It was August 2004 when we began to explore the idea of adoption. Two months later - after much prayer! - we made the decision. We were going to adopt a child!
We researched adoption agencies and found one we liked. We began paperchasing. But then the doubts crept in. Were we too old to adopt? Would we have the finances to complete an adoption? Would our friends and family be supportive?
We finally decided to press forward and trust God.
By November 2005, we had finished our home study. Then we had piles of paperwork problems. It was May 2006 before we submitted our dossier (adoption paperwork) to our agency. But we were finally in the "waiting room"!
In October 2007, we made a very tough decision. After health problems and a job loss, we decided to stop our adoption process. Our hearts were heavy. We didn't want to close the door on adoption but we weren't sure what God's plans were for us at that time.
We prayed for wisdom and to know God's will for us regarding adoption.
In January 2008, we decided to start a morning couples devotional. One evening, we stopped by the Christian Bookstore to pick up a guide for our devotions. We were not sure what we were looking for but we put it in God's hands and had faith He would show us the way.
After several hours (we both get lost in a bookstore), we finally settled on a book.
Strangely (or according to God's plan) around the begininng of January, we both began to have feelings that we should re-start our adoption process. We started feeling a need to get our paperwork in order because maybe....just maybe.... We had been there before, and realistically we did not have the finances to complete an adoption. So neither one of us said anything to the other about what we were feeling.
That is, until we started our devotions.
As we began praying and doing our devotions daily, we started talking more and shared our feelings about the adoption. We were compelled to add the adoption to our daily prayer list and ask for guidance and wisdom.
Within days, we received a series of phone calls from our agency and our homestudy agency encouraging us to get back into the waiting room!
I have to admit, I was overcome with anxiety about this and could not wrap my head around it. It felt like a cruel joke. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would never be parents. We had given up the idea of adoption - we told everyone it wasn't for us and that God had something else in mind for us. We even thought perhaps our purpose was hosting exchange students.
Not sure if we were really "hearing God tell us to continue with the adoption", we focused our prayers on adoption and asked God to "hit us over the head please" with His will for us.
At the end of January, we received a call from our adoption coordinator telling us that we were at the top of the list but we MUST get our dossier updated. We were stunned!
We were feeling overwhelmed with happiness but also overwhelmed with sadness knowing that our adoption savings had been spent on living expenses for the past 5 months. That evening we talked about it and prayed about it and came to the conclusion that we could not afford to adopt. Why must it always come down to money? We went to bed that night praying for some message from God that our decision was the right one.
The next day, we began our usual routine. Got up, fed the cats, made coffee, brushed teeth, began our devotion. BAMM! There it was, our answer! The devotion was: Adopting God's Heart.
In the middle of the page was this statement: Caring for the fatherless is not simply a compassionate act. Adoption is not merely an additional means of growing our families to the desired size. Caring for orphans is about obedience and expressing the heart of God.
Clearly, God hit us over the head! The message was very clear, God was calling us to adopt and we were saying, "Not now. We can't. We don't have the money...."
As I look back, it seems that God was speaking to us clearly all along, we were just hard of hearing! God calls us to have faith and trust in Him that our needs will be taken care of.
We pulled out the adoption file and began working on updating everything.
In September 2009, we found out how faithful God is. Our daughter finally came home! She is such a joy. I can't imagine our family without her. The struggle was worth it and we are SURE God meant for us to be a family.
And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28.