When Enough is Enough

July 3, 2012 heart defect, large families, older child adoption, orphanage realities, Realities, should we adopt?, Sonia 104 Comments

I’m confused.
I’m heartbroken.
I’m left feeling selfish.
And in a perpetual state of prayer and wonder.

I remember when John and I were discussing Joshua’s adoption and John felt like Joshua needed to be the last one and I completely agreed.

We had been home only 3 months with Jacob and Joey
and we were in the throes of tantrums
and rages
and adjustments
and learning how to cook anything that resembled what they would like to eat.

It was the days when my blog posts were titled things like
“Well, at least I haven’t cried today….yet” {It was only 8am}
“Has anyone seen my life? I’m sure it was here somewhere.”

John even said something that day we were discussing Joshua, to the effect of “You know, we can’t save them all.”
And I dutifully responded that yes, I realized that but we could save this one boy’s life
….or try to anyway.

But now?
On this side of things..
How do you stop?

after witnessing his miracle,
after seeing him go from near death

to full of life

do you stop?

How. Do. You. Stop?
How is one more
and one more
and then one more
and then just one more
not where your heart takes up residence?

How am I to continually come across these heart babies and kids that will in fact die if not adopted and just move on with my day.

Not much gets under my skin but I’ll tell you what does.

“So are you guys finally done?”
“You know what causes 7 kids right?”
“Are you trying for your own reality show?”

People of the world.
Let me clear something up.
Hear me when I say
We do not have 7 children because John and I can’t keep our hands off each other.
We do not have 7 boys because we are trying to produce the only all brother NFL team.
We do not have 7 kids because we decided to collect children instead of nick knacks.

We have 7 children because kids are dying
kids are homeless
kids are sitting in orphanages across the world all alone.

That is why we have 7 kids.

Here’s where I am now though:
I feel like 7 is good for us.We are doing well.
Very well.

Swallowing my pride
`cough ` cough `
I will go so far as to say that I don’t so much want another one or two running around here.

{insert awkward silence}

My plate is full.
Our house is full.
My washing machine is always full.
My hands?
are full.

But is that selfish?
Could I do more?
Could we make room?
Do we have access to an incredible cardiac team that could probably save their life?
Would I wholeheartedly love that child?
Am I feeling that we should?

So here I sit.
And it’s here I feel stuck.
Knowing that kids are dying
and I am happily going about my life unaltered.

How do I reconcile the incredible need
with my faulty human heart?

With Jacob and Joey I KNEW that we were supposed to adopt.
With Joshua, I KNEW I loved that boy and so badly wanted to bring him home to live whatever weeks or months he had left on this earth with us.
It was as clear as day to me.

But now?
I don’t KNOW anything.
I don’t feel like He is nudging my heart toward another adoption.
But is He always and I am just choosing not to listen?
Am I letting the laundry and dishes and cooking and training and teaching and expenses and adjustments and get in the way?

Isn’t His will that we would do His work with reckless abandon?

Do I say enough because it’s what I feel like I am capable of
instead of yielding and tapping into the power of HIM who has more than enough?


All I do know is that nearly everyday I log on and look at those precious little faces
and think really?
Am I really just going to click that little red x in a minute and go about my day?

Kids are dying.
What should I make for lunch?
Kids are dying.
Should I take the kids bowling today or to the pool?
Kids are dying.
I can’t wait to try PW’s recipe that she posted today.
Kids are dying.
There’s a new episode of Army Wives on tonight, can’t wait!
Kids are dying.
Come on boys, let’s go for a bike ride!
Kids are dying.
Saw the cutest little sundress the other day on sale in the BX, gotta go back and get it.
Kids are dying.
Gotta go see what my Facebook friends are up to today.


And I am sitting here not moving.
Is that what I am supposed to do?

I guess my question in all of this is how?
How do you know when YOU are done
but the NEED is most certainly not.

Because she needs life

and he needs life

and her

and him

and so many, many more.

What am I to do?
How do I know?
How did you know?

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Matthew 9:37

104 responses to “When Enough is Enough”

  1. Jennifer P says:

    Oh, Sonia! We will rest in heaven. Here and now? It’s in His hands.

    Love ya. J

  2. Megs says:

    I don’t think we ever KNOW for sure. It is a journey we are on and only God knows where we are headed. So we TRUST that He will make it clear when He wants us to adopt. And we step out in faith when He calls. I thought our family was complete for the moment, but He made it obvious that another one is waiting for us and so I find myself in process again. It is true we can’t save them all, in fact we can’t save any of them, that is God’s department. But He sometimes gives us a front row seat to watching Him work, what a privilege!! Love your heart and Love how it breaks for these kids, that is a reflection of our Father’s love.

  3. Robin H says:

    Oh, Sonia how I hear your heart. The same thing resonates in mine. I still sit looking at waiting children as we are working to bring home our 6th child and our 3 rd adoption. We are asked all the time when will we be done. I honestly cannot answer that question. We will never be done hurting for those left behind, we will never be done feeling burdened to help the orphan and the least of these. We don’t know when we are done adopting but may we never be done fighting for the fatherless.


  4. Amy says:

    You’ve read my mind & put it into eloquent words!

  5. So so true Sonia, wonderful post.

  6. Dee says:

    My sentiments exactly!(we even just brought home our 7th child) May I have permission to share and link this from my blog? It is EXACTLY what I needed. <3

  7. Leslie says:

    Well I can’t tell you the answer, but I know we’re done. Now I’m not saying we wouldn’t obey if God brought us another child, but we will not be putting together another dossier.

    I knew were were NOT done after each and every adoption: 4 in 3 1/2 years. That seemed quick to me, but you got me beat!

    I think the key is that I need to be HERE and PRESENT for the six children God has given to us, and I know my limit, and I feel I’ve reached it. I also have an obligation to be a WIFE to my wonderful hubby, and I’ve seriously struggled in this area since bringing home #6. Now I’m not saying I’m not his wife, but I’ve struggled with juggling all the roles I have. A strong marriage is important and some “thangs” are so important to the DHs of the world for a strong marriage. πŸ˜‰

    So, for me, I took a step back. Yes, children are dying, but not just from heart disease. They die all around us from neglectful parents or worse kinds here in the US. They die from cancer. That really sucks too. Parents die and leave their children alone, through no fault of their own and not be choice.

    Children die when their parents don’t choose life. This world is broken now. The world is very dark, and to me it must almost look like a night-time sky to God … stars shining bright here and there but so much darkness.

    I think the original commenter nailed it and I couldn’t agree more: “We will rest in heaven. Here and now? It’s in His hands.”

    HIS hands. All He asks us to do is obey and LISTEN. I’m afraid I don’t listen often enough. I’m trying. And messing up still. All we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and turning our ear toward Him.

    Great thoughts Sonia.

  8. Kelly says:

    It sounds like you are not done. But it sounds like you have not yet found YOUR child. I have learned that it is not ok just to adopt to save. I do not quite understand why. But when I have tried, the Lord has given me a very clear “NO”. Maybe so that I would bring home the ones that are SUPPOSED to be with me. We are in process of adopting #9 and #10. I never thought we would get to this point! I was done at 3! But when the Lord called, I responded. I have not though brought home anyone that I didn’t KNOW was mine. You will KNOW when the time is right. The Lord is mindful of you and these children. He has a plan. We just need to trust it. Go to Him in prayer saying that you are willing if it is His will and He simply just needs to let you know when the time is right.

  9. Angie Miller says:

    I don’t know what else to say. You’ve said it. I sit here with my comfy life, in my too big home, but my minivan is full. Yeah. That’s my hangup. Pathetic. How do I know that God is calling me to do more? How do I know that I’ve done all the adoptions I’m supposed to do, and now God has a different line of work for me? I don’t know. My heart breaks over and over for these children. I find myself further and further detached from “the world” and it’s trivialities. I don’t care about things like I used to…things of the world. But sometimes I just don’t know what path to take. I pray every day that God will lead my steps, because only then, will I find true peace and be able to do the work He has for me to do. Blessings to your family and may the Lord clearly direct your path!

