Saturday, November 5, 2011

Me, Adoption, & My Testimony: {Part 1}

Edited 6/25/2013--If you are here via the linky from Adeye's blog post on domestic adoption, hello!  We have adopted domestically twice (the other testimony can be read in Part 3).  We have also adopted from Ethiopia & China (special needs).  Those stories are also located under my testimonies.  Thanks for visiting! :o)  You can also read a post here that is a continuation of some of the emotion from the experience of this journey.

**So, in honor of November being Adoption/Orphan Awareness Month, I was going to do "a" (singular) post about my testimony, but quickly realized THAT would be looooong, so I'm breaking it down into four parts. You're welcome.**

Adopting a child could very well be a testimony in and of itself. But for me, each of our adoption journeys has been the catalyst for God teaching me more. More about His heart. More about trusting Him. More about my faith. More about my marriage. More about love. More about me.
And more that it's not about life is not my own.

Looking back, I think God began a work in my heart for adoption a very long time ago...I just didn't know it. ;o) For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mother. For some reason I can remember a time in the 2nd grade thinking that having a baby would just be the best thing ever. I thought that if I prayed & hoped hard enough, I would wake up to find one in my bed in the morning. Needless to say, I was disappointed. A bit embarrassing, I know. Moving on...

Somewhere along the way, I began to feel like this desire in my heart for motherhood was not something to be proud of. I felt "less than", if you will. I mean, all these women are out there doing glamorous things & I was "just a mom". Through a series of some devastating events, in early 2005, I found my way into a women's study that was pretty intense. I went in looking to "fix" some other things in my brain. I left transformed in a totally different way than I had anticipated (of course!). I left embracing the fact that God has put this passion for motherhood in my heart. Adoption was still not on my radar, but I think God used that time as preparation. My last journal entry from that study was on 8-6-2005 (remember has significance). It read, "I don't know where all this is leading, but I will surrender & trust in You."

Fast forward to 2006. Joe & I attended a ceremony where there were many youth involved that were part of the foster care system. My heart was absolutely broken. We began exploring the possibility of adopting an older child that was already in permanent custody. We were told by the agency that we decided to work with that young children & babies are rarely available, to which we replied, "That's not what we're looking for, & we are NOT interested in fostering." Someday, I will learn to NOT draw lines in the sand. Anyway, we did have to get licensed as part of the process. Two matches ended up falling through (not by our choice), & we were so sad & confused. At one point, we began looking at private adoption, but just weren't sure about starting over with a baby (ha!). During moments of mental turmoil, I find comfort in journaling, which ends up being my prayers on paper. In February, 2007, I wrote, "Lord, I do not know what the situation will be, but I ask that Joe & I would be secure in the knowledge that You do know & will equip us."

In August, 2007, we got a call that turned our world upside down. Our agency called on behalf of a county an hour away looking for a stay-home mom to foster a preemie. Yes, I said I would *never* do foster care, but I prayed that God would either open the door or close it tight. It seemed improbable that they would end up using us considering everyone seems to want babies & we were so far away, but the only reason I could find to say no should they call was only about "me". The next call came & said, "You're it", & so the walk of faith began. And that date I told you to remember...EXACTLY 2 years to the day that Kaya was born. And that prayer I just mentioned from February trusting the Lord with the situation & that He would equip us for it? That was when Kaya was conceived. I truly believe journaling is such a good thing because we can go back & see how the Spirit is guiding our prayers, & how God is preparing our hearts.

For me, Kaya's adoption journey was a faith walk like I've never experienced. I learned what it means to be completely dependent on God for each step. There was no one on this earth that could tell me how this would all turn out. My trust was in His plan, whatever that looked like. And every ounce of strength to walk that road for over 2 years came straight from Him. In those 2 years, He also increased in me a love & tolerance for broken people that I never knew, & I believe this journey gave me what I like to call the courage to step out of the boat when God asks. It taught me that faith is not neat & tidy; it is rarely comfortable...there are times it was actually knee-buckling, let-me-off-of-this-ride kind of faith. But I learned that I could come before God looking & feeling like a hot mess, & He was patient with me. It was ok. He's my Father, & He loves me wherever I am. I learned I can bring Him everything...I mean every hope, every hurt, every bit of angry I can muster...& He's ok with that. It doesn't mean my faith was any less. It meant I was learning to trust Him with my everything....

Kaya Ashley Faith

8/2007 ~ Came Into Our Home & Hearts

11/4/2009 ~ Adoption Day!


Peter and Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing the beginning of your adoption story! I look forward to reading more.
(mom to bio sons Aaron-11 & Nathan-9, Anya Rashi-4 from India and waiting for another daugher from India)

NANCY said...

Can't wait to follow the rest of your testimony. Thank you for sharing.

Sharon said...

Thank you so much for sharing this-it encouraged me this afternoon. I have some journaling I need to do tonight.