A Million Miles Away…Brokenhearted, Yet Hopeful

by | Oct 8, 2020 | Family Life, Marriage, Parenting, Spirituality

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive!”  This comes straight from the Gospel of Luke for today’s daily readings.  As I was reading the Gospel this morning, I was moved to write a reflection of the spiritual battle I have been facing for the past eight months.  I have not had the courage to share this with anybody, but my husband, who though very supportive, is going through this same battle.  I apologize if this blog is a bit depressing, but I do promise to end in hope!  The hope of a God who loves me (and you)!

On February 24, 2020, our family celebrated officially becoming a family of seven.  In our hearts we were a family of seven for almost a year prior, but it was official…China had approved our adoption and have gifted us with an Article 5, which officially means our son is ours.   All that was standing in our way was an invitation to travel to China to get him.  The travel approval never came, instead a pandemic came…COVID-19 they called it.  My heart silently shattered into a million pieces the day travel was suspended from America to China…it shatters into a million pieces each day that passes without travel approval.

The Gospel today reminds us to ask and you will receive.  After praying with the Gospel today, I journaled my thoughts.  Here are some: “Lord, thank you for allowing me to ask, and continue to ask without getting angry at my same request day after day.”  “I feel like a child begging a parent who has said, ‘No!’ to a request for something!”  “Yet Lord, you love me and I do not know what you are doing in the background and I need your help to help me trust that you are working on getting us to unite with our son!”

Friends, this is our second adoption, and adoption is hard.  Our first adoption had many delays that are “normal” and “expected”.  This adoption was going so smoothly, (I think because we are more relaxed), until this pandemic came into the picture.  We went from February to June without an update on our son.  We did not know if he was safe, we did not know if he was alive.  In June, our son who knew he had a mom and a dad coming, began to wonder if we were ever going to come.  Seven-year old’s do not understand pandemics.  His heart was also breaking, he thought maybe we decided not to come.  His orphanage director found us, through the grace of God, and we have been able to be in contact with our son since June.  Being in contact is a gift for sure, but it is hard to see my son’s face in the arms of other’s who will never love him the way I, his mother will.

What we are going through is not something that any of my friends can truly understand.  Yes, they empathize with me, they pray for me, but they just cannot understand what it feels like to have half of your heart here and half of it in China.  We have become friends with other’s who are going through our same situation.  There are days where they lift me up and there are days where I lift them up.  This emotional roller coaster has probably added more grey hairs and wrinkles than any other situation in my life ever has.  We pray, we hope, we cry, we scream, we beg, and yet, here we all still sit.  It is devastating!  “God PLEASE, PLEASE let me go get my son!” is a constant prayer the Lord hears me utter.  I say it at least a hundred times a day!

Day after day I feel as though my prayers are unanswered, unheard.  In August I had an all-out screaming session with God.  “Why God?”  “Do you not care?”  “You could literally heal this pandemic in a split second and allow us all to move on with our lives!”  “You have the power!  Why aren’t you doing anything!”  After yelling at God, I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, for my lack of trust, my anger with Him, and my hopelessness!  I felt better!  As I was praying during my penance God gently and lovingly gave me a hug.  I felt him!  I knew he cared!  I knew his heart was breaking as much as mine was.  God does not want me separated from my son!  God choose my son just for our family and he wants us united more than we even want it.  I knew He was doing all kinds of work in the background that I would never understand while still on this earth.  This moment of truce between God and I, have carried me through these past months.  I will not say every day has been easy, because every day my heart still shatters, but God helps me pick up the pieces and carry on each day.

I beg all of you reading this to pray for us, pray for ALL of us, waiting to be united with the children that belong in our families.  We need prayers, we need hope, we need a miracle.  I will continue asking God over and over, making my request known, like a child begging their parents, hoping that if I just ask, it will be given unto me!

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Tara Brooke

Tara Brooke is a wife, mother, educator, and child of God.  Tara has worked in various aspects of ministry in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, her last years as a Director of Marriage and Family Life for her local diocese.  She now stays home and tends to the needs of her growing and beautiful family.  She has three biological children and two adopted children, both with Down Syndrome. She loves helping engaged couples grow in their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as helping enrich already married couples in growing in holiness together.  She resides in Bismarck, ND with her amazing husband, Deacon Dan! 

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