  10. Stefanie says:

    You said so brilliantly, Sonia, what many of us moms of big adoptive families wonder. How will we know? I think the key is trusting Him to direct our paths. I know that each time we went back, God made it so clear. And although I tried to resist (oh yes I did!) He just wouldn’t let me go.
    Now, we feel “done’. And it’s bittersweet. Wonderful because we are so crazy busy, I can’t imagine adding one more thing to our plates! And sad because there are so many who need and wait for a family of their own. But trusting God is allowing Him to do His part as we do our part… He is passionate about the orphan and there is no doubt He can and will mobilize families to bring these kiddos home. Some will go ‘home’ to Him too soon, like our Esther, but we must trust Him in that as well.
    He is GOOD. His plan is GOOD. And He is WORTHY of our trust. That’s really all we need to know.
    Cling to Him and He’ll reveal His plan for you. But until He calls you to adopt again, relish the time with those He has entrusted you with here and now. Pray for those who wait but don’t allow the burden on your heart to steal your joy… you are mama to these precious boys for a time, let the joy of trusting Jesus shine above all.
    So beautifully said, thank you for speaking for so many of us.

    • Tim Stowell says:

      As the father of four in four years, I don’t know the answer. Since God has used each child to refine me a bit more – knowing I still need refining in spades, I wonder what or who He will use to do that further refinement.

      As my namesake, Samuel, said centuries ago, Here am I. Yet, I am only part of that equation. Praying my wife will hear that same call.

    • Julee says:

      Stefanie, I loved reading this and recognizing you even though this was 2012… I think God said you were not done! ❀

      • nohandsbutours says:

        You are so right, Julee – God was not done with growing our family yet! His plans are definitely better <3 - Stefanie

  11. Dardi says:

    Wow. I am so blessed to know that I am not alone in this constant wrestling match that goes on in my heart & brain. (And that I’m not the only one constantly looking at waiting child sites.) Thank you for sharing your heart. Really, thank you.

  12. Donna says:

    Of COURSE you aren’t done! That would be like saying God is done with YOU, and we know that doesn’t happen. You *may* be done with the adoption part of your journey (I don’t know, but God does and He’ll lead or not in His time) but that only means that you are being readied for the NEXT part Are you willing to wait on Him and let Him get you ready? That may mean you stop looking back at the path you were on and start opening your heart to the path ahead. It will be amazing! It will be surprising! It may be a lot harder than the path already walked, but it will always be worth it!

    3 adoptions and now *mom* to 63 special needs orphans in China πŸ™‚

  13. rlong says:

    I’m a single mom to 5, so right now my plate is full, BUT I know exactly what you mean! There are others ways to help orphans….for example to encourage other families to follow in your footsteps… When others see that large families are manageable, it gives them the courage to bring more children into their homes. I hope to adopt some more older children in the future too. There is always the future. Also, you are creating a legacy. Each of your children will most likely adopt or somehow support orphans if you’ve trAined them up with empathy and love (which I’m sure you will). Just because God tells us we are done adding to our family, doesn’t mean the fight for orphans is over! It’s just begun in so many ways. It is a bittersweet, but there’s so much more to adoption than the here and now.
    That’s my 2 cents, as a mom who was heartbroken to become divorced mainly b/c I knew it was most likely the end to adoptions for me (@ least for awhile).

  14. Yvette says:

    My life so resonates with this – people and their stupid comments and all i want to ask is when will you stop frivolously spending money.
    We thought we were done, then like you God made it apparent that we were turning right around for another. Who has 6 kids (ok don’t laugh but around here) well, who has 5 kids?
    TO that fact who has 3 dwarfs and a double amputee.
    Really, they need homes, we have been blessed and we chose to follow God’s calling.
    BUT after this little guy, I know I am done – at least for a awhile.
    And that sounds like such a selfish thing to say.

  15. C Smith says:

    Great post, it really hits home with me. I have 7 at home and I feel “done”, but I know there are more children out there who need a family like ours. I try to just trust that if God wants me to make a move He is certainly more than capable of letting me know. If there is a child that He wants you to parent then He will literally drop that chid into your lap if that is what it takes. I wouldn’t spend any time worrying about it, leave the worrying up to God. Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…….

  16. Eileen says:

    Of course you’ll struggle with this! How could you not? When you’ve seen and experienced orphan adoption, it’s always in your heart and there’s always that pull. I honestly don’t know if we’re done. I thought we were. And then I thought we weren’t. And then my husband said we were DONE. And then he said maybe we weren’t. But on that particular day when he made that shocking comment, he failed to notice that each one of our 5 children seemed possessed by some alien intelligence and I was now the one saying NO WAY! So will we ever at the same time feel like there’s someone else? Not sure, but trying to stay open. And also trying to feel O.K. with the fact that we may be done.

  17. I SO get this…..thank you – you said what I couldn’t figure out how to say

  18. Laci says:

    Once upon a time I looked at families that adopted 5,6,7+ kids and think “really?” With one adoption under my belt I thought “how, how can you have so many when the needs of my one were so great (lots of therapy). My heart began to grow and God openned my eyes a little more and we are now in the process of our second adoption. With all that said, I councel families adopting older children. I see the ugly side of adoption where families are being ripped apart, kids are being hospitalized due to severe mental disorders, and disruption is no longer an ugly word. I have seen families who think “just one more” and soon their house is filled with 9+ kids, dad lost his job, home is being forclosed on, and all the sudden their views of “living off the government” change. I also see so many who want to rescue these children but are we really rescuing them if we give them a plush life on earth and do not prepare them for eternity? These are families that claim to be Christians but do not raise their newly adopted children in church…sigh. I am always for “one more” but only if the Lord is truly calling one to and only if that one is truly going to raise them in the eyes of the Lord. When our houses our full there is still so much more we can do like support others adopting…and not just the ones that are popular and well liked or the ones that don’t want to spend their life savings and would rather “fundraise” in order to keep the lifestyle they have but the ones that are truly stepping out in faith for God to provide trusting God to do the impossible to bring their child home. We can also support those organization that are providing medical care, foster care, education, and much more to these children around the world. We as individuals can’t save them all but together we can make a difference. Loved your post!

  19. Natasha says:

    The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few – that says it all. If MORE would give a little, make room in their hearts for just one child, then maybe the work wouldn’t be so much for just a few to handle. Love and prayers to you – Natasha

  20. Desiree says:

    Having just come home with #7 ourselves I totally understand what you are saying.
    We are still in tantrum phase here with our 6 year old and the language difference isn’t
    easy, but down the road I know I will say…. Why not- if not us then Who?
    But for now… I just advocate and try to find 10 minutes to catch a shower while the
    kids are being good πŸ˜‰

  21. Brooke says:

    Enjoyed this post. We just completed our first adoption and it was a nightmare of a journey. We lost our first adoption and our entire savings when we lost Nepal. We obeyed God and switched to China. During that time we hit every roadblock immaginable and we hit every personal roadblock as well. We lost a vehicle in a car wreck and had to purchase a new (used vehicle). We experienced emergency surgery and medical bills. We experienced home repairs. We experienced a job loss. We experienced multiple needs to renew fingerprints, home study updates. The money was quickly gone. And then right before I went to China to pick up our daughter, we lost another job. As hard as this process is, I cannot turn my eye to what I saw in China. My family feels complete… For now. But what happens in a couple more years? Do we adopt again and lose everything again? I’m purely selfish for thinking I can’t go through that again. We’re still sitting here with 3 kids and no new job, no income coming in, living off of savings that’s already been depleted to international adoption. But I cannot forget the faces of the children in need. I don’t want to forget the faces of children in need. My heart breaks for them. Praying God will lead and provide.

