My husband and I attended an adoption workshop on Friday. So much information was discussed that we are still processing and thinking.
The sticking point for us isn’t whether or not we think a new child would be good for our family; it is that we already have a good family. We like the fact that our daughter has reached a level of self sufficiency. We are comfortable with our one-child family.
And therein lies the rub. As Beth Moore taught during a Life Today taping, we are a society that is addicted to comfort. But following the Lord often means stepping out of our comfort zones. When we are just gliding along through life cocooned in comfort derived from the sameness of our days, how are we stretching our faith? If we never place ourselves in uncomfortable situations, how will we rely on God to be our Comforter?
So in that sense, adopting a child would be our ministry to that child and the birth parents. We would step out of our comfort zones and back into a life of sleep deprivation and dirty diapers and spit up…and also joy and first smiles and that indescribable new baby smell. We would acknowledge that instead of being 45 when our daughter graduates, we’ll be 55 when the new baby graduates…that’s ten more years of direct parenting. We would be blessing that child with parental love as well as the love that comes from Jesus. We will be obeying God’s Word from James:
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
On the other hand, we can look after orphans and widows through financial means. Having a heart for orphans doesn’t necessarily mean the Lord wants us to run out and adopt. Some might say that our little family is small because that’s the way our Sovereign Lord intended it to be and that pursuing adoption would be trying to put our family in our own control rather than the Lord’s. Others could argue that the Lord allowed me to have health issues so that we WOULD adopt a child as our own. There are times I confess that I tend to feel that we have only one child because having more just “wasn’t meant to be.”
We are in prayer about this decision and are also in God’s word. After the workshop during my quiet time, I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me to scripture that would help me know what the Lord wants me to do. I want God’s will for my life! Imagine the goosebumps I felt when my Bible fell open to these words:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
God already knows the plan! My husband and I may have jumbled up thoughts, leaning first one way and then the next. But God knows, and the Bible tells us that he will make our paths straight if we trust in him with all our hearts.
So that’s the next step of this journey: trusting God to make his will known, and praying that I will have the wisdom to SEE without any of my own personal filters making me twist things to my own will.
There have already been some interesting things happening since we attended the workshop:
The overarching verse of the adoption agency is Jeremiah 29:11, the very one I opened my Bible to after praying for guidance.
At the workshop and today at church, I was struck by the notion of adoption as a ministry to the child rather than as a means to “complete” our family.
The worship pastor, in praising God for his majesty and glory, listed several images of God’s greatness…mountains, hurricanes, thunder, lightening, a newborn’s face.
God’s not finished with me yet! He’s working on me even now as we (me, my husband, and God) work through this together. Even if the answer is NO on adoption, this journey is already bringing glory to God because it is causing us to press even closer to Him.