Friday, August 15, 2008

What led us to adoption?

There are several events that led up to this life changing decision to adopt.

This is where it all began.... but please read on because our decision to adopt goes beyond this verse:

James 1:27 states that Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world.

This verse at first gave me a heavy feeling - an enormous feeling of responsibility! I've been blessed with a very comfortable lifestyle all my life. I guess you can say that I am unfamiliar with making large sacrifices. It's not like I haven't experienced difficult storms in my life. It's just that God has blessed me abundantly in respect to the comforts of life. I have received much more than I deserve.

At the beginning of this journey, Steve and I began having several discussions about how we could better serve needs in our world. We have mailed money to this cause and that cause. We have tried to give where we felt the need was greatest.

Until one day, Steve commented about how nice it would be to actually witness where the money is helping - to see first hand the fruits of our labor. Writing a check, placing it in an envelope with a stamp, when you do it without obligation, is a good thing. However, there are ways to experience the results. I know there are many seeds we sew in our lives, some of which we may not know the harvest until we join our heavenly Father in heaven.

When we are called to take care of the orphans, we have the option to monetarily support organizations that help orphans. Steve and I knew we had the capacity and resources to do more than this. We began praying about adoption.

Adoption seems extreme - it did for us at first. I prayed many times that God would confirm the tugging at our hearts. Deep down I wanted God to take this tugging away from me. And for several months, I actually chose to ignore this pull on my heartstrings.

Fear that adoption would be the path God leads us to began to overwhelm me. I feared the adoption process. I feared the sacrifices our family would have to make. I feared the changes in the make up and dynamics of our 'perfect' family. I feared being judged by others. I feared having to come up with answers to tough questions when the answer is buried in my heart.

Then there is this verse:

"and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always: he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:10-11
(**Incidentally, God led me to this verse before we started our adoption journey. I didn't know at the time that this verse would be another confirmation of our decision and take away my fear of adopting.)

When I finally came around again to pray for God's will for the adoption, God replied in the most profound ways. One time when I was making preparations to attend a Christian Women's conference in Colorado, I specifically asked the Lord to confirm the tugging at my heart on this trip. And He did. On my flight out there, I sat next to a woman who shared with me how her and her husband built their family through the adoption of 5 children.

And that wasn't the only way God spoke to me. At the conference, there was a woman who joined my group of friends at our table one night for dinner. She introduced herself and went on the say, "and my husband and I have adopted a girl from China and let me tell you if any of you are thinking about adoption, let this be confirmation that you should adopt." Wow! When you pray for discernment, sometimes God will not only send you a clear message but He will send the message with a messenger!

I am ashamed to admit that even after this conference, I continued to have doubts about whether adoption was the right path. But God is faithful and He continued to confirm our decision in many more profound and perfect ways, such as through a dream, which is an event that is very special to me and I will always cherish. In this dream God introduced me to the voice of our child that we will be adopting.

God placed the desire to love another child into our hearts. He also showed me through my dream that He has placed on our child's heart a love for our family.

What first started out as a feeling of responsibility has evolved into our wanting to add to our family. I no longer feel heaviness in this journey but pure joy as we wait to be introduced to our son.

Honestly, not everyone in our immediate family has been on board this whole journey - I did not fear however because I knew that God would work through each person's heart if this is His will. Now, I am grateful to report that all of us await our new son's and brother's arrival with open hearts and excitement, to which I give all the glory to God!

For one, our girls have come a long ways on this journey. At the beginning, they had many questions, much anxiety and fear about this decision. Recently, they pray almost every meal time for the adoption process to go well and that God takes special care of our child. They have been asked to make some not so easy sacrifices but what touches my heart the most are the sacrifices they volunteer like........ "mommy, we don't need any Christmas presents this year because we are getting a new brother and that will be the best Christmas present ever!"

I know this has been a long and drawn out explanation of this journey, but I just had to share the ways God has had his fingerprints in this the whole trip. I have surrendered the weight of this responsibility to our Lord and take great privilege in soon to be the earthly parent to yet another child...And I have all the confidence that God will carry this journey out to completion in His perfect way.

Thanks for letting me share!
=) Tammy

1 comment:

Deb said...

Tammy~
I still remember the way I felt as you shared these intimate details of your journey with me. It gives me chills now to read them here! God is so faithful!