  22. Denise says:

    You read my mind, this all weighs heavy on my heart very day.

  23. Julee Feser says:

    Great post! I know that hundreds read it and so much identify. I sure do! I look around at my darling children and know which ones would be dead now if they hadn’t ben adopted. I am blown away bu God’s grace and mercy. Thank you for this post
    Julee mom to many
    Who got PA for #30 today…so happy

  24. Alison says:

    I so appreciate this post. We’re still in the midst of adoption #1, but I already wonder how we will know when “enough is enough.” Thanks for sharing your heart.

  25. Jessemyn says:

    You absolutely read my heart and put it in print. Give us courage, Father, to follow wherever YOU lead.

  26. Sarah says:

    Thanks for articulating exactly how I’ve been feeling. I struggle with this so much.

  27. In my heart there has been a place for these children locked behind these cold doors. Many times there is no one to love and care for them beside a care giver who rushes from child to child. An orphanage is not a home nor is it is not a place for any child to spend their life. life day after day many children rock for comfort and to forget hunger for food or love. Could you imagine each day looking out the windows and watch neighborhood children play around your orphanage? Even in these brick walls you can many times hears the laughter of other children playing outside the orphanage’s gates. Watching as other children hold their parents hands and led into a loving home. Yes when is enough a enough? Many times as a parent ages they feel the house is now empty and no room should be left unfilled when there are children who are dying. Why should we live i comfort and eat our meals knowing children are hungry and their stomach’s are in pain? How can we sleep knowing a child is without a blanket? It is hard I know for there are days I can not sleep nor feel hunger. This is our 4th adoption and this will make number 10 & 11 in children for our family. Soon a room will be once again be filled, cookies will once again be crushed on the living room floor and crayon marks and small hand prints on the walls. Yes I know in reality this should be our last adoption. But again maybe not.. I ask our Lord to guide us, but to also let me know when it is time to say enough. In my heart I tell others like this post has “Only You Know when enough is enough”. But for now I still have the faces of children I have met we had to walk away from. And also hide the tears at night of wondering why couldn’t we or should we? And in reality as much as we all want to continue to adopt we sometime need to remember to care for our own health to care for the ones we have at home. If I could been given a few wishes it could be to free everyone from pain full diseases, rescue all the pets I could and to find a way to stop the cycle of children being homeless and alone. May our Lord guide each of us in the direction of his love. May we each be blessed in knowing and in paying forward with his love to to others in hope that they do the same.

  28. Lori says:

    I completely understand how you feel. We have 9 adopted from China. Sometimes I have peace knowing we are done and moving on in our life with our daughters. But then I think if we can, then why not one more? There are so many children waiting and in need.

    BTW, can you tell us about the 4 children in your post? Perhaps we can help them find families.

    Blessings to you, Lori

  29. Lisa says:

    I think your post is great because it’s something a lot of adoptive parents wrestle with….knowing whether they’re done or not. We, personally, didn’t adopt to save, but totally out of selfishness for wanting more children. I think if you’re really wanting to save a child, which I don’t really think is your motivation, it’s loving them, there are tons of ways to help children; sponsoring and organizations like Love without Borders. We said we were done at #4, but I felt a tug. I felt like there was more, but my husband didn’t. We did not adopt quickly or back to back. All 5 are 3 years apart….more or less. But, when he said he felt done I just prayed that if God really wanted more in our family He would make it obvious. Otherwise, I agreed to accept that He didn’t have plans for more. Don’t get me wrong. I feel for all those kids. And, like you, especially the heart kids as my oldest has Tetralogy of Fallot and is looking at his next surgery. But, I also realize our limitations and know that God may just have other plans for them and I’m not here to save, I’m here to love what He gave me. So, fast forward a couple of months after I prayed my husband had a freak basketball accident leaving him paralyzed for a period of time. While he walked eventually (it’s not pretty) I realized how vulnerable we were. How hard it was for me to do it all and work while he was in the hospital and rehab. I truly realized our limitations and it was a definite scare. Just one year after that Korea called and our daughter had a brother born. Here we were facing a very unexpected adoption. But, I remembered what I had agreed to with God and I promised I would try to listen. I spoke to our priest and he agreed that if I had signs we should move Heaven and Earth for our son. We had a sign and we did move Heaven and Earth to adopt him. We had to prove we were decent parents again with hubby’s post accident status and our son’s heart condition. We had to max out our house loan to pay for everything after savings was depleted. But we believed God was telling us. We followed, we believed and we both listened. He’s the light of my life 3 years later. But, I definitely know now that we are done. I can no longer imagine more kids. I feel like he has spoken again.

    What I’m trying to say in a very LONG way, is give it time. Sometimes when things are all still fresh and new it’s easy to feel this way without His influence. I think sometimes we need to separate ourselves. I found staying away from the chat boards, the waiting child sites, etc. really helped. I needed to just figure out how I really felt. And after time, I realized that I loved these kids, but not to be mine. I loved them, but to pray for them. I loved them and hope I can help them monetarily some day. I realized I’m content with my 5 kids, but will always speak highly of adoption and the miracles I’ve witnessed in my family through it, but it’s time for it to be someone else’s miracles. It’s time to just pass it on and inspire if possible. Mostly, I’m ready to just live life enjoying the seconds I have with the 5 I have. I’ve now had too many scares in the past few years of the chance of losing someone I love and I just want to spend my time enjoying everyone here just in case because those moments were very surreal.

  30. Shelby says:

    Sounds like God just hasn’t revealed to you YOUR child…the one that is YOURS for sure…but I have a feeling it will be clear as day when He does!!!

  31. Donna says:

    You are NOT done! Why? Because God is not done with YOU! This time of “not knowing” is not idle time, it’s preparation time…whether for the next adoption or for a new path that God will show you in His time. (HIS time, that’s always hard, isn’t it?) Whatever is next, the answer doesn’t lie behind you, it can’t be found by looking back at the road already taken…it lies ahead. Maybe your path will be through the familiar territory of adoption, maybe on a brand new, unexpected path; it probably will be harder. Where you have been and what you have done is all part of the preparation for what is ahead. So wait on the Lord, renew your strength; it’s going to be amazing.

    1 bio kid, 3 adopted kids and now “mom” to 63 amazing special needs kids…not the path I ever dreamed of but I wouldn’t change it for anything

  32. Christie says:

    We thought we were most likely done with 7. Then, we got a call. This time, our social worker said she was 11, and it was her 2nd disruption. πŸ™
    We looked at each other, prayed, moved forward and prayed that the Lord would either open the door wide, or slam it shut.
    We now have 8….. ( only 4 at home now )
    We too get asked that question….. All I can say is, “I’m not selling our curriculum”. πŸ™‚

  33. Shecki says:

    That was beautiful. Thank you for putting into words so many of the things I’ve wanted to say.

  34. Tim Stowell says:

    Where can I sign up for one or two more? Only three obstacles I see – funds to do; spouse in agreement; income waiver. I know God can, if He chooses, remove all three of those obstacles. Thus we wait to see what God has planned for us.

  35. Kelly Troy says:

    Oh Sonia! I feel your pain! Just completed third domestic adoption along with 2 bio children (they are in college) but I DO feel the desire to adopt one more time! I think about it daily and just feel like there is something else i need to do. Can’t get it off my mind! Patrick Quinn preached on availabilty for God last Sunday. It was just what I needed to hear! SO…….I’m gonna be AVAILABLE when He calls!

  36. sally says:

    My answer was given to me in the way of a heart attack. I was praying about child #5 when I was struck with a heart attack followed by another small one two years later. I’m at peace because I feel it’s beyond my control. Most countries will not accept my medical condition. In the beginning, I was mad. I know the way you feel especially when I see those commercials on Tv trying to get you to sponsor abused animals! What about children with living souls?!

