Nesting, it’s not just for Russian dolls

Upon receiving the news from our adoption agency that we have been issued a court date and are expected to land on Ethiopian soil in five short weeks,  my mind spins like a top.  Not the plastic, McDonald’s Happy Meal kind of top that wobbles a bit and falls flat.  More like the weighty, metal “Inception” kind of top, that may or may not ever slow its whirling motion. 

In response to the news of our impending travel, one sweet friend supposed I must have spent my day on the phone, logging lists and settling logistics.  Any sane person would get started tout de suite!  After all, there are only 24 hours in a day and we’re burning daylight…. I chuckled at my own reaction.  Ha, not exactly, I replied.  I’ve actually been painting. 

Not the beret-wearing, easel propped by the River Seine, Claude Monet style painting…. but true, roll up your sleeves, paint splatter in the hair, extreme room make-over kind of painting.  With each pass of the roller, my mind calms ever so slightly.  Some affectionately refer to this incessant need to arrange, rearrange, decorate, and organize as “nesting”.

Although, my belly doesn’t swell with the growth of  new life forming inside, (I probably just ate too much for dinner last night!), my mind takes on this roll of nurturer, preparer — hibernating in expectation of a new season.

In some vain attempt, I prepare for a season with which I am not familiar.  Yes, I have experienced the profound emotion of being childless one moment to holding a slippery, wailing, most beautiful, flesh of my flesh baby the next.  I am blessed with baby books on my shelves full of first steps, first words, and first days of school.  But, grafting two young children into our family, born of my heart, not of my flesh, will bring a season into our home known only to the original Creator and Artist.  Known only to God. 

As I ponder this dramatic and unknown change in my heart, I cannot help but wonder what our sweet children are thinking on the other side of the world.  In between soccer games played in a dirt lot behind the orphanage, hugs from their nannies, and nighttime routines, what dreams and visions pass through their young heads?  What could this “America,” this new family possibly be like?

They’ve seen our faces on a two-dimensional 4×6 photo, but have not yet experienced our hearts.  They don’t realize a new Mother, who looks very different from their first, scurries and flurries, preparing a personal place for each of them.  I pray that fears and trepidation will morph into trust and comfort.  These prayers are for them. These prayers are for us.

My mind lingers on Jesus’ words in John 14:1-3, “Don’t be troubled.  You trust God, now trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you…. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

It turns out God is a mother bird too! Nesting, nesting, preparing a place for us.  Just as he provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, how much more does He provide for his beloved children?

One definition of “nesting” is to “settle in” which I find most comforting in a physical sense.  Hopefully all our children will explore their new surroundings with excitement and vigor, ultimately settling into the place we call “home”.   But at the heart of it all, my whispered plea is that we encounter nesting in its deeper meaning, “to fit together or within one another.” 

May God prepare us and mold us to fit one into another just like those pretty painted dolls.  A family of different languages and colors, melded together in a colorful tapestry of love.




  1. Annie says:

    I can’t wait to see the new coat of “nest” (your signature color) in the lounge!! I’m honored and eager to continue to watch your family journey into the adventures of this adoption.


  2. teamnilsen says:

    Ha! I’ve actually named my signature color, “Mocha Shake.” Probably has something to do with my craving at the time! 🙂 Thanks for all your support and prayers… we love you guys.


  3. susan caldwell says:

    megan…keep writing 🙂 your voice, your words, your insight and gentle wisdom are a gift…it’s not quite as good as being with you in person…but~ almost!


  4. Crissy says:

    Megan, God is weaving such a beautiful story of love into your lives! Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us! Love you!


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