Tuesday, April 17, 2012

guest post: my husband on adoption


Last week we were asked to share about our adoption at church on Sunday morning. We spent part of the week and much of the weekend talking about what aspect of it Curtis was going to talk about. After some prayer and thinking Curtis (with the help of my editing eye) wrote the following. He then created an outline to use as he would share. However, at the last minute when we were called up to the front on Sunday, he decided to scrap his notes and just talk openly for a few minutes instead to our church family. I think it was the right decision, however, i couldn't pass up the chance to let Curtis share his heart with all of you as well. without further ado - i give to you my dear husband, on our adoption story:

God has been revealing to Jess and myself a very specific weakness in us as individuals and as a couple. From what I can perceive, this weakness has to do with how we trust God, and whether or not we believe his promises to be true.
A few years after getting married, we both felt we were “ready” to start a family. Over time we watched as friends easily got pregnant and even started getting pregnant for a second time and still for us, no baby. During this time we also found out that Jess only has one ovary, which is layman’s terms meant that our chances of conception were reduced by half, at best.
We started wresting with this idea that perhaps God’s plan wasn’t to make us parents by birthing a child ourselves? So we prayed, and slowly we gave the whole pregnancy thing over to God, and we began the process of adopting from Ethiopia. But we are weak and so we decided to try a fertility pill called Clomid, and in our double mindedness, we were hoping that although we now really wanted to adopt, we still wanted to conceive. Jess took the pill during the month we started our adoption and soon after, Jess told me that she didn’t feel like we should continue taking it. She said, if we are going to move forward with this adoption, I think we should stop actively trying to conceive. And so we did. We remember telling people that the feeling of starting the adoption process felt like we were pregnant, because we were so excited. (little did we know, Jess was in fact pregnant at that very moment.)
So, you can imagine our shock, just a few weeks later, on the 4th of July, I convinced Jess to take a pregnancy test and it came back positive. It was the strangest feeling. We both felt this sinking feeling in our stomachs. Don’t get us wrong, we were shocked and ecstatic, but we also had to grieve the loss of this new idea of how we thought our family would look.
We were weak; we were very weak. Instead of rejoicing in this miracle we had just seen him perform; we grieved. This family we had envisioned God was building, this United Nations home we would start to resemble, was now being replaced by a pasty white suburban dwelling family. We already live in a small white house, with a red door, and a little white dog. And then conviction came, and our imperfections were made very clear to us.
At every turn we watched how our expectations have been exceeded by God’s grace. We can’t imagine our lives without Micah. Clearly this was God’s plan. Clearly God was using our weakness for his glory.
After Micah was six weeks old, we began talking about adoption again. Would we try to become pregnant again? Quite frankly, Jess was not in any mood to talk about more children quite yet. I think we wanted to adopt in the future. We told people we wanted to adopt even though we now knew that we could conceive.
From the time Micah was born, and even until now, God has been working on our hearts. Convicting us of our lack of faith, pride, arrogance, feeling guilty for becoming pregnant when there are countless children in this world in need of being adopted.
God has been conforming us to His plan, to His timing, to the fact that He is the one who ordains who our children will be, biologically or not. Teaching us that we are his children. Reminding us of scriptures, like when Jesus tells his disciples “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” Or in Isaiah where God commands us to “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Which is why Jess and I are up here today. We believe God has used all of our circumstances and weaknesses, to point us towards Christ. And from that, to point us towards adoption as ministry, and not simply to make us parents again, or to be a metaphor, or to stand in direct opposition to abortion, or to bring racial reconciliation by adopting a child that has a darker skin tone than us. It’s about having the opportunity to help lead a little soul to love Christ.
As one author put it “Without the theological aspect, the emphasis on adoption too easily is seen as mere charity. Without the missional aspect, the doctrine of adoption too easily is seen as a mere metaphor.”
Jess shared a verse with me that she read yesterday that really sums up our hearts. In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes, “I will gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” and that’s exactly how we feel.
So, God willing, our plan is adopt an African American infant through an Ohio adoption agency (and just tell people this child is from Ethiopia!). Our hope is to have an open adoption with the birth mother, and to use this opportunity and relationship to convey the Gospel, and how by Christ’s death, we have all been adopted as sons and daughters of God.
When we look back on the last few years, we have seen over and over our lack of faith, our weakness, our sinful hearts. One example of that is our often-faithless hearts in believing that God will provide for this adoption financially. We know he provides for the things he’s called us to do and yet over and over we doubt. Yet, when we look back, we’ve seen over and over again how God has shown himself faithful to us in spite of our failing in every way. 


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