  37. Nikki says:

    Absolutely, Sonia. We completely understand here. I have heard every single one of those comments (except the NFL one…we got some girls in our mix). Yesterday at Sam’s, I told the kids we needed to stop for a little “break” in our shopping…a man walking by stopped, looked at me and said, “Yep, I would say that you need to take a 2 year break.” Seriously? We have also said, “This has to be it for us.” We are at 7 now, too. You are SO right…how do we answer this question? I have jokingly said, “If God calls us to adopt again, I am gonna have to hang up the phone.” πŸ™‚ Yet, my husband says, “We will do what He calls us to do.” Praising the Lord for mama’s like the ones here.

  38. Amy says:

    Sonia ~ My heart hurts for you as I read your post. I have SOOOO been there. When we adopted our twins from Guatemala 8 years ago, we were seasoned parents and adopters….but I was so very overwhelmed. So much happened in the year after they came home. Overwhelmed just doesn’t begin to sum it up….and I had no one to truly help me through all the emotions. Our friends and family pretty much said, “You chose this.” I thought, “Never again. I know other children need families. I know we could, but I am done.” It began to be a source of bitterness in my heart. I didn’t want to know about the babies that needed homes because I was DONE. It took comfort in the fact that we had done our part…..we couldn’t save them all.

    Interestingly enough, it was in the middle of another self-pity party in front of my husband that he said, “But would you do it again?” The answer, “NOOOOOOOOOO!” was firmly on my lips….I wanted to scream it out with all the emotions in me. But it wouldn’t come. I realized it was God asking me, not my husband. (My husband was NOT thinking about adopting again – he doesn’t know where the question came from either!) With my oldest daughter and our twins, it was very much my emotions leadings – God used that excitement for His purposes at that time. This time, I knew it was a step of obedience – would I go if God said, “Go!” ? Nothing happened immediately, other than knowing that I needed to surrender this aread to Him as well. A little over a year later, we brought home our son from Ethiopia. Again, I thought, “That’s it!” We are so done! Now, 5 years later, we are adopting again. Thankfully, my heart is very much engaged this time, it isn’t only out of obedience.

    We have always said to those that say we can’t save them all, that we only do what God is asking us to do. We only save those He asks us to. You may be done. You may have done exactly what God has for you – and that is GOOD! If He has another plan, He will make that clear in the right time. You can pray for these little ones – pray them home to their families. But rest in peace knowing that God will direct you in His timing. Rest with the knowledge that He promises to lead us…He will lead you when and if it is time. Ask for Him to refresh your spirit and help you to enjoy knowing He has a perfect plan.

  39. Lisa says:

    Great post! That is exactly how I feel. I think we are never done caring for and advocating for the children but like someone else posted, we want to make sure the ones we have already are doing well and that life here doesn’t feel like an orphanage. We can’t bring in the whole harvest but we CAN pray for more laborers. May God make us effective in being a voice in the Church for the body of Christ to step up and help us love these children! And may he give us strength to bring into our home as many as we will disciple effectively!

  40. Melissa says:

    Oh boy, this was convicting and encouraging. We have been licensed as foster parents for 6 years. After a few years of kids coming in and out, we got a call asking if we would take a baby with a severe undiagnosed blood condition. The Lord made it absolutely clear we were to say “yes” to this one. That began the hardest three years of my life. In addition to Arthur having a very challenging, demanding personality, his medical condition required that we become hermits. It was thought that Arthur could die of something like a mild flu. We had no family in the area and our church, bless them, had no experience with special needs and unknowingly abandoned us not knowing how to handle our pleas for help. We couldn’t participate in church functions like small group and could only be in worship service minimally.

    Finally, his condition was diagnosed, praise the Lord, as something much less severe than first thought. He has a rare genetic condition similar to hemophilia. Serious, yes, but much easier to incorporate into some kind of normal life. About a year and a half ago, we moved out of our small southern town to the Chicago area. It has been so refreshing. We’re in a church that goes to great lengths for special needs, and has many adoptive families. Arthur’s adoption was finalized in November, which means he could be on our insurance and get better medical care.

    For months I’ve felt like a wounded soldier being tended after a long, weary battle. Ok, Arthur still requires a lot of care, but is rather amazing as well. Everyone loves him, he has an easy manner with people and a gift for knowing who needs a hug. We love him and he is an essential and beloved part of our family of six. As he matures and my littlest one become easier, I’m finding myself enjoying this relatively restful place.

    I have been watching the waiting children lists for a year or so. I long to help these kids; I long to bring home an HIV+ boy from Ethiopia. My husband and I would love to adopt one of these boys. But it’s been so very hard with Arthur, I know I’m hesitant to do that again. And I can’t shake a nagging feeling that I’m not doing a child from a community-centered African nation a favor by bringing him to this self-absorbed, isolationist, materialistic culture. The next round of paperwork for this adoption is sitting on my husband’s desk, waiting for us to mail it in…

  41. Deb says:

    When those thoughts haunt me, I also remember, I am not the only tool God has. Perhaps the message is not that he wants me to adopt one more– if he does, he will make sure I understand if I leave my heart open. Perhaps the message is that he wants me to find another way to comfort and care for his children.

  42. right there with you but we haven’t traveled yet to bring our next two home. We’ve decided that no matter how hard it gets our doors are always open to children who need a home. We know the details always work themselves out (God’s good like that) so we’ll keep an open door and open heart policy.

    When my youngest was just weeks old and having major health issues (that turned out to be severe food allergies) we were at an unfamiliar hospitable awaiting invasive G.I. testing for her and the “Greeter” came over and asked if it was my first baby. I remarked she was my 4th and this elderly lady goes OFF on me about how I’m only doing it (it being having a large family) to get my own t.v. show so I can get everything for free. Then I quietly mentioned that two were recently adopted and then all of a sudden I was a Saint.

    I was appalled at her attitude toward children (aren’t they ALL blessings?), toward large families (is 4 large?) and over her assumption that we were moochers. They are, indeed, left to rot in orphanages and its the FEW who are called to open their hearts and homes! WHY only the few? Shouldn’t it be the multitude?

  43. Kayleen says:

    Bless you! We have 3 special needs daughters adopted from foster care. We started praying about doing foster care again….God made it Very clear that our plate was full right now…we have a potential sibling, but that one we knew was a potential when we adopted the two siblings. I KNOW God is saying no to any others for us. I think you have a peace about your family, but can still advocate for the others.

  44. Anna Wu says:

    Sonia, there is more than one way to help. Perhaps you are entering another stage in following God. You are an eloquent writer and I think you could open others’ hearts with these words.

  45. Sarah says:

    With each adoption I’ve thought “this is probabaly the last one.” And silly me, I’m thinking it this time, as well. But, each time, God eventually brings another little sweetheart into our familly and I’m so grateful! But really…this might be the last one! πŸ™‚

    The thing that drives us most is that we want our children to be zealous lovers of God. If we’re failing to pastor their hearts, then we know that we cannot add another child to our family. Like right now, I’d love to adopt another child (along with the one that we are adopting) from China, but we’re pretty sure that wouldn’t be the best things for some of our other children. And we wouldn’t have the time to attend to their real spiritual needs. Of course, every family is different. But, for our family right now, no matter how much I wish it were different, I don’t think that it would be good. Of course, we’re always open to God saying something different than that, as well!!!

    Praying for more families to hear the call of God to rescue these precious children.

  46. Jennifer Adams says:

    I didn’t read every post, so this may be a repeat comment! I am not even an adoptive parent, but I do appreciate what you’re doing and think it’s wonderful. One thing you are already doing, and which could be your “next step” or role, is to duplicate yourself—recruit others to do the same. Even ifyou doubled your family and ran yourself ragged, there would still be the other children tugging at your heart. But recruiting others to the cause—it is the way to continue the good work and save those children, more children, actually.
    God Bless you!

