Sunday, April 28, 2013

Raw honesty

I wrote in my last entry how God wants us to do this adoption on His terms. What we have to do is let go of what we envision in order to embrace the life God has planned for us. I really want God to take my life and use it for His glory.

But here's where God called me out. 

See, I do want that. I want God to use my life for His glory. But I just don't want to give it to him. Romans 12 talks about offering ourselves as living sacrifices. Have you ever heard the phrase, "the problem with a living sacrifice is that it's always trying to crawl off the altar?" Guilty as charged. 

I don't want God to change the parts of my life that I like. That's a raw, hidden part of my heart that I like to pretend isn't there. But I need to call it what it is. I want God to use my life...but not at the expense of my own comfort and desires. This came to mind because I was researching adoption today. As I looked at photos of yearning, lonely orphans, my heart breaking for them, I saw words next to their names: "special needs," "HIV+", "downs syndrome." I thought to myself, "we couldn't ever adopt a child with special needs." But, God hit my heart like a ton of bricks. I sensed Him saying, 'hey, wait a minute! Who is in control of this adoption, anyway?!' I don't necessarily think we are called to adopt a child with special needs, but the point is, who am I to pick and choose who I will 'allow' God to lead us to? 

What if God chooses us to become the parents to a child who will need lifelong care? I am only human. My husband and I were married young and had children quickly, so we never had the chance to really just enjoy being married. Sometimes we will talk about how we will spend our empty nest days. I have always wanted to travel, and look forward to getting the chance to as our children get older. Do I want to give those dreams up? Not at all. And therein lies my struggle. 

I've heard that many times we should choose to act out of obedience and the feelings will eventually follow. I don't know how long it will take, but every day, I will make the choice to surrender my life for what God has planned. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

God's crazy idea

Have you ever had something come to you and you just know, deep in your heart, that it was from God?

I have always said I was open to adoption. But to be honest, I never really thought I would do it. I thought it was great that others chose to adopt, but I never had much of an interest in it. Then God spoke to my heart.

The first time I really thought about it was on our family beach vacation in North Carolina in the summer of 2011. For my birthday that spring, I had bought the book "Choosing To See" by Mary Beth Chapman (Steven Curtis Chapman's wife) and decided to read it on vacation. A lot of the book focused on their journey in adopting their two daughters. It was the first time I really considered adoption as a reality for my family. I decided that I wouldn't mention the idea to my husband. I felt that if God wanted us to pursue it someday,  He would give my husband a heart for it as well.

I became pregnant with my third child in early 2012. It was an unexpected pregnancy, and I dealt with a lot of emotions and difficulties through those months. We discussed whether we were "done" or not. Three kids is more than enough, we reasoned. Kids are expensive. I am homeschooling and 3 is more than enough to keep me busy. We would have to buy a new vehicle. We don't have the room for more. The list goes on.

After having my son in the fall, I went through a long several months of adjusting. It was probably one of the hardest times of my life. I had almost no problem adjusting from one child to two children, but going to three really threw me for a loop. I was overtired, overemotional, & overwhelmed. And yet, God kept whispering "Adoption!" to my weary heart. I began to feel like I was crazy. How in the world can I even imagine adopting when I can barely handle what God already gave me?! But His voice just got louder, and my heart became burdened for the orphans.

God blessed us with the opportunity to purchase a home that is absolutely perfect for us. We closed on March 11, 2013. The details were so perfect we knew this was a gift from God. When we were in the process of buying it, I kept picturing bringing our adopted child home there someday. It really is perfect - no more than we need, and no less than we need. We love it here.

Almost 2 weeks ago, I told my husband that I may sound crazy, but I feel like our family isn't complete. I also told him I don't think I want to have more biological children. We have talked about this a lot over the last few months, but nothing was definite. I asked him if he felt anything at all about it. "I don't feel like we're done, if that's what you mean," he said.

It was just crazy enough that I knew it could only be from God.

So here I am now. A busy mom with a 6 1/2 year old, 3 year old, and 7 month old, researching adoption in my spare time. Praying constantly. Reading adoption blogs that make me cry every.single.time. I know without a doubt that God wants us to adopt. The more my husband and I discuss it, the more I realize that God really has been preparing both our hearts. There has been no need to convince each other of anything, we are on the same page. It's amazing.

Right now, we are just praying for direction while we work on paying off our credit card debt. We believe God will provide the funds for this adoption. If He brings us to it, He will provide. Today I came to the realization that if God is going to do this, it will need to be done His way. Up until today, I pictured adopting a little boy or girl from 1-3 years old, from a country where adoptions are relatively quick and painless. But God reminded me that this will be done on His terms, not mine. I felt a tugging at my heart to look into adopting an older child (over 3 years old). These children, along with those with special needs, are the ones that are adopted last. I mentioned this to my husband, and he told me that he had always had in mind adopting an older child but that he didn't think I felt the same way.

Whoa, God. Talk about keeping our hearts on the same page!

It was also a direct answer to prayer, because I have been specifically praying that God would give us some direction. It gives me something, a little sign that we are going the right way! I am really excited, and maybe a little terrified too. I want to tell so many people, but I feel it's best to keep it quiet until we have more details or are closer to knowing when we should pursue the adoption process.