Have you seen the Mutual of Omaha “ah -ha” moment commercials? They are hilarious. The marketing department really hit the ball out of the park with these ads; simple little things that make a huge impact on your life and yet no one has thought of them until all of a sudden someone has an “ah-ha” moment and an idea or thought is born.
I think God absolutely loves our “ah-ha” moments, when we get a glimpse of His greater plan, when we consider His ways, when we realize that ANYTHING is possible with Him and that then He can be glorified though our actions. Well, I had an “ah-ha” moment and unfortunately it was a long time coming. My moment led me to a place where down on my knees, in frustrated tears, I whispered “Anything you want to do, I am willing”. That was almost two years ago and since then my life has been anything but boring.
Five years ago my husband and I stepped out in faith to answer a call God had placed on our lives to adopt internationally. We couldn’t afford it, the odds seemed stacked against us and we were overwhelmed, but we kept our focus on God and needs were met, doors opened and things fell into place. Fast forward almost two and half years and we were still waiting for a child. The process to adopt which was supposed to take two years turned into almost four. We waited twenty three months just for a referral, (for those unfamiliar with adoption lingo, a referral is the picture and information of the child, your child, that you have been matched with).
And during those twenty three months of waiting:
Our adoption agency dropped out of our country and we had to switch to another agency
We had to redo all of our paperwork including our fingerprints three times
We were informed that our adoption would now be finalized in-country rather than in the US so we would have to go to court in a foreign country
We were now required to make two trips rather than the original one trip to the country
The cost of the countries adoption fee’s increased by 10%
A caseworker slipped some inaccurate information to us which led us to believe we were matched and would be getting information within a week when in fact we weren’t matched and we did not get matched for another six months.
My neck tenses up rehashing it all.
A few weeks before we got our referral I was having a bad day. I was weepy and tired of the process. I was questioning God and His plans. So one afternoon when my son was at school and my house was quiet I knelt down at my bed and at the end of my rope cried out to God. I asked Him to forgive me for trying to control this process all along, for being constantly caught up in how I thought things should go, for earnestly praying for a little girl rather than earnestly seeking His face on whom He had chosen to be my child. I said this to Him “Okay God, I know that You will get our child home because this adoption was ordained by You and I have seen Your Faithfulness through it all, but in my heart of hearts I feel that You have been breaking me down to a place where I am so weary that I can do nothing else but tell You that ANYTHING You want to do in my life, I am willing to do.”
Less than six weeks later we received our referral, a beautiful little boy. God reminded me then as He does so often now that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I think that God was waiting for my heart to break so he could put it back together the way He wanted to and lets just say that rebuilding my heart has been a process; sometimes day by day, sometimes hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute, and at times it can be pretty painful, but He is opening my eyes to His ways and they are so much better than mine.
So today my little boy has been home for a just over a year. He is a tornado, he has stretched me as a mom, wife, Jesus follower and my goodness has he humbled me, but how I love him so. We learned much through the process and our faith was stronger than ever. So, we decided we would love to adopt again (and we knew that was God’s plan too), but because of what it took to get our son home we would never adopt from that country again. We had been through too much and down to the last second it was a battle to get our son home. Many more problems arose and it wasn’t until the plane took off, headed for home with my son nestled in my arms that I finally let myself begin to relax.
Now, never is a strong word, and as God continues to rebuild my heart He mentioned to me that this word did not belong in my vocabulary. An absolute word like “never” puts up walls and while God is bigger than any walls I erect, walls need to be broken down so He has room to move and here I was just a few months after promising God anything using words like Never.
Thankfully, my Jesus is so sweet to me and He began to make me long to go back to visit our son’s birth country. He made it so both my husbands and my heart felt like we had unfinished business there. I was beginning to feel antsy again like I knew something was coming down the pipe, so one day during my quiet time, I told Him that I was ready for what He had for me and that I wanted to do more for Him in my life. This is where the part about my life being anything but boring comes in because God is waiting for our “ah- ha” moment and when we have it, we better hold on tight for the ride can get wild.
He answered our prayers of where we should begin the process again by having our caseworker mention that they had been contacted by the adoption agency in our son’s birth country to ask families who had previously adopted if they were interested in adopting again because the need was so great. So, yes, we started the adoption process again, from the country I said Never about. Around the same time I was asked by another adoptive mom if I was willing to help her walk in obedience to what she felt God was calling her to and start an adoptive moms retreat in our area. I also finally listened to the nudging I had felt for months from the Holy Spirit to contact our church leadership about conducting a special event on Nov. 8, which is Orphan Sunday at our church to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and into the hard, messy lives of hurting people all around them by means of adopting/fostering.
It turns out that our church leadership is on board and I am now leading a team to organize a video of people from our church and community that have been affected by adoption and fostering which will be shown at our church. I am humbled that God has provided a platform for me to talk about the things he has placed on my heart as the pastor of our church wants to conduct an “interview” with me after the video plays to help spread the message of adoption/fostering.
The adoptive moms retreat is booked, Renee Swope from Proverbs 31 women is our keynote speaker and we are working hard to help moms connect, equip and refresh as they walk out the lifelong journey of adoption with the kids God has entrusted to them. This has all happened in the last six months!! I share all of this not to boast of myself because I certainly never saw any of this coming but I did tell God that Anything He wanted me to take part in, I would say yes. He is so Good!
This life is not meant to be lived sitting down, it is meant to be lived fulfilling God’s purposes and I for one am equal parts terrified and exhilarated by everything and anything He has for me! So there it is, my “ah-ha” ANYTHING moment. Brought to you by God being lived out through Erin.
Check out our upcoming retreat info at our website: wovenbylove.org
Follow the journey on my website under the blog tag; adoption : consideringgod.org