  47. Hi Sonia, I am a mother of 10 and 9 of them are adopted. i know your predictment. My husband and I have asked the questions to ourselves as well. We THOUGHT we were done as well after the 9th child. Things were running rather smoothly and then God dropped a disruption in our laps of a 17 year old from Uganda via NC. Of course our routine was turned upside down and after 9 months, we are finally seeing breakthrough in her life. Here is what we have come to realize. We SEE the big picture when no one else does. We understand the power of reaching out and saving a life from the destruction of the enemy. You do too. There are little few who have this vision. Therefore we WANT to do ALL we can to save another one, then another one. We have this sixth sense or this gift of compassion mixed with justice and to us we can never stop rescuing no matter how tired we get. (or at least that is what we tell ourselves) My husband, Duane and I, just quit saying that is enough. Because everytime we would end up with another one! So we changed it to , ok, God we have willing hearts and lives. We advocate and encourage adoption in the community and church. We believe everyone should do it, whether it is sponsoring, adopting , fostering or pitching in financially. WE are WILLING if a child comes along who desperately needs us. GOD never forces a child upon someone who is not willing to love and give of themselves, but he is willing to change hearts to that affect. πŸ™‚
    On another note: Some of my older kids used to carry guilt for being the one who got adopted and wondered why they got picked. I used to not have an answer for it. But then one day, I had a revelation as I was asking God the question. The fact of the matter is is that God never intended any child to be lost, hurt abused or abandoned. The injustice of this cries out and his heart hears it! His intention was for the child to be raised in their original birth family. But people make wrong choices and therefore the original will of God is broken. God created a 2nd plan and that is adoption. But when christians fail at that, the child loses out. I believe that there is an adoptive parent or sponsor for every child who suffers. It is us the Christians, the people who have resources who fail to listen and hear or see who that child is. With their heart not open, they can’t hear the cry of the dying child. This is soooo sad.
    A recent statistic came out that if only 7% of CHRISTIANS adopted, there would be no more orphans. There are 143 million orphans. Even if we advocate and only 1 out of 7 of the people in our lives adopt, we can have the orphan world abolished. (I think my math would be right) πŸ™‚ 7% of christians is not a lot. These are my thoughts and you can disregard if you like. πŸ™‚ I am always willing to set another place at the table, I am always willing to open my arms to love the forgotten and unloveable, but I also know my limitations in realistic life. My plate for the moment is full, but that is not to say that if God shines the spotlight on another child that is to join our family, that I won’t move hell or high water to get them to safety! . I know then that he will provide, grace, time, love, rest and finances for that child. That is the difference between doing it out of duty or need
    ( because there will always be need unless the 7% stand up) and doing it from the Father’s heart.

    Be encouraged, you are GREAT in the KINGDOM of GOD. He sees your heart and pushes you to find solutions that will produce a greater outcome in the Kingdom. His wisdom and power will empower you to change the world. All great world changers asked questions just like you ! Blessings, Melissa Carter

  48. Sue says:

    Well, I think you promote, pray and push the truth out to the church……I am tempted to adopt one more, and we might, but that will probably be it for us, that would make six at home and I want to give my kids what they need emotionally and physically and since I am able to stay home I think I could hanldle one more…….but I want to be very careful to meet the needs of the kids I have. Not saying six is the magic number, I think it depends on you and depends on the needs of your kids….BTW, I am interested in a couple of those kiddos, who are they listed with lol.

  49. Judy Abbott says:

    The need for on-on-one interaction with each child is very great, especially special needs children. Maybe God knows you have seven dear children and He is not prompting you to adopt anymore, but concentrate on the seven He has already given you. He is the One responsible for all the others who are out there, and He will give you peace as you pray for proper placement for each one, and then lovingly meet the needs of seven children and one husband each day! πŸ™‚

  50. TOTALLLLLY Get it! HUGS!

  51. I have never adopted, but I appreciate your thoughts, from a different but parallel perspective. I am the director of a small orphanage in Uganda, and I see desperate children all around me. I wish I could take them all in. It is not always easy to recognize the difference between the need and my call. I have seen the amazing, life changing effect on the children of living in a small, family centered orphanage where we are like family. God is truly redeeming these children, in every sense. And yet, there are so many more who need to know that love and care and see how much God loves them. Would a larger, less family-like (translate that as “more institutional”) orphanage serve the children as well? Well, no, it wouldn’t be quite the same. But wouldn’t it serve MORE children. Yes, but is that the answer? For what I am supposed to do? I don’t know yet. It becomes a matter of waiting for God to show the next step, and trusting that He is guiding my board of directors as they seek to know His will, and that together we will hear when He speaks and answer “yes” to whatever He asks.

    Yes, the world will judge what you do, but He is the one to whom we will give account, and He is worthy of our obedience. He is worthy of our all. Bless you as you struggle to hear what God is saying to you, and until you hear His call again, rest in knowing you have answered His call and are doing what He asks of you now. Your willingness to look deeply within and articulately share your thoughts makes me believe that God could use you mightily to advocate for those you cannot adopt.

  52. CeCe says:

    We were done as well. Three kids. The total package. Then God called us to adopt. I made a list of what I didn’t think I could handle or what I thought God wanted me to have. I wanted a mixed race, sibling set, toddler age and up, girls, and NO SPECIAL needs. I got……a newborn boy, white, single child (no siblings), and fetal alcohol syndrome/drug exposed. Guess God didn’t like my list. So we were done, right. I mean surely THIS was enough to handle. 6 years later I encounter one of my students, who lives at a local boys and girls home. We are adopting her-13 years old. Yes, I said a teenager. We are officially crazy, according to some. We get the same insensitive comments as you do as well. But who is going to do this? We have to love them….someone has to love them.

  53. Rach says:

    I don’t know the answer, either. It’s coming up on one year that I nearly died from massive internal hemmorhage after the birth of my third baby. We are foster parents and I ask myself that question every day.

    I don’t know. There is *always* one more…but then, when does taking one more in become too much for the other kids, as well?

    There’s always the argument that being in your home would be better than being dead…and that the quality of life in an American home is 18,832 times better than in most third world countries.

    I don’t know.

  54. Kelly says:

    As an adoptive parent, I understand where you are coming from. However, I hope for the sake of your children’s privacy and right to figure out how they feel about adoption, they aren’t growing up with this feeling that you ‘saved’ them. This is not a criticism! As an AP, I feel so strongly that children who were adopted need not to feel they were part of some savior project- that you swooped in and gave them a better life. That is for them to decide; not to be told- no matter how dire their situation may have been, it should be their own journey. I am also wondering if the photos you posted of these waiting children are for public viewing? Do you have permission to post them- I am asking a sincere question.

    • Sonia says:

      Hi there Kelly, thank you for your concern. I wanted to assure you that I do not in anyway feel that WE saved any of our children nor do they feel that way. I wrote an in-depth response on the blog if you would like to read it to clarify the context of my use of the word “save”. As I think you misunderstood my intent. I couldn’t agree with you more on these children growing up not believing they are part of a “savior project”. Further, as it relates to the photos yes. There are certain rules associated with advocacy and I am well within those limits. Thank you for you comment, I’m glad you have given me the opportunity to clarify my intention. Be blessed! ~ Sonia

  55. Sandi Glass says:

    Beautifully said, and something I’ve struggled with too. However, I think you’ll know when you are “done” or when God calls you to another road of service to His children – who live in your home, in your community and around the world.

    Have to remember that even Christ didn’t “save” them all – even though He could have. Your life and example of the way you live is doing God’s work all the time. Prayer and spreading the word about the need are a wonderful way to help kids still waiting. You aren’t weak if you don’t try to bring them all home, we need to balance the needs of the children we already have home with the children who still wait.

    Blessings and thanks for the beautiful post.

