So here we are. I wrote the below, a little over a month ago. Little did I know, that a week or so after, God would take us down an adventure that would once again, show us how Faithful and True He most certainly is. I'll let you start reading, and finish my thoughts of today at the end....
I was pregnant with Jillian, sitting in our apartment in Opelika, Alabama. Tim came home from class and I was balling. I had just watched the Maury Povich show. The show was on adoptive families. I looked at Tim when he walked through the door and said "let's adopt". I know what he was thinking..... "hormones are high!", and no doubt they only enhanced my feelings, but ever since then, adoption has never left my mind. Tim and I talked about adoption multiple times throughout our marriage, just never felt led to take the steps to pursue it.
Our oldest started asking us about adoption three years ago. She would almost mention it daily. We told her that if she felt so strongly about it, then she should pray about it. It may not be for us to do, but maybe that the Lord was preparing her heart and her future in adoption. She prayed........often. And continued to ask us if we thought we would ever adopt.
Two years ago, Tim changed jobs. When we reviewed the offer on paper, some of the benefits stuck out to us, one of which was an adoption allowance the company gives to families that adopt. I remember Tim saying, "they even give us $3000.00 towards adoption...huh..."....
Our oldest girls have had the opportunity over the last 18mos of ministering to children in a couple different circumstances. Sometimes they see good, and sometimes seeing first hand of what a broken, unstable, dysfunctional situation looks like. Their heart aches for these children.
It wasn't much longer that our second born joined our oldest in the adoption talk.
Tim and I hurt for those statistics. You know, the ones that come from fatherless homes. The ones that are so large, that at times, feel like they are shaping our nation. Are they?? Is there nothing we can do?? Read them, and your heart will break. Oh, if we can just do for one. If we can just be used to break that one cycle.
Last year, we listened to this message in church. And I can honestly say, that Tim and I both didn't have adoption on our mind after listening to this message. In fact, we used this message, processed it and applied it to what was going on in our life at that moment. Isn't that how that normally works?? :)
Fast forward to the end of 2012 and the realization that that message meant more to us then we knew; and totally was used in encouraging us where we felt the Lord was leading us today. So, right before New Years, we sat the kids down and told them that we did indeed feel the Lord's leading in us pursuing adoption. If you heard children screaming for joy, that would be our oldest(s); our youngest on the other hand, had a little more difficult time with this decision. But if you asked her now, she would probably beg you to find her a baby!!
If you've been following me for awhile, then you might not be to surprised at all with this post after reading this post ,and this post. I will share with you what we shared with our family and friends and it's this......
There are a million reasons why and why not to adopt, and trust me when we say we have thought of all million plus one. Financially, we can't even afford it; domestic adoption (which is where we feel led) numbers can climb up to $30,000.00. We've been out of the baby stage so long, that we don't have even a single thing baby related. When we tell people we are adopting, sometimes they say "and how old is your youngest??", and they're right, God is funny sometimes. But the one reason we will toss every good or evil thought or discouragement out of our head is because of this. We ourselves don't want to miss, or deny our children the opportunity to miss seeing GOD WORK, just because we ourselves don't think we can make it happen. If I told you that my most favorite place to be is where I am incapable of doing anything about a situation and forced to release my grip and give it over to God and watch Him work, then I would be telling you the truth. If I told you that my favorite place to be was getting to the point that I needed God to redeem a situation and save me from it, then I would be lying. Who loves a Valley; who loves the shadow of death??? I'll take streams of plenty on the mountain top please!! :)
Our God's faithfulness is so constant though, that we knew that no matter what the end results (child or no child), He wanted us to go down this adoption road for a reason and we pray our eyes, heart, ears, and arms are open to whatever He has in store for us.
From small details like, getting our children's blue slips as I stand at the counter of the pediatrician's office, to getting physicals the next day for Tim and I after calling, to going to a different county for fingerprinting, to a phone call from a friend that led to our social worker, and so on and so on. Each situation started with what could have been a hassle or challenge, but was very clear that God wanted us there. That He orchestrated each detail, even challenging ones to show us something. Praying we don't miss a thing of what He wants to do and show us. Please pray that for us. Please keep us lifted in your prayers as we travel down this journey.
We have already been tried and challenged in areas that make you want to questioned everything you do. We've been down that road before, and if you are reading this and you are a believer you know that when you say "yes, Lord" , you are signing yourself up for war with the enemy. We need to keep our shields high. When discouragement comes, we encourage each other. When we are weak, we ask for strength. When we are frustrated, we ask for contentment. When we are bitter, we ask for joy.
I remember one of our beloved pastors stating something to the effect of, "when you are given something, and you don't like it and get mad at it, and want to give up and wished it never happened; it's like shaking your fist in anger high up at God.". And he is so right.....If I would just view everything as though it were given to me, planned, allowed and placed in my path by my Heavenly Father, then I would view my circumstances so differently.
Tim's hoping to be a Father to the Fatherless, I'm hoping to be a Mama that embraces with hope, and our girls are hoping to smother a child with so much love that it makes their heart burst.
We received a phone call about three weeks ago, for a 2 1/2 mos old baby girl in North Georgia. Before I could get just these same words out of my mouth to Tim that I just gave you, he said..."let's get in the car and go."...... and we did. We didn't know really much about the situation, and learned more as we traveled and made our way into Georgia. I would love to share with you the hundreds of details that occurred over our 10days in North Georgia, but I feel like the time of it is not now. I was able to record most all of it in writing, and it is something we will cherish forever.
There is no doubt we were supposed to be there. There is no doubt we were to know the ones we met. We may never know the full reasons why, but we know some now; and we are okay if it's only in Glory that we know the rest. After a week of being there and verbally been given this child; the night before we were to meet her, DFCS(DHR) removed her from her mother and placed her in Foster Care. We stayed for the court hearing the following week. There are too many private details to share, but if I could just give you picture of what we saw and felt....
imagine a mother(minor), without a mother or father. Just in the last 6mos alone, has lived in 7 different group homes. A life that was completely run by lies, manipulation, hurt, and rejection. This mother bravely gave birth to a child; when we know very well the alternative given in this world today. Every ounce of us hurts for this situation. Our children still pray for her, and her baby. Our youngest, by name, every single mealtime and night time. We witnessed over the last two weeks, exactly the statistics that I linked to above. We watched what it's like for people to act with no hope. It's a heart wrenching feeling. I know undoubtedly our Heavenly Father's heart breaks for these situations.
We left, knowing even more strongly that the Lord wants us to adopt domestically. I felt so encourage to walk along side the man I love, and us not have a single wavering feeling about it. It was a beautiful and hard thing we and our children had to endure. We've told them from the beginning all the risks that are involved with adoption. And even though they cried hours over the news of not bringing this baby home with us, they cried equally over the mother's situation. Their hearts are so tender and loving.
We believe we were light in a very dark place. We believe we provided encouragement and love to many up there. We believe they saw the Hope we live with daily, and it is our prayer that they want to know that same Hope.
We are glad we were used. There are no regrets. I remember telling the Lord when I went on the stand in the hearing to testify...."Lord, I will not be Peter, I will not be Peter."....let them hear your voice, may they see Jesus in me.
I leave you with some verses that were dear to us during the last few weeks.....
"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth." Ps 115:1
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zeph 3:17