So how did we decide in just 5 short days that we were absolutely positive that God wanted us to adopt this other child?
He bombarded us with affirmation through songs, through scripture, through passages in “Radical” and through the message taught at our church just 5 days after we first saw her.
It was Wednesday night that Nick first saw her. We went to bed kind of pondering the idea of adopting her. We knew it was crazy from a financial standpoint. But then we started to think about it. Nick would be receiving a large bonus in December and we expected a large tax return in February because of our adoption tax credit. We of course had already planned to use this money to pay off some bills and put a nice chunk of “security” into “our” savings account. We had been holding our breath throughout the year praying for no major expenses to occur and God had faithfully provided for all of our needs. We had even felt convicted earlier this year to extend “our” budget further to sponsor a child (see post). God had been faithful. Throughout our marriage, it has seemed that we’ve had to take the first step of faith blindly and then God sends affirmation. This happened countless times with the girls’ adoption (see post).
Then Thursday, we got her report and a few more pictures. Our agency director would be leaving the following day for Ethiopia and would actually be seeing her. We felt more and more like she should be in our family, so Nick asked me to write him and ask him what it would take for us to put her on hold.
A day past and on Saturday morning, I finally heard a response back from the agency. This is what it said: I’m glad you’ve decided to proceed with the adoption of “R.” I’ll have the staff send you a second-timers packet. I’ll take pictures and give her a hug for you when I visit Mekele.” We looked at each other. At that point, the agency assumed that we were proceeding. We couldn’t come up with any reason why we wouldn’t adopt her except for that we didn’t have the funds to do it. That didn’t really seem like a good reason as we had seen God provide once already and in countless other adoptions that we knew of. We had even “preached” to other couples that were hesitant to adopt because of finances that we knew God would provide and that they should trust Him. In addition, we had encouraged others to adopt older children as they are so often the ones forgotten and left waiting for so long. It seemed to us that God was now challenging us to take our own advice and trust Him.
I had to take the girls’ to an appointment Saturday morning, so I had some free time in the waiting room to read. I was preparing for our group study. As I opened my book, I turned to the page that my pen was in. It wasn’t the chapter I was going to read, just the place I had left my pen. These were the first words that I read, “What can we spare? And “What will it take?” “These are two entirely different questions.” “What would happen if we stopped asking how much we could spare and started asking how much it was going to take?”
I just stopped there. That was the exact question Nick had asked me to find the answer to. “How much would it take to bring “R” home?” Technically, we couldn’t “spare” the cost of another adoption. But then we starting to think. God would be providing almost exactly the amount that we would need to proceed with this adoption over the next several months. We had planned to use it for our own comfort and security. We began again to ask, “Why wouldn’t we adopt her?” Again, the only obstacle was money. We thought about how it would feel if one day when we get to heaven, God looks at us and says, “I presented you with this child. I provided you with the money. I told you to trust me, but you chose to play it safe.” That night, we fell asleep thinking about a little girl across the world. We didn’t know how it was going to work out, but we knew that we were going to trust God on this one.
The next morning, after a somewhat sleepless night filled with waking and praying, my alarm went off and this is the song that was playing:
**pause music at top of page**
On the way to church in the car, this song came on:
The first song that we sang in church was this song:
And then the guest preacher proceeded to preach a message about how pivotal occurrences define our identity. We were certain we were at a pivot. That God may call us to a task that we feel ill prepared for. We surely felt ill prepared. And that our callings will always be bigger than us because the one who sends us is bigger and our trust should be in Him. Ok, ok God we get the message loud and clear.
We left there knowing our daughter was waiting for us. I immediately responded to the email confirming that we wanted to proceed with “R”’s adoption and that we’d be working towards bringing her home. I had a sense of urgency in that email, hoping that no one else had seen her sweet face a scooped her up. I received an email reassuring us that she had indeed been assigned to our family. It was sort of surreal. Less than a week ago, we knew nothing of this child and now, we were picturing her in our family and rejoicing with our other kids in anticipation of her arrival. Below is a picture of them celebrating after we told them we were going to adopt "R".
We feel more than blessed that God has chosen us again to parent one of His children. We pray that “R” will be safe and healthy and know that she has the love of a family that waits across the world. We also pray for the enormous loss she has and will suffer and for her transition into our family. Most of all, as with all of our children, we pray that God will use her in a mighty ways for His kingdom and that she will do amazing things in His name.
To God be the glory!!
The End (actually just the beginning I guess)