So, if you are friends with me on facebook, you probably saw THIS happen yesterday:
The news that we are seeking to adopt a sibling group this year took our closest friends and family by surprise. I guess it doesn’t seem like something we would do, and we hadn’t really given a lot of indication we were headed in this direction.
In retrospect, we probably should have shared our burden for orphans and foster children more, we should have prayed openly about it with our teens, we should have told our extended family how burdened we are to make the most of every year of our lives.
Because, though it seems like we are nearing the home stretch (we are graduating our tremendously awesome firstborn in a couple months!), we aren’t ready for retirement any time soon.
We’re simply too young for that.
So if we had been more transparent the last two decades of our marriage, what would others have seen? A lot of struggle over the issue of homeless children, refugees, and minority orphans. A lot of prayer, a few arguments, and a lot of tears.
My husband David has always envisioned himself reaching needy children.
Before we were even married, he told me that he intended to adopt and to found an orphanage and teach all the children how to play soccer and love Jesus. I laughed and told him, “Ok, whatever,” because that’s the kind of encourager I am.
He wasn’t daunted. Life tried hard to get in the way; there were bills and struggles, new babies and increasingly busy lives, but David kept coming back to that vision, reminding me that one day he would reach out to parentless children. I kept nodding and rearranging my own todo lists.
David had an idea that camp ministry might be the gateway to his dream. So we candidated at several Christian camps, but God kept closing the doors. So we moved, instead, to Texas, and David threw himself into building his career while our children grew rapidly. Once in a while, David would bring up his orphan dreams, but nothing happened.
I never believed in it. In retrospect, I think it’s because I never saw the need. Orphans in America, including foster children and refugee children, are all kept well inside “the system,” and I could live my entire middle-class life without noticing them.
Until we went to Peru. That trip changed so much for me. For the first time, I saw children that looked like my own four, and I couldn’t stop staring at them everywhere we went. They were so beautiful!
And they were homeless, begging on the streets, grabbing at my skirts and begging me and my children to buy a candy. My heart shattered, there on the sidewalks of Lima.
We came home determined to adopt from Peru. We examined every which way, and the process proved to be prohibitive financially and legally. Surprised and saddened, we walked away from adoption.
Then a couple years later, I worked on an adoption awareness campaign with a magazine. The information and statistics on adoption in America are staggering. There are over 300,000 children in America without families. One third are eligible for adoption. But only 7,000 are adopted each year.
Let the need just sink in.
On the other hand, I could not escape this verse of Scripture:
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
If God defines my religion, my worldview, my belief system on how I care for the helpless around me, how do I measure up? The longer I meditated on God’s love for me in contrast with the growing need for a living, acting gospel, the more convicted I was.
Love is action.
So I brought it up to David over nachos at Freebird’s. And to my surprise, he said, “No.” I asked him to pray about it, and he said, “No.” So I dropped it. I knew that if something this big was God’s plan for us, we would both be prepared at the same time.
But I couldn’t escape it. At least once a week, God reminded me on the news, in social media, in my devotions, in the community that the need is so great.
And a couple months ago, out of the blue, David told me, “I think this is the year we will adopt.” There were several issues in our family that cleared up, some tremendous workings of God that made our immediate future clear, and some unexpected blessings that showed God is working. We knew, unmistakably, that this is God’s plan, and that this is His timing for us.
So this is where we are, and God’s plan for us is where we are headed. It too two decades for us to both come to the same place. And we are as excited as we are certain. We are praying for a sibling group, and we are praying we can bring them home this year.
Please join us in prayer for these and for the thousands more waiting for a “forever family.” And join me in praying God will continue to enable His people to demonstrate His love toward those in need.
I’d love to keep in touch!
Get the book!
Now available on Kindle — Homeschool Made Easy!