It is with much excitement tonight that Lindsey and I feel it is time to take an opportunity to share in detail what God has been doing in our lives this summer. To say we saw the changes coming would probably be a lie. Not even a month ago did I fully understand what He had in store for us. However, we can confidently conclude with full faith that we believe God is in control and with Him all things are possible. If interested, I invite you to read ahead about the journey we have taken this summer and learn about what God has called us to.
To start off, we thought that this would be a typical summer. However, we quickly realized that we had a lot of time on our hands during our first summer as a married couple. Last summer we had plenty to keep ourselves busy with as we prepared for our Fall wedding. This summer we really haven’t taken any trips, so we have been able to take full advantage of a sermon series at church called “Living the Dream”. The series was about God’s dream for our life versus the path that we have taken. From that we learned it’s never too late to get back on the path that He intended for us. Before the series started both of us had felt the need to change our priorities in life. We wanted to become more real and sincere with God and how we worship Him and wanted to make serving Christ more than just something that happens on Sunday morning at church. But this has been something that we have struggled with. We started to question what it is we believe and if we really do believe what we say we believe. Our own selfish pride and goals for success in life had become polluted by the world. God started challenging us in all these areas showing that serving Him is the only true source of success and happiness.
During this time frame, my grandmother passed away. This was an interesting event because she lived such a long and fulfilling life. Lindsey recalls seeing an old film of her as a teenager at the funeral. Watching it seemed like it was not that long ago that she was young, and now, here we were celebrating her life. Life is short and it will be over before you know it. Soon after, the week occurred where it seemed like multiple people in the news were passing away, as well as people close to our friends. This just showed us that life is even shorter than what we had imagined. With feeling only somewhat complacent in our walk with God we started to feel that we needed to live life for His glory now. The only issue was we didn’t know where to begin, but we started to make ourselves available to be changed by God.
Our Pastor Craig at church spoke out about how change begins with a calling and that the only way you can get there is to be intimate with God and to be in His word daily and the need to pray, putting your wants and everything else aside and just to “GO!”. Shortly afterwards we were able to talk about this urge to change priorities with our Life Group, but we still weren’t quite sure what God was calling us to do. Lindsey and I just felt vulnerable, but were excited for whatever it was that God was stirring in our hearts.
It was that next Sunday during the service series that Don Fields spoke about compassion. Lindsey and I both shared the sentiment thinking that’s nice.. but how do I “get” compassion? Don made the strong point that your heart has to be broken in order to have compassion. This seemed out of our control, as how many times in your life do you find your heart broken about something? What could be so big in our lives that it could honestly break our hearts? Throughout the next week we felt frustration as nothing really changed and yet we continued to pray for Him to break our hearts, but nothing appeared to be happening.
The following Sunday at church God finally broke our hearts. It was unexpected, surprising, and emotional. The issue he broke our hearts about didn’t completely make sense to us at the time and we fought the idea throwing out excuse and excuse on why the timing was wrong. In the end though, God prevailed and our feelings only intensified and would not leave. The specific verse that broke our hearts was this:
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 – James 1:27
With the help of that verse and God’s continued impact in our lives, we have decided after much prayer that we will be adopting from the Ukraine. If all goes as He has planned out, we will be bringing our first child home sometime by next summer and begin the blessings of parenthood! I would love to give us the credit, but in the end it came down to us finally taking that step of faith and listening to God’s call for our life.
Does it make sense? Why adopt our first child? Can we even afford it? Am I scared? (yes!). Are we responsible enough? These are all the questions that we asked many times to ourselves and God during this experience. Thankfully though we are getting answers. We have researched many agencies and after speaking with Pastor Craig who is also adopting from China, it helped confirm our choice and trust in Christian World Adoption. Though we are only past the initial fee and application, we have learned a lot about the process and have been on the phone countless times with CWA and have attended an initial webinar. When we first came to the decision to adopt we were originally looking into the Kazakhstan program. We were driven toward that program because of the possibility of being able to pick out our child at the orphanage itself and being guaranteed a younger child at about age 6 months and up. We were saddened to find out that since I have a mild case of cerebral palsy it is very unlikely that the Kazakhstan government would accept our paperwork. Is it right, no.. But God has a child picked out for us somewhere. We have been told that the Ukraine is a much better option for us and that the facilitator in the Ukraine assures us that we will not have a problem in that country. The only change is that in the Ukraine we should expect to to bring home a child from about age 2-5. Again, not what we had envisioned, but we have full faith God knows what he is doing. We are at this stage preferring a daughter and are requesting a girl as young as possible. We have been told that in the 11 years or so that they have been helping provide families with children in Ukraine, that if a family requests a younger child around 2-3, they have never had parents not come home with a child of that age.
There’s so much more to explain about the process and our views on why we chose international adoption over domestic, as well as what to expect in the next 9-12 months that this process should take. Feel free to write us, call us, and ask as many questions as you’d like and we would be happy to answer them. I will share all of our experiences, good or bad, on this blog. There’s always hiccups in international adoption and things might go array at times, but God will pull us through.
If you are wondering what you can do to help, please pray for the process, pray for us transitioning into unexpected parenthood, and last pray for our little child who is already alive and waiting for us! We are very excited for the journey that God has in store for us!