I started this blog with the intention of writing this entry. The reason this isn’t my first entry is because it was important for me to build a little background to give context to “this announcement.”
JD and I have been hoping and praying for children for about 3 years now. After the first year and half of waiting, we decided to ask the Lord to see if he had an alternative desire for us. We began praying through all the options, and everything seemed lackluster and dull. So we continued to wait, simply praying that our main focus would not be trying to have children, but to make the best use of the time He has given us to wait well. I was often afraid that I would waste this time just sitting on my hands, hoping for something to change – as I did when I was single hoping to be married. I look back with regret on that time, where I could have been doing amazing things; all I could think to do was kill time. It’s a terrible way to live and I still feel, in some ways, stunted by my disobedience with my time.
We began to feel a call in our hearts budding. And we prayed for about a year before being sure it was what God wanted from us. We sought counsel and tested our hearts and finally, in March of 2010 JD had made a decision. We were going to adopt a child! I had secretly been hoping that this could have been the God’s purpose for lack of pregnancy this whole time, I’ve wanted to adopt since I was seven years old – after watching the way my family so graciously opened their homes to everyone in need. Immediately, he told me to figure out the “Adoption Deal,” since neither of us really knew anything about it. After counseling some friends, I jumped right in making phone calls.
Because organizations housing and counseling unwed pregnant women was so close to my heart, I began to call certain Christian centers who worked with these birth mothers, to help them decide if choosing adoption would be a good idea and if it was, they would match potential adoptive parents with these children. I loved the idea and requested applications from a few different centers. While I praise these organizations and would recommend them highly to anyone, the applications they sent us sat, untouched for days. Somehow it didn’t feel right. Neither of us felt that we should fill them out and we pulled back to re-evaluate.
International Adoption somehow rose to the surface in my mind. Of course, I was sure that was what we were supposed to do. After all, I had always longed to have Asian children and God was making a way that it could be possible! I located more centers, made more calls, and eventually, ended up with a new stack of applications. Same scenario. It just felt… off. I can’t really explain it, but after JD and I talked more we realized this wasn’t our path.
I felt kind of lost because while we knew we were supposed to adopt, it seemed like all of our doors were closed. I called a center that I felt really connected with, and spoke with them frankly, telling them that we knew we are adopting a child who needs a family more than anyone else. After a lot of talking and praying, that became our only criteria. Immediately she told me about their New Beginnings Program, adopting children out of the foster care system – and our hearts were flung open.
While it feels like yesterday that we first mailed in our application, so much has transpired in our hearts. We were required to go through several days of training, as it’s a fairly safe assumption that all of these children have either been abused or neglected. We had to learn what these effects have on a child, both emotionally, psychically and mentally – honestly we were shocked. At the risk of sounding naive, I honestly thought that all their trauma was really nothing that Disney World and a beautiful new bedroom of their own couldn’t fix. And strangely, knowing that it takes so much care, love and guidance only filled us with more confidence of our calling. During the training the largest thing I became aware of was firstly, my fear that this adoption agency was asking us to parent our children much differently than traditional parenting methods; secondly, that they way they were asking us to parent seems to mimic, in so many ways, the way that God “parents” us. I have known Him more deeply than I ever have before – and it’s dramatically changing both of our perspectives on how we relate to people.
Basically I love rules. And I love order. And I love knowing that if you do X, you will produce Y. I also know that, in a large part, this is true for many aspects of our daily lives. But in a much larger part you are dealing with God. And He is dealing with us – and the hearts of those we are interacting with. And I am now gladly willing to relinquish my fear for the sake of giving another person the opportunity to know Christ as He truly is.
So 3 days of training, what feels like dozens of books, and an intensive home study later – we found out today that we are approved and are officially “expecting!” Time lines are a little hard to determine, but they have mentioned that the more flexible you are with your requirements the faster you are able to find a “match.” Average wait time is probably about from now until sometime in May – but because we had looser requirements (we are open to gender, race, and children ages 0-10 for those who are curious), we have been told that our wait time may not be very long.
My hope for the rest of this blog is to capture the things that I’m learning about how to love these children and hopefully, I want to try to draw parallels to the ways that God has loved me on the same levels. It’s been a huge encouragement to me, and I hope it will be a blessing to everyone else (this will probably include the audience of my mother alone, but that’s what mom’s are for – and I have a great mom.).