Still Smiling

“I’ve never felt more out of control,” Becky told me last night shortly after four kids were read to, prayed with and tucked in.

We were six months to a year away from adopting two to four siblings from Ethiopia when our social worker called asking if we’d foster-to-adopt a four year-old boy from another country altogether. He was already in America. They needed an answer in 24 hours. We hadn’t planned on this. Yes!

I had been unable to book any concerts or speaking engagements in the second half of July or any of August. Our best plans and greatest efforts fell flat. S came to live with us the third week in July, in need of routine: a mom and dad at home every day to pour encouragement and security over his uncertainty and fear. We couldn’t have planned this better.

On and on the pieces we didn’t even know enough to ask for have been given, just right and right on time.

I wish I could tell you the whole story of how this little boy came to America in the first place, who brought him here and why he’s not with them today – but I can’t. Our social worker has asked us to keep that to ourselves – and we would anyway.

We planned (there’s that word again) on the finalization of the adoption to take about six months, but now?

We’ve been on a rollercoaster for the last few weeks. First the great news that S would someday be our son not just in our hearts but on paper. Then bad news. Then the bad news canceled out by good again. But yesterday the bad returned: Someone has a plan to block the adoption. (Do they know yet what we’ve learned about plans?)

So… “I’ve never felt more out of control,” Becky said.

I wasn’t looking at her when the words came out but as soon as they did I turned, expecting to see furrowed brow, maybe tears. But she was smiling.

My wife the accountant? The in-control planner who somehow got her ovaries to cooperate with her master plan to make babies two years apart – girl, boy, girl and now…boy? My wife, the chronic organizer, who makes a color-coded grocery list on a map of the grocery store? Whose clothes are in ROYGBIV order in her closet? She’s grinning as she tells me she’s out of control?

The agency says we have no legal rights, no say in the conversation between attorneys and agencies and S’s country about who his Mom and Dad will be. Out of control.

“We have been from the beginning,” she said, still smiling.