Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Dreams That {Don't} Come True

I click on the email and wait, excited, expectant, like I’m watching for the pregnancy test to show that second line. It opens. I read. And my heart sinks. Again.

The email says that the adoption program I’d been researching for months is on hold. And they don’t know yet when it will open up again.

My husband and I have thought about adopting for years, back before we had kids, then when we had just one. And now, with two young kids running around, we’ve returned to this thing we’ve wanted, ready to fill out applications and send in money and do the home visits and make a dossier.

We’ve researched the countries, examined the requirements, looked into grants, searched for different options. Some doors have remained closed. How easy would it be to just adopt from Indonesia, where we live, where our kids are growing up, speaking the language of the orphans here? But we don’t fit their guidelines, and won’t ever fit those requirements unless the laws change. (And yes, I’d begged God that they would.)

So, we fanned out, searching throughout Asia, trying to link agencies that work with overseas couples with the countries where we could be accepted. And while many doors are closed, we pounded down the ones that weren’t locked.

And like a woman who just can’t get pregnant, I hear the adoption stories and long to have one of my own. I read the statistics and weep for the children without parents. And I push through the fears I have, choosing to trust in forever families and eternal love.

But I recently hit another closed door…at least for now. And I wonder at this journey of hoping for something that may not ever happen, and those orphans who have no one, and this world where countries have more orphans than time to process all the applications.

And I sit and search for that second pregnancy line that never comes in my inbox, wondering what to do. Keep pushing? Keep waiting? Believing? In what?

I still have more questions than answers. But I know you have dreams, too, that have ended, or are on hold, or are too scary to really pursue. Or maybe you have just been laid off from one of those dreams.

Some of you have tried for years to have biological children, have miscarried, have cried over periods that come relentlessly.

Some of you have hoped to move overseas, to serve in distant lands, and the years pass as your passport sits empty and your questions full.

Some lived your dreams early—that spouse who loved you, those cute kids to fill your home—and now your dream left you with just child support to feed the children. Or maybe time stole your dream and your kids, as they moved on from your home, their once-laughter a mere echo.

Maybe you face another Christmas, wishing for the magic from the movies, settling for half-hearted sentiments hiding your aching hopes. You get ready to start another year, choosing resolutions that you don’t expect to happen, hiding behind more responsible choices that don’t scare you and probably won’t disappoint you.

During these next few days, I plan to explore the issues of dreams that don’t come true. We’ll look at the whys, the lessons learned through not getting what we want, and the choices we still have to make those dreams happen.

I’d love to hear from you, about your own unmet hopes, your own disappointments, or your own stories of dreams that you gave up on, but that never gave up on you. Leave a comment or email me at if you want to enter the discussion. Thanks.

photo credit,


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