On Saturday, J and i went with two other families from our church to an event called, Wait not more. It was something put on by Focus on the Family and is something they do all over the US to highlight the numbers of legal orphans in the foster system, and call the church to action to care for them.
It was an amazing event and we are both still reeling from the things we heard and the way God might be leading us.
In WA state, as of August 20110 there are over 1500 legal orphans, kids living in foster care just waiting for families for families to adopt them because their biological parents have had their parental rights terminated.
There are over 5000 churches in WA state. 5000 building full of people who claim Jesus as their savior, who have been adopted themselves into the family of Christ. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress" James 1:27
We believe that right? So what do we do with that. That verse doesn't say anything about this only applying if you have had struggles with infertility, this is across the board something we are asked to do.
Please don;t hear me saying that adoption is something we should do without thought or prayer. I believe that adoption is truly a calling but I wonder if perhaps there are people who are simply not listening or responding to that call. It is not an easy choice to make, it's not a guarantee of an easy life for sure but might be something that God is asking you to do as his adopted child. At this conference there were lots of different speakers sharing their stories and experiences, a women who had been taken out of her mothers custody after sexual abuse by her mother boyfriend and who lived in foster care for a while before being adopted at age 6, another women with a similar story who was adopted with her siblings at age 11 - so often siblings are split up because there are not homes available for them to stay together. This just breaks my heart. All the loss these kids have suffered and now they lose the only family they have left.
Then we heard from an adoptive father, an adoptive mother and a women who was a biological child in a home where her parents fostered and eventually adopted. I loved her perspective about the way her faith was challenged and transformed by learning to love these kids who had no one else to love them and how much richer her and her biological siblings lives were because of the home they had and the love they saw displayed by their parents.
As we left the conference, J and I were already questioning our decision to adopt an infant. Our home could fit siblings, could our hearts? Is that what God is asking of us? Could our hearts be open to older kids? Kids that have hurt and pain and may have experiences abuse or neglect by those who were supposed to love them.
Then we went to dinner with our friends and their 5 month old who had been adopted by them at birth. It was so special to see them parent him, so wanted and such a gift in theri lives. Talking about how he is starting to recognise them and hear about the milestones he is reaching. We got to see their adoption story unfold - it was super fast, abnormally so. We will very likely be waiting a long time. And while we are waiting there are legally free children also waiting. We are waiting for a baby and they are waiting for a family. I just can't get my head around that.
I have no idea what God is doing, I am not sure if this is His plan for our family today or in the future. I am afraid to change course, but equally afraid of not doing so if that is the road that will lead us to our family.
I know this is a real issue, but I want to be sure that we continue to make our decision based on prayer and not just emotion. Let's be honest, I browse the 'waiting children' list and dissolve into tears, convinced it is my job to bring them all home. When I know that is not God;s plan. I know that J and I both want to be open to all God has, but use discernment to make sure we are not just doing something because it seems like the 'right' or 'Christian' thing to so. We serve a good and faithful God who wants us to be confident in Him. Any decision we make will go with us for ever, these children will be fully ours and we want to make certain that we have God's words of confirmation to come back to when hard times come.
The kept seeing these pictures of sibling groups and just imagining them in Christmas PJ's with J and I in the background as our Christmas picture. Which is all a fun fantasy until I realise that if we did decide to go down this road, that could actually be our reality next Christmas, and then it seems ridiculous.
We have a lot to think and pray about. Are we ready to let go of having a baby? Are we even being asked to? Lots of questions, and possibilities. My head hurts.
And tomorrow I start my fall quarter with an 8am class. I guess I should get my back pack ready!
Hope you all had a great weekend