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April 17, 2015

The Incubator

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A few weeks ago, I plopped down in a chair beside a circle of dear friends who were enjoying watching their kids swim on a beautiful spring day in Houston (and, yes, the words “beautiful day” and “Houston” actually do go together in a sentence, even if it is only ten days out of the year). For most of the morning, I had been up to my eye balls in adoption paperwork. We finally received our Immigration approval in the mail, only to realize it expired before the date we needed to bring Mia Grace back into the country. So, bottom line, that meant…more…paperwork. Home Study renewal, background checks, Supplement 3 forms, bank statements, 1040 forms, and the list goes on and on.

On top of that, I had just had lunch with a friend who shared with me some of the difficult realities of bringing home a child from a different culture, who eats different foods, speaks a different language, and has to undergo major surgery within weeks of her arrival to her newly adopted family.

To sum it up, I was, in a word, grouchy (and, let’s face it, self-centered). Grouchy from paperwork. Grouchy from the forbidding road ahead. Grouchy from how my life was about to disappear down the tubes for months and months while everyone else was enjoying their summer by a swimming pool.

As I sat down by my friends (in a splendiferous mood, I might add), I said, “Well, girls, this may be it for me for a long time. I’m about to enter a black hole, not sure when I will emerge again to see sunlight.”

Thankfully, my friends know me well enough to just roll their eyes a little when I get into one of my melancholy moods, and one piped up sweetly and said, “Can we please call this season ahead of you something else rather than a black hole?”

So that got me thinking. For, as usual, my friends were right. It got me thinking a whole lot about perspective for the weeks and months ahead of bringing Mia Grace into our lives. I can either choose to look at the coming unknown as a black hole, or, as…an incubator.

A black hole is something you disappear into, never to return again. It has connotations of darkness, bleakness, and an eternal void. But an incubator is different. An incubator you also disappear into for a while, but it’s more like a cocoon where you are wrapped, warmed, and given the protective, sheltering environment you need to grow.

Instead of calling the season ahead of me The Black Hole, I think I am going to call it The Incubator. Not just for Mia Grace, but for me too, and our entire family. God is going to have to shelter us away for a while to bond and attach to this new little chick He has given us. But in the incubator, rather than life being sucked out, life is going to be given a place to be fostered, nurtured and grown.

So if you see me on the street, at a softball game, or at the grocery store, and if my hair is atrocious and I haven’t bathed for days, and I look like I have been in a black hole, don’t be fooled. I am going into an incubator so that when we all emerge, we will be ready for life…and life to the full.

Will you please pray for our family in the days and weeks ahead:

• For perspective. That with each and every step, even if it is hard, is one step closer to breaking down walls and attaching to this little one God has given our family.
• For me, especially, to have the grace and perspective to slow down this summer and in the first few months we get Mia Grace. That I will not fear missing out on anything but trusting the Lord is building things into us as a family worth far more than any sacrifice we could give.
• That Mia Grace would see our family and those around her as an incubator rather than a black hole – she would see as a sheltering, nurturing, loving place of life and hope and love.
• And lastly, please pray that the Lord would grow and develop good things in each of us over the days and weeks ahead as we welcome Mia Grace into our lives and homes.

Thank you for your prayers.
The Baker Family