yesterday marked exactly 1 year since we got the email that said “We’re going to go ahead and clear your cases for a visa interview”. That was the day that I woke up early to do Insanity with Jenna and missed the call from the Embassy at 6am. then waited, and got the email, and another phone call and suddenly the darkness was over. the in-between was over.
this might sound strange, but sometimes I forget that Camp + Asher are adopted. yep. and I don’t just mean that I forget they have brown skin [which I do], but sometimes the struggle and journey it took to get them here is lost on me. It was a two year process. which, maybe in the grand scheme of life doesn’t seem like that long – but while you are going through it, it sure felt like a long time. I’ve been reading Lauren Casper’s 31 days of the “in between” and her post on africa + adoption just stopped me in my tracks. My “in between” with them was 7 weeks. Meaning, after I had been in Ethiopia with them for 9 weeks, and planned for the next time I got on a plane would be with my babies + my hubby, I had to leave them. The day I first realized I needed to go home, which ended up being a few weeks before I actually did, I about lost it. I remember exactly where I was sitting, what I was doing, and who I was with when I got an email that changed “my plans”. Sweet Roger Gibson I’m sure did not know what to do with me when I burst into tears at the dining table over my laptop. Literally hands cupped my face, sobbing, bawling. I went outside to catch my breath and call my husband. I typically don’t like to cry like that in front of people, but I was too far gone. too vulnerable to turn back. I said through the sobs, “I. want. to. come. home.” It was a lot to deal with by myself. I didn’t want to come home without my babies. but I didn’t want to be in Ethiopia without Stephen, making these decisions. I remember some days just the smallest decision would mess me up. I missed my husband. I loved being with all the families I was with, and they all totally took me in, but there was still this sense of loneliness. there was a sense of independence, which I love usually. but it had just gotten too much.
god gave me total peace when I had to get on the plane that night. I wanted to cry. When I imagined that day, I imagined myself a bawling mess. but I couldn’t even shed a tear. I tried. grace. peace. from God and from everyones prayers. When I envisioned getting home, I wanted no one there but Stephen. I didn’t want people to see me so sad and feel sorry for me. but as it got closer, I knew I needed my people there. I sent a quick text to my closest friends + they were all there waiting when I got off that plane. with a “we love you aunt wynne” sign. I came home to flowers, candle, new jammies, house shoes, and other things I love thanks to my friends and hubby who know me so well. my people were there with me. for me.
and I needed them. the next 7 weeks were the absolute darkest of my life. When God spoke to me about seeing broken people restored – I had no idea that in that season I was the broken one. I went to counseling at my church. I cried out to god like crazy. I also had really dark days where I didn’t leave the house, watched way too much TV, and drank wine alone. most of those days, I don’t even remember now. they are a faint memory. it’s funny because the days during that time I do vividly remember are days that God went out of His way to speak to me. through a beautiful rainbow after a rain storm, or a song with just the right lyrics, or just kind words from a friend. He was with me. He carried me.
I have been thanking God lately for the struggle in my life. For the times when I had nothing else left but to cry out to Him. to be desperately praying on my knees everyday asking God to show up. I had to trust in Him alone, everything was out of my control. There aren’t many other times in my life I can say that I had to so desperately depend on Him. It’s so easy in our culture to fall back on our convinces and on people. but in that time, it was only Him. that’s what I long for now even. not to go back to that “in between”, but to have that desperation for nearness to God.
I can’t believe it’s been ONE YEAR since that darkness. one year since the darkness lifted, and we got to go get our babies. one year since god heard our cries and answered our prayers. I don’t want to go back to that darkness, but I sure am thankful for it. I hope that all of you adoptive mamas that are in that “in between” phase will find hope and encouragement in this: Your dawn IS COMING!!!
“I am still confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” Psalm 27:13-14
ps- thank yall for all your response to yesterdays post. part 2 is coming soon, I promise. but there will also probably be a part 3, part 4, and so on. the story is not over – He’s still writing it!
Hey, I'm Wynne!
Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life. I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here.
A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my four kids.
Welcome, come on in!
“I don’t want to go back to that darkness, but I sure am thankful for it.” I so relate to this sentiment, Wynne. I can look back on some of my lowest points and see how God has taken those wine and tv-filled places and done a beautiful work in my through them. I’m so glad to have connected with you.
heather, wow thank you so much for your words. I’m glad we aren’t in this alone + god can redeem and transform even through our trials and hurts! love connecting with YOU!
I remember rejoicing SO MUCH the day you finally got clearance!! I remember crying when you emailed to say you were coming home without them — but completely understanding why. I was so in awe of your strength and determination in those weeks you stayed in ET alone… I still admire those things about you!!! I love you and I am SOOOOO thankful Camp and Asher are finally HOME and all the heartache is just a memory now!!!!
lauren! love you sweet friend. thank you for your encouraging words – you speak my love language! love you so much!!!
Oh, Wynne. This is so beautiful. Thanks for being so transparent. I’m going to bookmark this for my future days when the darkness just seems overwhelming. It’s just far too easy to only share the pretty stuff with others when really, sharing our struggles and hardships would probably help 600 times more. So thank you.
thanks for your words Larissa. we ALL have struggles and dark times and I hope that others know they are NOT alone! we ALL struggle. thanks for your comment!
I love what you said about not wanting to go back to that darkness, but being thankful for it. I can definitely identify; not in the exact same situation, but I wouldn’t trade my years of struggling with the pain of infertility for anything. While those were some of my darkest times, they were also some of my sweetest moments with the Lord and my husband, and they helped grow me in ways I never would have been able to had I not gone through them. Love catching up on your blog – you definitely have a gift of sharing your heart with others through words. Love you friend!
megan, thanks for saying that. it helps me in this current struggle I”m in. you are so right! i love how god reminds us all he’s done. thank you for your encouragement – I always saying writing is my “free therapy”! love you!
Yes! Wynne, I can always ALWAYS look back to the darkest times in my life and see God’s plan. Rarely when I’m experiencing that time, but always when I’m given the opportunity to look back!!! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 xo
thats right Lyndsay – never when you are “in” it, always when it’s over. but i love that god sometimes lets us see WHY we suffered. he can redeem it all!