“Where did the red hair come from?”
We’re asked that question a lot these day with a red headed five year old in tow. Truth is we don’t know. You see, we’re trying to adop the red head (we’ll call him Red) and while we don’t know much about his past (or his red hair) we do know he is chosen and he is FOREVER going to be ours.
So…now that you know the story behind the red hair, I’m sure you’re now wanting to know how we got to the point of deciding to start our family through adoption? We’re happy to share…
While sitting one evening in our routine spots in the living room, V in his chair and me sprawled on the couch, watching whatever Netflix season we were hooked to at the time, he says to me: “I’ve been thinking…and I don’t want you to freak out.”
PAUSE. Let me back up several weeks. August-October(ish) 2014
For a few weeks now V and I had been talking and praying through the possibility of becoming foster parents. At one point, early in the process, we had even been given Power of Attorney for two children in our church who needed a home for the coming school year while their dad worked offshore and mom was living in another state. When this opportunity came to us we thought this was why God had been confronting us with the need for foster parents, for us to be open to providing a temporary home for these two children. We were amazed at how fast we came to love them and enjoy taking care of them. Long story short that opportunity fell through and we were left puzzled. We were so willing at this point to give ourselves away (not that it wasn’t scary) and excited for the chance to do something totally outside of ourselves. Something that we would be forced to fully rely on Christ to get us through. At this point in life, we hadn’t tried to have children “the old fashioned way”, but we do hope to (one day). Again the idea of fostering and the great need for foster homes had gotten to the point that everywhere we looked we were running into a child in the system, foster parents, an article related to fostering, a commercial, a radio announcement, a movie, a devotional and I could go on. Fostering was in our faces EVERYWAY we turned and we just couldn’t ignore what was in front of us anymore (Proverbs 24:12). We had the extra room, the finances, a short experience with having two children not our own in our home and the flexibility to meet the need…what was our excuse anymore.
Therefore, we decided to sign up for the MAPP class to get some more information. We started class October 2014. The MAPP class is an 8 week class all foster/adoptive parents in our state must take as the first step to becoming licensed. We still weren’t committing to becoming foster parents, but willing to take the first step towards fostering and just see. After our first night of class we were given tons of resources and me being who I am spent the next several days looking up all the information online.
One of the brochures we were given had information about the “Heart Gallery”. This is a website showing pictures and general profiles for children in need of forever homes. With each profile my heart literally sank further into my stomach. To see these faces and know they had no family identity, no security, and very little to call their own was gut wrenching. Also knowing these are faces of children only miles from my home. Before long I found myself sobbing over my laptop. V was not home so I could ugly cry and not be disturbed. As I kept scrolling and scrolling I prayed. Not one of those out loud prayers, but one of those deep in your heart prayers that you just know the Holy Spirit is hearing every word of (Romans 8:26). In my heart I said to the Lord, “I think we can do this. I think V and I could love one of these children as our own. Lord if this is you putting this on my heart, please put it on V’s too.” Somehow I managed to dry my eyes and close my laptop. I didn’t say a word to V about what I had been looking at, about my crying, or about my prayer. After several days I myself had even forgot about it.
PLAY. Back to us watching Netflix. 2-3 weeks into the MAPP class and V telling me not to freak out because he’d been thinking. Late October-November(ish) 2014.
Of course after he says “don’t freak out”…I do. I immediately begin to think…what did you do, spend, break, or say. He laughs and in his most genuine expression says to me (these are his exact words) “I’ve been thinking about adoption. I just think it’s something you and I could do. We could love any child as our own.”
I was floored. Immediately the prayer I had prayed over my laptop while scrolling through the Heart Gallery came to mind and it was as though the Lord said to me “I directed you, I heard your heart and your husband has heard Me.” Once I told V about my visit to the Heart Gallery website a few weeks prior, my ugly cry, and prayer he was speechless. We both were. At that moment we knew we were no longer in this thing just to see, but to build our family.
We also knew that taking this step would require a lot of faith. Even though we both said “I think we can do this” we both knew that statement included more than just the love, patience, endurance, and security V and I alone could offer any child. We knew this was something we were going to have to rely on the Lord to carry us through for the rest of our lives. We were no longer talking about a temporary situation, but a forever one. The thought of that both excited us and terrified us. We were both confident in what the Lord had stirred in our hearts and how He went about bringing us each individually to the point of “let’s adopt”, that we knew we would not walk this adoption journey alone. (Deuteronomy 31:6) (Philippians 1:6)
The more we began to research adoption and study the theology of adoption the more we feel in love with the idea of starting our family this way. In so many ways adoption points to the gospel of Jesus. Author Russell D. Moore says it best in his book Adopted for Life. Moore says:
“Adoption is, on the one hand, gospel. In this, adoption tells us who we are as children of the Father. Adoption as gospel tells us about our identity, our inheritance, and our mission as sons of God. Adoption is also defined as mission. In this, adoption tells us our purpose in this age as the people of Christ. Missional adoption spurs us to join Christ in advocating for the helpless and the abandoned. (James 1:27)
As soon as you peer into the truth of the one aspect, you fall headlong into the truth of the other, and vice versa. That’s because it’s the way the gospel is. Jesus reconciles us to God and to each other. As we love our God, we love our neighbor; as we love our neighbor, we love our God. We believe Jesus in heavenly things—our adoption in Christ; so we follow him in earthly things—the adoption of children. Without the theological aspect, the emphasis on adoption too easily is seen as mere charity. Without the missional aspect, the doctrine of adoption too easily is seen as mere metaphor….
The gospel of Jesus Christ means our families and churches ought to be at the forefront of the adoption of orphans close to home and around the world. As we become more attuned to the gospel, we’ll have more of a burden for orphans. As we become more adoption-friendly, we’ll be better able to understand the gospel.
This past summer (June 2015) while at youth camp the camp pastor asked this question: What are you doing with/in your life that the only possible answer you can give others for your actions/choices is to point to Jesus?
V and I answer that questions with starting our family through adoption from foster care. We know our efforts will be far from perfect, but we’re learning more and more that in our weakness He is strong! (2 Corinthians 12:9)
We write all of this to communicate several things:
- No, we have not had trouble getting pregnant. We have not tried and assume one day (Lord willing) we’ll be able to have biological children as well.
- Adoption is something the Lord has called us to specifically. You can’t tell us otherwise. We are excited about this call to adopt, but equally terrified. Please pray for us!
- Please know we believe that not everyone is called to this same journey and we don’t believe any one journey is better, more spiritual, or more challenging than the other. We all have a call the Lord has place on our lives and it’s our purpose in life to run after that call in an earnest effort to honor the Father.
- We want others to hear our story and identify with two imperfect people, with many flaws, trying to accept the love and forgiveness Christ has to offer us everyday. Truth is we are so unworthy, but still he loves and offers us opportunity to work beside Him to build His kingdom. “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Acts 20:24.
- We hope our story of adoption and how God’s hand has led us to this point translates, in some small way, for people the picture of how God the Father feels towards all of His children and how we are adopted as His. Through this process we have learned more than ever what it means to choose and to be chosen. What a concept?! As believers that’s what we are, CHOSEN…You are CHOSEN! (Ephesians 1:4-5)
If you’ve read all of this and desire to know more about being chosen, forgiven, accepted, and about the love Jesus Christ has for you please reach out! Call a local church, comment below and I’ll contact you, or call a friend who you know that’s a believer of Jesus Christ. You can also click here for information about becoming a follower of Jesus.