Friday, August 31, 2012

Totally Crazy, And Excited.

In case you are sitting at your computer thinking we are crazy for moving ahead with our adoption, despite finding out we are pregnant, please rest assured you are not alone.  I join you whole-heartily in your assessment.  Please do not think we entered into this decision flippantly, without counsel and prayer or without understanding the implications of it.

No, we will never fully understand all that adoption entails pre-adoption....truth is, we have never adopted before, we are new to all of it and I'm convinced we have a road full of surprises and hardship awaiting us that we can not even imagine, having never been through it.   We really don't know what we are getting ourselves into besides the books we have read, the adoptive families we have talked to and the blog posts we subscribe to....we have a vague understanding that adopting is going to be an incredibly challenging part of our lives and that the first year will be very, very rough.  All of (the very little) we know, makes us realize that adoption in and of itself (without another little bio baby in the picture) would be enough to rock our world, our marriage, our family and our lives.  That said, the thought of doing all of that in addition to another small child who still needs constant care and assistance is daunting to say the very least.

This is something we have talked about. And talked about. And talked about. This has been (and continues to be) an area of prayer frequently prayed over.  This is something we have talked to numerous "older and wiser" people in our lives about and sought their opinion on the wisdom of continuing with the adoption, in light of the pregnancy.  I think we understand (to the best of our ability having never done it before) that likely the next two years will be some of the hardest years we have ever been through - that our marriage, our faith, our family and our parenting inability will be greatly challenged and tested.  This is something that, frankly, terrifies me.

There have been (and will continue to be, I'm sure) many times that I don't feel we are up to the task at hand.  I often think it would be easier and wiser to put the adoption on hold, put it on the back burner, enjoy this pregnancy and this next little one (you know, be normal!) and think about adoption again in a year or two...the famous "someday."

But again and again, we don't have peace with doing that.  I can't let go of it.  We feel so strongly that this is what the Lord has called us to and He has told us "Now."  Not Someday.  Not back burner.  Not "after this one."  Not "when life is a little easier" or "when finances aren't as tight" or "when we live closer to family who can help" or "when I figure this parenting thing out a little better."  Now.

The thing that keeps coming to mind is that the Lord doesn't call us to the easy. He doesn't call us to do what everyone else is doing or what is "wise" in the world's eyes or what makes logical sense.  He doesn't call us to do the things that we can do on our own....because if we are doing them on our own, why do we need Him?  What makes our lives any different if they are easily accomplished in our own strength?  Why do we need a Daddy if we can do it all by our self?

I think often the Lord calls us to things beyond ourselves so that we will be forced to need Him and see Him work. He hates our sin of pride and self-reliance. He wants to be seen for His Greatness. He wants us to trust and lean on Him and Him alone.  Not us + Him.  Not Us alone. Him Alone.  In a life where our income is more than sufficient, our routine is set, our job secure, our health adequate, our needs are met and our daily life doesn't require a lot of faith, it is easy to fall into the trap of self-sufficiency and the facade of control.  We go to God with the little things.  We remember to pray before meals and go to church but we don't live a life of utter dependence. We're doing just fine.

I fight hard against this.  I think the Lord has slowly been pulling me further and further away from my realm of "controlling my life" and "self sufficiency" and pride.....leaving well paying jobs and a double income, moving around the world, leaving family, leaving good friends, going into full time ministry, living in a culture not our own and without much of the conveniences and nice things we love about the States, giving up the dream of owning a home, going dumpster diving for our furniture, living without a car....He has slowly been peeling back layers of "self" and increasing my realization of my NEED for Him and Him alone.

And now this.  Calling us to something so far beyond our realm of control, our ability, our comfort zone, our gifting, into something completely unfamiliar and incredibly hard.  Adoption alone felt overwhelming and like a huge leap of faith....but adopting in the midst of also having a very young bio child (think 2 children under 15 months, one of which with incredible need to learn to attach and bond and both with the incredible needs that come with that age)....Impossible is the word that comes to mind, personally.    

What are you doing, Lord?

But He knows what He is doing.

I trust whole-heartily that He intends to see us through.  Not in our own strength but with His.  Not because of our own ability but because He is sufficient.  Not because we are equipped but because He plans to equip. Not because we are ready but precisely because we aren't.

In the words of a blog post I read recently, "You don't have to be a miracle worker; that has always been God's territory.  You just have to be the ordinary disciple that says yes.....In Him you can do this.  He is enough for us all."

