Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
I share that verse today as a way of announcing something new that is happening in our lives. If you know us, you probably already know some of what I'm about to share. If you're a blog friend, this may be more than you care to know. But it's central to what is going on with us, and several things I've wanted to blog about relate to this "new thing", so I felt it was time to share the whole story.
Brian and I have been married for 6 and 1/2 years. We married when he was 33 and I was 32. After 2 years of wedded bliss, we began trying to get pregnant. Due to our age (mine in particular), we had difficulty in the endeavor, and finally opted to see a fertility specialist. After another couple of years, we learned that it was unlikely that we would ever conceive. That was a tough blow for us. About that time, we heard about this conference, and it was going to be taking place at a church just down the road from our house! We knew and respected Dennis & Barbara Rainey's ministry. We used their book, (which I highly recommend), for our premarital counseling. So we jumped at the chance to learn more about adoption from an organization that we trusted. Let me tell you, if you are thinking about adoption, this is an excellent workshop to attend. It's very thorough and informative.
One thing they made a point of saying at the conference, over and over, was that you shouldn't adopt just because you felt it was the right thing to do, or because you had a whole in your heart or home due to infertility, or because someone told you that you should consider adoption. They shared many scriptures which revealed how Christians are to care for the widows and orphans. And they urged us to find a way to minister to widows and orphans, both in our midst and far away. But, they said you should only adopt if you believe God has called you to adopt. They asked the conference participants to spend time in prayer, seeking God, before we made the decision to adopt.
Fresh on the heels of our infertility news, we knew we weren't ready to adopt. We had some grieving to do first. We were open to the idea, but we didn't want to run ahead of God, so we just stayed in prayer about it. For over a year. The next fall, we met with some friends of Brian, who had adopted. We asked them a lot of questions and learned some of the ins and outs of private domestic adoption. But it's very expensive, and we didn't feel a peace about it. Still, over the next several weeks, God made my heart very tender toward adoption. Brian and I would talk about it, from time to time, but he didn't seem ready. In January of this year, I was looking at an adoption website that Brian's friends recommended. It had a quiz that was intended to help assess your readiness for adoption. First, it asked what your motivation was for adopting. Were you considering adoption because you felt it was the right thing to do, or because you had a whole in your heart or home due to infertility, or because someone told you that you should consider adoption? I thought it was interesting, because they were the same things we heard at the conference. I knew, at that time, that I believed God was calling us to adoption. He had put it so heavy on my heart that I ached to move forward. However, the second question asked who was leading the pursuit for adoption. You, your spouse, your parents or in-laws, or someone else. God nudged me and pointed out to me that I was the one, at that point, who was leading the quest. This brought me to my knees. I didn't want to be the leader. I knew that was not God's plan, either. I understood very clearly that God wanted to bring Brian to the point that he knew God was calling us to adopt, and my persistence and encouragement or nagging wouldn't help matters. If Brian was going to exercise his God-given right to be the spiritual leader in our home, I needed to settle down and wait...on him and on God. So I prayed and asked God to help me be patient with His plan. And I prayed for Brian, that God would help him to be sensitive to His call, and help Brian not to discount it out of fear. I didn't say anything at all to Brian. I left it in God's hands.
Two days later, I was sitting in a doctor's office when my cell phone rang. It was Brian. He'd just heard a Focus on the Family radio broadcast about adoption. God spoke very clearly to Brian's heart, and he wanted to tell me that he felt God was calling us to adoption, and that when I was ready, we could proceed. I was ready! That very weekend, a local church was hosting another adoption workshop. We went to the exhibit hall and met with several organizations who deal in domestic adoptions. Then we went home and prayed about it. By the end of the day, we felt God was directing us to pursue adoption through the state. Gulp.
We called our families and shared the news with them. They were delighted for us. We shared with our Sunday School class and asked for their prayer support. Our friends and family have been so good to pray for us and encourage us along the way. A dear lady in our church approached me with the scriptures above, not even knowing our situation. She said God had told her to share those words with me. What a sweet encouragement that was!
So we've spent the last several months preparing our home. We have several significant remodeling chores that need to be complete before we have a home study or home inspections. We're about halfway through the task list. We have finished our application, except for the home plans (a sketch of the layout of the home), which Brian hopes to have finished in the next day or so, and then we'll send our application in. We'll have several classes to attend, followed by lots of inspections and such. It's a little stressful, but I know that God is sovereign and in control. And I have confidence in His perfect plan for our family.
In the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some of the progress we've made in our home remodeling projects, and updating our progress on the application/interviews/classes, etc.
In the meantime, please keep us, and our future children in your prayers. And thanks for reading!