Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.– Proverbs 12:25
This is an unusual blog for an unusual circumstance–last week my wife and I were finally able to bring our newly adopted daughter home from Haiti. Here’s a picture of us at our homecoming at the airport:
Let me just say our adoption journey has not been an easy one. It took four years, that’s right four years, from the time we decided to adopt until we could bring our daughter home. You may think that as a pastor that I stood faith throughout the process but that wouldn’t be true. I wrestled with anxiety and doubt so many times throughout it all just like we all do and I found encouragement when I needed it in an unlikely place:
As you can see it wasn’t from the Bible, it was from a short note at the beginning of the process from Michelle, our adoption agent. It may seem obvious and trite but it turned out to be exactly what I needed to get me through the next four years and all it said was this: “I’m not worried about it.” I just wrote an email to Michelle to let her know how important her note has been to me over these years and I thought I would share that note with you today:
“For the last four years I have had this message on my computer. Early on when I asked you about whether or not we could adopt Daphlie, you said, ‘Honestly, I’m not worried.’ I’m sure you don’t remember typing it, and looking back, you probably shouldn’t have typed it given all the red tape and hoops and heartbreaks we had to go through. Here’s a short list:
- I didn’t check a box and so our I600 expired and we had to go with an I800.
- We finally got our paperwork signed by the children’s judge only to realize he misspelled Daphlie.
- Waiting 6 months for an exit letter that IBESR said would take 10 days. Then a week after we got it, they took it back until they got a new form to explain our prior contact. That took another 6 months.
- Spending 4 of the days of our bonding trip without our daughter because of street riots in Haiti.
That brief moment in time when I was red flagged for being too old. (But I’m a young 54, right?)
Lots of roadblocks to be sure. I’m not sure I was always successful in doing it, but in my heart I decided to take on your ‘Honestly, I’m not worried’ attitude as much as I could. Now I’m sitting at home with my daughter who’s playing Bruno Mars and singing at the top of her lungs. My heart is so full. Thanks for all you’ve done for me and my family. Thanks for advocating for us. Thanks for talking me off the ledge. Thanks for knowing what to do that we could make this dream a reality. My eyes are welling up as I type.
Your note has been on my desk for four years. I don’t think I can bring myself to take it off.”
Sometimes God brings us what we need in unusual ways but His message is always the same: “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”
Hopefully I found a way to encourage you and share our family’s good news at the same time in this post, but reading it over I realize that this blog is a little scripture-lite, so here are some more verses about anxiety to help get you through those tough times that we all have:
Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.– 1 Peter 5:7
Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. —Psalms 55:22
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:6-7