Please don't sit back and critique our "craziness,"  shaking your head over our naivety.  Please join in prayer for us instead, we'll need it.  Please don't wait for failure to say "I knew it", there will be enough of that I can assure you.  Please think instead how you can come along side us and help and how you can encourage us towards the Lord and finding success in that.  Please don't judge this decision as being made thoughtlessly or without understanding.  Know, instead, that this has been an incredibly hard decision to make and one we don't enter in lightly.

And please, please, please don't mistake all of these thoughts to mean we aren't THRILLED over these two lives entering our family.  WE TOTALLY ARE!!!  We pray for these two souls constantly throughout our days and look forward to the day we can pray over them physically.  We think and daydream of them both often, wondering what they will be like and who the Lord is forming for our family and thinking of the joys that lie ahead.  We can't believe the blessing that is being poured out on us in the form of not one but TWO children coming into our family!!! We can't wait to meet each of them and hold them in our arms and be their mommy and daddy for always.

We do not move ahead without trembling, but we also press on with excitement and joy. We aren't entering this upcoming phase of our life blind to the obstacles we will be facing but neither do we move ahead without   great anticipation.

We know the Lord is at work - He is at work in us, He is at work in our family, He is at work in you.  He is doing big things and He has never promised the things He calls us to do to be easy...He calls us to suffer.  But He also calls us to Joy.

I have never heard someone say 'the deepest and most rarest and most satisfying joys of my life have come in times of extended ease and earthly comfort.' Nobody says that. It isn't true. As Spurgeon said: 'They who dive deep in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls." --Pastor John


  1. Girl, thank you for opening up and sharing your heart. I much prefer it when people, and their social platforms of choice, are open and honest, as opposed to making things look rosy and happy all the time.
    It is also nice to read open and honest blogs because it makes praying more direct and focused. And, lots of questions get answered at once, without you having to answer each one over and over and over.
    And, it seems to me, that although I've never adopted, asking if someone is going to stop going through with an adoption because they found out they were pregnant, would be like asking if they were going to abort because they found out they could adopt.

    1. Corrie - Thank you!! And I agree - no one has yet asked if I plan to give up this pregnancy because we are adopting. Thanks for your encouragement and support!

  2. Sarah, can I just say that I love your heart? I love how God has taken it and made it his own. This incredibly beautiful place that He has you in amazes me. I feel like I would crumble beneath all the "what if" and unknowns. But as you stand firm in His promises I am certain that He will carry both your babies to come and your bigger baby now and always just as he has carried you. I am praying for you and waiting with eager anticipation with you. God has big things taking place in your life right now and we can't even imagine what he has for you and your beautiful family in the future! With humble, grace-filled, loving parents that you and Steve ARE and continue to grow into, it gives me goose-bumps to think of how much love is being poured into your precious little ones and long for the day when you get to physically pour your love out on baby Ethiopia :) It was SO great talking with you my Tuesday afternoon (your Wednesday morning?) Thank you for waking up early! I am willing to get up early or stay up late any time my friend! Love you lots!

    1. I love you Angela! Thank you for your love, encouragement and support! So glad you are a part of my life and our journey!

  3. I stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest, and I wanted to thank you. I am a high school senior, and recently, He has been calling me to a mission trip to Africa after graduation next May. I have had family question my decision, and already I have felt the world's doubts about my trust in Him, His timing, and His plans. But our God is big, and our God works through so many little things, and He really spoke to me through your post. Trusting Him to do His big things. Your family, your hearts, your work for Him, has all been added to my prayer list.

    1. Hi Brittany - Wow, thank you for stopping by and for your sweet comment. I am so glad you felt encouraged; it isn't easy to follow the Lord's calling. He is with you though! Have you read the book "Kisses for Katie" by Katie Davis? I read it not long ago and found her words hugely encouraging and helpful. She left for Africa right after high school and the Lord is using her there. If you haven't read it, I would highly recommend it! If you have a blog or a way you are keeping people updated, feel free to link it here (I'd love to follow you!) or email. Take Care and May God bless you and what you do - May it all be for Him!

    2. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I haven't read 'Kisses for Katie', but a couple I know has recommended it--they are in the process of adopting two little ones from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I am keeping a blog to record our Father's amazing works in my heart, and in my life!