In 1984 a movie came out called "The Karate Kid!" It was a great movie about an underdog kid who is bullied and learns Karate from a master teacher and goes on to whuup the kids who were whuuping on him. One of the more interesting parts of the movie, however, is the training Daniel went through. When he agreed to be trained by Mr. Miyagi, he discovered the training was to be very unconventional. Instead of a do-jo, the training took place on Mr. Miyagi's property, and it began one day with Daniel's task to wash and wax miles and miles of old cars. And there was a very specific way the job had to be done. At first Daniel rebels, but then submits his heart and obeys, even though he can't figure out what waxing cars has to do with Karate. Same thing for painting miles and miles of fencing. Finally, Mr. Miyagi shows Daniel what all this work was meant to accomplish in his life, and this so-called meaningless activity was really training, both the heart and the body. In the end, Daniel beats the bullies, giving us the most imitated pose and kick of any movie that came out of the 80's.
So, what does this have to do with me? Well, a week ago I got a phone call from my sister-in-law. She knew of a woman who was having a baby and wanted to give it up for adoption. The baby was being born, as we were speaking, so I said, of course we were interested and made phone calls and got information to give to this woman. She was interested in pursuing this with us, so she called the agency and got the ball rolling. Of course, Hubby and I were ecstatic, but in shock. We wanted to adopt again, but this was not in our line of thinking. We'd adopted all our children from the fost-adopt program and were planning on adopting this way again. But, we figured, if this was what God had planned for us, we would follow His leading. We were cautiously optimistic through the phone calls from the agency. They talked with this woman, she was planning on going through with it, everything was going well. I got out Missie Lou's old clothes from the attic that we were saving for Baby Sister and washed them. I washed crib sheets and burp rags and tried not to think about why I was doing all this. We knew these things could and often do fall apart, so we were guarding our hearts. We had an appointment to meet with this woman on Tuesday morning and she was willing that we take the baby home that day. So, we got through the weekend, trying not to think about it, but still.... we were. Monday, we hadn't heard anything, and figured that "no news is good news!", so I went to Target and got some diapers and formula and a few other things, but I deliberately taped the receipt to the package of diapers to remind myself that they may need to be returned. Tuesday morning dawned a beautiful day. I spent time in prayer and Bible study, as usual, but I prayed especially for the birthmom that she would have peace. I got the kids ready, took them to my parents and then went to pick up Hubby from work. My cell phone wasn't working, since I always forget to charge the batteries, but I figured it didn't matter. We got to the agency at the appointed time, but birthmom wasn't there and a very teary-eyed social worker informed us that the night before the birthmom went to the foster-family's house, picked up the baby and took it home. We were stunned, but not surprised. The social worker was very kind, and I'm sure she has had to give that kind of news many times before. So, we chatted a few minutes and then Hubby and I went on our way. We prayed in the car and then I took him back to work and picked up the kids.
I don't blame the birthmom. I've never given birth before, but I'm sure those "mothering" instincts are strong. God gave them to women to prevent us from just tossing our offspring in a ditch after birth. I'm just concerned because in her rational moments, before she had the baby birthmom had some really strong and valid reasons for giving the baby up for adoption and I understand she was very determined to do so. As far as I know, her circumstances and ability to care for this child haven't changed, so I pray that she will be able to provide a good home for this child as well as her other children.
We are sad and disappointed, but since we have only been on this roller coaster for a week, it isn't as bad as it could have been. We could have gone through years and years of infertility treatments, finally decided to adopt, waited and waited and waited to be chosen by a birthmom, seen her through the last trimester of her pregnancy and then be told she changed her mind. We could have taken custody of the baby, had her for a week and then the birthmom could have changed her mind. God protected us from so many things. So, we are sad, but we'll get over it. We are still working with the agency we signed up with when we decided to adopt Baby Sister, so we're just waiting for her to come home.
So, what does this have to do with the Karate Kid? I was thinking about this as I drove home yesterday. Daniel, in the movie, had no idea why he was doing what he was doing. He thought it was pointless, meaningless and that Mr. Miyagi was just being mean to him. But all along, Mr. Miyagi was training him, working him toward a submissive heart and perfecting the skills Daniel would need to be the best. I could look at this experience we've had as meaningless and pointless; a stupid detour in pain and disappointment. But, I don't believe God does that to us. I believe that everything has a purpose. He says that in His word, and even if we have no idea what is going on, all the experiences we have are designed to make us stronger, better and more submissive and obedient to our Master, so we can be "the best" at what He calls us to do. I know that is what He is doing in our lives and so, as we get over this and move on and continue waiting for our little girl, I can trust that this experience wasn't meaningless, even though right now I have no idea why it happened.
1 day ago