First of all, I came to the realization that in a little less than a year's time, we have adopted 3 children. Kaya has been with us since birth, but her adoption wasn't finalized until 11/4/09. The reason I mention this is b/c someone else made that observation & also made the assumption that we've had it "easy", as if we decided one day that we wanted to adopt & these children just fell in our laps or something. Umm, no. I don't think the words "adoption" & "easy" ever go together, but "adoption" & "my life is forever changed b/c of the paths that led me to each of my children" will work. The adoption seed was planted in our hearts very early in our marriage, but it wasn't until 2006 that we began to position ourselves to walk
As we were in the process of K'Tyo's adoption from Ethiopia, I could not shake that "feeling" that we had another child. I finally called our coordinator & processed my feelings. She told me that she would keep me in mind should any other children become available before we were submitted to court. When it became evident that we would not be bringing home 2 children at the same time from Ethiopia, our coordinator discussed some other possibilities with us. At the time, our agency (IAN) was allowing people to go on the wait lists on a case-by-case basis (they have since changed their policy on this), so we opted to go on the infant boy & girl wait lists (for all of my IAN friends, we would have been about #2 on the infant boy list now...I lost track of infant girl). I finally felt at peace with that "feeling", so we focused on getting our little man home. We also made the decision to keep this next adoption between us b/c we didn't want to take away from the excitement surrounding K'Tyo's arrival, & also b/c it's nice to share something "just between us". Months later, I did have a few women that I shared with so that I could ask for prayer...more on that later.
Once K'Tyo was home & transitioning into our family, those stirrings started up again. However, Joe & I were not on the same page. I was content being on the wait lists; Joe said he was feeling something else. Oh. At this point I might mention that Joe & I have always found ourselves on the same page with regard to our adoptions, but typically God was placing things on my heart, I would share, & Joe would be on board. This was not what I was used to, & I confess, I was kind of like, "What is up with this?" We continued to pray & wrestle & pray some more. We were both in agreement that we were called to adopt again, but the "where" was the issue.
I believe that every one of our adoption journeys has not just been about adoption. They have each had special learning curves & opportunities for growth in faith, in marriage, & as individuals. During some prayer time, it hit me. This journey would be no exception, & I realized I was being called to submit to my husband. Now before anybody freaks out over the "submit" word (I say that b/c I saw it happen at a marriage retreat once), I don't think it's a bad thing. It's not a barbaric word. It's about respect, & it doesn't just happen where a woman submits to her husband. Joe submitted to what I felt strongly in my heart with our first two adoptions; now it was my turn. When I really thought about it, I realized how hard this must be for Joe. He is always doing things to make me happy, so to ask me to remove us from the wait lists was definitely not easy for him. But, I trust my husband, so we moved ahead.
We had moments of doubt, moments of uncertainty, curve balls in the form of trying to help a young man back on his feet. At one point in August, we actually stopped taking steps with the domestic agency we had been in contact with. But then that "feeling" started up again...that constant pulling on my heart that consumed my thoughts. I was processing it all with a dear friend, & she had the guts to be real with me. I was in the midst of chaos, yes, but some of it I was bringing on myself. I was beginning to fall victim to the "what will people think", "we have a large family", "I'm too old", "what will people think"...All garbage. When I could get past all of that, the reality was that pulling on my heart was God. And God doesn't call us to easy or to what's acceptable according to the American dream. So, even though we were in the midst of some challenges, we took steps of obedience & continued getting our domestic home study updated (thankfully, our social worker did not think we were completely coo-coo when we called her back & said we were moving forward!).
By the middle of September, everything was in order & our SW said that she was ready to circulate our profile to birth mothers as situations arose. To be honest, I was still wrestling in my mind. When you go to Ethiopia, the need hits you in the face. Was there really a need here? Would a birth mother even look at our large family twice? I finally prayed & said, "Lord, please convict my heart that we're headed in the right direction."
A couple Sundays later, a scripture was emphasized in church that hit me right where I needed it.
"The widow who is really in need & left all alone puts her hope in God & continues night & day to pray & to ask God for help." ~1 Timothy 5:5
There are some different definitions for widow, but suddenly my heart became heavy with the needs of birth mothers that we don't always see, so I continued to ask God if that's what he's been preparing me for.
On 10/1/10, we received a call about a situation to see if we would like our profile shared. (At this point, I want to say that there are many details I will not share out of respect, but I will share as much as I can that seems appropriate). When we were told of this birth mother's circumstances, my heart broke & I cried for her.
To be continued...