This may have been the hardest part yet. It didn't require the hours of design and writing the Adoption Profile took, and it didn't require quizzes to receive credit (as each online course does), but it dug deep into my heart more than anything else.
The Preference Survey is a lengthy questionnaire that explains what we're open to adopting, specifically regarding health and background. We prayed (and cried, at times) our way through it, recognizing that this–I'll say it again–is hard.
I've been friends with many pregnant women now, and I've prayed with them as they carried their babies. I have yet to experience a woman who has ever asked for anything except that her baby would be healthy. That's it. That's a mother's deepest desire: that her tiny baby growing inside would be healthy and safe.
But, to be honest, there really isn't a box to check that says "healthy and safe" on the survey. The reality is that many and arguably all of these babies are entering the world with some amount of trauma. And so, we must decide what we can handle, what God has equipped us to do. I have no doubt in my mind that I will love any baby we get to hold in our arms and have for life, but that fact doesn't make this any easier. I, like any mother-to-be, want my baby to be healthy and safe.
This is yet one more loss we must face in our infertility, one more piece we must release. I have no control over what happens to our baby during its nine months of life with its mother. Even as we completed the survey and explained what we were open to, we both recognized that all of this is out of our hands. We are at the mercy of God, depending on His grace and His plan to make this work out for good.
I've been reminded, though, that we are depending on God's grace and His plan for good every single day. We try to keep ourselves and those we love healthy and safe, but sometimes God allows otherwise. This week alone, we saw that happen on a huge scale with someone we love, and everything we believe comes to the surface during these moments. Is God who He says He is, even in the face of illness, accidents, and loss? Is God still good, is His plan still perfect, even when we're not healthy and safe?
The answer is yes. Yes, God is who He says He is; yes, God still is good; yes, God's plan is perfect. In trials, in loss, in things we don't understand, God is working out His plan, a plan much much bigger than keeping our bodies healthy and safe. In my humanness, in my weakness, I can be entirely concerned with protecting this body, when perhaps God cares more about the health and continuing salvation of our souls.
It's at this point of understanding that I'm left completely helpless and dependent on God. Every single thing is out of my control, but He has a purpose for each joy and trial in my life. I praise Him that He has neither surprise at the things that happen, nor fear. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. This is my comfort and peace in life: He knows, He can, and He loves.