Monday, August 9, 2010


"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
--Proverbs 13:12

We entered the summer with hearts dancing with excitement. The adoption seemed to be rushing forward with unimaginable momentum as so many hopes and dreams grew as Levi spent fully six weeks with us during camp season.

Under our roof, we watched as the quiet, unassuming child blossomed into outgoing comic wrapped up in little boyhood, and we emerged as a new kind of a Chun family -- one with five faces instead of four, melded into a kind of clan any human imagination would never dare to assemble. We embraced it as God's better plan, and prayed and hoped that God would grant us supernatural favor within the bureaucracy and Levi would be truly ours by summer's end, able to start school in the fall with us.

It was all a beautiful dream -- until hope was deferred.

The last major step in the process, the psychological evaluation, which we expected to be a cordial meeting, spiraled into a nightmare of hostility, prejudice, and accusation. We emerged perplexed and the follow up meeting with our daughters, Andi and Niki, (fully six weeks later) left me wishing I'd never allowed the psychologist time alone with my children.

The psychologist seemed dead set against us from square one. And now we wait for her official evaluation with sick hearts as so many hopes have been deferred.

But ours is not a unique plight. Hope deferred has become a standard state in this fallen world.

Many such hopes and dreams are good and righteous and God-seeded in the hearts of people -- still hope is deferred and the heart grows sick. For some it is the child they've hope for, fought for, yet miscarried again and again. For others it's the spouse they've longed for, waited for, trusted God for and still the years pass by and no one comes. For others still, and perhaps most tragically, they've held that longed-for child, or kissed that beloved spouse, only to have him ripped from their arms and torn for their souls by the cruel blade of death's grim reaper.

And so hope is deferred. And hearts reel in the agony of it all.

We respond to this heart sickness in many different ways. Russ avoids breakfast, because Levi and he always shared a special early breakfast together. He naps in Levi's room, so it does not feel so empty. But as I clean that tiny room and it remains clean far too long, we all face that profound void in the absence of what should be.

On August 15, we hope to learn the official result of our psychological evaluation. We have low expectations, knowing there could be long road ahead of us as we fight for our Levi. He may not be our child on paper, but he is already the son of our hearts.

And so for the moment hope has been deferred and our hearts are sick. But we believe there will come a day when this dream will be fulfilled and it will be a tree of life to us and others who witness it.

Not everyone gets to experience their righteous dreams fulfilled in this lifetime. May it be enough to know that our Lord, Jesus Christ is the fulfiller of our dreams for all eternity. For all our hopes are never extinguished, they are only deferred for a season -- until we embrace Him face to face.