Thursday, November 3, 2011

the "a" word: how adoption has entered our vernacular once again

"He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord."
-Psalm 113:9

"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you."
-John 14: 18

If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know our story.
if not, here it is in a nutshell:

we couldn't get pregnant - we tried for almost two years.
we started the process to adopt,
we got pregnant a month later, 
and had a son 
and to some, it would seem, that was that.

we now knew we could, in fact, conceive, and to many, it would seem like a no-brainer.
you want more kids? have another. You want a third, just get pregnant again.
it's easier than adopting, it's me, we've heard it all.

but from the moment we learned we were pregnant, or even before that, we knew (and hoped) that adoption would still be part of the way God would grow our family.
so quickly had it become a part of us, this longing to give those who have no families, a family.
the abandoned a home. 
the orphan, a father, a mother.

We have gotten many different responses to the news that we will not be trying to get pregnant with our next child. two such responses stick out in my mind more than some of the others...

Are you going to have any more of your own?

although we know what is meant by this comment - will you ever literally conceive and give birth to another baby again now that you know that it's possible - it still stings a bit.
our next child isn't even born yet, may not even have been conceived yet, but we know without a shadow of a doubt that wherever he or she is conceived, whether it be a hotel room, a prison, a bedroom in the projects,
wherever he's born -
whoever the woman is that also considers this child her own
this child will be our own as much as Micah is.
will the love be different? maybe. but will there be love? certainly.
will it be hard? maybe. worth it? absolutely.

the other comment we've more recently gotten is:

but if you don't adopt this baby, won't someone else just come along and adopt them?

and the answer is probably yes.
if we choose not to adopt this infant, there's a relatively good chance that someone else will adopt him or her.
however, that is not the case for all children. and there are no guarantees.

then i got to thinking - isn't that the case with most things?
if you don't do it, someone else probably will, right?
and for a moment it seems that idea makes our action a little less urgent, less necessary even.

but as i was thinking, debating what my responses should or shouldn't have been
i was struck with the thought...

but why not us?

we get to be a part of this amazing process.
and so what if we know that if we don't adopt this precious little life into our family, then someone else will.

we have the chance to be that family. 

the opportunity. the privilege. it's overwhelming, but humbling and amazing all at once.

a close friend asked us recently why we want to adopt. partially playing devil's advocate, because they already knew our hearts as we have shared with them before. they are friends that in the course of three years (give or take), have had two biological children and have adopted two of their cousins, so they know the ups and downs of adoption first hand. so they asked us, what's the motivation to adopt for you guys?

our answer is three-fold, i think:

we feel called by God to do so - akin (we're assuming) to the call to become an overseas missionary. you feel the tug (the call, so to speak, and you follow - no matter how nerve-wracking, intimidating, bigger than you) you follow because you know that's the path you are to walk.

to paraphrase my dear friend {Kate} who has a biological daughter, a son who was adopted from Ethiopia and is now just waiting for the county's call that they have a child for them to foster/adopt: we want to be parents to more children, there are children out there who have no parents, so we adopt.

we believe that we have a great responsibility/privilege to point our children to the truth that because of Jesus' saving work on the cross, we all have the chance to not only be children in families, but also children of God! and the gift of adoption gives us the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel with a child that may never have gotten the chance to hear that message.

but, how do you know that if you don't share that with them, that some other family won't either?

and the truth is, we don't. maybe another family would...but again, why not us?

for the last month or so, our church has been studying the book of Exodus. 
Last Sunday as our pastor taught on Moses and the plagues in Egypt, 
he kept returning to his point that God's plan in saving Moses was bigger than just his salvation.
God used him to free the entire Israelite nation.
and further than that - to show all of Egypt that the Lord was the one true God.

Similarly, God's plan in saving me is bigger than just my salvation.

and we think that adoption is just a small part of that bigger story.

For a long time i felt like that barren woman in the verse above. i trusted that somehow, someway God would give us a family, but sometimes deep down, i doubted. don't we all?

There are times (many times) that i still doubt. where will we get the money? (adoption is expensive) how am i going to manage having two kids under two years old? (most likely)

but then we look back and see God's hand on our past -
a past where He withheld pregnancy,
where He offered adoption, not as second choice, but a just-as-good option.
and it was He who caused life to form inside when the possibility was a long shot.

with that in mind, and the future doesn't seem so daunting.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen."

So we move forward with that in mind.

We cannot wait to share with you as this journey unfolds...and we hope you'll continue to follow along down this new (to us) path.

Also, follow our progress along under the ::our adoption timeline:: tab at the top of my blog.
I know i was also curious about how long the adoption process took for other adoptive families when we were first researching adoption, what all was involved,, it's a great way for us to look back and remember how far we've come as we try not to get overwhelmed by what all is left to do.


evan said...

i'm so glad you guys still want to adopt. i feel like i have a similar calling, and have since i was a teenager, to love those that no one else loves. i'll be praying for you guys for the journey and the end result. praise God that you're following His will for you, even though might be easier not to.

CitricSugar said...

As someone who was adopted and was never introduced as "an adopted child", it's nice to hear that someone else gets a little rankled at the idea that a child of your genetic line is "more your own" than one you choose to become mother to.

My younger sister is biologically related to my parents but she is every bit my sister and has rolled her eyes at those who say we look nothing alike since she was in her teens.

I know that you will be a fantastic mum to any child, regardless of their origin and will never make a child you've adopted feel any less than entirely yours.

Kate said...

so thankful to have friends who walk in obedience...and that i get to watch as God grows their family into something more beautiful then they could ever imagine!

dave said...

I like the response to the second and more recent question . Good thoughts and helpfull . Thanks

jess said...

thanks Evan!
and CS - that is really encouraging, you have no idea!
love you kate! ...& david/dad!

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