We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taking a step back...

This post is extremely hard for me to write - which is why it has taken me some time to write it. 

Tim and I were struggling over some thoughts lately.  I posted on FB and asked for prayer for some decisions that we needed to make.  Last week, we came to those decisions.  Tim and I have decided to stop the process to adopt from India - not just from India, but stop the adoption process in general.  I'm honestly surprised that I have it in me to even write that.  It is not in my nature to say "no" to caring for a child - but at some point, we would HAVE to say no.  So, we prayed and considered, discussed our motivations and asked for advise.  A wise friend said - make your decision and live with it over the weekend.  Act as though it is the decision you have made.  By the end of the weekend, if you are at peace with it, then you have made the right decision. If not, then do the opposite.  She is a Christian woman, so obviously prayerful consideration was part of that equation.

So, this is exactly what Tim and I did.  We learned alot about each other in this process - we learned that even if we have fears about something, we don't want to disapoint the other, so we don't share them openly.  I'm not going to share what led us to this decision, because I think it's pretty personal, but I will say that it was a decision that was not made lightly.  It is a decision that right now weighs heavy on my heart - but it is a decision that we are at peace with.

The one thing I will share is this:  Adoption is a MIRACLE - as miraculous as conception or birth.  Who would not want to participate in as many miracles as possible?  Not only that, but you get to welcome this seemingly "unwanted" child into your family.  You get to show them the power of love.  You get to watch them transform right before your eyes.  You watch them put on weight.  You watch their skin start to glow.  You watch their hair go from dry and tangled to shiny and beautiful - through good nutrition and regular bathing.  You watch them absorb the world around them.  You get to see them not just take love, but GIVE love as well. You see life SPRING into their eyes!  You can look at them and see all the potential that exists in their future. You get to experience them learning about Jesus!  Sara sings "Jesus loves me" (only those words, because it's all she knows of the song) from her crib at child care when she does not want to sleep.  It distracts the other kids, but like her childcare provider said - how do you tell a child to stop singing "Jesus loves me".  (I've since had a conversation with her and we've gone over how to sing quietly)  Anna and Sara, and what we hoped would be Aliyah are not just "adoptions" - they are children. 

Therein lies part of my problem though - Aliyah was another child, who I would welcome with open arms.  Nathaniel - yes, he was already named, is yet another child.  When Aliyah came home, and when Nate came home - there are a billion more names in the baby books - at least 100 of which I could LOVE for another child's name... so when would it end?  There would always be another child and there would always be another name.  There would always be another spot in my heart.  I see pictures of children from everywhere - Uganda, Ethiopia, Russia, China, United States - there is an endless number of children in need of a home.  There is not "just one more".

I came to realize that this may be my motiviation for adopting again.  This was not the areas that I was struggling with, but throughout this process, it was something that I realized.  I may NEVER be ok with saying no to another adoption.  So, my motives needed to be evaluated, God needed to be consulted, my current children needed to be taken into consideration, and where we are going as a family needed to be evaluated.  All this considered, plus more, brought us to our decision.

For those of you who have a 19 kids and counting - please don't say I'm selfish.  Because if I were selfish, I would have Aliyah and several more in my home in the next few years.  This is NOT. AT. ALL. about my selfish desires - just the opposite in fact. 

With adoption and the orphans of the world weighing so heavily on my heart, I know that God has plans for me, and for our family - to somehow help the orphans.  Maybe it's a mission trip.  Maybe it's financial support to a reputable organization.  Maybe it's doing something here in our own country... I don't know.  I do know that orphan ministry is where I need to be.  Where I need to serve.  I pray that God reveals His plans for my life - for our family - quickly. 

I wrote the initial part of this post about two weeks ago... I could not find it in my heart to hit "publish post".  It hurt to badly.  It still hurts.  Sometimes though, not just the joys, but the sorrows and sadness need to be shared - so others can encourage you.  Right now, I'm discouraged.  Because of some of the issues that were under consideration when making this decision, I personally feel defeated.  Maybe I will share that detail later - I'm not really ready to right now.  So, this is it - this is what our family looks like.  Am I disappointed?  Not in the least - not in the family that I have.  Am I disappointed that I can not bring the orphans of the world into my home and call them son/daughter - yes.  For that I am very disappointed.  But... I feel as though God has something bigger and better in store for me - something to soothe my broken heart over not being able to "bring them all home".  I'm anxiously awaiting that plan.  Closing the door on a dream is so very difficult - but maybe, just maybe, God needed to nudge me to close this door (my personal desire) to fulfill something bigger He has in store for me and our family.  I'll have to wait and see.

Eventually I will update the caption on this blog.  Someday I will remove the India clock - or maybe I will leave it there as a reminder of all the kids that God loves, everywhere.  Something tells me that that clock may be significant to my life at some point.... not sure why, but that might be left here.

In Christ,


Paula said...

I so, so understand what you have written. I think you and Tim are being very wise. Hugs to you and I hope that everything becomes clear soon. You are a wonderful and giving person, and you have a GREAT family.

Anonymous said...

You always have to do what is best for your family...and that can change from day to day...believe me, I understand completely. Your family is beautiful and you don't have to feel any guilt for making the decision that are best for you all...peace.