Any time I look at a file of a child, my heart starts to beat a little faster. I immediately wonder, “is this the one?” As my husband and I wade through pages and pages of medical information, reports, doctor assessments, places of abandonment, finding dates, pictures, and videos, we often find ourselves wondering if we are reading the biography of our future son or daughter.
I personally know precious friends who say they knew from the moment they saw the file of their child that God had chosen that child to be in their family.
Other times, though, the process of looking at files and figuring out the right answer is not as immediate or simple. My husband and I are currently in the midst of reading through doctor reports and watching videos of children on repeat and trying to determine God’s will for our family. Which child is His “yes” for us?
How do you make the heart wrenching decision of which file belongs to you?
Praying scripture back to God is one of the most powerful and intimate practices we can undertake. I believe this is key to being confident in our decision. As we look at all these sweet faces of children who need a home, it is vital to connect with Scripture so we can know God’s direction for our family.
The following are a few areas and Scriptures that have been particularly helpful to us this past month as we have been walking through this journey.
1. Prayers for Wisdom
James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
I have been holding onto this verse throughout this process. We have a good Father who lovingly desires to give us wisdom. He speaks to us through His Word, wise counsel, medical specialists, circumstances, prayer, and through others.
My husband and I are praying wisdom for the specialists who are reviewing files for us. We are asking God to help them as they look through the information provided and sometimes the lack of information and give us helpful and practical details about the children’s needs.
We are praying for others as we seek their counsel and that God would give them divine wisdom as they talk to us.
We are praying for God to give us wisdom to know if the answer to each file is a yes or a no.
2. Prayers for Direction
Sometimes the answer is not clear right away so praying for God’s daily direction is incredibly helpful. Two of the verses I have been praying back to God lately are:
2 Chronicles 20:12b “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
Also, I love Psalm 119:105 which states “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
It is normal to look at a file and then feel paralyzed to know what to do next. If you feel a peace about moving forward, ask God for direction for the right next step to take. I have found God to be so faithful to show us what to do even if that next step seems small.
What step do you need to take next?
Do you need to contact a medical specialist?
Do you need to talk to your agency and see if other families are willing to share their experience with this particular special need?
Do you need to spend some time looking through blog posts from others on No Hands But Ours to glean wisdom about a certain disability?
Do you need to schedule some time with a mentor to talk through the file?
Do you need to request more information from the orphanage?
Many times by just asking God for direction for the right next step and being obedient to move forward, God opens a door.
3. Prayers for Favor
My husband and I continually pray for God’s favor on us as we talk with medical specialists. We pray that doctors would find favor on our request for help.
Psalm 90:17 says, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.”
Psalm 5:12 states “Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”
Recently as we reviewed a file, several specialists told us without further pictures and video and answers from the orphanage, they could not proceed fully with their analysis. We knew it was highly unlikely the orphanage would grant this request but we began praying for favor from the orphanage and asked others to pray as well. Within a week, the orphanage sent an update answering all of our questions and providing an abundance of videos and pictures for our specialists.
I do not think it was a coincidence that God surrounded us with favor for our request. He loves these children more than we could ever imagine and I believe He is pleased to move on their behalf.
4. Prayers for Peace
Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When we are walking daily with God and seeking His will and wisdom, I do not think He will let us miss the child He has for us. Ask God for peace for the process and peace to discern His yes or no.
Pray also for Him to unify your heart with your spouse so you are on the same page about a file.
5. Prayers for Courage
We often end our church service on Sunday by praying, “God give us wisdom to know what to do with what we have just heard and give us the courage to do it.”
Many times what keeps us from saying yes to a file is simply fear of the unknown. If you have faithfully researched a file, talked to the appropriate specialists, sought wisdom from others, and have a peace from God to move forward, do not let fear stand in the way.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
As you watch the process unfold, it is amazing to see God put together the pieces to give you wisdom, direction, favor, peace, and courage to say yes to a child you have never met.
It is awe-inspiring to watch Him stir the hearts of mothers and fathers to step up and love those on the other side of the world who have no family of their own.
May His Word be a beacon of light for you as you make your decision to love the fatherless.