Sunday, September 23, 2007

How Our Adoption Journey Started

One year ago, we had absolutely no thought of having another child. We had two great kids and quite frankly, that was about all we could handle. We were done. We were talking vasectomy (well, mostly I was talking about it - not a favorite subject for Phil). And yet just last week we sent a huge dossier of paperwork to the People's Republic of China, requesting permission to adopt a child from one of their orphanages.

There are plenty of risks in bringing any child into your life, and added risks when you're talking about an institutionalized child with unknown background. How did we get to this point? What brought us down this road when we aren't even infertile and we already have children? Why go halfway around the world when you could just have a baby the old-fashioned way? Well, it kind of started with Grace, and her belief that God listens to prayer.

A Child's Prayer

A couple of years ago, I don't remember exactly when, Grace began talking about having a sister. I was a little overwhelmed with a baby and preschooler at the time, so I said, sorry, you're not going to ever have a sister.

"Well, I'm going to ask God for a sister," was her response.

I told her she should thank God for her brother because that was all she was going to get and she prayed, "Dear Jesus, thank you for my brother and please give me a sister."

She was surprisingly persistent about it. She didn't pray about it every day, but it popped up with some regularity over the next year or so.

A Changing of Heart

Around November of last year, Phil and I started to have second thoughts about not having anymore kids. We weren't super sure about having another one, but we weren't super sure about not having any more either.

I remember one night talking about family and kids and Phil made some off-hand, kind of random comment, something to the effect of, "Maybe we shouldn't always be so sure we know what is best for us and what God wants for us." Maybe it was a prophetic comment. Then again, maybe it was a man trying to get out of a vasectomy...

Ask a Question...

I always thought there was something special about international adoption. I would hear about people doing it occasionally and would think, "That's really neat - maybe we'll do that someday." But having little kids at your feet all day has a way of making thoughts like that fade deep into the recesses of your cluttered mind.

We had been talking more about having another baby and one morning in November as I was going for a walk, the thought of adoption popped into my head again. I remember dismissing it with, "Well, I guess we'll never do that." But as an afterthought, I said a quick prayer: "God, if that's something you want us to think about, let us know. Maybe bring something up about adoption today - I don't know in the news or something."

I didn't even know that much about it. I briefly thought about trying to find an informative website, but what was the point?

That afternoon, as I was talking to my mom she said, "You know, I was listening to Focus on the Family this morning and they were talking about adoption. For some reason I couldn't stop thinking about you guys. They gave this really good website you could go to for all kinds of information if you are ever interested."

...Get an Answer

I knew that Phil listened to that radio program on the way to work in the mornings and when I asked him about it that night, I could tell that he had been thinking about it too. We agreed to start praying about it, and suddenly adoption was everywhere. It seemed like every time we turned around someone was talking about adoption.

I went to a garage sale and the woman told me she was raising money for her Chinese adoption and while we were talking another woman overheard and told us she was in the process of adopting also. I even turned on Sesame Street one morning to find that it was about a Guatemalan adoption.

We were reading books, taking webinars, and talking to people about it now, and there was no mistaking that God was talking to us about it. One day as we were talking in the car and in the middle of saying something like, "Do you really think God wants us to do this?" someone was calling in on the radio talking about how they had just adopted from oversees and were so glad they had listened when God had started talking to them about it.

And it really became something we wanted to do - not just something God wanted us to do. I guess the more we listened Him, the more He changed our hearts, until we felt like we would miss out forever if we said no.

1 comment:

me said...

your faith is an encouragment... and you are an EXCEPTIONAL writer.