Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Love That Requires a Response

I was not the kind of girl that grew up dreaming to be a wife and mommy. I had not thought about how many kids I would have or what their names would be. I still don't know the answers to those questions! 

I'm not sure when God planted the seed in my heart for adoption. I started to feel it in the little glimpses both of poverty that my eyes have been opened to and of beautiful families I have had the privilege of knowing that came about through adoption. I had the opportunity in college to take a few service trips to Mexico, Guatemala, and Southeast Asia. These were my first glimpses into the reality of poverty that exists in many countries outside of the United States, many third world countries. I learned what poverty smelled like, what it felt like, what it tasted like in these places where there was little to no hope of ever getting out of poverty. 

I also took a course called Perspectives in college, where I learned that there are people all around the world that have never even heard the name of Jesus. Then I learned about the orphan crisis, that there are 153 million orphans worldwide. These are things I just couldn't shake from my heart or my mind and I knew that I couldn't be satisfied just living the American dream.

So when our suspicions that we would not be able to have biological children {unless by divine intervention!} were confirmed, we both knew we would be pursuing international adoption. 

Trust me when I say that even though I know this was where the Lord is leading us, I have wrestled with it! The thought  'Are we crazy?!' comes to mind probably on a weekly basis. 
Do we realize it may be difficult! Children coming from orphanages in other countries may have special needs that we can't possibly fully anticipate! 
Why not snowflake adoption? I won't be able to be pregnant and experience all of the stages of being a mother! 
It is expensive, can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000. We don't have that kind of money sitting around! 

We have spent the last couple of years wrestling with these and many more questions. However, the more we have read the Word, the more we have understood our Father's heart for adoption. For defending the defenseless. I have moments when my heart breaks a little to think that I don't get to share stories about pregnancy cravings and little feet kicking inside of me or tiny ultrasound pictures of the little one just forming in my belly. And it is scary to think that we really won't know the needs of our child for sure until we live day in and day out with them. I have been completely overwhelmed at times by the thought of raising $30,000+. As I have brought these struggles to the Lord, He has reminded me of His love. 

Because of the love of the Father, I have been adopted into the family of God.  
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:5-10) 
This past weekend (Easter Sunday), we celebrated our adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus' death and resurrection. I know that I am able to love because of the love of the Father as displayed by the sacrifice of Jesus. This kind of love requires a response. 

I have seen over and over in his Word that He is FOR these children. And He has asked us to care for them.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.  He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)
And he keeps reminding me that it is not about what I want or my expectations. He has  a greater plan if I will just trust Him in it. We haven't even technically begun the process, but through His grace, we have half of the money we will need for the adoption! He already has shown us over and over that we are not alone in this.  My fears simply amount to nothing when I compare them to his faithfulness to us. 

There is really nothing special about us. Yes, we have a pretty great story (or so I like to think:) ) but ultimately we are just normal people that are starting to understand the love of One. And because of this love, we will go through this crazy adventure all for the love of one of the 153 million.

As followers of Christ, his love for us and his attention to those in need should motivated us to do something. Does your response also have to be to pursue adoption? No. But it could! I pray that our story will challenge some of you and stir your hearts for the orphans, those in poverty, and those defenseless around the world. 

If you want to know why we chose China? Check back next week!

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