My husband has surprised me more times, since we started this process of whether we should adopt or not.....THIS was a HUGE surprise! I got onto FB later than normal & 11:30pm SCOTT came on to tell me that he had lost track of time because he was working on something for me but he didn't tell me what nor did he tell me what it was when he said goodnight fifteen minutes later. I got to bed very late/early depending on your view;} I checked my phone for what was going on in our country & the first thing i saw was this.....i think my jaw dropped...i love my husband and i have been so proud of him...another reason...his protection. He says that he isn't a writer but i think that you will join me in thinking otherwise. He never even talked to me about these things that were musing in his brain. I LOVE that he wants to share them with you!
OK...you think i am long....well, let's just say that you better go get your coffee now because it is going to be awhile....it will be well worth it though!!! At least, i think so!
I am not sure what direction this post will go and there will be, undoubtedly, things I wished I had included that will come to mind later and thoughts that maybe I should have left out. My hope is that you will read all of this and not quit at a certain point as it ties together at the end. But I feel it important enough to write about our adoption experience thus far. I know Connie has written extensively but I wanted to add my 2 cents as well and as I don’t write as well as her please forgive my disjointedness or rabbit trails.
At times one has to make a choice between pleasing God and pleasing the people around us (Isaiah 55:8-9). As important as it is to work toward peaceful relations with others, it is even more important to be obedient to the Lord. That can really become a flash point with those you are close to whether that be family, friends or acquaintances (we see that so evident in today’s culture politically, philosophically, morally and especially religiously). They’ll spout something to the effect: “I believe, but I don’t want anyone preaching to me” or “I don’t think it should be talked about as it’s a private matter”. I guess they truly don’t believe or understand.
Sometimes God will lead you to do things that others will not understand let alone you not fully understanding until after you have done them and sometimes may be not even then. We aren’t to wait until we have it all figured out and have our ducks in a row before we are to act. It doesn’t always work that way and certainly God doesn’t work that way. That is why it is called faith and obedience. Satan will try to convince you that obedience carries much too high a price, but he will never tell you the cost of not obeying God. If we are to be used in God’s service we must expect to make adjustments in our lives; adjustments that we may not understand or that make sense logically. As we all know man’s ways are not God’s ways. The adjustment God is asking us to make is the rest of the story.
We were warned right from the get go what we should expect as reactions from people when they find out what we were about to do. At the time, when I heard those words, I thought to myself “Seriously”? “That couldn’t really be true could it”? From families that are, were in the middle of or had gone through the adoption process we were told that we should expect rebuke, criticism, avoidance, etc. from family, friends and acquaintances. I kept wondering “Why”? “Why would someone be so immature do such a thing”? You know what? They were correct!
We have had family members, friends and acquaintances question our sanity to say it politely. Their comments usually come around but not limited to “But you are already so busy with Sophina” and her issues”. Yes, that is true that Sophina has issues that have taken longer than expected to overcome and some that are still being worked on. So what? As if, because, she has DS and a feeding tube and feeding issues that we didn’t expect to take as long as it has, that we are excluded from doing more? Who said that we are exempt from further responsibilities? Are we called to have a simple life? Not that I’m aware of and not that we’ve had one but we have had it a lot easier than most.
Another person commented to Connie with an honest but very supportive attitude saying, “Lady, if there’s anything I know, it’s that I know very little. I don’t understand why you’re being called. I don’t understand how you’ll do it. I don’t understand whether or not it’s truly a God thing (I feel distant from Him right now). What I do know is that you are pursuing Him and that you are doing so with courage. Whether or not anyone “thinks” you should do x, y, or z means nothing at the end of the day. Your pursuit of Him means everything. And your pursuit of protecting His orphans is an awesome thing. You have my support. Protect your heart from resenting those that are more worried about the tactics of your undertaking. In earthly terms, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense (and most of us hang out in earthly terms about 99.8% of the time). Just 2 cents…”
We both appreciate this person and their family and thought that even though this person didn’t understand they came forward with that in a loving way expressing their concern yet pledging their support even if they are unsure at this point. I guess this is my attempt to answer those who may feel even more strongly that we are nuts in hopes that they will understand better the reason and yet may come along side.
