I have spent my life oblivious. I had had no idea that there was so much need in the world outside my little bubble. I certainly had no clue that there were so many orphans in such dire circumstances. Not that I am a selfish person (at least I hope not!), I just wasn’t aware of the orphans plight. I was never shown, and I never really stumbled onto it until recently, as you all know. I have spent many years thinking to myself that I would be happy with one or two kids, and someday when they were all grown up and had moved out, I would get to enjoy MY life, MY way. I never thought about adoption. Not that it wasn’t something I thought of as wonderful, I just honestly never thought about it. I know, I know, I was really oblivious.
Now, I must say that when it comes to my family, it pains me that these precious years with my children to go by so quickly. I make sure to savor every moment. In fact, sometimes I wish I could press the pause or rewind button on life with my kids (and husband). It goes by way too quickly, and that scares me when I really stop to think about it. Parenthood is the most beautiful, priceless adventure I could imagine in life.
But you know, in the grand scheme of things, I was like everyone else, running the race and waiting for the “finish line” when my days of child rearing were done, and I could cash in my tickets of mass sacrifice for a more fun and relaxing lifestyle.
Well, a funny thing happened when all this new knowledge came into view. How do I say this? Uh, hmm…well you know that feeling when God taps you on the shoulder and then whispers something in your ear that you weren’t expecting to hear? (I realize for many people that God tapping you on the shoulder might sound a bit weird. I know it’s something not all of us have noticed or experienced.) You know I have to say, every time this happens to me it’s always something I wasn’t expecting to hear so I can’t pretend to be shocked by this!
I started to feel like I had more to live for. I am not talking about the family I’ve been blessed with not being enough. I am referring to my own selfish desires for the future. I began to feel like God was putting a magnifying glass on my life. And I was beginning to see that I may no longer be a two-kid-maximum mother. The fact that I was feeling like more children are a significant possibility for our future quite frankly freaked me out. After realizing this, I had a much needed discussion with my husband. Obviously it matters where he stands in all this too. What if I was alone in this? What if God had not worked in him yet? What if?
It turns out that my husband also feels the pang in his heart, which makes this way easier for me. When this all started, I was terribly afraid he wouldn’t understand what I felt in my heart God was asking of me/us. But thankfully that hurdle was removed for me, thank God!
I must admit though that it is still a very sobering and intimidating thought that God may someday tell us it’s time to expand our family. Maybe we will have another baby? Maybe we will adopt? Maybe we will be asked to adopt from a foreign country? Maybe we will be asked to adopt a child who has special needs? Maybe we will be asked to adopt more than one child? What about the expense? Surely we do not have the ability to fund an adoption. God knows, I do not. What I do know is we just need to be willing to accept His will, and we are.
Being willing has its flaws though. I find myself always asking “the question”. Just about every time I read a blog where someone is advocating for a child, I ask. When I do my regular check ups on the adoption sites to see who has been transferred/adopted, etc., I ask. Each photo I see of every sweet baby (yes, all of them are babies, no matter the age) in desperate need of loving home, I can’t help but ask the question, “Is this our child?” Every face I see staring back at me has me wondering if any of these children are meant for us. They are all deserving. They are all suffering in some way. They all NEED a family to love them. Who am I to decide who deserves it more than the next?
To be honest, I couldn’t choose. So I pray. I pray that we will know: when it’s time, which one is ours, how to provide the means necessary to do what we are supposed to do.
I never in my life knew about these kids or their plight, neither in the U.S. or abroad.
I never thought about adoption. I was just dandy with the idea of having one or two kids of my own and the relaxing life I had always envisioned. Now all I have to say is… here we are!
So for those of you wondering why this lady who runs and adoption advocacy (etc.) blog, has not yet adopted a child herself, there’s your answer! I could be completely wrong on what God was trying to tell me, but I doubt it. I suppose He could change His mind if God does that sort of thing. Whatever may come, my husband and I are along for the ride!
A side note:
Do I think that adoption is all we are going to be asked to do? No, I do not. Despite the amazing gift adoption can be, I do not believe that is enough for us. Please, do not take offense to this statement, adoptive parents! That was not meant to say that you haven’t done an incredible thing. All adoptive parents have made a choice to “do something” to help a child/children. Whatever the reason behind your decision to adopt, I commend all those who have chosen to give an orphaned child a real chance at life. I know that for everything that comes along with that choice – the hard work, the sacrifice, the tears – there are also incredible and immensely beautiful rewards. Here is a very sweet glimpse of what one of those rewards looks like:
Thank you to my friend Melanie for allowing me to share this video of her sweet son (above). To learn more about this precious boy and his story, go here: http://happyhartmanfarm.blogspot.com/search?q=judd
So with that said, for us, in this family there has to be more. How do I know this? I know this based on how God called me into this extremely foreign field of serving. He placed so heavily on my heart orphans and children who have suffered extreme neglect, violence, and abuse. Now I know that in many cases, these are one in the same. However the way it was shown to me was very clearly separated. The main goal is to help ALL of these kids. Their circumstances ALL must change. Their lives MUST NOT be in vain.
Wonderful Andrea! This is amazing! I have felt my whole life like I am made for more than just the mundane and as a mom of 3 sometimes I will put myself down thinking, “Why can’t I just be like normal moms and want a normal comfortable life.” There are no doubt at times it would be easier…but never as rewarding! My husband and I both have a heart to do big…outside of our circle ministry and to touch the world. I loved reading about what God has shown you and pray that your passion never dies! I agree with you that some of what I have read on orphans, teens, and their living situations is awful! I want my children to grow up reaching out and knowing that there is more to this world than living for themselves! 🙂
We are all meant for more, but too many just don’t care to see what more they are meant for. I felt like you do for so long and it gives me so much peace to finally feel like I found what that “more” is for me. I pray that you find your “more”.
What you said about people living for themselves is absolutely true. I cannot even begin to believe just how many people do just that, live for themselves and never for anyone or anything else. Like a horse, with blinders on. Not saying that I am completely without my blinders.
Sadly, many times I think of lemmings. You may remember playing that game in elementary school. I notice shocking similarities between the lemmings and our society. Masses of people blindly, selfishly shoving each other in one direction unknowingly heading towards a cliff. None of course realizing that they too are going to fall off. Then you have the stragglers, the ones who figure it out at the last minute. The ones who quickly build a bridge which then spares their lives and the lives of those around them. All because they hung back long enough to see the bigger picture. Those stragglers are what I am praying will come out of all this. I am not entirely sure where I stand at this point, I am not in a position to judge that, only God is. But really Michaela, I should say the same to you, don’t let that desire to do more, fall by the wayside. Keep praying, keep seeking. Your words are an encouragement to me and I hope to others as well! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.
Yes, my husband and I have been living out our “more” together and I have been since the age of 18 when God changed my life. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that it’s a process and you work through seasons and different phases of your life achieving the ultimate dream God has put in your heart. I’ve been learning to enjoy every season and every step because God has a purpose for it all. I love that there are so many different avenues in which to give and that God is a creative God who gives us all different dreams and different passions yet they are all for the benefit of others to help those in need and to build each other up.