Can I do something to fix this?

September 22, 2009

When I was born, my grandma gave me a little stuffed raccoon named Ralphie. Little did she know that Ralphie would become like a child to me. I wouldn’t go anywhere if Ralphie wasn’t with me. I loved Ralphie so much. I slept with him every night and took him on every trip with me. I brought him in for my kindergarten show-and-tell. Ralphie truly was the love of my little life.

I’ll never forget the day I lost Ralphie. I was in the airport getting ready to leave with my family for vacation. Before our flight, we stopped in one of those little convenient stores to pick up some snacks for the flight. We went to the bathroom, looked in a few other little stores and finally made our way to the terminal. We sat down in the waiting area and realized the Ralphie was missing.

Losing things has always been something I’m very good at. It began with Ralphie and continues to this day. In fact, when I got married, my dad made 10 extra car keys to give to Steve and assured him that he will need them. He was right.

But, I’ll never forget the rush of a response my parents had when we realized Ralphie was lost. They went on a mad dash around the airport, retracing each step and asking everyone “Have you seen this raccoon”?

Finally, my dad found Ralphie. He was sitting at a newsstand without a care in the world. Life (for all of us) was better again. I was ecstatic to be reunited with my favorite stuffed animal. My parents were relieved to not have to know what it would be like for me to go a night without Ralphie. Everything was better.

I was reminded of this story when I was talking to my mom a few days ago about our adoption process. She said, “Isn’t there someone I can call? Can I call Russia and ask them where your baby is?” Of course she was partly joking, but the feeling behind it was very real. “Can’t I do SOMETHING to fix this?”

I know that my parents would do ANYTHING to make life better for me. They have proved that over and over again in the way they have raised me. I have so much security and confidence in who I am because of how they have always met my physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

But, there is something about this waiting that strips all control away from everyone involved. I wish I could tell my parents…”Yes, if you just do (fill in the blank), we will meet our baby.” And I know they would. But, I can’t say that, because there is nothing we can do right now except praying for God’s perfect timing.

This is a vulnerable place. We all just want things to be “better.” It’s often uncomfortable to live in the waiting because things feel unaccomplished or undone.

I love checklists. In fact, sometimes I accomplish tasks and then write them down on a “to do” list after the fact, just to have the satisfaction of checking things off. But, I can’t check this one off. I wish I could. I wish I had a line on my check list that said….”Waiting. CHECK.” Now, let’s move on to the next step.

But God is showing me that His plan is bigger than a check list. Life is more layered and beautiful than boxes that get marked off. It’s not about just moving on to the next thing.

He is showing me that He wants me to truly experience life. To live and move in the times that are uncomfortable and not just try to get out of them. To gain wisdom and soak in every moment and lesson that He is wanting to teach me.

I can’t wait for the day when I tell my parents…now I do have something for you to do: come up to Akron and meet your grandbaby. But, until then, we wait. We all wait. And we continue to pray for our little one. We continue to pray for the caretakers. We continue to pray for the judge and the facilitators and our case worker.

Thanks for waiting and praying with us. We truly could not do this without you!


  • we continue to work through paperwork. Sometimes it feels like it will never end
  • we rejoice with friends of ours whose international adoptions have successfully gone through. We are inspired and encouraged.

Prayer Requests:

  • we are growing weary of waiting
  • pray for our little one, that they would be loved and well taken care of until we finally meet

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

7 Responses to “Can I do something to fix this?”

  1. Sarah said

    Reading your post reminded me of the day that my Dad offered to fly to Russia and deliver the paperwork himself! It helps to remember that your family are also waiting and are also can’t wait for the day to meet the newest member of their family. When we finally touched down in our homtown my Mum burst past the airport gaurd and began to run (faster than I’ve ever seen her run!) to us. Luckily airport security isn’t so strict in small town New Zealand otherwise she might have been arrested!
    Hoping and praying that the waiting ends soon.

  2. cnhutch said

    hee hee, just wondering why you talk about your love for ralphie in the past tense…

    “I wouldn’t go anywhere if Ralphie wasn’t with me. I loved Ralphie so much. I slept with him every night and took him on every trip with me. I brought him in for my kindergarten show-and-tell. Ralphie truly was the love of my little life.”

    I do seem to recall you saying sometime in college that whoever you married would just have to get used to ralphie sleeping with you guys… how’s steve handling that? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. steveandkate said

    nicolette – haha! Over the last few years Ralphie has slowly moved from our bed to the closet and he now resides in the crib waiting for little one 🙂 But, you’re right – I must confess my love for Ralphie should have been written in present tense 😉

  4. Ronnie Lowe said

    I had forgotten about that time we searched for Ralphie in the airport. But what I do remember so clearly is the feeling I got when I looked over and saw him sitting there on some magazines. I am imagining (at a much higher level), this will be the feeling I’ll have when I see our little one. Every morning after I work out at the gym, I go to the steam room. It’s where I have my morning prayer time. At the beginning of your adoption process, I would pray that shomehow I could “fix” this and that maybe today you will get the phone call or maybe there is something else I could do. Now I am praying in thanksgiving for God’s most perfect timing. I pray for you and Steve and for the way the Lord is using the two of you and this whole journey to touch so many lives. I have realized that God has been taking me down this journey too, helping me to understand His perfect control over all our life issues. I wonder sometimes if I like praying for our little one in the steam room because my tears can’t be seen. Because everytime I think about that reunion, I think about the amazing joy, the overwhelming thankfulness, the since of relief and all the other incredible feelings and emotions God will have “wrapped up” for us in this special gift, and it brings tears to my eyes. I know when we see our little one, he’s going to look at me and think, “oh, you are looking for me?” And it will all be good, because GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

  5. kirsten said

    :), love, and tears.

    what a beautiful family your little one gets to belong to!

  6. Sarah said

    Kate: I LOVE your blog. You should publish your work….I love that it mirrors my heart EXACTLY because we are right in the same exact boat as you guys are. Keep rowing! We’ll get there together! My parents do the same exact thing. My mom really did ask if she could take a vacation to Russia and had deliver our Dossier. She really was serious.I told her that express global mail was an amazing thing and she should save her time and energy (and money) for when the baby actually gets home. Our children will be so blessed to have such a wonderful exended family. Hang in there, you are almost there!

  7. Mama Mary said

    As always, waiting prayerfully and expectantly with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: