All the Known that We Need

A couple of weeks ago, I ran the Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon with my dear friend, Jess.  On the eve of the race, Jess asked me with genuine concern in her Philly accent, “So, how are ya doin’ with the adoption process?”   With a sigh, I shared how difficult the wait has been for me, for Glendon, for our kids.  I appreciated that Jess took the time to listen and offer insight, especially with her experience as an adoption social worker.  Jess & I chatted and laughed for a while before going to bed, hoping to rest well for the miles ahead.008

                                                                                              Pre-race pic with Jess (on R)

Getting to the start line and connecting with other runners made for a fun, eventful morning.  The gun went off, the bands played, and Jess & I laughed, enjoying each mile together.  And then we hit mile 9.  And I began to feel like…well, like garbage.  I had no pain or cramping but I felt exhausted, physically spent, and wondering how I was going to finish this thing.  After two previous marathons and countless other races over the years, I did not expect to feel this awful.

So, I went into my “zone”, a place not unfamiliar to me.  This is where I go mentally when I need to stay focused, keep running, pray harder, and hang on to every motivational thought.  And nothing is funny in the zone.  NOTHING.  Just ask Jess.

At about mile 10, thoughts of adoption meandered into my zone, uninvited.  I was reminded of how hard this waiting continues to be.  With the salt dripping from my foul-smelling frame, the sun beating down, and my sizeable thighs creating their own applause, I had an epiphany:

 Adoption is like being asked to run a really difficult, painful race in the dark.  With no end in sight. 

Unlike our Philly race, this adoption journey has no posted finish line.  No cheering crowd when you’re nearing the end because none of the spectators have a clue about the finish line.  We could be running for another month before we can bring our baby home.  Or another two months.  Or until Christmas.  Or Easter.  Or until next summer.  Or another year from now.  Or…more.  How do we prepare for all the unknowns?

What helped to motivate me through those last few miles was the knowledge that mile 13.1 was in the distance.  Jess & I knew that the finish line was coming.  If we could keep running…just a little bit longer.  Rest for our weary, salt-crusted bodies was on the horizon.  The knee pounding would end.  Cold water was waiting.  Carbs beckoned.  Knowing that the end was in sight helped to keep us moving, to finish strong.

Not so with adoption. 

I have no idea how long we’ll be running this difficult race in the dark.  We are plagued by the unknowns.  And we certainly can’t see the finish line.  By God’s grace, I’m trying to run well despite feeling pretty discouraged, lately.  I am so thankful for friends like Jess and for all of our family and friends who are running with us, infusing our hearts with Life and Truth, especially when I’m not sure how much longer we can do this.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the Lord, who was present on my fairly predictable 13.1 mile run.  And who is ever-present on our weary run toward a sweet baby we do not yet know, on a road we cannot predict, with no knowledge of a finish line.

We’re choosing to trust that He is all the known that we need.


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10 thoughts on “All the Known that We Need

  1. Maddie on said:

    Yeah so it’s almost four thirty in the morning and I’m having a “moment” trying to repeat Galatians 6:9 to myself and remind myself that I shouldn’t grow weary of doing good, and then I read this. I thought about writing on my own blog today, basically something along the same lines, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t have the heart for it. I think God had other plans for me anyways…and this was part of it. That last line is really sticking to my heart. I appreciate you and the fact that you are writing so honestly about this journey. Thanks Katie.

    • Maddie, I appreciate your honesty. Recently, I’ve been reminded of the meaning of worship and how that can look in our daily lives. We cannot worship God (in the mundane, in song, in prayer, etc.) without being authentic. You are being authentic by admitting that your heart is weary and that you’re having a “moment” this morning. That’s the best place to start as you look to the One who is with you in “the moment” (or the season or the years…). He cares about your heart and He’s counting your tears. Wish I could just sit with you and savor some good coffee, especially in those wee hours of the morning. I mean, I’m already awake, right?! Praying for you, sweet friend.

  2. Carol Long on said:

    Beautifully put. Like being pregnant for 3, 6, 9, or 20 months, without the weight gain and bad veins. His timing is perfect, though frustrating. I am praying for peace and patience. Someday I will share our adoption correspondence with you.

  3. Katie, you always know how to put it beautifully! To be able to see God and trust in God in everything you do is honorable and admirable! Keep running the face

  4. Love your thoughtful and inspiring words, Katie…a lot like life…”a road we cannot predict, with no knowledge of the finish line”…resting in God’s sovereignty…He knows the number of our days…

  5. aww Katie! I love this. So thankful to have shared a special and memorable weekend with you. Praying for your family. Beautiful things are right around the corner! How you doin? (I threw a little Jersey in there this time) 🙂

    • I’m doin’ okay, Tony 🙂 Thank you for your hilarity & kind words. I’m already looking forward to getting together with you again, hopefully sooner than later! Hugs to you from the Poconos!

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