Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Whole Story: Why We Decided to Adopt...Again!

Ok, I'm going to be transparent here. I've had this post written for over a month, but I've been procrastinating publishing it. Partly because I haven't really sat down to read it over since I first wrote it, and partly because it's pretty personal and I am just nervous about putting it out there. I know that not everyone who reads this or knows us shares the same faith we do, and I worry that I'm going to sound a bit strange. I shouldn't probably care about this, but I do. So as a result I've been putting it off. But, no longer! So here it is, the story of how we decided to add another son to our family.

February 10

The first weekend in February I went to adoption conference in Atlanta called Created for Care. It was such a nice time to get away, relax, and spend time with friends. While I was there I loved hearing all the beautiful stories of adoption and healing from other adoptive moms. I can honestly say that I left there not really feeling like it was time for us adopt again. One day, but not yet.

Three days later, I'm back home, and in my email is the monthly email from our adoption agency that contains the waiting children from their partnership agencies. Some months I open this email, some months I don't. It's usually not a big deal if I do, I just kind of scroll through and read about the kids knowing that one day we will probably be looking at these again for real. Yesterday was a day that I chose to open it, but nothing was the same after that. When I opened it I immediately saw three different kids that I was drawn too. And because I am known for being a bit impulsive, I decided to email the director of the China program and ask for more information on those three boys. I have no idea why I decided to do this. Well, actually, I'm pretty sure I was prompted by the Holy Spirit, but at the time I just did it without thinking it through. Pretty much my M.O.

About 20 minutes later Brian got home, and I immediately bombarded him with what I had just done. Because he is such an amazing husband, he very calmly changed his clothes and humored me by sitting down and looking at the email of children. I didn't tell him which kids I had requested more information on, because I wanted to see if he felt drawn to the same ones. Out of the about 15 kids on the list, he pointed out two. One of which was the same as me!(side note: our son's referral name was Calvin) Oh, and I was supposed to run when he got home so I pretty much demanded that he do this immediately and then walked out the door to leave him with his thoughts. Ha!

I completed my run at the playground where Brian was with the kids and we spent some time talking about what just happened and what this might mean. I was still processing my time from the weekend and what God had taught me there. Without going into too much detail, my theme for the weekend was God's still small voice. Knowing it, listening for it, and being confident in hearing it. Prior to the weekend I had been asking God a lot about what the next step for our family was. And I don't mean the immediate future, like the in a few years or so future. Should we adopt again, should we have another baby, should I go back to work in a few years? I felt that the paths were mutually exclusive and that I needed to know right now what the future held. For a while God had been pretty clearly telling me that it wasn't time for me to know the next step. That I was to live each day in the situation and circumstances that He had already given me. And that when it was time for me to take a step, He would let me know. And all of that was confirmed at my weekend away. Can you imagine my surprise when only three short days later I was emailing my adoption agency about a file?! In my experience it seems that God really does love surprises!

That evening Brian and I talked and prayed a little more about it, he much more calmly than I, and then we waited to see what information we would get in the morning.

February 12th

I cannot keep Calvin's picture and name out of my mind. He looks so much like Lily I honestly think that if he's in the same orphanage I'd pay for some biological testing. I keep thinking of him and seeing his face. And of course, stalking my email to see what our agency sends us. Then, after my morning run around 9:45 I get multiple emails. Our agency sent us all three files! I look at them all, but honestly don't give much thought to any of them but Calvin's. I forward them on to Brian and wait to hear what he had to say. Every time I hear a text come in my heart jumps into my throat! Apparently I think he's going to text me a yes or something. As you can imagine my heart and mind were consumed with this little boy all day, and it's super frustrating when you can't talk to your husband about it!

All day I wrestled with it, doubt and fear and worry clouding my mind. A little confusion was thrown in there too, since I had just finally wrapped my head around the whole waiting thing! That night I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 4am and started praying and wrestling again. As I lay there thinking about this boy, I started thinking about names. There were only 3 boy names that I could come up with that I liked, and there was one that was definitely my favorite. Read this post for more on the story of his name.

February 13th

As I was driving in my car, still obsessively thinking about whether or not we should proceed with a second adoption, I noticed that the girls were asleep in the back and I didn't have to listen to their super entertaining phonics video anymore so I flipped over to the radio. These were the words that I heard:

Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God

So, if You say move
It's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

To stand and watch the weary and lost
Cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back
And try and act like all is well

I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

As I listened to the song tears came into my eyes and I knew that this was our path. If I said no to adopting this child, I was going to be saying no to God. My calling as a wife and mother is to keep our children and family in the center of God's will. He always knows what is best for us, and has proven it again and again. I have seen the rewards and joy that adopting Lily brought to our life, and I know that God isn't going to steer me wrong. I may be refined in a few fires along the way, but I'm alright with that. That's how God makes us more like Him. To be honest, I think from that very first email I sent that I knew this was going to happen. As soon as I set that ball in motion, it wasn't going to stop rolling. And even as I struggled with the decision I knew that in the end we would say yes. Three days later we did. At least the fight my flesh put up didn't last that long ;o)

February 14

Saturday morning Brian took our adoption application to UPS and sent it off to our agency. And as soon as that was in the mail, I noticed that I didn't give the adoption another thought. Not like an I don't care and that was just pretend it never really happened kind of thing, but instead the turmoil and chaos that had persisted in my heart for days was put to rest. Brian said the same thing - we both felt complete peace about our decision. In the middle of the crazy I did enlist one friend to pray for us while we were wrestling with this decision, and she prayed that both Brian and I would have a complete peace about whatever decision we made. I love when God answers prayers so quickly!

Some Final Thoughts

The first time we were thinking about adopting, I was completely calm, cool and collected, knowing that this was the path God had for us. It took Brian a little longer to come around to the idea - not only about adopting, but about having 3 kids in general! This time our roles were completely reversed. He was completely calm and at peace with adopting again, and I was freaking out! I am fully aware of how crazy our life is with 3 kids, and having 4 does not sound like a good plan at all. Going through more doctor visits, and the process of bonding, and moving rooms around to make space for another child, and the list goes on. None of these things are easy. But the one thing that does make it easy - the reason that stands above all else and trumps any reason not to adopt - is knowing that there is a child in China without a family who is waiting to love and to be loved and to heal and to come alive - and we get to be a part of that journey. Once you have seen a child transform before your eyes, you know you will go back. You know you will do it again. No matter what heartaches and sacrifices happen along the way, they are worth it. Seeing the light come alive in their eyes, watching them form relationships with siblings, and hearing them call for their Mama and Dada, all of it is priceless.

So I am fully aware that we seem crazy, and probably are a little. But God has given us life to have an adventure where we seek after Him. He will take us to places that we never would have ventured on our own. Some of those places are hard and some are not, but they will always bring us closer to our Savior. Which, in the end, is why we are here. To fill the void in our heart with the One who created it to be there. And let me tell you, I am ready for an adventure!

Brian and Lily mailing off our application!

David's referral picture

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