As Josh and I were finishing the first stage of our paperwork for the adoption agency, we got to the section where you can get pretty specific in regards to ‘what kind of child’ you’re willing to adopt. Special needs, age limits….and how many.
After working with a foster agency that specializes in keeping sibling groups together, we were able to see first hand, the impact it has on the children. We’ve heard countless stories of families arriving at the orphanage to pick up their baby and they notice a four or five year old (or even older) crying in the background. Then they learn that their precious baby is the last of that child’s siblings to get adopted; no one has ever chosen him/her and now they will be alone. What if no one cared that you had been born? What if no one saw your first smile or encouraged your first steps? What if you never felt a mother’s love or a father’s embrace? What if you longed for a family that never came and hoped for a home that lived only in your dreams? All over the world orphans are waiting…hoping…praying that there will be one special family that finds delight and great joy in welcoming them into their family.
It was an easy decision for us to make. When we go to Ethiopia, we will bring home not one, but two babies. Our agency has a strict birth order policy, so the oldest child we bring home will be no less than ten months younger than Owen (our youngest). Our new babies will be between 2 months and 3 years old. When I told Joshua (our eight year old) about our decision he said, “I know!”
I asked him how he could already know since Josh and I just made the decision. He went on to tell me about a conversation he and Jesse had a while back. It went something like this:
Jesse: “Do you think Zoe has a brother or sister already?”
Joshua: “I don’t know. Maybe.”
Jesse: “What will happen if she does?”
Joshua: “I think we should adopt them too!”
Jesse: “Yeah, definitely!”
Apparently they assumed we’d feel the same way. How precious is that? I have so enjoyed seeing my children’s hearts through this process. I love watching them with the children we keep during the week. They love to hold the 15 month old we keep two days a week. Sometimes they just stare at him in their arms and say, I bet Zoe will be just like him, but a girl…and brown.
Foster parenting had its ups and downs, but I would never change the impact it had on my children’s hearts for the plight of orphans. Not many children my kids’ ages have a chance to witness poverty and neglect and truly grasp what it means to be an orphan. I didn’t realize the impact it had on their hearts until we started the adoption process. It blesses me daily. They have such passion, and cry out to God so sincerely. There’s no doubt in their minds that God will provide every penny we need to get to their siblings on the other side of the ocean. They pray for their safety and their health and their hearts.
Our life is not about us–how can You use us Lord–to love Your children…where ever, when ever, how ever…our life–it’s all Yours.