each of the past two decembers, alex has preached a sermon about advent. each of these sermons has been on the topic of waiting (here is the one from two years ago if you want to listen).
i didn't learn this until the past few years, but waiting is one of the major themes of advent. the hopeful expectation of what is to come, the fulfillment of God's promise.
as americans who can order a meal and have it ready in a few minutes at McDonald's, or look up a vast amount of information at a click of a button on the internet (and these days google doesn't even make you click before pulling up suggestions!), we aren't good at waiting. but the bible sees it as an important discipline to wait upon the Lord, and even makes good promises for those who wait. one example of many is "the Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him" (lamentations 3:25).
God has seen it fit that this advent, we will be waiting.
you see, yesterday was a court hearing about baby girl's future. all signs were pointing to her being reunited with her mother (which is something we support and see as a good thing, by the way). but because of a technicality, that was not the judge's decision (although if she keeps doing well, that will be the ruling at the next hearing in february).
now, we love baby girl. i love watching esther play with her (and by play i mean stick her fingers in baby's mouth, set large toys on her head, play drums on her tummy, etc). we have a good relationship with baby girl's mom and have given her a bible, and had opportunities to speak to her about spiritual things on many occasions. i am happy to know that we have given baby girl the best start to a healthy life as possible, as she is getting breast milk and not formula.
but baby girl is not our baby girl. and we want a child who will be adopted into our family. and the longer baby girl is with us, the longer we wait to see who that child might be. the longer until we can hold him or her in our arms.
until then, i will be praying for that child. and hoping. and most importantly, waiting. and by God's grace waiting well.
so as we commemorate the hopeful expectation of jesus for all the centuries until he came the first time, and even think about our hopeful expectation of his second return, we will also be expectantly hoping for and waiting for our next child.