So I realized….I haven’t shared this picture with anyone yet, and I figured well…might as well do it! We took this photo last fall, in anticipation of knowing we were in the process of fostering, knowing someday we hoped to adopt, and as a mom, whether biolgical or adopted children, my heart longed for every single one of my babies….I took pregnancy pictures with my own bio kids in anticipation of welcoming them into our family, so it was important for me to acknowledge this about God’s plans for completing our family as well.
I felt God nudging me this week to share a really raw journal entry I wrote. It’s something I wrote almost a year and a half ago now….as I was in the midst of wrestling with God about whether or not He was calling us to adopt/foster. My heart was so raw when I wrote this. So raw, that I remember it happening right before we went back to IL for Christmas, and it was so fresh that I couldn’t bring myself to speak a word about it to anyone back home…my heart needed time to fully comprehend what this thing really was that God was asking us to do……
December 28th, 2015
By the time anyone reads this, months will probably have passed. My heart is too raw to share now.
On December 6th 2015 after years of gentle nudges on our heart from God, and pretty intense pressing on us in the last 3 to 4 months, we decided that God was indeed calling us to adopt. We already had made an appointment a month prior to meet with an adoption agent from a local agency that we knew through mutual friends. So on December 8th we met. Something became very clear to us in that meeting…
That adoption is hard.
Adoption isn’t pretty.
Adoption is picking up pieces of brokenness and trying to piece back together what God intended to stay whole.
It’s battle, and to be quite honest didn’t look like what we had hoped for it to look like.
In my mind adoption was a neatly wrapped up package with a beautiful bow. Sometimes it can be that way… sometimes not, and so in efforts to prepare ourselves we have to be ready for the worst, and hope for the best. What was most confusing to me in this whole process, was that we never were quite sure how we would adopt…private domestic, international, foster to adopt. We had no clue. The only plan I had in my mind was I don’t think I fully comprehended the hardness that this whole process could be. The more God revealed, the more we prayed, the more it seemed like Foster to Adopt may very well be what He is calling us to. As I sit here right now in this moment, I still don’t fully know. All I know is that fostering really wasn’t in my plan. I suppose that is what makes it so hard. My expectations were different. My plans weren’t His….
As I prayed and wrestled with what I felt God asking us to do, I found myself questioning Him…
“God this is going to hurt. A lot. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to suffer. I don’t want to possibly give of myself 18 or more months of my life, loving another, only to possibly have to hand them back. We want to complete our family God. This may not complete it. We may have to hand them back, and what if we do? Will we have what it takes to endure another placement? I am not even a kid person. God how in the world can you possibly think that, ME, of all people is cut out for this?!”
The questions went on. There were many more. There was a lot of arguing, justification of my reasons, and each one He had such gentle responses for….
In response to the fear of suffering-
“It will hurt, but I understand suffering. No one wants to suffer but my own son asked me to take the cup away from Him if that was my will, but I couldn’t. This was something He had to do.”
In response to not feeling equipped to do this-
“You aren’t able, but I am. I will be your source. I will be your strength, and I will bridge the gap when you have nothing left to give. Trust me.”
But God we wanted to complete our family? This isn’t what we had planned!
“I know, and your family isn’t complete yet, but it will be. It may not be through a first placement. It may not be through a second, but I will complete it in my timing, in the way I have always planned. Trust me.”
Since that meeting on December 8th, we have had a lot going on…traveling back to Chicagoland for Christmas, lots of holiday festivities, and now calm after the chaos that is the season. We left our meeting that night knowing we felt called to adopt, but absolutely terrified of our next steps. The agency we are working with offers mandatory training every other month that is 3 full days. It’s a big commitment to do something like that without being fully sure, especially since we would need to find childcare for our kids, but at church yesterday it became very clear, that we need to take the next step. So we are going to be taking the classes in January along with 2 of our friends from small group who are also pursuing adoption. The way that all happened is another story for another day, but let’s just say that God doesn’t make mistakes, and we are so blessed to have such great friends already walking this road with us!
To date, we haven’t really talked about this to many. Very few people know, besides a few of my close friends who have adopted before, and I knew I could trust being very raw and vulnerable with. You see part of what scares me most, at least at the current time, is people’s response. Well meaning people who say the wrong things. I can’t handle negative right now. I’m too scared out of mind to hear anything negative right now. In due time, I know I will be able to handle those comments with more grace, but right now, my heart is raw, and needs time to process this thing God is asking us to do, because it doesn’t look like what I wanted it too. I need time with God for Him to reveal to me His goodness in this, because He is good. He is always good, even when He asks us to do something hard.
How can you pursue something you know is going to cause suffering? Because you know to your very core that God is good. You know that when He asks you to do something hard you obey. You know He has a purpose, and a plan for your life. That his plans are to prosper you. Not harm you. To know that whatever the suffering may be, whatever hurts, that God has a greater purpose in it. That this is part of our story, and He has great blessing in it for us, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to drink from the cup….