There have been some who have never broached the subject with us at all to even try to understand and have jumped to their own judgmental conclusions thinking that they know what is best. One person said “Connie, you can’t do it all. Even Moses had to delegate.” I know that Connie is amazing so I actually take that as a compliment in that she was being equated with Moses! Excuse my feeble attempt of trying to add humor. Two problems I see with this comment though, as true as it is, that yes, Moses couldn’t do it all are 1) it was directed to Connie and not both of us. Yes, I am away at work and she bears the brunt of it all but this adventure wasn’t just her wanting to do this it was an entire family decision, 2) She, actually, we are not trying to do it all but rather trying to do all that we can. Moses was trying to do it all for millions. We’re doing it for one more child. We are just one family desiring to follow God’s leading and command to take care of an orphan of this world and 3) if God calls who are we to differ that mandate.
We are not, as much as we’d like to, trying to save the world but rather be faithful to the call to make a difference in the life of one helpless child that would otherwise be utterly destroyed by the system of being permanently institutionalized for the rest of his life by age 5 with no hope for adoption. Nada…Zilch…None...Permanent…End of story. But we don’t want the story to end there and nor does God. He has moved in the hearts and lives of so many that the organization Reece’s Rainbow has developed into helping families desiring to adopt children with disabilities from other countries. Included below are links to pictures and video’s that have been posted before but so that you can check these out to see again or more of the plight of these helpless beautiful children. Maybe you are just curious wanting to know more then these will show you the plight of these children. Maybe you will sense the Lord’s moving in your heart to act on their behalf in some supportive role whether that is in adopting a child or children to become part of your family, support prayerfully or financially a family who is. I was surprised to learn about how many families are adopting children with disabilities from Eastern Europe.
Once you have looked at or seen video of these children how can one not be moved to more than “Yes, that is bad” to “Yes, that is bad what can I do”? We have been supporting a child in another country for a few years but that is so American. Send money off to help others. I am in no way saying that is wrong as that does a tremendous amount of good and is so desperately needed to have a better life and hopefully survive. But if you were to allow yourself to really see and feel what is going on you may be led to change your position to do more of an active role. For me it took Sophina to make me understand it in a way I would never have had if she were not part of our family. She opened my eyes as to how fragile a child is with disabilities. I knew there were issues and concerns but until I became intimately involved with the goings on I could not really appreciate the situation these children are in and the love, affection and commitment that is needed. It in turns changed me from a bystander to a player of the game of life. It is no longer “Oh, those poor children. How are they going to make it”? To “This is my child and I know what it takes and these children deserve that same love, affection and commitment.
These days we are bombarded with opportunities that entice us to invest our time and energy. There are so many worthwhile causes how can we recognize God’s voice among so many competing voices? Prayer is really the only option. Stepping out in faith allowing God to show you how, where, etc. to align your life with His will and then doing it. This is what we are doing. We are stepping out in faith trusting the Lord that even though in human terms this may not make perfect sense that we are in His perfect will. That doesn’t mean it is a bed of roses, but rather as nearly if not all others before us have experienced setbacks or delays or worse that don’t make sense, we will continue trusting we are doing the right thing.
We believe the Lord has put you in our lives for a reason. Will you prayerfully consider where the Lord may be directing you to be involved in joining us in our adventure of saving a little one? We all know that there are different ways of supporting. They range from financially, purposefully praying for, physically supporting by helping “doing” in some way, emotionally supporting when road blocks become apparent, etc. Whether you agree or not, and would welcome the opportunity to talk with you regarding this decision, we would covet your prayers as we transition from the paperwork stages into upcoming traveling stages and eventually bringing home our son Ethan.