So when we put in our backyard a year ago, we had this great idea to build a vegetable garden and the usual thing happened as a result, I became obsessed with this new hobby and Ellie ridiculed it.  And after a year of growing stuff and spending way more time than could possibly have been required tending to plants and literally watching them grow I learned something about myself, I am a very impatient person. Growing plants is actually very very easy, since God is really the one who does all the work (or you know… evolution, if you are a godless heathen) in fact I read recently that growing corn (the most abundant crop produced in America) is the most productive form of work a person can do, because of how little energy and effort it takes to grow so much vs. what is ultimately produced. Farmers just plant the seed, and then they leave it alone for a few months and come back and harvest. In fact most corn farmers have second jobs like driving trucks because they go such long periods of time without doing any work. It is this extended inactivity that drives me crazy when it comes to trying to grow things myself. This is a picture of our garden as of a few days ago when we put in the batch for this season and as you can see things are pretty tiny. Its going to be a while before our plants grow to being able to produce much of anything- but that won’t stop me from going out every morning and surveying my “land” closely studying each plant and doing anything I can possible come up with to help them along. Last year I did this each day, poking and prodding every plant, digging into the ground to see what if anything was really there and watering watering watering! If I thought a plant didn’t look quite right I tried to fix it and sometimes even pulled out whole sections of stuff resolving myself to start over and do better with the next round.

This constant scrutiny and impatience is the exact opposite of what you need to have in order to be good at growing anything. The times our garden looked best were always after we went on vacation and things just were given time and space to do their thing. My desire to get involved in the process and make things better ultimately drove me crazy and only made things worse. And most importantly it just plain didn’t give God the opportunity to actually make things grow the way they are meant to. I’ve been seeing this same kind of impatience and incessant need to get involved in what God is doing in all sorts of areas of my life. Its hard to feel so excited about where God is taking our church and to so clearly see the vision He has given us to change this community, but to have to wait with patience as He takes us there is sometimes very very hard. I’ve recently been extremely convicted about what it means to be a godly man and husband and I’m excited about how that is already started to affect our marriage but as bumps in the road come along I find myself wishing I could fast forward to a few years from now when we have worked everything out. Nowhere do I experience this more than with our adoption process, as we spend so much time just waiting and waiting and waiting for things to happen. We just turned in our paperwork and home study to immigration and now we just have to wait until out appointment to get fingerprinted so we can wait some more as they decide that yes indeed we are not terrorists nor are we child traffickers. It would be great if we could just go get our fingerprints done now, but of course we can’t, we have to just wait for 3 weeks for some random reason and know that our paperwork is just sitting on a desk somewhere in limbo.

Its hard to spend this time just waiting. Though the paperwork was painful it caused some good discussion between us and made us feel like we were doing something at least, and though the home study was an indescribable emotional roller coaster, again at least something was happening. Now we are just waiting and once our paperwork is sent to Ethiopia the real waiting begins. I have never before wanted so badly to just hit a remote to skip chapters to the next stage of our life when our baby will be here but I know I can’t, and as a result I am being forced to learn something I thought I could go my whole life avoiding, patience. I think we really only learn patience when it is forced upon us by circumstances. Really I have no choice but to be patient, I mean I guess I could just freak out and run around in circles pretending that will get anything done, but I know it won’t so patience is the only sane option.  I can’t speed up this adoption any more than I can make plants grow faster, we can’t do anything to help our child be healthy happy or to feel loved, and its because of that that I have to just completely step back and trust that God is going to take care of our child who may quite possible be alive right now in another country where we don’t know them and can’t take care of them. We are starting to understand what the Bible means when it talks about how anything of consequence is not accomplished out of human effort but through the Holy Spirit and so now the challenge is to actually spend time praying that this would happen. Ellie and I have never been very good about praying together, mostly because of my lack of discipline in this area, and I think this may actually force us to start doing that since we are completely and utterly dependent on it for everything we need right now. And if you are wondering how you can help us as we are on this journey, just pray for our patience, our child and that we take the time to sit down and pray for them ourselves.

And if you like broccoli or onions let us know, we may have a ton of it in a few LONG months.

Tasha - November 4, 2010 - 9:09 pm

Thanks for the update Eddie! Your wee one will teach you more patience than you can imagine. Currently Eliana is overtired. Thus she has been fighting sleep for about 2 hours. She has fallen asleep 3 times for about 10 minutes during this time. She has cried for a lot of it. Patience is what I learn often when there is a problem that Eliana can’t tell me about. Kyle and I have to try and figure out what will work this time. I will be praying for you guys. If you get this soon, you can pray for us too. It’d be GREAT if Eliana would sleep soon:)

bandofbrothers - November 4, 2010 - 10:03 pm

wow, thanks for being so open and honest with your heart. i really needed to hear some of those things. you inspire me!

Sarah Maizland - November 8, 2010 - 10:29 am

I have recently been reflecting on the fact that all of my sanctification comes through trials and I am not very pleased with this fact. You are not alone. Oh and I like onions and broccoli so if you could watch those grow for me (maybe chart it with pictures and graphs) and then give me the best ones that would be awesome.

Taylor Hankinson - November 8, 2010 - 1:55 pm

Hey Ed, I love the blog! Now I actually get to hear what is going on in the lives of the Grovers which is very exciting. I am also learning the patience lesson myself right now and it’s pretty much the least fun thing ever! I know how hard it must be for you guys going through all of the adoption beauracracy. But it good to hear about what’s been going on and I will be praying for yours and Ellie’s patience as you continue to wait for God’s chosen time for when He will bless you with a child!

Curtis Nemetz - November 8, 2010 - 7:38 pm

Hey Eddie.
Thanks for the thoughts. I agree with Tasha… there is no better lesson on patience than having some kids. It’s cool that your little boy/ girl is already teaching you that.
I miss you man but it is fun to hear a bit of what is going through that sarcastic dry brain of yours.

Katie Mac - November 16, 2010 - 3:08 pm

We will definitely take some broccoli off your hands, and you may cook dinner for us using the onions any time. :)
On a serious note I wanted to say I understand this post and can’t imagine the overwhelming amount of patience and trust God is building in you right now as you wait to meet your child. We promise to continue to pray for this little one, and for you guys. Curtis is right, you are already learning the lessons other parents learn only once their baby is in their arms. You guys are already parents, whether this little one has been born yet or will be soon, and because of that you are already being refined in all the ways God uses kids to refine us. It’s neat to watch :)

Jenny - November 20, 2010 - 8:19 am

Hey Eddie,
First of all, you are a great writer and I can hear your ability to preach in your post. I love your illustration of patience in this adoption process. I appreciate your blog so that we can keep up with you guys even though we aren’t able to hear from you guys frequently. We miss you.

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