Missing Someone I've Never Met
Why choose to adopt?
Adoption. No one ever said it was going to be easy. In fact, most people look at the dollar amount it takes and walk away before even considering going through with it. Only a crazy person would turn their lives upside down to begin such a long and invasive process. No one is excited about the massive amounts of paperwork, or to welcome a stranger into their home to dive into their past and present and look at literally everything in their life and what has led them to this moment. But people choose adoption every day. Why?
In his book The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Basically it's just another way of saying what Jesus Christ "...said to his disciples, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?'" –Matthew 16:24-26
What would happen if more people lived for things of eternal importance rather than being satisfied to merely dwell in the present? The need for adoption stems from the consequences of sin through either death or the breakdown of the family unit. Adoption is something for which there will always be a need until Jesus comes back to make things right. Adoption has always been a beautiful representation of the Gospel. Through the curse of sin we were left as orphans. Jesus Christ came and paid the ultimate price with His life so God the Father could adopt us into His family. We can now be called sons and daughters of the Most High and co-heirs with Christ.
Has it been worth it?
A few years ago God began whispering to Ron and I that He had something great in store for our family. He said if we would just lay down our preconceived notions of what our life was supposed to look like and follow Him, He'd show up and show off in ways we couldn't imagine. He promised to be with us every step of the way and to grow our faith enormously.
This wasn't an easy step to take, and it still isn't easy now that we're halfway into this blessed journey. Has it been worth it? Definitely! Especially if you look at it from an eternal perspective. Let me tell you the things God has been doing since we began this adventure with Him.
Are we crazy?
Ron and I have been a one-income family since moving to Chattanooga almost 13 years ago. Our family has since doubled in size and somehow God comes through every single month to provide everything we need. We have a beautiful home, two minivans, many possessions, and we never go hungry. From the world's perspective we're doing pretty good. At this point in our lives we're being told to sit back and enjoy life, take lots of family vacations, have amazing Christmases with the kids, GO, DO, LIVE! Why in the world would we be doing something so crazy as to adopt? Why would we exhaust ourselves daily or take time away from our children each evening to work on fundraising? Why would we spend everything we have left, plus so much we don't have, to add three more children to our family? The short answer would be because that's what Jesus did for us.
I've told many people we're not doing this because we just love children and want as many as possible. If that were the case we'd have gone the natural route to add to our family. We've been pretty good at it. You see, God gave us eyes to see that because of the broken, sin-sick world we live in there are so many children out there going to bed each night without a mom and dad to kiss their cheeks and tell them they are loved. No one to tell them they are made in the image of God and He created them for a purpose. No one to tell them they matter. God wanted our family to get up from our complacency and do something for the fatherless. While we can't help them all, we can advocate for them all while we change the world for three special little boys in Poland.
To God be the glory.
God has come through and provided for every need we've had so far in this journey. Ron and I don't have the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to adopt just sitting in an account somewhere. We stepped out in faith, believing if He truly wanted us to do this He would provide when the time was right. And He has! Some pursuing adoption are able to raise all of the funds needed pretty quickly, while others, like ourselves, only get it in little steps along the way. God uses this tactic with us to keep us dependent on Him. We bring each fee and need to Him and put it on the altar. We tell Him that without His provision none of this would be possible. Then we wait and trust. Through generous donations from family, friends, and strangers, and our own meager fundraising efforts God has provided the necessary funds needed for the first few fees. It's so sweet to see who He uses to bring this about. Quite often it comes from people we never expected.
Currently we are nine weeks and waiting on our I-800A to come in. This is the application to US Immigration which determines whether Ron and I are suitable to adopt from a Hague Convention country. It is the last piece of paperwork needed in order to send our dossier (a really big collection of important documents and paperwork about our family) to Poland to be translated and registered. I woke up yesterday morning feeling a little down about the whole thing. The waiting is the hardest part. I dreamed we had brought the boys home and I woke up longing to know more about them. It's funny how you can miss someone you've never even met before. It's a feeling I've never experienced and my heart hurts to be so far away from them with no way to communicate. During my morning quiet time with Jesus I poured my heart out to Him. I told Him the amount of money still needed to send in with our dossier and thanked Him for however He decided to show up and provide. I unburdened myself and trusted somehow the money would arrive and went on with my day.
Whether you can see it or not.
A few hours later I received a phone call. I don't usually answer unknown numbers, and especially not while working with Zoe on an English paper, but I felt the need to answer this one. The voice on the other end was a very sweet lady from Lifesong for Orphans, "Hi Alison! How are you this morning? It is my honor to tell you that you and Ron have been selected to receive a direct grant of $3,500! May God continue to bless you in your journey!" I teared up and texted Ron (he was in a work meeting and I couldn't call him). It was as if God were saying, "You guys are right where I want you to be and doing exactly what I want you to be doing. I'm still here working and providing, whether you can see it or not. I love your family and I love those boys!" Seriously, it was just the motivation we needed to carry on. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
So much better
Finally, if anyone out there feels like God is calling you to do something, to step out and just trust Him, I'd encourage you to do it. Whatever He's calling you to do, no matter how scary or crazy it seems, is going to be so much better than you could ever imagine. Following Him means He's always there in front of you, He's always there providing and working so He can make you more into the image of His son, Jesus. There's nothing in this world that can compare to that!
Here's how you can support our adoption journey:
Pray for us
Share our story with others (this is a big help)
Make a tax-deductible donation
Thank you so much!