Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adoption: My Heart Change

      I mentioned in my post yesterday that I have never wanted to adopt.  I have always thought adoption was a great thing for other people, but it sounded messy, and I don't usually go for messy.  Most of my life, I have wanted to do happy things.  I mean, who doesn't want to be happy?  And, for many years, I was able to live in such a way that this was largely possible.  Things went my way.  Until the summer of 2001, when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I didn't realize what real pain was, and I didn't have a compassionate heart.
      John and I both have a degree in Family and Human Services (social work), and I did my required internship in a group home for children that had failed out of foster care for behavioral issues.  It was one of the hardest summers of my life.  My dad was sick, and I was across the country in southern California dealing with children that had experienced some of the very worst that life can hand you.  And the impact that had on their very young lives was so tragic.  I remember walking away spiritually depleted and not wanting to have anything to do with that kind of work in the future.  In retrospect, I can see that the timing for that particular experience was terrible, and how I have believed some of Satan's lies about how hard engaging with that pain is.  It is worth it, and I can see that now.
      Fast forward to the last couple of years.  I like for life to be neat and tidy.  I like control.  I like knowing what I am getting into.  For us, so far, having children has largely fit into that paradigm.  And, as far as I know, we could continue on, without taking risks, and we would have a cute little family that we would largely know what to do with.  (Though clearly not all the time.  Lily is still not potty-trained.)  Adoption did not seem to fit into that cute little picture in my head, so it is not something I entertained.
      However, in the past two years, I have read several blogs of people that have adopted or are adopting, and I began to see a bigger picture for what it could be.  I started reading about the needs of orphans here and around the world and began to catch that God's heart really is for the orphan and the widow as he continually tells us throughout Scripture.  (James 1:27, Deut. 10:8, Job 29:12, Psalm 68:5, Isaiah 1:17, 1 John 3:17-18, to name a few)  I read the adoption story of one friend who wrote "The need is the call."  When put that simply, it is hard to deny that we are all responsible for our actions when it comes to the poor in our world.  We have been given so much, sometimes I think too much, and we honestly believe that God will hold us accountable for our stewardship of his gifts.
      Which brings me to saying "Yes" to adoption.  I can see that God wants the mess to be a part of our story, and a part of what I hold most dearly, my very own little family.  God promises to make beautiful things out of the dust, and what I have failed to grasp for so much of my life, is that there must be dust for him to work with.  I have to be willing to get dirty.  I can't be clinging to the pretty, the safe, and the comfortable and expect him to make that even more wonderful.  That is not how it works.
      So, here we are.  Hoping to adopt two little boys from Ethiopia.  It will be a long wait.  There are hardships unimagined in front of us.  But, more importantly, there is God, and he is walking before and behind us, because it is his story, after all.  It is all his.  To him be the glory.



Kristin Murdock said...

Like. {insert thumbs up}

Stacy Anderson said...

This post brings tears to my eyes...to think of how God is going to use you and use two little boys to bless so many lives is awesome! I'll be praying for your journey.

Boonies in the Boonies said...

I'm so right behind you. God has been stirring our hearts on adoption, as well. I'm so excited to see your journey unfold! Have you read any books/blogs by Katie Davis or Jen Hatmaker?!?! You need to!

Morgan Smith said...

i am so excited for you guys!!! your heart (and your ability to share your heart's thoughts so well) is very beautiful.