Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How did we get here?

I suppose that's a pretty legitimate question right now!
For about two years now, God has been planting & watering the seed of adoption in our hearts. It began simply with the movie Christmas Child, a bonus feature of which was a music video for Steven Curtis Chapman's song "When Love Takes You In." It left us with an impression that "maybe someday we'll look into adoption."
A week later, we were introduced to a couple who, coincidentally, had adopted five children (the fact of which had no bearing on why we were introduced).

A week after that, an email in our inbox with the subject "You are God's plan for the orphan." And on it has gone...for two years. But when Anna came along, it was placed more firmly in the someday category.
With our visit back east the past fall, we knew we would have a chance to visit with Joe and Marge's daughter Sarah. Sarah and her husband Bob have 6 kids...3 biological, 2 from China, and 1 that just came home in July from Ethiopia. Our upcoming visit served as a great prompt for us to talk further about "when" we though we would adopt.

Mark and I had both assumed that we would bring another child into our family when Anna was 2-3 yrs. old. The adoption process can take about two years. Hmmm... Anna is one and half. Looks like we needed to pray in earnest if this is what God would have us do now!
And pray we did, along with a lot of research on the internet, and asking a lot of questions. Our time with Sarah in PA, although short, was priceless in starting us out; she shared the scrapbooks she had made for each of her kids, and it made the whole daunting adoption process seem both real and manageable. Not easy, mind you, but manageable. :) And my friend Jen has been a constant support and sounding-board as we sought God's will for our family in this.
Then came November, which is Adoption Awareness Month. I received an email from Shaohannah's Hope about the resources they have available to raise awareness and show hope to orphans, and I ordered the package for church. It included a dvd of compelling videos and inspirational testimonies that challenge viewers to be an agent of change for God, taking part in his heart for orphans. Along with the DVD was a 30-day devotional "Seeds of Change," some "Show Hope" rubber bracelets, and a bucket for collecting change. For our church, we set the goal of raising $200 over the course of the month. We offered the bracelets to anyone who gave at least $10 (on the honor system, of course). :) And in four weeks time, our church raised $274 to give to Shaohannah's Hope. Isn't it something else the way God works? It was an amazing month that God used to change our perspective and our hearts, both corporately as a church and for Mark and I as a family.
But that was the final nudge from God...we both knew it was time. We researched various adoption agencies online, sent for information packets, and started praying for wisdom in knowing from which country to adopt.

Then we were in the whirlwind of moving, so we set a date of Feb. 1st to have made our final decision between the two countries we had already narrowed it down to, Rwanda or Ethiopia. But there was still so much stuff going on with church and settling in that Mark didn't feel that he had yet sought God completely about which country. So we decided that on Valentine's Day, we would go out on a date, take our info packet with us, and really talk about where we felt God was leading us.
We both feel very definitively, for no real explainable reason, that our daughter will be in Ethiopia, and having settled the matter, we submitted our application to the agency the next day!

1 comment:

Eric and April said...

We are so excited for you guys!