When God Makes You Wait

I am embarrassed to say that I have been sitting on this amazing story that I am about to share with you guys for MONTHS. Yes, months. Any-who, it's here now!

My friends, Beth and Dustin, have been in the process of adoption for years, I have been so blessed by their obedience and trust in the Lord over that time, so here is their story:

Hi there! My name is Beth Clegg. A while back Tifani asked me to write a blog on “waiting”. I quickly told her yes! The Lord has taught me so much about waiting that I want to share with you, but first things first… You need to know who I am.

First I will tell you I have never written a blog in my life. (Right now is where Tif is saying what? Never? What have I asked this girl to do??? I’ll try not to disappoint you too badly, Tifani) I am absolutely positive that it will be filled with grammatical errors and misspellings because I have developed an art of trying to confuse my spellcheck. So if you are the grammar police, stop right now, escape, its ok. I promise. If you choose to continue on here we go…

I am a 30 something wife and mom. I have been a hair stylist for almost 14 years. I have been married for almost 13 years to my husband, Dustin. He is a pastor of students and evangelism at our church in Wynne, Arkansas. He is way more qualified at this whole blogging thing than me. We have 2 daughters, Laynie who is 9 and Selah who is 3. And we are about to have a son, Jud, who is 2. Ever since the early days of our marriage we knew we wanted to adopt. When Laynie was about two years old Dustin initiated that he felt it was the time to start the process. I wish I could share the whole 6 years worth of our story with you. It’s a good one. But this is about waiting.

Waiting. Everyone does it. Big or small we are all waiting on something. I have friends who are waiting to see what their ACT score is. I have friends who are waiting on the weekend so they can see the Razorbacks play. I have friends who are waiting on their kid’s last few treatments they are getting at St. Jude, and I have friends who are waiting to get started with theirs. I have waited with friends who waited through 2 brain surgeries. Then I waited with them as they waited for last breaths. I have friends who are waiting for the day they get to see their son, daughter, husband, dad, mom, friend on the other side of this life. I wait for the day we all get to see Jesus, the one who created us, the one who knows us like no other, the one who wants to teach us while we wait, face to face.  

Right now, I’m waiting on my son.  

To begin the whole adoption process, we filled out our paperwork, paid a small chunk of change, and in August of 201,1 we sent our dossier to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to be matched with a son or daughter. When we sent it we were told it would be a 15 month wait before we were matched. It was longer than we thought it was going to be but we decided to stick it out. Little did we know “sticking it out” meant we would do so until January of 2015. Yep, we waited over three years. Why? Why was it taking so long? God is for the orphan right? We were being obedient to what we KNOW He had called us to do. What in the world did He want to teach us that we were having trouble grasping??? During the beginning of the wait we had some family related issues. Not all were super pumped about this international adoption thing. I’ll say things got a little heated at times. Looking back at it all, I don’t even really see the hurt that caused. Instead, I see God sharpening and refining Dustin and me. I would’ve thought we had a good marriage but the Lord made it rock solid. He made me fall head over heels crazy in love with my husband. He lit a fire in Dustin that had never been there before. He gave him boldness and the will to act with confidence in Christ that will remain in him forever. He gave us friends who were every bit as good as family. Some of our friends walked some of our darkest days with us and I will never EVER forget it. The Lord gave us verses like Isaiah 40 and countless others. He gave us songs to sing to Him and about Him that gave us hope in Him like never before. As we waited even longer things began to settle and began to get into routine.

Then I got pregnant.  

We seriously thought we would have our Africa baby home before we got pregnant again, but we welcomed that sweet bunch of goodness that the Lord gave us. Selah Cruz is such a joy bringer and I’m so thankful for the gift of her life during the chaos of the wait. We had to wait until she was 3 months old before we could be put back on the waitlist. I’m pretty sure the day she turned 3 months we got back to our process of bringing home our other baby. There was never a day while I was pregnant that I didn’t think about that child. I longed for him/her. Ached for him/her. So it was with great disappointment that we found out we would wait even longer.  

Pretty much indefinitely. Again, we were confident in what God had called us to do, so we were willing to stick it out.  

During that time Dustin switched jobs. He went from farming to ministry. (Another good story, for another time…) I cannot tell you how many things the years of our “waiting” through our adoption process prepared us for ministry. That boldness and fire I was telling you about earlier, we had no idea God was lighting a fire in Dustin to prepare for ministry and to serve in our home church. If we didn’t have the wait, he wouldn’t have any of those characteristics that have made him who he is today. I wouldn’t be who I am today. It has taught me to love differently. To see things differently. To listen differently.  

I wish I could tell you I have always waited well and I continue to wait well. I don’t. I have had many screaming matches with the Lord on why He won’t just give me my son already. But I cannot deny the things He has done in me over the last 6 years. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s a gift that I will treasure. But I need to wrap this story up so where were we… Oh yes, January of 2015. We got a call one day from our caseworker telling us they would be ending their Ethiopia program. Rip. My. Heart. Out. This seriously wasn’t going to happen??? We fought for that kid. We gave blood sweat and tears from them. It was a gut punch. What do we do now??? We picked up the pieces of our shattered hearts and prayed. What route did we take? Still international? Domestic? Through the system? What did the Lord want from us? After much praying and reflection we landed in the waiting children China program.  

All of these children had some form of a special need and were paperwork ready to be adopted. Ready to adopt? Cha ching!! Yes Lord! Sign us up! So we started over. Started over the dreaded paperwork and home study and medical paperwork and everything that comes with it. During all of that you have to fill out a list of things you will accept in the form of a special need. When we checked the “will accept a child with albinism” block I remember thinking, wouldn’t it be funny Lord if You went from giving us a black child to the whitest of the white? The Lord’s sense of humor has never surprised me more.  

In December of 2015 we got another phone call. This time it had a little boy’s face with it. A little boy who in fact indeed has, you guessed it, albinism. The Lord started 2015 taking a child away, He ended it with a beautiful face of our Chinese son. Isn’t He good? He gives and takes away. He is still to be called blessed and good. 

The Lord has taught me in a whole new way that my way isn’t His. You say that all the time right? But have you ever had it put to the test? Because it’s a whole lot easier said than done. I would’ve said I was ready over 6 years ago for the child He called me to adopt. But God knew I wasn’t. He knew that my heart needed to grow and change. He knew our marriage needed to grow and change. He knew I needed my sweet Selah. He knew Laynie’s heart needed her too. He knew we would change jobs. He knew all along our son was in fact in China, not Ethiopia. And He knew when we started this whole thing we weren't even old enough to adopt from China. He knows y’all. He knows us so much better than we know ourselves. Waiting calls for trusting. Wholly and fully trusting that the Lord holds your life and your days. Think on that while you are waiting on whatever it is He has called you to wait on. I wouldn’t trade learning that for anything in the world.  

So here we are, it’s September of 2016. It’s been 9 months since I have first seen my son’s face. And I am so pleased to tell you, we will be leaving to travel to get him in around 3-4 weeks. But until then, I wait.

UPDATE!! Dustin, Beth, Laynie, and Selah have officially welcomed home that precious little boy, and y'all.... just look at that sweet face! Please continue to pray for the Cleggs as they adjust to this new life, and as Jud finds his place in his new family. God is SO good!

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