Happy couple talking while decorating turkey on Thanksgiving day.In a season of thanksgiving, most of us have expressed gratitude in some way for the things we have. Your family, house, food, jobs, health, friends, or maybe even decent insurance coverage could be at the top of your list of things you have and are thankful for this season.

But what about the things you don’t have? Have you ever thought to express gratitude for something you didn’t possess or maybe don’t have yet? In a culture of always wanting more, can we take a step back and be grateful in our time of delayed longing or outright refusal? I urge us to transform our hearts this season to also be thankful in the middle of what may not be our finest moments.

Our family declares our gratitude each year for those things we know are obvious: to have a loving family, good friends, jobs that allow us to have the things we need, and the list could go on and on. This year, we are also expressing our thankfulness in the middle of our adoption. We have not yet been blessed with a child brought to our family through adoption, but in the waiting, we will be grateful even when it seems hard to find a positive light. There are four things our family will be thankful for as we continue in our adoption process, even when the waiting seems trying at times.

Adoption Agency

We are grateful for the adoption professionals who have directed our steps, answered our unending questions, and encouraged us along this journey. Without their guidance and knowledge in the world of adoption, our inexperience would cultivate frustrations and produce lapses in our abilities.

Friends & Family

Waiting on the unknown may leave us feeling disheartened more than we like to portray. We have always been thankful for the friends and family we have, but during our adoption process, we have seen how they have gone above and beyond for someone they love but don’t even know yet. Their support through prayers, financial donations, volunteering at fundraisers, shoulders to cry on, and smiles with sweet hopeful reminders have carried us through the last year of waiting. Without them, our hearts would not be able to carry such a precious weight.


I can’t think of anyone who enjoys being vulnerable or even finds it easy to be grateful in vulnerable situations. However, we have offered ourselves and our story to friends and strangers alike. The openness of intimate details produces the vulnerability we all shudder to embrace. Our family is thankful to share the story of our adoption journey, the highs and lows that encompass the process, and any aspect that may raise awareness for adoption. Being vulnerable is never comfortable, but if feeling vulnerable will magnify our story of adoption, we will gladly show grace in doing so.

Failed Adoption

Failures are not something we revel in, nor do we show our act of giving thanks in disappointments. Our family has experienced a failed adoption in our attempt to bring a child into our family. We don’t know the reason we had to endure this hardship, but we pray that the mother may have been positively affected by the short relationship we fostered with her or anything we said in attempt to show her and her baby our love. We may see that by going through a failed adoption, it will allow us to help others in the future. We choose to trust that this heartache will not be for nothing and that we have been able to be a light for our faith, even in the midst of our grief.

Examining our gratitude this year, our desire is to renounce the cliché and embrace a new kind of thankfulness. Can we show others that we are grateful even in circumstances that don’t always produce our desired outcomes? I want to do this as I influence those around me, little or big, to always see past our hurt and into acts of grace. What will you be thankful for this season?


Jill is a 31-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 4-year-old and 3-month-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.