  56. Mary says:

    I understand the desire to help children and to feel for them. But is it fair to the children you already have to keep adding more? If I added another, I know I would not be able to give enough of myself and my time and attention to the one I have already adopted. It is also quite a gift to keep yourself available to your current children! Not sure how fair it is to children to be dividing time and attention between so many. Less and less parent time and attention is then available, as well as resources, monetary and otherwise. I’d rather have a relaxed, happy and available mother than one who is stressed and exhausted, pulled in all directions, and having to vie for her attention.

    • Mammaj says:

      After we had seven children, our time, resources, etc. had just about been maxed out. However, we felt called to invite a teenage girl into our home from another country. She was in our home for four and half years before returning to her country to attend college there. We continue to support her financially until she’s finished school.) . At times, I felt what you articulate. “What were we thinking by bringing another child into a home where we already don’t have much one-on-one time with our bio-kids? ” And forget a date night. There is just not time. However, our children FULLY accept her as their sister and cannot imagine NOT having her in our lives! Yes, they had to share us, but we all grew so much from the experience. And it’s a myth that family life and parental attention is like slices of pie and each individual child gets a smaller piece with each addition to the family. The FAMILY is the whole pie! It’s not meant to be divided. It’s meant to be piled in upon. It’s meant to be “eaten” with our hands–all messy and stuff. And the more hands in the pie, the more fun that can be for those that are called to live that way.
      But I also do not believe that God calls all of us to that lifestyle. And if He hasn’t called you to it, please don’t assume that those of us in it are short-changing our kids.

  57. Julie says:

    I completely read “save” in the context of medical intervention. And, my friend, you did just that. I remember following your story from China to the airport to the hospital. I know you from your blog and I know your heart. Never do you come across as one who is trying to save. Your family is an inspiration on what it means to be His hands and feet. I know that I am, as well as so many others who have shared this post, at the exact spot as you are. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel.

  58. Donna O. says:

    I stand in awed amazement at you, Sonia, and the others who have opened your hearts to love as Christ loved–at such great expense of emotions, time, energy, finances, sanity, etc. I will be honored to clean your toilets in your heavenly mansions! (Even the boy toilets! LOL)

  59. Michal Dillon says:

    I think this was a beautifully written post and I can feel the love you have for children worldwide coming through in your words. I sit up at night myself sometimes and worry and cry over a particular child I have seen online, or heard of from a friend, a child that I KNOW needs a home very much like my own… I have two children adopted from China, one NSN, one SN. The thing is though, I am done, my family is complete. I can feel certain children pulling on my heartstrings sometimes, I can see that my home would be a good place for a particular child, but I can also see that my resources are at an end, and you know what? I think that’s ok. I don’t have to stop advocating for the children across the world that need intervention simply because my part in “adoption” is over.
    We can continue to advocate for children, we can continue to fundraise but put that money to trusted in-country programs that will get children life saving operations and medical care, educations, nutrition, physical therapy. We can choose to educate rural communities, in general, not with our religion, we can do good works and let them see the ways of God though our willingness to just be good to them as they are. We can give money to programs that advocate keeping birth families together.
    It’s ok to be done. It is. I have always said that because I adopt, does not mean that I have to save the world- it does mean, however, that I ensure that I can give the best of what I can to the kids that I have with me. I am NOT criticizing at all. This is just the way I feel. I will freely admit to being a bit concerned about what I perceive as a big push in the adoptive community to have bigger and bigger adoptive families. Only each set of parents knows how many children they can add to their family- I would just love that to be the overriding message of adoptive families to each other these days instead of the more, more, more. And yes, I am all too painfully aware of what saying no means to an individual child, I know what it means to stop and say “I’m done”. But it’s ok.
    It’s ok because we can still help.
    I do not agree that God’s call to “help the Orphan” specifically meant adoption because you guys? He knows us and adoption is hard, He must know that we can’t all have the same abilities and desires. Adoption can be ugly, heart wrenching, hard work. It is emotionally and financially draining, it is NOT for everyone. It just is not. AND THAT IS OK TOO.

  60. Tonggu Momma says:

    I so agree with Michal. I have said it many times – only God should be in charge of how many children enter our families. He decides whether it should be one, two, fifteen or anywhere in between. I think sometimes we forget that orphan care is not solely about adoption. We are all of us called to orphan care, but we are not all called to adoption. Also, those of us who are called to adoption do not have endless resources (and I’m not simply talking financial). Some children are more high needs than others. I adopted both of my girls through the NSN program, but both have multiple SNs. My eldest has no medical SNs (except probable prematurity), but she is by far the more difficult to parent. It took so! much! faith! for us to adopt a second time. But we did it and feel so blessed. And now we are done. Of course God may change our plans at some point, but we truly feel that “our family is complete” feeling. Does that mean I no longer care for orphans and/or about adoption? Heck, no! We do all of the yhings Michal mentioned, plus we strive to emotionally support adoptive families, especially those newly home. Sometimes we mere humans forget that God is a BIG God. He doesn’t have to use us to see His will done. We are simply vlessed to be included.

  61. Tonggu Momma says:

    darn iPhone – blessed to be included, plus a few other typos *grin*

  62. Vicki says:

    Hello there. i’m newly introduced to this blog, but your post was brave and beautiful. i don’t have much wisdom to offer, but what i am sure of is this: if you long for God’s heart and plans in your own heart and mind, then surely it might not be just your thoughts and feelings suggesting it is time to stop, when it *is* time to stop growing the family (whenever that may be). When the time comes, you will know–how couldn’t you if you have the mind of Christ?

    If you feel led, you may continue the fight anyway by ensuring adoptions continue where they might not have without your help–educating, advising and supporting other adoptive families. And then if that family, in turn, helps other families…well, you can see how you could theoretically support an adoption thirteen years from now by people you never met, that you directly contributed to. πŸ™‚

  63. Jennifer says:

    Where can I find out more about these children in need?

  64. Jennifer W says:

    I honor your love – and stamina. With 2 we are done, aged out, $ out. I still look at those lists though, and I have to recall that while we can’t save them all, they will be saved. That not a sparrow falls with out the Lord knowing.
    Something I wrote for my dd’s life book, “Even when you were left by your birthfamily, you were never alone. God held you and sheltered you, and will your entire life.”

  65. Christie says:

    Oh… I have to tell you…. this post took me …. well… almost 2 weeks to finish reading. I kept coming back to it and starting over… and stopping somewhere in the middle of “but I want to be done” (paraphrase)….

    Because this is sooo wearing. I. AM. TIRED. Long story short, we have adopted 5 times over through foster care. All biological siblings. As they’ve been born. For over 7 years now and counting. To the point that we’ve had to close our license down because we have too many children in our home to continue to foster. All because we have chosen to keep our children’s siblings all together.

    This week we finalize the adoption of our 6th child. A sibling to our older 5. Add to that number our older 5 children (plus a daughter-in-law) and we REALLY have a full house…. with the budget that goes along with it.

    I just don’t know anymore what will happen WHEN the first parents of our 6 get pregnant again. Family services WILL ALWAYS step in and take any new children. Both me and my hubby agreed that after our youngest was born, that we “wanted” to be done. Well, HE is done. I’m the bleeding heart. HOW in the world do I ever look at my children and tell them that I KNEW that they had a sibling but that I CHOSE to ignore the choice of bringing it home. With our youngest, it was easy to know that we were supposed to take her. God told me before our youngest son was born that we would bring home another baby girl. I cannot tell you how my heart dropped when I found out that the next baby that was to be born would be a boy. So knowing we were supposed to bring home our youngest was a no-brainer to me. Now…??? I have no idea.

    In my heart of hearts, I just cannot fathom saying “no” and letting our children’s sibling go to strangers to be raised without them. While I cannot imagine telling God that “I” will not choose to follow His proddings…. I know that in my soul that I HAVE to follow…. but in my human heart…. I. Am. Tired. Add to that the pull on my heart to adopt special needs internationally and I’m just… beside myself.

    If you figure this out…. please post the answer.

