John 8:32 says "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Every day I am walking in God's truth, or I guess to put it more accurately, He is putting His truths smack dab in front of my face so there is no chance at all that I can miss them!
If you know me at all then the one thing you absolutely know about me is that I love children. My thing, my niche, what I was created for, it has to do something with children because that is just a part of me. Teaching them, loving on them, comforting them, playing with them, feeding them, mothering them.....it's just ingrained in my DNA.
This love of kiddos lead me to be a teacher, then a stay at home mom, now a Noonday Ambassador and one day it is what will lead my to adopt. Adoption has always been this "Hmmm that would be a cool thing to do" kind of idea in the back of my mind. Then this past April I read Kisses From Katie (If you haven't read it READ IT) and adoption sort of turned into this constant discussion that Jake and I were having. So constant that Jake one day switched from saying we would have 3 kids to we would have 3 or 4 kids. That is a day that I will never ever forget because I knew that even if he was nervous about the process that he was on board.
As I was reading through Katie Davis's book I came across a specific section that just reached down into the deepest parts of my soul and caused me to cry out in anguish because my heart was just breaking for every child who didn't have a family to love them!
"I have a young friend named Maria. The truth is that Maria had never had a bath before I took her home and gave her one. The truth is that Maria has no one who cares for her. No one who tells her she is loved. The truth is that Maria is sent from her home in the slum outside of Jinja to beg on the streets for food, and no one in Uganda wants to touch her or help her or cares that she is sick. The truth is that Maria is just like your or me. A person. Real. A child of the King.
Meet Rose and Brenda. The truth is that they are orphans. Abandoned and living in an orphanage. Now two of 143 million. The truth is that when they go to bed at night no one tucks their blankets in around them and kisses their foreheads. The truth is that when they wake up, frightened, in the dark, no one runs to comfort them. The truth is that due to someone else's carelessness, Brenda will die of AIDS.
Meet David and Bashir. The truth is that these precious little boys were child soldiers, abducted, sold as property, and forced to kill. Now that the war is winding down, they are not permitted back in their villages because they are seen as traitors, so they beg on the street.
And the truth is that these are only the children I know, in a very small fraction of a very small country. The truth is that there are children like this all over the world, sick, starving, dying, unloved, and uncared for.
The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on Earth proclaim to be Christians.
The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left. This is the truth. I have the freedom to believe it. The freedom, the opportunity to do something about it. The truth is that he loves these children just as much as He loves me and now that I know, I am responsible."
WOW. It never fails! Every single time that I read that passage my heart yearns to do something. So the short term plan was to become a Noonday Ambassador. In this roll I can help advocate for the orphan by creating jobs in high-risk orphan areas, and help bring children home to their forever families through adoption trunk shows. The long term plan was to get pregnant with our last biological child one day (I wish there was a better way to say that), and then to start figuring out the adoption process and begin it. That was the "plan".....ENTER GOD!
This is what my life has looked like in the past week.......
Sunday: Our pastor talked about the power of testimonies and mentioned someones testimony which is drenched in adoption. I went home and messaged them because I really want to hear their story...and now we plan to meet sometime down the road but she told me something that has just stuck with me. "If God is calling y'all to adoption, my suggestion to you would be to be obedient and let God do the rest"
Monday: I finished an AMAZING book I was reading by Matt Chandler and decided to pick an easy read off the shelf. I picked Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury because I think she's a decent author and I really want to read the book before I see the movie. I got through about 4 pages of the characters basking in the glory of how amazing their sons teacher report was and then this paragraph enters the scene....
"Didn't you think it would be harder then this?"
"Harder?" Molly angled herself so she could see him better. "Preschool?"
"No." Jack gripped the steering wheel with his left hand, more pensive than he'd been all afternoon. He glanced at the rear-view mirror and the fine lines at the corners of his eyes deepened. "Adopting."
Of course I would pick this book to read that I bought months ago on sale for $2 and have NO idea in the world that it was a book about adoption.
Wednesday: So I go to my very first women's bible study which happens to be on Jen Hatmakers, The 7 Experiment. Jen happens to be one of my all time favorite bloggers on adoption though this is not a study about adoption....anyway a person who I have really wanted to meet walks in late wearing a black shirt and NEON letters that say...drum roll....ADOPTION! As if that isn't enough, I get home to do my "homework" for the bible study and the first page says "We recently adopted two Ethiopian darlings.....they lived hard stories in hard places...They's known hunger. They'd known poverty. They'd known desperation. People, they'd slept on the streets."
UGH what is going on? Everywhere I turn adoption is popping up....I finished my lesson and went to check facebook....where this is the very first thing on my newsfeed
Could it be said any better? This is the completed homework of a sweet girl who was adopted!
Thursday: Get in Jake's car to meet an amazing friend for dinner...Jake has on a station that has pastors teaching...the pastor is talking about adoption....how in all his life nothing has shown him the importance of love as adoption. I am not even off of my street and my makeup is running down my cheeks!
Saturday: Go to a Junktique Sale (Umm HELLO creativity) so that I can walk out with 2 bags of future clothes for Kylie Jo AND talk for 30 minutes with the person who bought those clothes for her adopted daughters! WHO GOES TO A GARAGE SALE AND the person out of nowhere mentions that her daughters were adopted?
Jake and I talk even more about the crazyness that has been my life this past week. We talk about adoption. Jake talks about how he just hasn't had any of these adoption signs in his life!
Enter THIS SUNDAY:
I am in the church nursery loving on the walkers but not talkers.....Jake is sitting in the pews. We are not together. I look over to the TV that shows what is going on in the service and notice that the person who was wearing the Neon adoption shirt in my womens class is talking in front of the church. I walk over to the TV, turn it up, and hear her sweet, drenched in raw, heartfelt, emotional words about adoption. And I know that this is for Jake. This is his sign from God. She said two things that touched his heart. 1. There are 143 million orphans. 2. James 1:27 "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."
This has been our week. A week of sweet beautiful signs....A week of undeniable truths.....A week of feeling that our family is just not complete yet! An emotional, what are you asking of us God? What are you preparing us for? Why are we seeing, feeling, hearing, adoption everywhere we turn? What do you have up your sleeves? And the crazy part is that it hasn't just been this week...it's been the last few months that this sort of stuff has been going on!
I have had friends message me to encourage us, a friend who was adopted herself tell me how much adoption has meant to her, and a prayer warrier text me with this text:
"This morning I spent time praying for your baby that y'all adopt. The transition is so hard. God showed me His heart for adoption in a new way and I am beautifully overwhelmed. I just prayed for your child's mother in her pregnancy and for her early years/seconds/days of her/his life and the trauma that will possibly come with that time. I prayed for God to be with you through the entire process and that it will be His love you will be showing your child."
So besides adoption rearing it's head around every corner, God is building up this team of supporters to walk along with us as we dive in head first in the truth that we as Christians are called to adopt and we as a family are being called to actually adopt. When? I don't know! Our plan....5-10 years down the road....but our Lila Surprise has taught me that God has plans and they are far better than the ones we dream up! So I will sit back, buckle up, and watch as God weaves His plans into the fabric of our lives. I will chose to be obedient and let God do the rest! Stay Tuned!