Monday, November 15, 2010

My Head Stops Spinning...Sort Of

JD and I head upstairs to the kitchen and start hashing out where our hearts are. I can't stop crying because I can't believe it. That's it. We're adopting. Just like that. I can't believe he, JD, is on board. Without flinching. This above all else is the greatest affirmation (on an on-going, daily basis) that we're doing the right thing. JD is unwavering. He is grounded in this decision.

This, the man who has expressed concern over the years of how he will provide for our four biological children. I've always felt convicted that finances shouldn't be a deciding factor on how many children we have. (I know, easy to say when I'm not the 'provider', but I am the caregiver and that's a lot of work too!). We're never going to feel fully financially equipped. And as a sweet friend said the other day, it can all be gone in an instant or we can win the lottery (but I guess we'd have to play first, huh?). :) Point being, it's not up to us. It truly is all up to God, so why not be more concerned with staying in step with Him and let the rest fall where it may.

JD and I quickly decided that we're to adopt a sibling pair. One heartfelt stroll down the hypothetical trail of a tragedy befalling upon our family and our children having to be adopted, and their not being able to stay together as siblings, is enough to push us over the emotional edge. We know we're able and capable to raise six children, so that's what we plan to do. Plus, we both believe strongly that if we adopt one, we're likely to want to adopt another down the road. Might as well do both now and bless two children with the gift of staying together forever.

Will we be stretched? Absolutely. But isn't that the point? Wasn't that my prayer? So God is in the business of answering prayers.

You might find the next couple of stories interesting or just funny, but I find them to be affirming. I think God aligns things like this to happen as encouragement to us that we're doing the right thing.

The next night, we had plans to have friends over for dinner. We in no way, shape or form planned on telling people of our recent decision because we'd hardly gotten our minds around it ourselves, let alone told our parents and closest friends. I asked my friend pretty quickly if she'd read Crazy Love because she's a huge Francis Chan fan. I was so hoping to pick her brain about it and even about Radical because she's a thinker and a writer. I just looked forward to hashing this all out with her. These books were at the top of her 'must read' list, but she hadn't gotten to them yet. She asks me why I'm so anxious to process them -- what was so impactful about them? Well, as you know from my earlier posts, I couldn't summarize them well except to say that JD and I had been greatly stirred by them and were trying to discern how to respond to living radically. Her first words out of her mouth were (and I kid you not), 'So what? You're going to adopt five orphans?' I almost burst out laughing. I wasn't going to lie which meant I couldn't contain my smirk. We quickly caved and told them that we were indeed on the path to adoption. They were so very excited for us!

An interesting tidbit here is that this friend had recently come back from a Catalyst conference and heard Francis Chan speak. She said there was a heavy focus on adoption at the conference. In fact, a couple came on stage and presented their child who they adopted as a result of their feeling led to adopt at last year's Catalyst conference! They had their child in just a matter of months! Amazing.

Maybe a week later, after we'd had our first consultation with the local agency here it was time to tell our parents. My mom, my grandmother and I are out to lunch (with no kids...perfect opportunity!) and I tell them that JD and I have decided to adopt a sibling pair. She and my grandmother were wonderfully supportive. After I explained that this only seems crazy to us because we're so caught up in a culture that pushes the agenda that if we work hard enough we can have it all -- the big house, the fancy cars, the luxury vacations, the fat retirement accounts, etc. -- but JD and I have realized that we can radically change two little people's lives by just stretching ourselves. Yes, things will be hairy at times, but frankly they already are! We have four children. In the day-to-day, having six won't be that different. Sure paying for six college educations probably won't be within our abilities, but neither was paying for four. Look, God has this stuff worked out. Heck, some of our kids may join the military, peace corps, become artists, or be missionaries. There's just not enough reason in our minds to not do this. To put it simply: the benefits outweigh the costs. These two children are worth it. And truthfully, we will be the richer ones. Our hearts will be required to expand and that's a good thing. Our family's going to take on a form that's never been done in the history of our families. I impress upon the two of them that there has been multiple ways that God's spoken to us to guide us to this decision. I assured them that this is, without a shadow of a doubt, where God's leading us and I could give them example after example of crazy little things that have happened that have convicted our hearts that this is what we're supposed to do.

Next thing you know, the woman from the booth behind us gets up and walks over. She says, 'I'm so sorry. I'm not trying to eavesdrop, but when I hear someone talk about adoption and foster care, my heart starts to race. I just wanted to recommend this wonderful book to you. It's called The Connected Child. It's a wonderful resource. My husband and I have been foster parents for years. Best of luck to you and your family.'

I thank her profusely because little did she know, I'd been asking everyone (adoption professionals, friends who have adopted, etc) for a great book on adoption because I'm a reader. But God knew.

I look over at my mom and her mouth is practically hanging open.

My eyes well with tears.

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