Our adoption journey began in March 2010 when God began to open our eyes and tug at our hearts as to how we were to grow our family and how we were to live out His love for the orphans and widows.
During this time, our small group was reading through Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Steve was preaching through a series on Hebrews followed by a series on Ruth. Both he and I were challenged by what we were learning individually and as a couple regarding our immense love of comfort and self. We were seriously contemplating having another biological child, but it wasn't until we were struck by God's overwhelming love for us as outcasts, that our plans began to change.
Hebrews 13:2 speaks of true Christian hospitality which is a little different than what we tend to think of when it comes to hospitality. In our culture, we think Martha Stewart, but God has a different view. In Deuteronomy 10, God basically said, “You, Israel, were aliens in Egypt and without me, you would have died, but I clothed you and fed you and brought you home. You only live because of my hospitality. Now you turn and do the exact same thing. Take all your stuff and spend it on people who need a home. Be sacrificial like I sacrificed for you."
On top of this, one of the most interesting things throughout the book of Ruth is that God is not explicitly mentioned in most of the verses, but what we do see is God’s invisible hand working behind the scene throughout. This is definitely intentional. It’s to show us that God is working behind the scenes in our lives. In Ruth, God is showing His character through the characters.
God is showing His devotion and love to Naomi through the devotion of Ruth. God shows His love for the poor, the strangers, the outcasts through Boaz’s love for those people. For instance, Boaz is like God in that he seeks the abandoned as his family; he shelters the weak under his wings; he serves the hungry at his table; and he showers the needy with his grace.
God has ordained for His people to be a demonstration of His care for the poor, needy and abandoned - to display how much He loves and cares for the least of these. As people look at Christians, as they read our story and observe us, do they walk away and say – God has great care and compassion for the poor, needy and abandoned!
One night after my reading this blog post (which Steve had forwarded me earlier) and somehow several days later finding my way to this Gotcha Day video:
I looked over at Steve and said, "I think we should consider international adoption." He looked back and said, "I was thinking the exact same thing." Ten years of marriage and we are still on the same page - I love it! I can't even begin to describe how God has used our marriage to change me and help me grow to be more like Christ.
I think that God must have a great sense of humor, because during this same period of time we had three girls three and under. To be honest, there were some days when I felt like we might never make it to see tomorrow. Four months later (July 2010), there are still some days that feel that way and I wonder "Are you sure you have the right family, God?" That is the beauty of it - There is no way we can do this without God! Any of it! Parenting is the hardest endeavor we have ever undertaken, but we are not alone in it. We are striving to teach our kids to be disciples of Christ, but honestly it seems like God is refining us, the parents, just as much as the kids during this intense time of training up our children.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
I Timothy 3:16-17
We wrestled for several months regarding the timing of this decision - Would it be the best time for our family? Should we wait? How would the girls and the new baby do with the transition? Could we effectively parent another child? What about future issues for our adoptive child - potential racism, feeling abandoned by their birth family, etc, - how would we handle them? We felt like we had put ample thought into these concerns and ...
It finally came down to this: We both knew that God had called us to adopt. Were we going to obey?
For me, there were times when I was scared to step out in faith, and it was easy to start doubting the greatness of our God. If this was from Him, then He would go before us and work out all the details. My part was to keep walking in faith. This seems to be my biggest area of weakness - letting God be in control. In this situation, No Control = Fear. Note to self (once again): He doesn't need my "help" to run the universe! I needed to dwell and meditate on what I knew to be true about God and my relationship with Him.
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." II Timothy 1:7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:6-8
We both read Radical by David Platt in May 2010 and were challenged once again that there is more to life than the American Dream. Instead, this is what we want our lives to be about - How can I bring the most glory to God? What does that look like daily for our family? How can we use our resources to live like a radical disciple of Jesus Christ?
For us right now, it means that in a little over a year we will be adding a precious little one to our crazy family, and we cannot wait to see how God will use this for His glory!
"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11
See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) and Adoption Timeline for additional details on our adoption process.