Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We Thought We Were "Done"

Our adoption story is a bit long, but if you want to hear the whole story, now you have the opportunity.  God has known about this part of our life before time began, although for us, we became aware of it over a couple years worth of time.  We have 3 biological kids (Noah-6, Gavin-5, and Lilee-2) and after having our girl, Lilee, we thought we were done having kids.  There was a small question of "should we try for a 4th?" but definitely didn't feel the desire to adopt. I (Brandee) thought if we had 3 boys, MAYBE, we could adopt a little girl. But since we had a girl, I didn't see how I could adopt another girl or boy and love them the same as a biological child.  Somehow I thought if I only had bio boys than I could love an adopted girl the same, but not if I had a bio girl.  Strange to think about it now, but it was a very real concern at that time.  
Then, on a Sunday in November 2013, God opened my eyes to see a different picture for our family.  I was sitting in the church service, listening to the message on Adoption weekend. (November is Adoption Awareness month.) I had heard a similar message the previous year and didn't feel any tug or desire to adopt, but this day was different.  As I listened, it was very clear that I could love a child who was adopted, boy or girl, just as much as a biological child, because God would help me.  I started to see a little Asian girl, with brown eyes and brown hair. I was so excited and couldn't wait to talk to Ben (he was at work). As I left the service to go pick up the kids down the hall, it seemed as though each direction I looked, there was an Asian child or family.  It was as if God was magnifying or shining a spotlight on them for me to see brighter. I get the kids and we drive to visit Ben at the Fire Station. The song "Oceans" comes on the radio and I've suddenly got tears coming down my face as I imagine us going overseas to pick up our daughter, how it will be a different and tough path of adoption paperwork, expenses, and the unknowns, but God will carry us through and that we would be at peace because of Him guiding us through this.  I get to the station and tell Ben he's got to listen to the message.  I didn't tell him any details, but just that I wanted him to listen and let me know what he thought.  Later that week, after he listened to the message, he tells me, "That was a great message, but I didn't feel any special calling or directing to do anything other than pray for the orphans." I was a little disappointed, but knew that I couldn't force anything on him.  If God wanted us to do this, He would put it on Ben's heart in His own timing. And if not, then we would be content with that as well.  I didn't bring up the conversation of adoption again. However, the next time the word was spoken, it was four months later, by Ben.  
We were at a food ministry with our House Church (aka small group) one Saturday in March.  Right before we were about to leave, a lady showed up, who we had never seen before, with her 3 grandboys. We talked with her and gave her a bag of food and prayed with her.  As we're driving home, Ben tells me, "I would've taken those boys home today." God had used that moment to speak to Ben and soften his heart to adoption.  You see, the grandma had shared with us that the boys' dad and grandpa had both been murdered and they had no male influence in their lives.  Through the conversation and Ben getting down on the ground and talking with those young boys.  They were soaking up his attention; placing his hands on their shoulders and putting their hands on his shoulders. Ben realized in that moment that our family has a lot of love to give, and there are a lot of kids without a loving family.  It began to make sense that if we were going to have another child, it would be through adoption...
So, this led to lots of prayer time... what was our next step? Do we foster? Do we adopt? Do we adopt domestically?  Internationally?  The answer would take months before it became clear to us that we were on a path to an international adoption. One step at a time...

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