Sunday, November 3, 2013
In our own wisdom, we were hoping to boast of a new baby in our next post. God evidently has something else in mind for us. Since May we have received three calls about possible babies. These possibilities brought much excitement and dreams that were left unfulfilled, and each time, our excitement was a little more guarded.
The first 2 situations the birthmoms chose us and then in some way or another changed their minds and went with other options. The third opportunity came unexpectedly through a friend of a friend of a friend, and it was about twin girls that were already born! That possibility rocked our world for a few days, (in a good way). The excitement with this one was short-lived, which we are thankful for since it’s harder when it drags on. We are grateful for God’s grace in each of these situations. His grace never runs out and always gives us what we need, even in times of sorrow. We are also thankful that God is sovereign and wise, and that these closed doors are actually bringing us closer to the plan God has established for our family; although, this truth is not an easy one to swallow.
We have been surrounded by an incredible community that lovingly and boldly affirms this call to adopt, even in the midst of deep sadness. We are so thankful for those of you who are praying and asking us how things are going with our adoption journey. Some of you would or have shied away from asking for our sake, but we LOVE being asked because it reminds us we’re not in this alone. Just be ready for the ‘real’ answer whatever it may be in the moment. :)
We would like to take a moment and encourage you with Romans 12:9-16:
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
God has especially been teaching us about the bolded section. Through the past several months we have learned to be more aware and sensitive to those around us who are hurting and dealing with sadness. Sometimes our padded reactions to other’s pain can be more discouraging than encouraging, especially when they downplay the heartache that people are going through. We have found that the most encouraging response to our hurt is a sincere, “I’m sorry…” Thank you to those of you who have responded to our disappointments and tears by just saying, “I’m sorry”. Thank you to those of you who have rejoiced with us as opportunities have come and mourned with us in our disappointments. This is part of being in community and we are so thankful for the community, far and near, that God has set us in.
This process has certainly been a PROCESS! Though we thought, hoped and prayed that we would have news of a baby before our next post we have come to realize that this was our own wisdom. Our wisdom is foolishness, because we plan with our desires being the loudest voice, but God sees the bigger picture which is for our ultimate good. Isaiah 53:12 says, “Behold, my servant (Jesus) shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.” God is showing us His wisdom in our waiting. He already knows our children and knows who He has determined to be in our family. So we wait, but not alone. We wait in a Wisdom that reveals the character of the King we trust implicitly.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
We were hoping our next blog update would tell all about our meeting with the birthparents. However, like so many times in our life, our plans are different than God’s. We had planned on meeting the parents June 2nd, but when our agency tried contacting the birth-mom to set up a time, they could never get ahold of her. She just isn’t responding. We don’t know if she has changed her mind, or just does not want to face this heart-wrenching decision of giving up her baby.
Either way, instead of sitting around waiting for a response, we are here in the beautiful Colorado Rockies at the N-X Ranch (n-xranch.org), which is the boy’s ranch that our family started 3 years ago and that we have been a part of each summer. This summer, God has sent us 5 boys who are either fatherless or don’t have a healthy father-figure in their life. Our prayer is that each of these boys would have a revelation of their faithful Heavenly Father who will never leave them nor forsake them. They will be here 3 weeks, starting Saturday. Our days will be full of outdoor adventures, campfires, work projects, mentoring, and spending time with family. We are so thankful that God has provided this opportunity for us. He has given us a burden for orphans and the fatherless, and although we envisioned our summer full of changing diapers and holding our child, we know that our God is FAITHFUL and is continuing to work out His perfect plan to establish our family for His glory.
Back home our nursery is ready and we recently registered in case we get to fly home earlier than expected. ;) But either way, God has given us an indescribable peace and joy. “[We] know that [He] can do ALL THINGS; no plan of [His] can be thwarted.” -Job 42:2 We know that if this is our child NOTHING will thwart God’s plan, and if this isn’t our child, God will close this door and open another. He is completely in control and we REST in that knowledge.
“For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord STAND FIRM FOREVER, the purposes of His heart through all generations...We wait in HOPE for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts REJOICE, for we TRUST in His holy name. May Your UNFAILING LOVE rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You.” -Psalm 33:9-11; 20-22
Thank you for your continued prayer and support!
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we're waiting for.
