In 2011 when we first started talking about the adoption, we were expecting it to take two years. That timing would require a lot of patience, but it would work out because Evan would have finished school and gotten a job and we would have been in a better place for me to be home with the kiddo full-time. Of course, our plans and God’s plans are two different things.
We got Ephrem’s referral two days before my birthday in October 2011. (We accepted his referral on my birthday – best present EVER. Seriously, I have a big birthday coming up and Evan simply can’t top that ever again. :-)) Suddenly our two year wait was going to be a 9-month sprint through paperwork and fundraising. God was so faithful. Ephrem came home in June of 2012.
Evan had just finished his degree at the local state college and started looking for work, but nothing was coming up. At the end of my family leave, it was evident that our plans weren’t going to happen. Evan was going to stay home with Ephrem and I was going to go to work. And that was definitely not the plan that either of us had in mind.
Then, in October, he got a job. But it wouldn’t pay enough for me to stay home. So we had to look to daycare – something we just didn’t even consider when we were planning how things would go. I was devastated and felt the true weight of “Mommy guilt” for the first time. Fortunately, God provided an amazing child care center (which I still prefer to call “school”), with an amazing staff that helped us care for Ephrem in the best way possible. They were just opening and super small and it was perfect for all of us.
But as the year went on, I was more and more discontent with a job that I had BK (before kid) loved. I love being a grant writer in education and it’s a meaningful job. I know the funds that I help teams get and the programs those funds enable make a difference to students who often have less than a good chance of making it (especially where I work). But knowing that someone else got to see my Tiny Human learning and growing made my heart hurt. And the crunch being a dual-earner family with jobs requiring long commutes put on our family was hard. Out the door by 6:55am, home by 6 or 6:15pm, hurrying through dinner so we could do bath time, story time, and bed time, and then get ready for the next day. And I realized that’s all we were doing: surviving this day to get ready for the next day. Weekends were merely the time to do all the chores that we had no time to do during the week. Our family time was all of us exhausted and in a rut.
We began to seek God about how we could possibly get me home with Ephrem at least part-time but hopefully full-time. It was going to require a step of faith I was terrified to do. But when God calls, when He opens doors, it’s hard not to walk, even with great trepidation, to follow Him. I still remember reading Psalm 34 as we were praying through this decision and knowing that God was calling me to be home with Ephrem, even if it meant that we wouldn’t have the financial security of my job.
So, the season is changing (so appropriate that the first day of fall was this weekend). I have the opportunity to stay home with Ephrem. I have the opportunity to teach him at home. I have the opportunity to pick up side work when we need it. I have the opportunity to pursue some dreams and make this life more than a rat race. It has required some sacrifice of trusting ourselves and our jobs over God’s provision, but in the end, I want to rely on God first…not my own hand. As hard as it is to give up control, I long to live a life worth living. And, for me, in this season, getting to spend time with Ephrem is really a life worth living.