Sunday, April 7, 2013

Letting Today Be Enough

I'm a horrible waiter.

And I don't mean the restaurant kind.

I'm notoriously impatient behind slow drivers, I occasionally interrupt folks taking too long to get to their point, and I read books quickly so that I can find out what happens at the end.

If you've ever taken a personality profile test, this is me in nutshell.

As you can see, I'm a do-er, results oriented, and pretty darn self-sufficient.

(Reading that profile also makes me out to be an incredibly boring human.)

Basically, I love to do things myself and I stink at waiting.

Enter the past few years, where ironically, waiting has pretty much become the story of my life.

Waiting on our international adoption to be completed.

Waiting on our J-man's future to be determined.

Waiting on biological children.

Waiting for the day when I finally feel adjusted in Montgomery.

Waiting, waiting and more waiting.

So many aspects of our life are unfinished and messy.  Exactly the kind of thing that drives me cuh-razy.

It's as if I'm supposed to be learning life lesson through all this or something...

In early February, I headed with Tyson to the local Social Security office to get him his very own social security number.  It didn't go so well, and we left with our paperwork and the words "Homeland Security verification needed" and "3-4 weeks wait time."

Four weeks later, I called back, hoping to hear something positive.  Nope.  Our case was still being verified.

Fast forward to this past Monday, which was an additional four weeks later, and another phone call to the Social Security office.  This time, I'm told there is no record of our paperwork that is supposedly being verified by Homeland Security.  I would need to come in again and resubmit our documents. Could I be there the next morning?


Next day, I'm there bright and early as the doors open, hoping to get this cleared up.  Again, they can't figure out how to code his documents correctly to garner a Social Security number for our boy.  Homeland Security verification, here we go again.  Four more weeks.

On top of that, because there are some discrepancies on Tyson's name on his Green Card and Visa, the officer at Social Security told me we'd have to resubmit everything to Homeland Security for a correct green card, then change his name in our state court, and then reapply for a Social Security number with his corrected name.  All of it would take months to finish and loads more paperwork.

Tired of filling out paperwork and on the verge of tears, I left and further fumed about it on my car ride home.

Waiting and waiting and waiting.

In frustration, I called Brian to vent.

His response: "The good news is that Tyson is in our home, not across the ocean.  He's home, Les, we'll work the rest out in time."

The nerve of that man.

I'm trying to have a pity party over here and he is ruining it.

And then there is our J-man's story, which is still unfolding.  Things are moving very slowly in his case due to a backlog in the court system and so we wait and wait and wait for the next step in his future.

We have an amazing array of social workers, resource workers, and a guardian ad liteum that are fighting for the best and safest permanency for J-man. But even they can't move things along any quicker.

I get pretty frustrated as each day passes and we have no word of our next court hearing. In another conversation this week with Brian, I was lamenting on the snail's pace that J-man's case was taking. I want it finished, I want a happy ending, and I want it now.

Brian's response: "He's still in our home, Les, and we need to celebrate that.  He's with us today, let's focus on that."

How dare he bring gratefulness into the conversation when I am clearly trying to whine.

In all honesty, there doesn't seem to be a part in our lives right now where we are not being asked to wait.

We are waiting on answers that have been a long time coming.  It's been years for some, months for others, and all of them are completely out of my control.

Frankly, I don't like it.

Despite my distaste for waiting, the fact of the matter is, the wait still exists.

So, thanks to some gentle reminders from my husband, I'm working on my focus.

When I spend my time thinking and stewing over what I'm still waiting for. . .

          ~Tyson's U.S. documentation finalized

          ~J-man's permanency plan

          ~Our inability to have a biological child

          ~Life in Montgomery to be easy as I'd like it to be

. . .then I am missing out on my life.  My one life.  The one that's flying by at a rapid rate of speed.

I don't want to live in such a way where I am always pining for future wants, needs, or events. That is a slippery slope of envy, bitterness and ingratitude.

Spending my time focused on what I'm waiting for means is that I live like today isn't enough.

Today, with it's frustrations, laughter, mistakes, and joy has to be enough.  Brian and I have already missed out on years with TD, five months with Tyson, and potentially years with J-man if he leaves our home.  For that simple reason, each and every day is a treasured gift for our family.  I need to be IN IT,  instead of continually dreaming about what things will look like when all my waiting is finally over.

I have been entrusted with the care of three beautiful lives, a wonderful man, a home with ample room, and a job that allows me to be home at an integral part of the boys lives. I want my family, Brian and the boys, to know and truly believe that they are enough.  Who they are today will be celebrated, loved, and appreciated.   

Admittedly, I have spent too much of my time waiting for an outcome, (preferably MY outcome), to the unanswered questions in our life.

No longer.

Today has to be enough.  

Some of you are right there with me.

Waiting on that job.

Waiting on him.

Waiting on a child.

Waiting on a cure.

Waiting on that raise.

Waiting for them to change.

Waiting for this season to end.

There are many of you who have been waiting a long time too.  I'm walking this road with you. The fact is, there will always be something we can wait for in this life.

Let's allow our today to be enough.

It has to be, my friends.  It's all we have.


  1. Amen! And that list of items that you're waiting on sounds like a prayer list to me. So I will pray!

    1. Thank you, Meg! They are most definitely a prayer list. :)

  2. This brought tears to my eyes - I am so thankful that I also have a husband that also gives praise when all I want to do is complain and wrap myself up in the hurt of waiting on the Lord when the answer is still "not yet." (I am praying that it's not a "never/no.") What a gift their faith is and how wonderful that they challenge us to give thanks in the face of the brokeness of this world.

    SO hard to live in the moment, thank you for the reminder on how life-affirming that choice is!

    1. Yes! It's a quality in my husband that I wasn't "looking" for when we met, but I am so grateful it's a part of who he is and how he loves me and encourages me to evaluate my perspective on a daily basis!

  3. So funny your blog is named "waiting" too. Maybe it should be "Being the Word" or something...

  4. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing what many of us feel... ok, what I feel a lot of the time! I love your husband's perspective, though annoying as it may seem sometimes. He sounds a lot like my husband. :-)

    1. Thanks Alison! And congratulations on your adoption- he is a cutie!

  5. Love this post. I'm right there with you. I, too, am accepting my "new normal" -- life is constant transition. Been retreading Calm My Anxious Heart. So many good reminders andnit is interesting reading all these years later. I still struggle with contentment but its in different areas than before.

    1. I've got to get that back out and start reading it again- it was one of my absolute favorites!

  6. I needed this reminder today! We've been waiting for a new foster placement for months now, and this week in particular has been a difficult week of waiting. I need to stop waiting and live my life!

  7. Boy did I need this post today. It feels like I am waiting on everything, and the outcome is only known in the will of God. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the now and not worry about the later. Bless you, Sister!