Anyone who knows me well enough has probably heard me say at some point in the last year that I don't feel like our family is done. Truth be told, there are some days I question my own sanity when I think about it. But, when it comes down to it, I feel like I am supposed to be someone else's mom. For me to "have" another child would mean reversal surgeries and I didn't have great pregnancies, so we would need to adopt. Specifically, I feel drawn to Ethiopia. I decided a long time ago to quit trying to understand it, or rationalize it, or justify it to people- I just came to the realization that God put it on my heart and if he wanted it to happen, it would. The difficult part in that was that Joe, while not outright objecting or yelling "No Way Jose!", didn't necessarily feel the same calling to have more children- biological or otherwise. I will fess up that at first I tried the begging route with him. And of course, there was some emotional outpouring. (My children do not get their drama from their fathers, I am honest about my shortcoming...sorta... hehe) What I realized though, was that if this was TRULY going to be a process God was leading us into, He wouldn't just be leading ME into it. I simply asked Joe to pray that God would make him open to the idea. Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that I stopped talking about adopting completely- far from it! But, I did make a conscious effort to stop talking about it incessantly, and not ask him to commit to something. I want to give God the glory in the entire process, especially the decision to proceed- I didn't want to ever have the thought that I had guilted him into the responsibility of becoming a parent again!
A little over a month ago, on orphan sunday, a group met at our church to start praying about how our church can serve the orphans of the world. I knew immediately I needed to attend, but I purposefully didn't ask Joe. I didn't want to force anything. Just a few days before the meeting, I began committing to getting up and having a quiet time in the mornings- To read scripture or a devotion and to pray over my life and family. What great timing that at the orphan meeting, the host handed out a "40 days of prayer for orphans!" I missed a few weekends, but I always made it a priority to pray DAILY for the cause of the orphan- for the parents that feel the need to give them up, to the caregivers that take care of them, to the churches praying for them, to the families that bring them home- to the orphans themselves. It was life changing. Each day, I prayed specifically that God would use our family in the way according to his plan. I prayed that if it was his will, Joe's heart would be open to adoption, and if not that I would be obedient and find peace in that. (that was the hardest to pray- if I am honest)
Even though the 40 days is over, I am still doing my quiet time, and I am using the prayers in it to continue my prayers for the orphans in the world and how we can be used to help them- even just one of them.
This weekend, I came across some old cd's with pictures of the kids when they were teeny. I spent a few hours just smiling as I flipped through. Such sweet times. And even though we have lots of memorable times these days, there is just nothing quite like the joys of seeing a toddler experience life's wonders.
After awhile, I came back in the living room and snuggled into Joe's arms. We were looking at the Christmas tree, and on a whim I said, "For Christmas I want a bigger family..."
Imagine my suprise when he said, "ok!' Imagine my pure shock when after I asked, "really?" he responded, "sure."
There was some joking that followed and I will admit that the grin on my face might as well have been sewn on, because I couldn't wipe it away. When I finally got the courage to ask for clarification (I wanted to make sure he REALLY meant what I thought he meant), I realized he meant he was open to adoption. We both agreed it won't be happening immediately, but if it is God's will for us, we are BOTH ready to open our hearts to another child- forever. Please pray for use in this journey- there is much to consider and do to prepare.
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