I would like to dedicate this post to all of my amazing CAC families waiting in the adoption process. I see you. I’m here for you. I’m praying that God would overwhelm you with His peace that surpasses all understanding this holiday season.
Waiting in the adoption process on any given day can be overwhelming, but during the holidays it can feel insurmountable. For many, the Christmas season exudes a sense of celebration, joy and wonder as we think about the birth of our Savior. But for some this holiday season is met with complex emotions as they are reminded of great loss or what they do not yet have: the child they are longing for.
I can understand and relate to the raw emotions surrounding an empty crib and the holidays. I will never forget two Thanksgivings after our miscarriage. Our baby would have been a little over 1 years old. While working through my grief on this day, I also found out that a family member was pregnant. On top of processing grief, I was also dealing with guilt over the complex emotions I initially felt about their pregnancy, even though at my deepest core I was thrilled for them. Only those who have walked through these waters can understand the juxtapositions of emotions that land you from one plane to another in regards to infertility and the holidays. It’s just extremely difficult and at times confusing to navigate.
As an Adoption Consultant with CAC I have walked with many families through the adoption process. I have had conversation after conversation with families about this specific topic and so I have a front row seat to how waiting during the holidays can be more difficult. I have compiled a short list of helpful tools to help hopeful adoptive families navigate the holiday season.
1. Prayer. Be vulnerable with God in prayer. This seems pretty simple on the surface, but I think it’s something that we forget to be intentional about as we progress throughout our day. He can handle all of your big thoughts and feelings. Pour them out at His feet. Ask God to help you. Ask Him to help you walk in His peace. Ask Him to help you find joy in the day-to-day even as you are navigating your complex emotions over the holidays. He is the best listener and loves to help His children. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
2. Read your Bible & Meditate on His Promises. We have access to the very Word of God. The Bible says, “All scriptures are God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3). His Word is full of rich truths and promises for His children. The Bible is what our soul needs. His Word is life-giving. His Word is transformative. His Word is powerful. His Word speaks truth to our fears. If this is something that is difficult for you to do, ask God to help you! He is faithful to answer our requests. It doesn’t have to be a two hour long Bible Study, but I encourage you to set aside time each day (it can be 15 minutes!) to get in God’s Word and meditate on His truths. If you miss a day, that’s okay! Try again the next day. God just wants you to spend time with Him. Here is a helpful tool I use to help me read the Bible.
3. Confide in a friend. Talk to someone that you trust about what you are struggling with. Be vulnerable with them. Tell them why this season is especially difficult for you. Give specifics so that they can pray directly to God about it!
4. Guard Your Heart. Do whatever you need to do to guard your heart and your mind. If you need to stay off social media because seeing the influx of pregnancy announcements, adoption stories and pictures of happy families over the holidays is too difficult for you, then unplug for a while! If you need to take a break from a Christmas family gathering then step outside, call your friend and have them pray over the phone with you.
5. Start a thankful jar. Designate a jar in the house that will be your “Thankful Jar.” Put it in a visible spot so everyone in the house can see it throughout the day. Anytime a thankful or grateful thought comes to your mind, jot it down and throw it in the jar. You can even turn this into a family tradition! If someone is having a hard day, dump the jar out and read the little notes out loud. Regardless of what you are going through, look for the little blessings, look for those little moments where you can say “Wow God! Look what you have given me. Look how you have blessed me.” Then, go write it down and toss it in the jar. Setting your affections on thankfulness is a mighty way to praise God through whatever storm or hardship you are going through.
I know these ideas aren’t revolutionary. Perhaps you already do everything single one of them. I just felt like someone needed a little reminder and maybe that person was you. It’s my deepest prayer that this season you would be reminded in tangible ways of God’s unconditional love for you and your family. It’s my deepest prayer that as you pour your heart before the Lord that He would comfort you and fill you with His peace, hope and joy.
***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Email me, Kelly Todd, at email@example.com to request a FREE information packet!***