Monday, August 12, 2013

Four + One Equals a New Baby

Part of my motivation for kick starting this blog was the fact that we have decided to adopt another baby. Like I said in my last posting, I had never intended to be a personal blogger, but I am so grateful that God had different plans for my writing because I now have the most beautiful record of our journey through Penelope's adoption. 

The other day I was reading back through the postings and comments from that amazing week, and tears just flowed remembering the blessings that God poured over our family that week and in the months leading up to bringing Penelope home. 

Through our experience with Penelope we have become huge adoption advocates!  We definitely feel that adoption is a calling, and as a family we desire to support and encourage other families seeking to fulfill the words of James 1:27: "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 being polluted by the world."

I'm excited to be starting this journey again, and to be able to share it with all of you... and to have a record of it all to share with our son or daughter one day. 

So what made us decide that it was time to be outnumbered?  The short answer is God's calling, but for any of you who have never heard a specific calling from the Lord, {and don't feel bad if you haven't, I was 33 before I recognized a calling on my life but then looked back and realized that there had been several that I just hadn't recognized as callings} I will give you the longer answer. 

Shortly after we adopted Penelope Nathan was all gung-ho to adopt another child. He felt like Penelope needed a black brother or sister, and frankly the experience had been so fun he just wanted to do it again. But I was in typical mommy-of-a-newborn mode, and was not the least bit interested in listening to his ridiculous suggestions!  

Then last year, just before Penelope's first birthday, a friend's sister passed away during childbirth. Yes, that still happens in the twenty-first century... I didn't think so either, but it does and it did. It was heartbreaking to say the least. At her funeral I was struck by everyone's comments about the sisters' relationship, and my heart started to yearn for a sister for Penelope. 

I know she has Beau, and how grateful we are that with Penelope we were FINALLY able to provide a sibling for Beau. But they are 8 years apart, and while they have such a sweet relationship the truth it's that by the time Penelope is 10, Beau will be out of the house. I realized at that funeral that if we didn't have another child, I was going to go through all the same emotions I struggled with not having a playmate for Beau. 

I was so excited to tell Nathan I was on board for number three.

And then he informed me that he had decided that two was plenty!  If you have followed our journey with Penelope you know that she is challenging in many ways.  Parenting a tough toddler at 35 is WAY harder than parenting an easy toddler at 27, let me tell you!  

It felt like we would never be on the same page about baby number 3.

Then I went and put on a conference on Infertility and Adoption and had one of the most amazing days of my life. And I woke up the next morning with a renewed passion for adoption and a VERY strong desire to do it again. You know, one of those clearly-this-is-from-the-Lord desires. 

I also had a sense of urgency. Penelope is two and a half, and since we already have a huge gap between Beau and Penelope I really didn't want another gap. If we were going to do this, we were going to have to do this now. 

In the nearly thirteen years that Nathan and I have been married I have learned something... the Lord often speaks to me through my husband. I won't get into my views on submission today {and how most people don't really understand that concept... maybe that'll be a posting for another day}, but I strongly believe that Nathan is the spiritual leader of our family, and as such the Lord calls him to be the voice of our family. So I knew that if Nathan was really adamantly against adopting again, then that would have to mean that I was misunderstanding my calling, and I would have to pray for the Lord to change my heart. 

We both agreed that this decision needed to be made prayerfully, so we committed to praying about it together for 30 days. And I told Nathan that if at the end of the thirty days he still felt like adoption was out of the question, then we would close that door and I would find other ways to care for the orphans besides bringing them into our family. 

Every night for the next thirty days we asked God for guidance. We asked Him to make it clear... to open doors or close doors... to provide. 

And that's what He did. 

Friends, I strongly believe that God wants us to know His plans for us. He doesn't want His plan to be a big mystery that torments us. I believe in the promise of Matthew 7:7: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  When we seek God's direction, we are given clear direction. 

At the end of our 30 days of prayer, it was clear that we were heading into a second adoption. 

I will keep all the details as precious treasures for our family, but I will tell you that the most significant, we-couldn't-deny-it way that the Lord answered our requests was by providing financially. Let's be honest, adoption is extremely expensive, and the unfortunate truth is that money has to be a consideration. My husband gets a bonus every summer. We generally know about how much money he will be getting, and we live most of the year anticipating that bonus. This year Nathan's bonus was significantly higher than we were expecting, and it came on day 30 of our 30 days of prayer, which happened to be much earlier than we usually get it. There was no question in our minds that God was saying, "I will provide."

We still have a financial hurdle to battle {because I wasn't joking when I said that adoption is extremely expensive}, but we are confident that as He always does when you are seeking His will, God will provide. 

So that's where we are. Walking confidently through another adoption because we are confident that this is God's plan for our family. 

If you have a decision to make can I suggest committing to pray about it?  And I don't just mean thinking-about-it-while-you're-in-the-shower kind of prayer. I mean getting-on-your-knees, holding-hands-around-the-table kind of praying. Focused, seeking prayer. God will make His will clear to you, I am confident of that, because He has done it for me many times. 

3 comments:

  1. Awesome! Just awesome. Can't wait to see how God unfolds his masterful plan for you all!

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  2. I really don't have much to write except that this is just so awesom..and God is so good!!

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  3. Love it! Just found you in Instagram and excited to be a new follower! We are in process of becoming trained to be foster parents and adopt from there. Love the calling for living the hurt and abandoned! Excited to see you continue on your journey!

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