  66. Miin says:

    WOW, my emotions are totally going crazy! I want to let you know that all your prayers are being answered. I raised 2 beautiful girls (one married and another in College) as a Non-Christian. I became a born again Believer 7 years ago and I have morn the years of raising my girls as an unbeliever. God has provided for me a godly husband whom I can follow and a month ago he told me that God has put it in his heart to adopt. I was speechless, I did not see that coming but over-joyed. When I quit my job to pursue a full-time ministry, I had no idea it would be “being a mom”. God has lead us in the path of adopting a Special-Needs Child from China. We just started the process of our dossier. I want to thank everyone’s reply on this blog, you have blessed me with your heart and compassion for following Christ and being available for Him. God has restored what the locus has eaten by giving me a second chance to be a mom. I want to adopt 2 (same age) at the same time, I pray that my husband will be equally yoked with me so we can proceed. Our God is THE most amazing!

    • Leslie says:

      Milin, wow, praise God for your heart! And yes, God is the MOST AMAZING! Thank you for sharing some of your story today. I’ve been a Christian as long as I can remember, and your story really blessed my heart today.

  67. Amy says:

    Just came through a season of asking these questions myself. We have two teens, one about to graduate. We will be home 2 years this fall from China with our sweet girl. After huge adjustment, life altering tantrums, five months of PTSD and just now learning to wait your turn and not obsessively interrupt, things feel the closest to normal I think they may ever feel. Insert my comfy feeling again. And oh I love that feeling. It’s a close cousin to perfection and that’s nice too. Then I hear Him calling…again. To go, go back. My daughter is telling ME, we need to go back to China and adopt another baby that’s waiting. Gulp. But…but…things are right again. Then God speaks and He woos and He’s patient and He works and He reveals and here we sit two weeks into paperwork for our 2nd adoption. And I wonder, because I know what happens to girls who don’t have families in China and girls left behind, I know there’s more. Lots, lots more. And my hubby too says, “We can’t adopt them all.” To which I say, “Who says?” πŸ˜€ We’ll take it one adoption at a time, but I too wonder, how can we ever stop? The need is so great. As long as He calls, we will go.

  68. Sharon says:

    This has been on my mind a lot lately. We just brought our 5th child home 2 months ago, and I can’t help wonder if he’s the last one? Or not? Thanks for putting your thoughts out there.

  69. Brooke says:

    We have three bio kids and two with special needs (originally from Eastern Europe) adopted by us from disruptions. We thought we were done with our bio kids. Then we met our little girl. We thought we were done when we had four. Then we met our little boy. We also have two 16 year old relatives living with us for at least this school year. So now we have seven kids in the house–and our mini-van only holds 8 people, so we take two cars to church. It has been INCREDIBLE beyond belief to show Jesus to these kids, and watch God bring healing to their spirits!!!!!! So, we have no more empty beds, but I still look at waiting children. My husband says that adopting again any time soon would be “suicidal.” So, what can I do? I can pray! I can donate money to adoption funds. I can encourage the people who tell me, “We have thought of adopting, and now that we have met your wonderful children, we really want to adopt soon!.” I can keep loving my children and helping them heal. I can teach them to love the unlovely, so that when they grow up, they can adopt hurting children. And I can wait….

  70. Anne says:

    Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

  71. Anne says:

    oh my goodness… this is such a super important post, and you did it so, so, so well. Thank you big time. It really is hard to stop… and so many of the reasons to stop are the same reasons we almost used to not do it in the first place- which would have been the mistake of our lives! But are those reasons true now ? Gosh… feeling this struggle with you so much. Love, love, love your heart. We will join you in begging God for clarity. Thank you for articulating this so well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  72. Kelleyn says:

    I don’t know! I am still asking myself that question everyday. I feel like we have room from one more even though I am totally overwhelmed and my teenagers hormones are going crazy and they are giving us a run for our money. My 3 year old is still jealous 6 months after bringing home her baby sister. We have the money and we have the room. I see the pictures and my heart aches. I get jealous when families announce they are bringing home one more when they just got back. Yet, my husband is saying no! I guess if it is meant to be his heart will soften and if not I have to be OK with it! Praying you will know!

  73. Whitney says:

    I’m thrilled to share the 3rd little girl pictured is an orphan no more. She is my daughter and the strongest bravest little warrior I have ever known. Lizzie is loved and adored and cherished and wanted! Her story is amazing. http://www.iwillruntoyou.com

    • Sandi says:

      God bless you and your family, my daughter and her husband was blessed with a little girl from China and I am aware of al, the paperwork work one must go tru, our little Elizabeth has been tru several surgery for clef lip, plate etc, ear tubes etc,, and Iam so thank full the God send her to our family, and for all the specialists at John Hopkins hospital,

  74. Shelby says:

    Yes. Does it help to know that even as you pour out your heart, others are listening? What if your ripple causes a tide and Christians all over begin to find the courage to do the same? I felt God place adoption on my heart 2 years ago as I learned the desperate plight of HIV+ orphans in Ethipoia (or anywhere) who are so easily cared for in the state. At the time I had a husband in the throes of depression and a fragile marriage. But I waited on the Lord and 1 year ago He started healing my husband and slowly bringing him to a place where he realized his lack of joy in life is because of a lack of doing anything meaningful with his life. He placed it on my husbands heart to start with foster care to see if we could handle 1 (or as it turned out, 2!) more kids. And it turned out that helping others is what reminded us that life isn’t all about pursuing our own vain trifles and selfish fun and lazy ease. So we have had 2 kids for 9 months now (in addition to our 3). If they can’t go home, we adopt them. If they do go home, we will look into adoption for someone else who needs it. My husband feels very called to minister at abortion mills and to remain licensed so we can tell any mom that we are fully ready and certified to take her baby on the spot to turn her away from the slaughter. And in reading your post I realize that there are so many other desperate needs out there! As the Holy Spirit works to convict people, He uses posts like this one. Thanks for being His VOICE and not just His hands.

  75. Sarah says:

    You are a wonderful woman, wife, and mother. Your family’s story is touching lives and lighting fires in people’s hearts to adopt these babies. The one thing you can always do for ALL of them, is cover them in prayer. You are doing His work, right now, and every day. Don’t you forget it.

  76. Becky says:

    Please remember that the more children you add to your family, the less of yourself you can give to each one. I am guessing that the kids you already have really need parents. Can you really give each of them what they need if you add more? If you sincerely feel your family is not yet complete, then by all means keep looking. Otherwise, why don’t you try to stop looking at waiting child lists — and know that they will always tug at your heart, and perhaps make you feel guilty. Accept that that is your temperment or personality. Let other families with more energy and resources provide for the others, and focus on all those that you already have!

    • Nikki says:

      I’m also a mother of 7. Some adopted, some not. One with Down Syndrome. I will tell you why she can’t stop looking at the waiting child list. Because there are still children on them. I understand this completely. After being a part of the beautiful redemptive work that adoption creates in the life of a child, it is impossible to forget that somebody is still waiting. And you have a little more room, a little more love, a little more time. And if you don’t, you’ll can find it. Life is short. Spending yours on behalf of the fatherless is something that is so utterly fulfilling it is not a chapter easily closed.

  77. kaymaykoenig says:

    I love your heart, and as a mommy of bio kids who is just beginning the research phase of adopting both domestically and overseas, I cannot imagine the rollercoaster ride of emotions and spiritual ups and downs. But I would like to share an analogy with you that has helped me filter the big life decisions. Margins. It’s actually an amazing book on setting personal boundaries with a Christian Worldview. But the analogy goes like this. If you were to try and read a book, a page even, and there were words from corner to corner with absolutely no margins, wouldn’t you find it difficult to consume the information? Our lives are like that. if we leave no margin, no space for rest and respite, we will burn out and be no good for anyone, especially the children you have already lovingly birthed/taken into your home. You have to look at Jesus’ entire life and ministry and emulate and pray for THAT. He did NOT save everyone or heal every single person in the crowd. He had margin in his life to get away and be with the Father so he could hear exactly what it was that the Father was asking of Him day by day. Because we are human, we have limitations. God knows this. And it is up to us to be obedient when he calls, and sometimes that call is to trust that he has also called others to the same mission that you and your husband are called to. Trust that He has these babies. And ask God to show you how you can be the best mother to the ones you have. And if it be his will that you have more, that He WOULD speak clearly.

