There are some conversations you have, and you know you’ll remember them long after they’re gone. Something about them seems like deja vu or like they’re happening in slow motion, and you can just feel the permanency in that moment. I had one of those conversations with a dear friend last spring, telling her I was going to China in November on a mission trip to an orphanage, and I said, “I think the Lord might be calling me to go because he wants us to adopt one day.”
Even saying those words out loud made me want to grab them and put them right back in, because saying it out loud somehow made it real, right? It was one of those times where you just think something, and it’s out of your mouth before you can even process what you’ve just said.
My words surprised me as much as they did my friend, I think! I mean, why would the Lord use us for something so big, so hard, and so foreign? We didn’t really have any experience with adoption. We had a really good plan laid out (which wasn’t going exactly like we thought), and we had everything under control. Adoption seemed too big for the Lord to give to us.
He gives things like that to really with-it, granola, super-Christians, and that wasn’t us.
The fear was real. But so were the seeds the Lord was sowing in my heart. Because just as much as I feared adoption, I yearned for it. I wanted it and prayed for it.
I didn’t know it yet, but I had been given and made with a heart for adoption.
My time in China came and went, but my desire to make an orphan a son or daughter did not. Over the next year, the Lord made my heart beat for adoption so deeply it hurt. He confirmed His will over and over again but James, my husband, wasn’t on the same train, or anywhere even close, yet. I watched as the Lord worked in him, waiting, praying for the day he surrendered to the Lord.
Those months of waiting were some of the hardest, faith-shaking months, because I could do none of it on my own. It wasn’t my job to break James’ heart for adoption. He hadn’t been to China, seen their faces, known their names, and heard their laughs; his eyes had not been opened yet.
But I couldn’t go back to my comfortable life having just loved on children with no families and pretend they didn’t exist. I can’t fix the entire orphan crisis, but for one child I can. Or two. Or three. Or four (James, get on the train!). I am called to care.
Faithfully, over the next several months, the Holy Spirit changed James’ heart, from indifference to obedience. On June 1st, James said yes! On June 11, 2016, our five-year anniversary, we submitted our application for international adoption from China.
Now, we’re six months into our adoption journey, waiting to see our child’s face, waiting on the referral. We prayed we would have a Log-In Date by Christmas, and it came early for us! After waiting less than a full day, we have a LID! Praise God.
We are in the middle of grants, waiting, and fundraising and will be hopefully spending our last holiday season without our girl. I look back over the last year and think about all the Lord has done to bring us here, the people he’s placed around us, the story he’s writing for us, and the fear in my words not so long ago. There is no more fear in saying yes.
work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6
This was not our plan, it’s so much better. I couldn’t have written a better story, because this one isn’t about us. It’s about our merciful Father who adopted all of us as sons and daughters when we did nothing to deserve it. He sought us out, saved us from a life apart from Him, and paid the price for our sin through His son Jesus Christ. He rescued us. And I pray our adoption is a glimpse of that redemption – the redemption of you and me.
– Isaiah 55:9
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved.
– Ephesians 2:4-5
If you feel the Lord planting seeds in your heart for adoption, breaking your heart for the fatherless, burning your heart for orphans, don’t run away from it. Run to it. Say yes. It sounds really big and really scary. It is. But God is so much bigger.
You may not think the Lord would ever use you, but that’s the point.
It’s not about being good enough to use, because our cleaned-up, with-it selves are just dirty rags before our King. My insufficiency points to the One who is sufficient, the One who knows me and still went to the cross.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Even if the Lord isn’t calling you to adopt, you can still answer the call to care. You can do something about the orphan crisis in your community, and in our world.
If you can’t adopt, foster.
If you can’t foster, go.
If you can’t go, volunteer.
If you can’t volunteer, advocate.
If you can’t advocate, give.
If you can’t give, pray.
James and I have been so humbled by our village, the way they have loved us through this process…by purchasing t-shirts, showing up for fundraisers, sharing our story, praying for us, it’s been amazing to watch! You all have taught me what it means to give and to serve. We are just blown away by all of you.
If you’d like to be a part of our story and make one less orphan in the world, there are a few ways you can do that:
1. If you feel led, give. We have been awarded a matching grant (Yay!) through a 501(c)3 organization, and donations are tax-deductible and will be matched dollar for dollar!! Your gift will go 100% towards our adoption. You can give here.
Or you can send a check to: (make sure to write Mock Adoption in the memo line)
4729 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Berkeley Lake, GA 30092
2. Purchase a t-shirt (pictured below), or tell your friends to purchase one! They’re the comfiest t-shirts that’ll be in your drawer. Even our dogs love them.
3. Pray. We covet your prayers for our child and the children left without families. The Lord has burdened our hearts for them and pray they will be set in families. We are confident the Lord will provide for our adoption, for he has and will be faithful!