Yet I Will Rejoice

Yet I Will Rejoice: Our Adoption Journey by Rachel Schelb

Deciding To Adopt

I was never sure I wanted to have children. With my experiences as a child, it seemed scary and unwise. However, because of my childhood as well as some other experiences, I was always drawn to the idea of adoption. I always assumed, if I had children they would be adopted once I was a little older. The idea of children not having stable places to lay their heads and feel unconditional love is heart wrenching to me. According to a report from 2019[1], 122,216 children are in the United States Foster Care System waiting for adoption.

My husband has always wanted to be a dad, but he never pressured me. We would talk occasionally once we were married about the idea of adoption or foster care, but he wasn’t sure about it for our family. He thoroughly supports adoption and foster care, but he had some reservations and that was fine. We had our first child biologically, and while he was a healthy baby born after a textbook pregnancy, I hated being pregnant! At this point, we were confident that we were to be a family of 4, so when my son was about a year old we began to talk about another child. I never wanted to be pregnant again, but my husband was still on the fence about adoption.

We agreed to pray about it and ask God to change whoever’s heart needed to be shifted.

After several months of us both praying, my husband came to me and felt like adoption was indeed the road to take. We began to fill out paperwork and had our home study done. We had other friends at the time on their own adoption journeys and we felt excited for what was to come! One set of friends were placed with their baby fairly quickly and we all rejoiced. Finally after a long road of infertility, they had a little baby! Another set of friends traveled to Africa trying to adopt twin baby boys. We grieved with them when, after months of trying to do everything they could, the boys were not allowed to be adopted. In the middle was us, wondering when we would get to hold our precious adopted child.

Closed Doors

Time passed. We had some potential doors crack open, but they all promptly shut again. For a couple of years we walked this road of saying we were in the process of adopting, without a baby to show for it. I hung a big, metal “4” as part of our living room gallery wall as a reminder that God had called us to be a family of four, and he could be trusted. Eventually the time came to renew our home study, and my husband and I once again prayed. As hard as it was, we felt confident God was calling us to lay down the dream of adoption and have another biological child. We obeyed. I was heartbroken. It would take another year of trying before God allowed me to be pregnant with our second baby.

Please hear me, I adore my baby girl! She is a delight and the best little girl in the whole wide world. However, our journey of having her in this world is one of heartbreak and closed doors. I am acutely aware there are countless couples who long for children of their own and God has not allowed it. I hate that so much! I realize we could still technically adopt, or foster, children. We support other foster families and adoption ministries, but we know clearly, for whatever reason, that God has firmly closed the door for us in this season of life.

Habakkuk 3:17-19, in my own paraphrase, says even though everything around me is dead and dry and lifeless, yet will I rejoice in God my Savior. He gives me sure footing. I don’t understand why God drew my husband’s heart to adoption only to close the door. I don’t know why we went through that experience of heartbreak and then the subsequent year of waiting.

What I do know, for certain, is that God is worthy of my worship even when life is offering heartbreak.

Even though our adoption journey didn’t end with an adoption placement, yet will I rejoice because God adopted me as his own. He has chosen me and loved me far richer and more deeply that anyone ever could. He has given me a sensitivity to those on adoption journeys and those looking to build their families, so I will rejoice in the empathy that he brought out in me. Even though I don’t understand what in the world God was doing through that season of our lives, I am confident that he did not waste a moment.

If you’re in a waiting season, whether for adoption, a job, a spouse, or anything else, I promise that God is faithful and can be trusted. We do not have to understand what he is doing, to understand that God is doing something! Cling tight to God. Dish out brutal honesty in your prayers; he can take it. Allow God to strengthen you when you don’t think you can wait any longer.

We don’t get to choose all of our circumstances, but we can choose to rejoice in the midst of every circumstance. Even though, yet I will rejoice!

Rachel Schelb is a writer, podcaster and speaker. She is passionate about loving others well, especially those who are grieving. She writes about both of these topics on her blog, and on Instagram @rachelschelb. If you sign up for her email list, you get a free pdf of “4 Things To Know About Grief Support.” When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out with her two children and husband, kayaking, or decorating custom cookies for her other business.

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