Many people have asked “So, where are you with adoption?” and in all truth various emotions competing for space in my heart and mind have made it difficult to process and respond to that question. I sorta feel like I’ve lost my mojo and there are just too many thoughts swirling around in there to actually make it to my fingertips or lips. The other problem is there is no neat answer that I can give in a couple minutes to that question. But I feel like I should have a better answer considering it was a large part of what has brought us back to the states.
The truth is this part of our story still makes my ask questions, seek direction, and cry. A lot. Many years ago a friend and I were discussing adoption. Something she and her family had already done and something Jason and I were feeling a heart tugging to do. She said that if you begin an adoption journey you will believe more in the sovereignty of God than you ever had before. I knew that was true wisdom but in the foggy sense that I also knew when older women told me that marriage was hard work. I smiled, nodded, and did not count the cost at all. I couldn’t because I had to reference, no pain intermingled with joy that crept up in me yet. But I have more of an understanding now.
I wrote about why we feel called to adopt before and after everything became clearer in Tanzania that our adoption there was not going to happen we felt wrecked. Adoption is not just our “plan B.” We don’t see it as just another way to add children to our family. We see it as something He has placed on our hearts because He was not just speaking in metaphor when He told us to care for the orphan and widow. I think He really meant it. Without going into tons of specifics about what happened in Tanzania (a lot of which make no sense even to us) the law had changed and that there was no “grandfathering in” at least without serious bribing and that the door was closed to us. I have never really written about this at length here. In part because it felt too raw and I could not even make sense of everything. But let me be clear that we were ready to meet our child. We had gone through almost 2 years of the process including applications, payments, references checks with our friends, and many boat rides to the capital to meet with social services. I felt ‘pregnant’ without the puking part. We thought we were one official referral letter away from picking up our child. We bought a bigger car. We prayed and talked about it with our girls. We started to prepare as a family and we were eager with anticipation.
And my heart is still broken that our child is not Tanzanian. But yet I choose to believe He has purpose in it. That maybe we were living life close our our breaking point may days there and could not have handled it. And He protected us in so many ways since we had not met our child yet. And that He still has something in store for our family. Something bigger and harder and better than we could have forced ourselves. Reading about some other’s experiences here and here have helped me process this loss although our experience was very different from theirs. Although we have had to, in a way, start over here in the states we know it is a continuation of a journey and He sees the beginning seeds in our hearts to the end of the story which we never be fully realized here on earth. We have continued in asking Him what next for us and for now He has shown us that Foster Care is in our future. We feel unsure about international adoption for our family without having a strong sense of leading and peace that He is asking us to do that right now. It changes things that we have lived in a developing country and know what structures exist on the ground. We are grateful He has put people in our path and lives that have experienced and are experiencing adoption in many ways. Everyone’s journey in adoption is different and challenging and beautiful and we are seeking what He has for us. Just us. And that is hard because there are so many journeys. We know a tiny bit, have listened to friends, and have been warned Foster Care can be messy and heartbreaking and requiring more resources that we posses but we know if He is calling us into something He will make a way and enable us to stand and walk in it. Friends, please pray for us. That inshallah we will be able to be a blessing to a child or children He brings into our lives and that we will seek His will on the outcome of those relationships even when it might seem painful to do that. And pray that we will be blessed too as we walk into this again and for the first time. I am scared. But as a speaker I recently heard reminded me courage is not the absence of fear but doing it anyway. We are doing this anyway. Even with all our faults and failures and fears we are trusting He can something beautiful out of that.
“We make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I don’t want to make plans and ask that He bless them. I want to find out who He is and what He has said He will bless and follow there to that place, even if it scares me. When my strength is proven insufficient His grace and mercy will be overflowing. Here is to one more step in the journey,