Wednesday, November 21, 2012

4+1=our family

That's right.  We will be adding another child to our due date. :) We are simply committing to following through with the calling to adopt that we believe God has placed in our hearts. (If you've never watched the video above, please take a minute to do so.  Wow!)

We are at the beginning....the VERY beginning, but we know for certain that God has laid this upon our hearts and we must obey.  From the start, we knew we wanted children.  Mike wanted a church van full.  I was fine with I thought.

We have been blessed with two daughters:  Riley (6) and Ava (20 months).  They are beautiful, smart, and fill our home with so much joy.  I am thankful for their health, happiness, and that God has allowed us to provide for them.  Here's the kicker:  After Ava arrived, I  expected to feel that feeling of "our family is complete."  Never got it.

But let me backtrack:  About 2 years ago, I sat in a room with my closest friends and family...people I have grown up with and have known most of my life.  We talked about what we were missing in our faith. (We were WAY off track, by the way.)  We began to study Crazy Love by Francis Chan. He had some good points and we grew a liiiittle.  Then, we moved along to Radical by David Platt.  I DID NOT like that man. Why? Probably because he was calling me out in every area I was lacking.  He started talking maybe God's plan for us isn't to live the American dream.

 "Excuse me, David. I own a business. You don't know how hard I work.  My children deserve everything they want.  We deserve a nice house...probably a nice car, too.  Mike wants a boat." You get it. 

I can't remember the timing of our first mission trip compared to where we were in our Bible study, but as a group, we committed to a small mission project in Georgia.  We worked on a church for the Hispanic community.  For the first time, we saw what service was.  It wasn't what we were doing, as we were supposedly helping them.  It's how they unselfishly gave to us.  The women struggled to feed their own families, yet pulled together a big, home-cooked meal for us.  Pretty much broke our hearts...and changed my opinion of David Platt.  MAYBE he was telling us the truth about the gospel, and how we have TOTALLY, EMBARRASSINGLY, gotten it all wrong.

Shortly after, my friend Alison (who has bossed me around since I was born, but gets a big whoot!whoot! for being the one I can call anytime for good, solid, Christian advice--sidenote #2--will soon be bringing home a sweet girl from China) invited our group to team up with her church for mission work in Guatemala.  We all agreed, though we were terrified.

What I saw in the Guatemala City dump changed my outlook completely.  How dare I not be content with what I have?  These children are TAUGHT how to use drugs, abused in unimaginable ways, and don't even have a bed. No hot showers at the end of the day.  No clean clothes.  No hope of getting out of there.  It is heartbreaking.

We have returned several times to Guatemala.  Each time our love for the people grows deeper.  The last trip I made was in September.  I fought it and fought it...certain I wasn't supposed to go.  I made every excuse I could think of and tried to back out (see Joe Alderman for confirmation of that tidbit!)  However, I went...with my tail dragging.   You know what's coming--it turned out to be the best trip thus far. When I returned home, there was a tugging at my heart that I couldn't shake.

I felt this overwhelming urgency to adopt.  I was overflowing with emotion.  When I told Mike, he felt the same way.  There was never a doubt that God was leading us to a precious brown-skinned, brown-eyed little boy like the ones we fell in love with in Guatemala. For those of you who are not aware, Guatemalan adoptions are closed, so that was not a possibility.  After lots of researching, we feel certain that God has led us to Belize.  The children there already speak English, the poverty level and statistics are just as staggering, and many of the children are of Guatemalan descent.  So here we are now...after weeks of praying, thinking, crying, planning.  We are publically committing to follow through, asking for prayers and for our friends to hold us accountable.  There are a TON of fears, emotions, and uncertainties that at times, make this seem impossible.  We are taking it step by step...each step bringing us closer to our little boy.

Here's the difficult part:  admitting that we can't do this alone.  The upfront cost of adoption is HUGE, but we know that the Lord will provide. We never want to beg, hassle, or ask anyone for money.  We simply wish to use the gifts God has given us for a cause to bring glory to Him.  If you are interested in our "Hearts for a Home" artwork, please follow this link: