To our family.
Yes, you read right.
We are adopting.
I know what you are thinking. “Wow.” Guess what? ME TOO. I know the news that we are adopting may come as a surprise to many all of my readers. It certainly has been the emotion of choice for those we have told in person. Trust me, none of you are any more surprised to find me in this position as I am myself.
And as many adoptive parents find, the main question is “why”. The short answer to why is that we feel it is what God is leading us to do.
Most of you know I have always desired a larger family, but after the very quick and successful IVF to have Jenna, we were unable to produce a sibling. We went through several cycles and a lot of money. After that, we decided we were done trying. Until we found a friend whose husband had a very successful reversal surgery and she ended up getting pregnant. The cost of the surgeon they used was very reasonable, so we figured we might as well try. The surgery was painful for Steve and not successful in a myriad of ways. I promised Steve when he went through that (God bless him) that I would be done if it wasn't successful. And since we weren’t, I kept my promise.
I broached the subject of adoption with Steve several years ago. I even contacted an agency and got some information. But he was definitely not interested and gently reminded me that I had made him a promise. Despite that, I felt like God wasn’t finished with us yet. I felt like I would have another child, but I didn’t know when or how. And when you think of it, there are MANY ways to be a parent.
And after so long, I started to think maybe I’d been wrong about that. I kept asking why God would put that desire in my heart but not fulfill it. After several years passed, I finally came to the place where I could ask God to just help me be content with the size my family was. And amazingly, He was doing that. I started to see all the good things about being a parent to an only child instead of dwelling on the less-than-desirable things. Last summer when Steve lost his job and the economy was so bad, I thought that must be the reason we never had a second child…because how could we afford another? Then last Spring, the Bible study group I’m part of, went through two series back to back that changed my life. The first was Crazy Love by Frances Chan. The next was the Radical series of sermons by David Platt. Slowly, we begin to think about what we could do to help others when Steve was employed again, rather than what all we could do for ourselves (new computer, new car, bigger house etc.). At the same time, I watched as two couples in our church walked the journey of international adoption. Secretly I hoped that Steve was watching too, but I didn’t dare hope (oh, my faith was SO weak).
About a month ago, on our way home from church, Steve just brought it up in a conversation we were having. I was stunned. I’m a talker, so I don’t normally find myself speechless, but I’ll tell you that day, I WAS. In fact, I was so stunned that I didn’t mention it again for a couple days because I was afraid I might have misunderstood or that he really hadn’t meant it the way I thought. As the days passed, we opened up with each other and talked about it more. Miraculously, we were on the same page in nearly every aspect. We prayed about it with Jenna and with each other and here we are.
I did once ask him why the change and his answer? "I don't know". I guess that's the way God works sometimes. He changes you slowly so that you don't even know it's happening until you wake up and realize the way you used to be isn't the way you are anymore.
That is the simplified version. We don’t know how we are going to pay for the adoption. We do have some money in savings, but that isn’t going to be nearly enough to cover it all. There are what feels like hundreds of questions that are still to be answered. But we believe with all our hearts that God had opened this door and answered this prayer for us.
The facts for now is that we have been accepted into the China Waiting Children program through America World Adoption Agency. This is the agency that Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife went through to adopt their three girls. It is a wonderful Christian agency and offline, I’d be thrilled to tell you how and why we chose them. It was a God thing all the way (which is just as my friend Jamie told me it would be!) We are now getting ready to start the home study. The step after that will be the dossier. It’s a long process and I’ll explain in more detail in a later post. For now, pray for our new little daughter…wherever she is.
And keep visiting...watch as we bring our girl home!