Tuesday, May 10, 2011

our decision

Last June I wrote this post on adoption (And then I chickened out and swore that Jonah would be our only child forever and ever AMEN.) In January I vowed to read the entire Bible for the first time in my life within the coming year (I know. Crazy concept for a 20 year Christian huh? I'm not proud of it.). In late January, Matt and I began reading the book Radical by David Platt with our respective Bible/book study groups. Forty days ago I wrote this post about what the Holy Spirit has been doing in our lives and some big decisions that we've been praying about. 

And we've talked and read and prayed and talked and prayed some more. And we've had some of the best and deepest conversations that we've had in our 11 years of being together. 

And we've come to a decision: Matt and I are going to adopt a child or children from the Foster Care system. It will be considered an "older child" adoption meaning the child or children (should we get a sibling pair) will be five years or older. We begin our paper work now but our required classes (30 hours over five weeks) will start on July 5th. The timeline will depend mostly on the identification of a child who fits our specific circumstances and would do well with our weird version of normal. :) It could be as little at three to six months or years. We are fine to wait, praying and asking God to give us a child or children who will thrive here and can adjust well to our situation. 

I will not lie. I am often scared to death. I always said I wouldn't adopt out of the system for fear of the emotional/behavioral challenges that can come with adopting these kids. But Jesus has been working on us, and as we read the gospels and God calls commands us to take care of the orphans, He means ALL of them. As we've prayed we've just been convicted about waiting for years to be picked by a birth mother when there are thousands of kids who need homes right now. (I'm not saying anyone is wrong in choosing that route, just that God is leading Matt and me to do something different.)

Would you pray with us? I'm praying that we'll set healthy parameters for what we can and cannot accept as far as Jonah's safety is concerned, that God will make it clear when we come across or are presented the child or children that are ours, that God protects him/her/them wherever they are right now and is giving him/her/them hope and peace that they have a Mommy and Daddy out there longing to love them and care for them, that we will be patient and prayerful, seeking God's will in every step of the process, that Jonah and his sibling(s) will connect and adjust well to one another, and that God grows a tremendous love in Matt's and my heart for the ones He has designated for us.

I know this will be often times hard and often times uncomfortable. But I also know that God doesn't call us to be "comfortable" and that as Christians, we should not be striving for an easy or convenient life. So I know that this is God's will for us. And although there are moments when I am literally terrified, I pray, hug my husband, ask that Satan be bound up, and trust my God's grace to fill in the gaps. I know we can't do this. But I also know that with God, all things are possible. I am certain, that no matter what happens, God is about to do something amazing and we will not regret taking this leap of faith. He has gone before us and made the way. Now we're stepping out of the boat. 

I can't wait to meet our new kid(s). I love him/her/them so much already and am excited for him/her/them (I'll be glad when I can use just one pronoun) to join our family.

And please, I'm asking those of you who know us in real life... will you do us a favor? Will you encourage us instead of sharing your/your friend's/your brother's/your second cousin's horror stories? We know we are acting in obedience and faith and we don't need to be talked out of it. I know people mean well, but we know we're about to walk a tough road. And we trust that God can handle it. (I can't imagine anyone actually doing this but I just want to throw it out there.) Thank you all so much for your prayers, love, and continued support. 

I read this verse some time during this 40 days and it spoke to me loud and clear. When I get scared, I just go back and read it and know that God is all over this. We're not alone.

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deuteronomy 31:8

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