The words that are about to follow are some of the biggest, scariest I have ever written… and that’s saying something considering some of the things I have wrestled with over the last few years.
I’m going to backtrack here for a moment… when James and I were facing the decision about whether to remove Hannah Grace from the ventilator, one thing that was always in the back of our minds was that the odds were very good that we would not ever have another biological child. There are several reasons for this- getting pregnant with Caleb was not exactly a breeze, and after he was born we did go the permanent birth control route. I could go back and shake myself for all the times I confidently said, “We have our boy and girl and they are both healthy, so we are done!”. God has taught me that I cannot take anything for granted or think that my plan is how it’s going to be. However, I also know we made the best decision we could at the time… and who really ever thinks their precious child will go to see the sweet face of Jesus before her parents?
With that being said, we were not in any way, shape, or form interested in having another child anyway… or so we thought. I really can’t pinpoint the date that God started planting that little seed in my heart and mind that perhaps we should look into adoption- my sense of time is still something that has not come back normally. I do know that when I went to see Steven Curtis Chapman (which, thanks to the iPhone calendar I see was last Oct.) in concert, I was extremely drawn to his heart for adoption. When he played “When Love Takes You In” and showed the video of his family meeting his newly adopted baby girl, I thought I was going to come unglued there for a minute. And you know how it is once God puts something on your heart? Everywhere you turn, you hear about it: in songs, in sermons, from random people, in books, etc. That was exactly how it was for me. It took several months for me to even admit to myself that this might really be what God wants for our family; once I got somewhat used to the idea (meaning a teeny tiny bit), I mentioned it to James. He had mixed feelings about it… the same things I had struggled with. I definitely knew this did not need to be a Kimberly-pushed-this-so-I’m-going-agree-thing… so I mentioned it every once in a while but did not put any pressure on him. After several months, he started asking me if I had done any more checking into agencies, etc. We then felt that we could take the next step of gathering information.
We both agreed from the start that we did not want to try and reverse things and we have no overwhelming desire to do the whole newborn thing again… we were blessed to have a chance to do that with our two babies. We also did not feel any particular draw to international adoption; years ago, before I even had kids of my own, I always said that if I ever adopted, I would like to give a child here a home. Perhaps God was preparing my heart even then?
So, since this post is already reaching novel proportions, I will move on to the present. James and I are working with the C.A.L.L. (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime) to look into adopting a child who has been removed from his or her home. We are getting ready to do the 30 hours of training this month, and then there is (more) paperwork, home studies, etc. We are still not certain what will happen… but we know that if God wants us to add to our family in this way, the child that is meant for us will be there.
I am discovering the true meaning of stepping out in faith; I don’t remember many instances where God required such massive levels of blind obedience from me in the first 30 years of my life. It often feels like He is making up for lost time. I wish I could say I don’t feel scared… unsure… crazy at times, but I feel all of those things. It is reassuring to me to read about people in the Bible who thought that God had surely missed the mark on what He was asking them to do- and He was always right. I also have what can only be a supernatural peace about this many times… especially since this was definitely not my idea. As Beth Moore said:
Sometimes God allows us to explore the “whys” of His instructions. Other times He wants us to obey “because He said so.” Has God asked you to obey in a specific matter that still awaits your obedient response? (Always remember that He never leads us to do anything inconsistent with His character as expressed through His Word.) Would you consider the following statement? “Master, I’ve had a lot of excuses for doing this my way, but because You say so, I will…” You finish the sentence. Follow through, then wait on the Lord to bless your act of obedience, no matter how long it takes. He is faithful.
I have spent quite a while arguing with God about this… surely He isn’t asking this of us after everything else? But in my heart of hearts I know that this is an opportunity to be obedient… to not just talk the talk, but to walk it. Months and years down the road I will continue to see the evidence and results of His faithfulness. We covet your prayers as we continue on our journey… hopefully with hearts for God and always with our hearts full of Hannah.