It all started……
Way back before we got married (5 YEARS ago!) we mentioned that “someday” we’d like to have kids, adopt, etc… Remembering it now, we discussed it not because it was at the forefront of either of our minds (even though marriage and the things that follow often can lead to children…), but only because that’s the sort of thing one should discuss before they get married, right?
God gave us kids WAY sooner than either one of us planned or expected. Doc had just started grad school, I was in the middle of school studying something I loved, and we were penniless!
It threw us for a loop, and ended up being that best thing that could have happened to us.
Grad school and little munchkins are plenty of responsibility for two sane people, so we figured we’d just have these two for now, and “someday” we’d adopt.
Some good friends from Ohio were adopting a baby boy from Vietnam and we shared that journey with them as much as one can living a few hundred miles away with, again, grad school and munchkins. But it kept the idea fresh in our minds, gave the prospect a realistic face instead of the dreamy one I’d had in my head, and ultimately was a thought for “someday”.
Fast forward a few years to present tense:
-Grad school = tiny income
-2 kiddos=nice tax credit
– all of the above + first time home buyers= HUGE tax credit
For the first time since we’d been married, we had a savings account! With $$ in it!
We talked through the best ways to use it- let it sit in the svgs account as a rainy day fund? Put it into our mortgage? Put it into home improvements? Adopt (someday)? Invest in….
We’ll talk to people we respect on money issues, pray about where the best place is to put it, and go from there.
But, as God had it (thus far), the answer was, “adopt”.
Once again, totally unexpected, threw us for a loop, etc., etc. But God was merciful and gave us both an unmistakable peace about the decision that “someday” had become- “now”. Even as the large sum of money started to go to little expenses here, little needs there, we couldn’t ignore what God was asking us to do. And besides, a cute, sweet little baby is almost irresistible, right?
SOOO…. we started researching countries, ages, genders, medical & psychological issues, cost, and we came away with-
An infant boy from Ethiopia.
Our brains asked:
What about rough medical issues from malnutrition or disease?
What about weird psychological issues?
What about racism?
What if our beautiful, peaceful family is thrown off balance for good?
And God reminded us through his Word:
He is faithful to fulfill his promises
He loves our family
And he loves the children of Ethiopia
In adopting we are mimicking our own salvation story. We, estranged from God through sin, have been adopted into His family and are called Sons- Heirs, even! Through no merit of our own, but through His grace and love we have been called to dwell with Him forever.
Obviously we are not God and we will certainly never be perfect parents or perfect people by any stretch of the imagination- but we can fulfill his command to take care of the orphans in their distress. We’re called to, so we must. Besides, we really want to!
It has between 4-6 million orphans (orphaned by AIDS and famine mostly) and it has the most ethical, straightforward, inexpensive adoption program out there.
Why a toddler- whatever happened to the baby idea?
As I was filling out our first application, it asked for preferences on age & gender. I wrote “male”, “healthy”, I couldn’t write “infant”. I don’t know why. My latest trips to Target involved an extra loop through the baby aisles. A little crib was supposed to be at the foot of our bed for a few months. It was a sweet picture in my mind. I had said yes to God about adopting- but apparently it hadn’t occurred to me that it was to be on His terms.
So I called up Doc, pen still in hand, and this was our brief conversation:
“I’m filling out our home study application and it’s asking preferences.”
“We want to adopt a boy.”
” (hesitant pause)- What do you think about a two year old instead of an infant?” (deep breath!)
“Sure! You know I’ve never been crazy about the infant stage anyway.”
And so I wrote, “male, two years or younger”, sealed the envelope, and mailed our first true piece of adoption paperwork off to the agency.
Thus far we’ve been accepted into the Ethiopia program by our main agency and we’re working on home study stuff for our homestudy agency. It’ll be a long process of paperwork and getting 800 (small exaggeration) documents rubber-stamped, and with my organizational skills (lack thereof, I should say) it will be God’s doing by the time this thing goes through!!!
Pray for us if you think about it. I still find myself on the verge of hyperventilating sometimes when I stand back and look, not so much at the tremendous amount of work it will be on our part, but at everything that needs to fall into place that is completely out of my control.
God is good.