Sometimes God leads you down a path that you didn’t see coming. I can honestly say that five months ago Tim and I were not considering adoption, nor were we feeling like our family was incomplete. It has been, however, our strong desire to follow God wherever he leads us.
It was through a link to an article on adoption posted by a brother from MDF that I became acquainted with “Bringing Hope to Children” which is connected with Heartsent Adoptions. Initially, I saw short biographies of orphaned children. I committed to pray for the children that would pop-up on my newsfeed, and to remind myself that their greatest need was not just a family to love them, but a family that would point them to Jesus.
In the providence of God, one boy and one girl from China stood out to me, and each time they came to mind, I would try to pray for them. This went on for a couple of weeks, and at some point my prayers changed from “God, please provide a family for them so they might hear the gospel and know You”…. to ……. “Maybe God wants us to be that family.” It was at that point that I decided to mention them to Tim. The young boy was running out of time, as he was less than 6 months away from “aging out” of the system. Tim asked me to request more information on him. We received it later that night, and began to earnestly pray for him and for wisdom on how we should proceed.
I was asked to share how we went about preparing ourselves and our home for adopting our son. There were many questions and concerns we had. Through prayer, we sought to explore every possible issue we could think of that we might face. Some of these were:
Cost of the Adoption
Language and Cultural Barriers
Future Possible Medical Concerns (if any)
Timing issues with Home-Study & all necessary paperwork-Can it be completed in time?
Time off work needed to travel to China to bring him home
We sat down with each of our children, first asking them to join us in praying for this young boy. We told them we were considering pursuing adopting him, and asked them to take a week to consider this and to give us their feedback. Ideally, one would have more than a week to make such a life changing decision, and yet time was running out for him. We also reached out to our pastors and elders and sought their counsel.
Each of our children gave their support to move forward. Tim was feeling the full weight of the responsibility of this decision. While I, too, felt the magnitude of the decision, as we know, it is different for wives. I assured Tim that if he was uncertain at all, I would know that this was not what God had for us, and that I could be confident that his decision was God’s decision for us.
Tomorrow marks exactly 4 months from the day we committed to pursue adopting Daniel. There have been many, many ways in which God has provided for us on this journey. He has moved us forward, confirming to us that this is the path He has us on.
These months have involved mounds of paperwork, countless phone calls, numerous trips to Madison and the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, over 30 hours of adoption training, shots and fingerprinting, preparing Daniel’s room for him, and packing his bag with clothes, games and activities for our two weeks in China. We have also sought to pursue a more scheduled home life. As the kids have grown, the schedule has become loose. Daniel has obviously been accustomed to a rigid daily routine. With Tim’s direction, I have taken a step back from nearly all commitments so I can devote this time to helping Daniel transition to our family, as well as a different language and culture. Also, we are returning to a mindset of a parenting a young son as opposed to guiding and counseling our older children. Similarly, we have encouraged our kids to consider ways to reach out to him and to be intentional with their time spent with him. It has been a challenge to not get overwhelmed in the process, but keep Daniel and his greatest need in prayer.
Pastor’s messages in Ephesians have been a source of encouragement to us during this process….from the beauty of our adoption as sons, to the reality that it is in our weakness that God works – so that He gets the glory. It is not in our strength that we are walking this road. We are not able to do this on our own. We are aware there are no guarantees on this journey, for health, or for Daniel’s salvation. Yet we received no such promises for our other 3 children… only that God will be with us in our need. So it is in weakness and humility that we embark on this new chapter with our son, Daniel. We ask that you pray for us that we seek to reflect the beauty of the gospel, and remember our need for it. And may God be pleased to grant Daniel eyes to see his need of a Savior, and his need to be adopted…. again.