So it’s “semi”-official. Zach, myself, Trysten and Dailah have decided to follow God’s lead and adopt. I turned in the registration today to what appears to be a wonderful adoption agency (AA) called Children’s Home Society and Family Services (CHSFS). So I am devoting this blog to share with you why we (myself specifically) chose this route of parenting, though I truly believe it is a personal decision, I am happy to share the news and offer our very personal reasoning.
About Zach and my third date we were in the local bookstore when we talked about parenting. At this point we were very smitten with each other so it was more a “feeling out” conversation, but there were hints that we were each looking at the other as a possible father/mother to our future children. When the topic came up I specifically remember telling him I’ve always felt a heart for adoption. Imagine my surprise when he said he too felt like it was something he wanted to look into, whether or not he had biological children.
Fast forward to May 30th, 2005. As noted in previous blogs, I was 10 weeks pregnant with what would be our second child. That night in the hospital, alone, an angel visited me. Though I don’t typically buy into those sorts of things, or rather, I didn’t until then, I saw her (I say “her”, though I can’t tell if that’s because she was anatomically a girl or more like she felt like I was familiar with her spirit, familiar in the very girl sense of the word). Anyway, when I asked her if she was taking my baby, she said “yes”. When I asked her (again, I don’t remember actually asking her, we were just looking at each other and having a very real conversation without moving our lips) if she was there to take me, she said “ not yet”. It’s taken me a few years (could it really have been that long) of playing that scene out over and over again. Of picturing her face and the calmness she created by being there. But after years of reflecting and searching my very own definition of spirituality, I’ve come to realize she didn’t take me with her because God is not done using me yet.
Which leads me to our present circumstance. For the last two years I too have fought with God. I’ve lost sight of Him, ignored the things He’s called me to do sometimes, and listened whole-heartedly other times. He’s brought my family into the most amazing life presently. After we had Dailah, both Zach and I said we were already ready for another child. Even after saying that, a huge part of me knew I meant something entirely different than what most people think of when I say, “having another child”. See, I’ve always been a very empathetic person. If I see a person crying on the street, it’s typically a matter of minutes until my tear ducts are poring over. If I see a child hurting, or read about it in the newspaper, I don’t just “feel bad” for them. I literally FEEL bad. I put myself there. I am the one being beaten, raped, what have you and want to do anything in my power to take that hurt from a stranger I will undoubtedly never know. So all of this makes sense why God led me to a specific passage in the Bible repeatedly over the last two years since we’ve seriously considered adopting. “Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them. You bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them.” (Ps 10.17-18) And perhaps even more specifically, “And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were slaves (orphans) to the spiritual powers of the world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves (orphans) to the law, so that he could ADOPT us as his very own children. And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave (orphan) but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.” (Gal 4 3-7).
Because of these specific Bible passages (and many more, ask me and I’ll point you to at least 50) I believe those who have a heart for adoption are being called to do so. Throughout the Bible, God has a special place for orphans, so too have I. Throughout the last months; I have felt God calling me (sometimes forcing me) to pursue adoption even more wholeheartedly. To not let my own hesitancies stand in the way of what He knows is my path, why He kept me when He took my baby. This, I believe is one of those reasons.
Those of you who know us, know that Zach and I could easily have 20 children and not think a thing about it. We’ve been blessed in life to have two amazing children. I’ve been blessed to carry them in my own physical womb and feel their first kicks, watch them as they breastfeed and turn into their own personalities. Just as God placed them in my womb, He too has placed a child in the womb of my heart. I feel this child there as sure as I did Trysten and Dailah. And it brings many of the same emotions. Excitement, anticipation, reluctance, fear, happiness, etc. But oh the joy! The joy of following what has been asked of me and adopting a child just as God has adopted us. If only I can give the child half the life God has given me, I have done my job.
After much prayer, research, and consideration we have decided to adopt internationally from Ethiopia. The reasons for which are too numerous to name but here are a few reasons.
—There are 4.5 MILLION orphans in Africa. Most of these children were left orphaned because their parents have died of the AIDS epidemic, war or famine. These kids have felt loved the entire time they resided in their mommy’s belly, and it is BECAUSE they love these children that the mom’s (or other related person should their parents have died) hand over their children…to give them a better life.
–This adoption program is the most efficiently ran program we have encountered. This country truly loves and cares for these babies and knows the best way to get them the love and care they need is to get them to families who will do that; as quickly and painlessly as possible.
–I truly believe God has bound my heart to Ethiopia. Leslie’s aunt has adopted a very wonderful little boy from there. Every time I see anything about Africa, I get such a personal attachment to it. As if I know the country already.
–This particular orphanage is run by believers as well. Though this wasn’t a huge determining factor, it makes me believe this kids are being cared for with the love and tenderness of a Christian family.
Those are just a few reasons, I could go on. But I want to get to heaven and be able to say, “God, I treated your creation with the love and affection I feel towards you, our Creator.” I take to heart James 1:27, “Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress to keep them from being polluted by the world.”
I wanted to share with you, our family, friends, fellow adoptive parents, anyone in cyberspace, our latest great news. That hopefully one day in the near future we will bring home the newest Klipsch. Whom I’m sure will share our love of life, stories, food, laughter, hugs, kisses and seeing God in the every day. Thanks so much for your continued prayers, blessings and positive thoughts. We hope to be able to count on them in the very near future. I will leave you with the passage that plaques my thoughts whenever I doubt this decision. James 4:17, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” Love to all! Zach, Tesi, Trysten, Dailah and Stotle (he agrees with all of the above too) Klipsch