nasty head/chest cold. We’ve all had it, and I spent at least two nights sleeping with Cora as she coughed her way through the night. As I held her, I thought of Alea… I know what winters in orphanages are like. Sickness abounds and no one is immune. But there are no mamas to cuddle; not enough hands to go around. It was a quiet little ache that settled deep in my heart—I couldn’t be there to comfort her. I didn’t say anything to anyone about it, but I couldn’t shake the sadness and I prayed for her to be well and be comforted if she felt ill. Two days ago I got a letter from a friend who had recently visited her orphanage and was able to see Alea for a few minutes and talk to her caregivers. His e-mail was only a few sentences long, but one line said all I needed to know. “Good news is she was good in this month. Lots of kids had a cold, but she is fine.”

God is so kind. He heard the prayers of my heart and answered them in an e-mail from a friend. Deep peace settled in my heart, and I was reminded that this journey we’re on is in His able hands and that all the things we might face in 2014 will be encountered under the umbrella of His grace and mercy and provision and love. We may feel woefully inadequate for the road ahead, but He is our strength when we are weak. He is in us and He is sufficient, and therefore so are we.


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