Earlier this year, we finally decided it was time to move forward with the process of adopting a child. Just like every time my wife looked at me with watery eyes, excitedly announcing we were expecting – this decision freaked me about a bit. More than a little bit. But I countered that “freaked out” feeling by rationalizing every detail, one at a time. Lots of people had babies, I’d reassure myself. Plenty of people had large families, much larger than ours, and survived alright. After all, look at _________ (insert any family with more kids than ours)….and they’re doing well, right?
What followed were mental checklists of finances, carseats, hand-me-downs, and remembering what things were like growing up in a family with many kids and not a ton of money. Eventually it would feel like a more rational thing for us to be doing, and the excitement would grow. The waves of my thoughts have progressed in a similar fashion with our adoption process. The excitement tinged with just a bit of “being freaked out” by it all, and checking off the boxes of rational decision making that assured me we were still sane.
But God hasn’t called us to adopt because it’s the rational thing to do. He didn’t move our hearts toward the list of reasons it makes sense on the scale of what the world considers “feasible family planning”. Sometimes it takes a giant smack in the face for me to remember all of this. Recently, we got one.
It was a simple question, but how we answered would have the potential to change our life dramatically. “Would you be willing to consider sisters?” My knee-jerk response? Ha…..riiiight….sisters. But right away, God tugged on my heart with the question – Why are you adopting?
After some time of thinking and prayer, we surprised even ourselves by responding – Yes…we would be open to considering sisters. Then came the information…information that made this adoption journey much more real, scary, and heart-tugging that ever before. I can’t share much…but I can share – we were moved in big ways. God was reminding us – and me, specifically – that this wasn’t something we were doing because it was going to bring rational balance to our lives. This was about responding to the heart and call of God to Love His children, and live sacrificially as He sacrificed His all for us.
Long story short, we are back to pursuing one daughter again. It was a humbling decision to make, but one that was right for our family and we believe a good decision for the future of those sisters as well. There were others who were open to adopting sisters, and as we faced a long wait time without a guarantee of approval to adopt 2…we felt at peace changing back once again. God’s purposes in this exercise had definitely made an impact. To re-align my heart with His, and carry a Love for His daughter we will be bringing home…as opposed to relying on false pretenses that I can accomplish all of this by my own wisdom and talents as a father/man.
And so we wait for our referral still. Wait to bring home our daughter from Africa. Not because it’s going to “fill a void” in our lives, nor because it’s trendy, or because it’s the rational decision with all of the elements in the equation. But because God loves His children, and this is how He’s calling our family to act on that Love that has filled our hearts as well.
Praying for the safety, health, and peace of Baby Anderson…and as we pray with our girls lately, “that the grown-ups in her country would stop fighting”. Amen.
How about you? Has God ever asked you to do something that required faith, and you ended up distracted by rationalizations?