School field trip
But I can’t blame the neglect of this blog solely on that. I wasn’t really sure what to write most of the time. When I started this blog I started it to share a journey I thought would be all about adoption. I said I knew it would be a rocky process but I underestimated how true that would be. I kept lots of thoughts for a journal as it got personal and I felt more vulnerable. Then I didn’t know how to fit all that has happened into a blog post. I was going to quietly take the blog down but I have gotten so many questions about it lately. Seriously, I am amazed you people even read it! But since you have cared enough to look for updates or email and ask, I figured I owed you one.
When we felt called to adopt two years ago, we thought we had a plan and had everything figured out. I have since been cured of such pride.
The kids have grown a bit, eh? :)
We initially took a break from our adoption paperwork because of a job change. Then we started it again once Brian was settled in his new job. Then we were asked if we would be willing to adopt some children who needed a home ASAP. (This happens more often than you think here in the U.S.) We said “yes”, but over the course of a few weeks the birthmother seemed to change her mind about placing. Disappointed, discouraged, and confused we wondered “ok, God. What was that about?” and then decided to take some time to pray and clarify exactly what God had called us to do. It was a hard time, and I wasn't sure I wanted to wrestle that out in a public setting like a blog. But it’s worth telling because sometimes the times we have to really wrestle with God and wait for Him to answer us are the very times that refine us and shape our character. If God has an "assignment" of sorts planned for us, then He is going to need to shape our character to match said assignment. It was a hard lesson, but it is such a treasure now to know that when I am waiting on God He hasn't given up on me or moved on to someone He thinks will be easier to use- He is at work, shaping me and preparing me. And He is at work in you, too. He is always weaving both mistakes and successes into a story that we don’t have the courage to dream.
So, for weeks we questioned what God had said to us and tried to clarify a direction. Domestic adoption? Foster care adoption? International? Ethiopia? Now? Wait? We put everything back on the table with open hands and felt unsure which direction to proceed. I had joked so many times that God needed to fax me something because I was slow and needed directions in black and white, but no such luck. One night I had bought a used book by Andy Stanley called “The Best Question Ever”. It elaborated on the idea that we shouldn't just approach life’s questions with “is it a sin” or “can I?”, but rather “what is the wise thing to do”. As I was reading, I kid you not, a slip of paper with a simple verse reference written on it fell out of the book. I walked into the bedroom in search of my Bible to look it up, telling Brian what had happened. We laughed and giggled as I joked “maybe this is our note” and we started to think of ridiculous things it could say (think Tim Hawkins' and “lo I have a painful disease in my loins”). We are very serious people, you know.
As I scanned over the pages, still giggling, and I found the verse. Isaiah 1:17. Somewhat familiar with that chapter I immediately stopped laughing and as I tried to read the verse aloud for Brian my tears began to cloud my vision.
We went to bed silent that night, which never happens. If you read the whole chapter it is a little disturbing. It confronts the idea that we can go to church and worship and bring offerings and God won’t be pleased with just that. He wants more. He wants actual obedience. I suddenly felt like the idea that we would complete this adoption and then “move on with life” was being confronted head on. He wanted us to love and care for orphans the way He would. We began to come to the conclusion that the call was to love orphans, any orphan, He brought us as He brought them- as in, from now on. And to be willing to say yes to Him no matter how different His plans were from ours. Even if it meant our adoption didn't look like I thought it would. Even if it meant facing my worst fear- loving and investing myself in children that would NEVER be mine and letting them take pieces of my heart back with them as they returned to where ever they had come from. Whatever. He wanted us to say "Yes, Lord. Whatever." To follow before He told us where we were going.
So thankful to be traveling this road with my best friend
I won’t say we got to a place of even deeper surrender overnight. As we eventually decided one more time to finish the paperwork for our adoption, we were “interrupted” by an opportunity that had not really been on our radar. We felt an indescribable momentum behind our “yes” this time, despite fear and trembling (mostly mine). You could say God was changing our trajectory...
"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails." - Proverbs 19:20-22