For many of you, this is the first time you are learning about this new chapter in our lives. We have been blessed with so many wonderful friends and family members that we thought this would be a good way to share the story with each of you. We always talked about the possibility of adopting a child later on in life, but God had other plans. So the short and simple answer to why we are adopting is that we feel we've been called to do so! If you'd like to hear the whole story, feel free to read on!
As I mentioned, we had always talked about potentially adopting a child, later on in life. Although I meant it, I had never done any research on adoption, nor had I ever really thought about all that it would entail. Basically, the idea of adopting hadn't crossed my mind in quite some time, so when it started coming up I knew there was a reason. I guess I should preface this with a quick story. Several months ago the idea of homeschooling started coming up in every aspect of my life. Luke and I had always felt strongly about our kids attending public school and had never even considered this as a possibility for our family. Little by little I felt my attitude softening as I saw examples, heard stories, and listened to people's experiences with homeschooling. I kept feeling this need to research and have an open mind. I remember thinking how ridiculous it was, as I knew Luke would never go for the idea. After a few weeks passed and I could not get the idea out of my head, I mentioned it to him. Much to my surprise he was open to talking about it. I couldn't imagine why this was coming up now, as Caleb was only about a year old, but we started to research and talk about the pros and cons. There were times when I was so overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel, but I couldn't seem to escape it. The more we prayed about it and discussed how it would work with our family life and schedule, the more certain we were that this was going to be part of our future. In time I found myself excited about all of the possibilities it would allow and the fact that I could put all that I had learned and worked for into practice with my own children.
Okay so here's how it all ties in. I'd say within two weeks of accepting that we were going to homeschool and having such a peace about it, a new idea started coming up in every aspect of my life - Adoption. Had I not just had a similar experience, I may not have been so quick to hear what God was trying to say. I remember the sinking feeling I had and literally thinking to myself "God, you've got to be kidding me!" When I tell you I couldn't escape it, I mean Adoption was the topic on the radio when I turned it on, in the contestants story on the show we were watching, the book I was reading, on the facebook homepage and everywhere in between. I thought about it immediately when I woke up in the morning and within a few weeks I knew it was not going away. I had thought the decision to homeschool was life-changing and a lot of work, but this was much bigger. Again I wondered what Luke would say, and if God was simultaneously working on his heart. His response was that we'd always said we wanted to adopt someday, so why not now? I had countless answers as to why now was not a good idea, but if God truly wanted us to do this, I knew my reasons wouldn't matter. Despite all of that, I remember very vividly that on October 31st I felt overwhelmed to the point that I was seriously considering giving up. Again God had other plans: the next day, November 1st, marked the start of National Adoption Month and if I thought I couldn't avoid it before, now it was downright impossible.
Before long I had packets arriving from various adoption agencies and we began trying to learn as much as possible. I was blessed to speak with a couple of people who had been through the process and began reading various books on the subject. It is amazing how much adoption echoes the gospel....how adopting a child is not all that different from our adoption into God's family. I soon realized that whether we would eventually adopt or not, all that I was learning and reading was changing me. To be sure that adoption, and specifically international adoption, was the path that we were supposed to take, we researched a few additional avenues. I attended a foster care meeting, we met with an agency, participated in webinars, and did a great deal of additional reading. Through it all, we continued to feel strongly about adopting internationally.
We spent some time just waiting and praying after the bulk of our research and after about five months we have found ourselves feeling certain that it is time to take the next step. I remember reading these words at one point during this process: "Stay at his feet. Move when He says move and wait when He says wait." At that point I felt it was a confirmation that we were supposed to be still and wait. Now we couldn't feel more strongly that He is saying move!
We know this will change our lives forever and that it will likely be the most difficult thing we will ever do. We know there are a lot of uncertainties, and we know that we cannot do this on our own. This is probably the biggest leap of faith we have taken yet, but we are excited, and we truly believe that if God is calling us to do this, then He will be with us every step of the way!