  78. Melissa says:

    i wish i knew, too. i know i could do more… but at the same time, i’m wondering if i’m also done – for now…

  79. Melissa R. says:

    You have a beautiful heart. Please remember the story of the starfish. If you don’t know it, please look it up. You make a difference, even if you can’t save them all. May God bless.

  80. Beautifully said. I can relate to this. We have adopted 16 from the foster care system. I still walk by my sons room and see an empty bed and think “we can take one more”.

  81. the problem is, it is impossible to save all of those children. impossible! and the ones you are responsible for are the ones you already have. sometimes we get so busy with the cooking, cleaning, feeding and laundering of the ones we have that we forget about all that is going on inside of them. some of our quieter ones let things stew for awhile until the pot boils over…often during their teen years. along the way, we need to be caring for them and listening to them. if we don’t reassure them that we have time for them in the middle of busyness, they won’t tell us what is going on.

    before taking on extra kids to raise and be responsible for, be sure the ones you have are ok. not only when directly questioned, but as you watch and observe them. are there signs that things are getting difficult for any of them?

    guilt can be a difficult thing to manage. GOD doesn’t lead us with guilt. we need to be careful we don’t put it on our kids re family decisions. I’m not saying you are, i’m just adding a precaution. for sensitive kids, they may not even realize what is going on. all this adopting had added a lot of physical and emotional stress to your home. that’s a lot of new relationships and illnesses and demands on you and your marriage.

    it has to go somewhere. it doesn’t just disappear into thin air. just sayin’

  82. Karla Marie says:

    Wow! We have a adopted 6 children from foster care. A sib group of 3 in 2006 & another sib group of 3 in 2013. We recently went through the same questions. Our hearts, homes, schedules and life are full. We came to the conclusion that as speakers, writers & advocates for families & children all over the world that we are now in a better position to help more kids outside of our home than we can inside. It was a painful decision to make but we believe it is the right one. ((Hugs)) I know the dilemma and question it all the time……then I shake myself and raise my voice to advocate for those still waiting! πŸ™‚

  83. Tammy Dwyer says:

    Love this post! Really hits home.

  84. Kat says:

    I’m actually laughing. it’s not what you think. I’m actually laughing because I know the answer to this one. It’s unusual (smile). As a mommy of ten (one residing with Jesus….seven adopted blessings) we battled, struggled, and evaluated. Then we realized the answer was so crystal clear and simple. It’s not about “You can’t save them all.” It’s not about “Your attention is divided for each child the more you have.” (Let me mention my kids have cuddles, love, Mommy and Daddy time and KNOW they are cherished by God. :)) This is not to criticize others answers AT ALL!!! Truthfully, it’s just because I actually know the answer. It came from God. Wow, it’s so straight forward that we completely missed it for years.

    It’s not up to you or me. It’s up to God. We trust HIM to number our children. It’s not our decision. He’s not a silent and distant God. He will tell us. He has led us to each of our children. We just have to be willing to listen. We have to be willing to step outside of this worlds box of what’s normal (ya, we gave up on normal a long time ago) and celebrate “outside of the box” the world put’s God in. Don’t make the decision yourself or feel you have to. It’s God’s decision. After all, He’s the one whose answers are ALWAYS right.

    By the way….your post was beautiful and so much of what is on our heart. When people ask us if we will adopt again we say, “We sure hope so, but that’s not up to us. It’s up to God.”

  85. Kelli Smith says:

    This so speaks to my heart. I am so thankful that there are other mamas (and daddies) that understand my heart. My heart breaks on a daily basis for the need. Am I listened I g to the heart of GOD. I always end with GOD has never said that he has recused enough, his work is never done. Neither is mine!

  86. Kristin says:

    I stepped out to my porch to finish reading this so my kids wouldn’t see me tear up.

    God has blessed me with 8 beautiful kids, 3 of whom were adopted through the China SN program. I sometimes worry I will never have the “done” feeling. Is adding another child more exhausting, and challenging? Of course. But most wonderful things are.

    I know God equips each of us for different tasks in life. Not everyone is called to have a large, adoptive family with special needs. But some of us are. And He changes our hearts to be more patient, forgiving, efficient, and content with the challenges such a life brings.

    I don’t agree that children in large families necessarily suffer a derth of parental attention. I know we need to be very deliberate about planning time for individual attention. However I never want to get to the point where my existing children suffer fromega me over extending our family resources – including time, money, energy, etc.

    But how do you say no when the “inconvenience” to add another child is short term and minimal compared to the long term benefits not only to the child being adopted, but also to me, my husband, and the children already in the family.

    I continue to pray for wisdom in this regard. I hope I have the courage to answer when/if God calls us again. I also hope I have the courage to follow God’s plan when he gently tells me that the time for adding to our family is done.

    Thank you for sharing your heart in this article.

  87. The thought of children never finding a family, never finding love, let alone medical care breaks my heart. When i was in paperchase for my third adoption–my sixth child–I asked myself if I was doing the right thing. I was a single mother, and while I was financially capable of providing for my children, I wanted to be sure my children’s emotional needs were being met. I’m not talking me as entertainment–I’ve never been my children’s source of entertainment. But I wanted my children to go to bed every night with a full heart, knowing without a doubt that I loved them and was there for them. After I brought my sixth child home, I knew I had reached that threshold.

    Since that realization eight years ago, I’ve seen the faces of waiting children and felt the tug on my heart, but I have an obligation to the children I’ve already made a commitment to. As a single mother with a very busy career, I already struggle to find a balance to be present in their lives.

    Every person/family has to make that decision. Whether it’s two children or ten. And once that decision is made, no shame. No guilt. I now find other ways to help the children left behind.

  88. Shay Walters says:

    I have 5 internationally adopted children. All had special needs when i adopted them but only two have longterm disabilities. My third child had severe medical issues from a rare genetic disorder and will always need full time care. I guess i knew i was done when the needs of my last child, who is autistic, were and still are so severe that it takes one of us with him at all times. If my children were self sufficient, i would have followed my heart and continued. It’s always a hard decision. I will focus on the needs of my beautiful children who i now have and pray for the others ????

  89. Mary says:

    You are doing the work of angels. If you are not feeling the prompting to add to your brood, the ponder the thought that those already under your stewardship might have needs that you don’t yet see. That by adding more, you might not be able to meet this future need. And know that you, you with your blog, with your words and with your photos are STILL doing God’s work. You are shining a light on the need of His little ones. The least of these. So while yes, there are children dying, in your house, there are children LIVING. And they need their momma to love them and hug them and feed them and wash their jeans.

    God Bless.

  90. Kerri says:

    God has to release us. Sometimes others can do nothing because we do too much. If you are sitting on your hands and you haven’t done anything yet it’s time. You are all out of excuses! Kerri mom of 7 also.

  91. Donna dangler says:

    You draw from his strength not yours, so he receives all the glory… And you continue to go and never regret it. You just keep going and given him all the glory

  92. Lori says:

    I am going to be 55 next week, and adopting #12 and #13 in the next 3 months. I know I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, but it is in God’s hands. I just know that I love them and will do my best for them. But I do love the article. I just don’t know when we will stop.

  93. Monique says:

    We are PARTS of his Body. I cannot be in the inner-city, running a group home, adopting, homeschooling, evangelizing, caring for my family (lest I be worse than an unbeliever), working with refugees all at the same time. Agonizing lesson. I am not the whole Body of Christ, but only a part. But I can do what God puts in front of me now and be willing to listen. Thank you for your willingness to listen.

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