A close friend recently shared this quote with us as an encouragement in our adoption process. The past month has definitely been the hardest part of the waiting. Have you ever heard someone say, "Once you stop wanting 'it' so badly, that's when 'it' will happen?" We've heard people say this about us wanting children, to single friends who want to be married, to people looking for the ideal job, and we are sure the "it" can be replaced by a number of things. Although said by well-meaning people, it is poor theology. God does not punish us for the desires He places in our hearts. We have never wanted a child more than this past month...we've shed many tears in our longing, had several "crying out to God" sessions, and wouldn't you know...we received a call from our agency!!! WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY A BIRTH FAMILY!
We have jumped up and down, cried in gratitude, pinched ourselves, only to realize, yes this IS really happening...the call we have waited for! In the same breath, we rejoice with a guarded heart as the question floods our minds...WHAT IF THE BIRTH PARENTS CHANGE THEIR MINDS???
This is one of those differences that is unique to domestic adoption. This is COMPLETELY OUT OF OUR HANDS. The birth family can change their minds even up to 7 days after the baby is in our custody (NC law). WHAT IF???
What can you do to support and encourage us during this time? PRAY! Don't ask us too many questions, because there are A LOT of the details that we just DON'T KNOW.
We don't know if the birth parents will change their minds. We don't know the baby's gender. We don't know if they have someone else- a grandma, a parent, a sibling, waiting in the wings to raise this baby if they change their minds. We don't know a lot of things.
We cannot dwell on the unknowns, all we can do is rest in what we know IS true right now. For now, we KNOW this family has chosen us. We KNOW the baby is due June 25th (which is also our anniversary!!!). We KNOW the mom is multi-racial and the dad is caucasian. We KNOW the birth mom AND dad want to meet us before the baby is born. We KNOW God is SOVEREIGN and HE is bringing our children to us. We KNOW He is opening and closing doors according to His perfect will. We KNOW He is working this for our ultimate good and His glory. We KNOW God is bringing our children to us!
So our conclusion...WE don't know, but HE does. We rest in Him when the "what if...?" comes!
Specific ways to pray...
- baby (protection, development, and cool hair ;))
- birth parents to be united in heart, receive wise counsel, clarity, comfort, and to be drawn to Jesus
- meeting with the birth parents to go smoothly
- and however else you feel led
Friday, March 15, 2013
Its been another one of those seasons. You know, the kind in which babies are on the brain, heart, and in the womb. In the past two months more than 7 of our friends just had babies or announced they are pregnant. It truly is a season of joy as God is authoring, shaping, and purposing the lives of little ones. Just the other day we had another couple "spill the beans" that they are expecting, and as delighted as we are, the news drives our longing for children even deeper. We certainly believe life is ALWAYS to be celebrated since it's a direct reflection of God's power and mystery.
The other morning as I (Isaiah) sat down to read and reflect, I began praying for these friends, new babies, and those still being formed. Praying for others is healing for me because it takes the focus off of me, and what I don't have, and moves my gaze beyond the emotions. As my prayers began to shift from others to our situation I was reminded of a phrase that jumped into my mind at the beginning of this adoption process: "God has something up His sleeve". This morning, these same words surfaced. They are a random set of words, especially if your mind immediately went to a magician pulling a ten food handkerchief out of his sleeve, but for me they bring truth. The truth that God hasn't forgotten! The truth that He's not punishing us! The truth that God is our Provider! The apostle Paul speaks to this in Ephesians 3:20-21 which says, "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within in us, to Him be glory in the church (believers) and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." I can't help but dream after reading these verses. God IS able to do more abundantly than all we ask or think! For some reason dreaming has been pretty easy in this adoption. We dream of ALL the possibilities that can take shape. I dream of what God might "have up His sleeve". Regardless, it will be a demonstration of His righteousness, justice, and mercy.
If I'm honest with myself, and you, this part of the adoption process (the waiting...waiting...waiting part) has been the most difficult. It's due partly because it's towards the end and we could get a call any time, but also because we have a baby room all done up with no sheets on the crib, no smelly diapers in the trash can, no unique baby sounds thundering through our house, and no toys out of their place. It's this time that those random words "God has something up His sleeve" bring hope and truth to my "poor me" attitude and mindset.