November has been National Adoption Month, and all month long I've been thinking about what I want to post on here about this topic that is very near and dear to my heart. It's the last day of November, so I thought it would be fitting to close out the month with a post on adoption. I have so much in my heart that I want to say, afterall, all four of my kids are adopted. But I will spare you, and just hit on a few of the things I wanted to say. I'm not going to walk everybody through the process of how to adopt. There are many resources on that. The point of this post is to encourage those considering adoption or currently walking through adoption.
After being married for about a year, my husband and I decided it was time to have kids. But over the next year, we began to discover that have children biologically may not be in God's plans. After visits to the doctor and much prayer, we decided to adopt. I think for a lot of people, adoption is kind of the "last resort." But for us, it was the first thing we considered. I, in particular, have always had a heart that is overwhelmed by the desire to help the hurting of this world. We thought that through adoption, we could minister to a hurting birth mother who had chosen life instead of abortion. And we could also provide a loving home for a child. So, we started the adoption process, and pretty much 9 months to the day after we started the whole application, we held little Isabella in our arms at the hospital. Our lives have forever changed since we brought that beautiful doll into our family.
(our first glimpse of Isabella, just an hour or so after birth)
When Isabella was about 9 months old, we were challenged at church to not just say that we were pro-life, but to put actions behind it. My husband and I, after much prayer and talking, felt that God was leading us to adopt older kids. Although in the back of my heart I had always wanted to adopt older kids, I had never really thought it would happen. But the Lord called us very strongly to show the world that every kid has worth and value because they are created by God. So, we got our homestudy done, and a week after we sent our application in to the agency, we got our three oldest kids. Our lives have been turned upside down we the addition of the three oldest ones, and while it was more than chaotic at first, we have developed a deep love for the kiddos, and have really enjoyed seeing how God is working in their lives.
So, both of our adoptions have been very different. The adoptions were motivated by different things, and the processes were both very different. But I thank God for my kids, and we can't wait to see what God has in store for our very unique family.
Adoption looks different for everybody. Whether you do a private adoption, a DHS adoption, or international. There are loads of paperwork, and it feels like you have to reveal every little part of your life to a stranger in order to have a child placed in your home. If you are considering adoption, I want to encourage you that while it seems discouraging to have to go through such a long and tedious process just to get a child, it is a season that will pass, and soon you will have a beautiful child to raise as your own. It is a sacrifice financially, emotionally, and with time. But it is a model on a small scale of the tremendous love and sacrifice of Christ so we could be adopted as God's children.
But I can't adopt right now...
Maybe some of you are really longing to be able to adopt, but there is something standing in the way. Maybe you don't have the money to do it right now (although there are financial resources out there if you dig around, afterall, all money is God's!). Maybe it is not a good time for your family. Or maybe you don't meet all the requirements yet (age, years of marriage, etc.). When you really want to add on to your family through adoption, but God seems to have you in a holding pattern, it is hard. I know. I've been there before, and I am there right now. Right now, we'd like to add to our family through adoption, but financially it just doesn't seem to be the right time. We know that if God wants us to adopt, he will have to open the doors financially and give us the green light. But we seem to be on hold right now. So, what are we to do?!
Well, for me, my heart is aching to adopt one (or two or five!) of these beautiful little ones. I sit at the computer and weep when I see their faces and read their heart wrenching stories. My husband knows how much it hurts me to want so desperately to save these kids and be powerless. So, he wisely suggested that I print off their names and faces, and then spend time praying over each of them each day. So that's what I have started to do. I may not be able to do anything right now except pray, and that is what I must be faithful to do. Maybe you've seen an older child that you wish you could adopt. Pray for them. Pray that God would burden the hearts of people all over this world to give loving homes to these beautiful children. And pray that God will open the doors to use you to adopt as well. That's the best we can do when God has us waiting.
Perhaps your children are grown and out of the house, and you don't want to adopt more. Or perhaps you have 10 kids already. Let's face it, not everyone is called by God to adopt. And that's fine. But we are all called, as Christians, to take care of orphans--however that looks. For me, it undoubtedly is through adoption. But maybe for you, it is through giving money so others can adopt. Did you know that we were only able to adopt our three newest kids because the day before we got "the call" from the agency, someone sent us an anonymous donation of $4000?! Our adoption was made possible because someone obeyed God's calling of helping orphans by giving us money. Maybe you are supposed to start an orphanage. Or maybe you're supposed to start a ministry at your church. Who knows....it's different for everybody. But we're all supposed to be involved.
How will you be involved?