I’m not a person who is necessarily good at waiting. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for dinner to cook… waiting and I don’t get along. In fact, I am fairly convinced it is my lifelong task and goal to learn patience.
The most common thing I hear from people when they find out I have six kids is, “Wow, you must have a lot of patience!” No, I don’t! At least not nearly as much as you would think; I usually just laugh and tell them they have no idea. I am learning patience, learning to wait well. It’s not easy.
Melissa and Jeremy Jacobs with their six children (Photo Courtesy of Jacobs Family)
My first few pregnancies, for example, seemed to drag on and on; yet, it should be noted, never have I actually carried a pregnancy all the way to the due date. I’ve gotten close, but all my babies were born between 36 and 39 weeks. It’s called being impatient, reaching the goal early and celebrating like you’ve overcome some great obstacle.
The nature of learning to wait well is: when you master the challenge in one area, you sort of graduate to the next. By the time I had baby number six, born just one day before his due date, I felt I had mastered it! I got to the point where I was at ease with the waiting, I had surrendered to God and said, Lord, have your way. I’m completely content for this baby to come on your timetable, not mine.
I thought I had passed this test, I had figured it out. Finally, I had attained this elusive “patience” everyone was always telling me I must have in abundance. Yet these experiences were only the training ground. Shortly after baby number six was born, we felt the Lord was leading our family into a new season.
For us, this meant a season of being done having children biologically—and beginning our journey into adoption. Adopting a child was something we had talked about for years. For our family, we knew it was not something we could pursue while I was pregnant or nursing a baby; we felt it would happen when our biological children were all out of the “baby” stage.
Melissa Jacobs with her son Noah (Photo Courtesy of Jacobs Family)
One day, as I was at home with our youngest, my husband arrived back from a prayer meeting. He told me he had heard from the Lord it was time. I almost jumped for joy. I knew that meant it’s time to adopt. I was ready to start calling agencies the next day and getting a home study started.
We’ve been waiting 10 years to adopt, I thought. We hardly ever spoke about it, except to say we wanted to “someday” when asked if we wanted more children. Adoption has been a dream in our hearts for so long. It’s been a dream in the heart of God even longer, we’ve only known about it for a decade. That’s the mystery of God. He has dreams for us; if we grab hold of and latch onto them, we can dream with Him.
It’s a wild adventure, though it often takes longer than we expect. God’s timing is perfect, and it’s often not the same as ours. Many things in life require waiting. Yes, mothers have to wait for their babies to arrive—through adoption or through pregnancy. Dreamers also have to wait for the fullness of their dreams. I’ve now experienced many more months of waiting in the adoption process; yet we are in this for the long haul.
Adoption is a personal dream of mine. I have literally had multiple dreams of a child: a daughter who is not from my bloodline. God has given us a name, and I’ve seen her face in my dreams. I’ve been pregnant with this dream for almost a decade. I haven’t let go; I’ve wanted to! Many times I’ve said to God, “It’s too hard! I can’t just keep waiting.” I’ve tried to give the dream back to Him, but He won’t accept it.
Photo: Mark Seton / Flickr
It’s part of my destiny, it’s who I am and part of my calling. A funny thing happens when you take up the mantle of prayer for a certain thing: it becomes interwoven into the very fabric of who you are. That is what has happened with adoption and me. You can’t spend 10 years praying for the ending of abortion and a heart of adoption, without it somehow changing who you are.
Habakkuk says it best in Habakkuk chapter 2:1-3
I will climb up to my watchtower
and stand at my guardpost.
There I will wait to see what the LORD says
and how he will answer my complaint.
Then the LORD said to me,
“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.”
This is my way of writing the vision plainly on tablets, so that a runner may carry it to others. There is a time coming soon when abortion will be a thing of the past. We are already seeing the shift in the culture, where the next generation is turning away from the mindset of the past. They are, in large numbers, rejecting the theory that a child in the womb is “property” of the mother to do with whatever she wills.
Melissa and Jeremy Jacobs look forward to welcoming another child into their family (Photo Courtesy of Jacobs Family)
What happens when abortion ends in our nation? There will still be unplanned and sometimes unwanted children who are conceived. The people of God must arise and say, I will take the baby you don’t want or cannot raise at this time. I will raise him or her as my own. We need to be available, and we need a heart’s desire to welcome these little ones like Jesus.
And we may need one more thing: a heart willing to be content in the waiting. Adoption is hard and costly, requiring patience at a level many people don’t possess. It’s also a beautiful picture of a loving God who gave everything, even his own Son—so He could adopt us as sons and daughters.
Melissa Jacobs and her husband Jeremy serve as local chapter leaders of Bound4LIFE St. Louis and regional coordinators for Missouri. She earned a degree in early childhood education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and writes regularly for Bound4LIFE St. Louis. Melissa and Jeremy raise their six (soon to be seven) children in St. Louis, Missouri.