Sunday, March 13, 2016

A plea for understanding

My Plea for Understanding

Many of you have been very supportive of our adoption journey and we are so grateful for all of the love and support we have received.  Unfortunately our adoption journey has also triggered negativity, judgement, gossip and vocal opinions of opposition and it is to these that I make a plea for understanding.

Adoption is a deeply personal, and in my experience, a deeply spiritual journey.  As with all decisions in life, it is not something that another person can decide for you.  Another person cannot decide how, when, where or whom you adopt, plain and simple.  I am quite shocked that others seem to believe that their opinions should direct how, what, where, when and in some cases whom we should adopt.  This is as ridiculous as believing that you should tell a couple IF they should have children,  When they should have children, or how many children they should have.....  No individual has the authority to receive revelation or guidance for anyone else.

You Know Where your Child is....

I posted this picture because as I was scrolling through the waiting children, this precious little girl with her beautiful smile caught my eye and in her smile I saw something so familiar that I could not forget her face.  It was as though this little face had been written in my heart and when I saw her I knew that she was my child.

I spoke with a woman about adoption when we were just beginning this journey and I was blown away by the wise advise she shared.  She said, ¨Do NOT choose how you adopt because of finances, a child that is referred to you or any other outside source, you will KNOW if it is to be your child and you must follow that inspiration.¨   

When she and her husband felt guided to adoption, they ended up spending HALF HIS YEARLY SALARY on the adoption!!!  The adoption fees were paid in the form of LOANS!  I am sure that anyone looking at this situation would have severely judged and criticized them.  I have heard the comment often...

If you can´t afford it.....don´t do it!   

However, the beauty in this is that God is in charge and I know with every fiber of my being that HE provides when He calls us to do something!  God doesn´t call only those who can afford it, where is the faith in that?    In fact, I would be willing to submit to you that God rarely calls those who can afford it.  We all have a path to take in life and God does not determine our path based on how much money we make.  If we do as He asks, He will provide a way.  He is not bound by finances or any other limitation of our world and if we truly profess to have faith in Him, we should not judge those who are striving to follow His path for them. 

The amazing part of this story is that this couple was able to pay off the adoption loan in 4 years!!!  When you have a loan that is half your yearly income it is not your own efforts that allow you to pay it off in 4 years. God provides for those whom He calls.  We cannot judge the decisions of others, it is not for us to decide.

As I prayed and pondered on all that we had discussed that night I came to really understand how deeply spiritual adoption is.   

I will give you an example:  I am sure you have heard stories of individuals who had been adopted and they say that they had a wonderful adoptive family, they had wonderful parents and a good childhood......but they never felt that they ´fit.´  They felt lost, they can´t quite explain it but something felt off.  

When any couple feels guided to adoption, I know in my heart God has a child out there that is to be part of their family.  The problem happens when the couple, so anxious to adopt, forget to ask, ¨Is this really our child?" and if the answer is NO, no matter how hard it is to let the opportunity pass by, we must trust God.    I am not trying to point fingers or blame, it simply is what it is...there may be times when you have to turn down a birth mom, a referral from a foreign government, or even not move forward with the adoption of the children you have been fostering because you know in your heart that God has a family for them......but it is not yours.  

Going through this process I can tell you that if you let God guide you, you will have the most powerful, amazing experience in finding that child that is absolutely meant to be in your family.  

The only way I know how to describe it is this: 

 If you were to walk into a room full of you scan the room your eyes would immediately stop when you see your child.  You KNOW in your heart that is your child, you recognize them immediately amongst a room full of strangers.  Adoption is no different, it doesn´t matter whether a birth mom chooses you, a foreign government gives you a referral, you select a waiting child, a foster child.....whatever your adoptive situation may be, you know, you know in your soul that THIS is YOUR child!  

We did not take this decision lightly

I had the deeply personal and spiritual experience of knowing deep in my heart and soul that we were supposed to adopt a child, I knew there was a child God had prepared us for.   Dave and I both moved forward prayerfully, we started on a journey trying to find the path that God had prepared for us to find this child.  

We started out looking into Foster to Adopt - This decision unfortunately was not made based on an ¨answer to a prayer¨ it was actually based solely on finances, which as I have come to learn should NEVER be a deciding factor.  I am so grateful though that as we pursued this avenue that we did so prayerfully.  We had our first home visit and even went to the first class for foster parents.

As Dave and I walked out of our first class for foster parents and got into the car I turned to him and asked, What did you think?  I was so relieved when he expressed EXACTLY what I felt.  We both knew with 100% certainty that this was NOT the avenue that we were to take.  (Can I underline that ¨NOT¨ like 5,000 times so you do not mistake what I am saying)   It was like God was saying, ¨This is not where your child is.¨

I will not go into all the details of how we both knew this, but please, please understand that as prayerfully as we approached this first avenue we looked into we both knew 100% that it was NOT right!!!!  I do not know why so many continue to try to direct our path for themselves, to ask us why we chose what we did as if they are judging our decision and somehow they feel that they know better than God.  I am sorry to tell you but you do not.

We then moved forward looking into LDS Family Services - This was again, a decision made on finances because LDS family services based the adoption fees on your personal income.  I may say that deciding based on finances is not what should be done, but I can say that by doing this in the beginning my faith was strengthened and so I am thankful for the lesson.

 As we continued to pray about this it wasn´t some Ah Ha was really just a simple knowing that this was not the avenue either.  We both were in agreement.  I must say my heart sank a little because at this time in our lives finances were more than tight and as the affordable options quickly became a dead end I started to question.....I knew what God wanted me to do...the question was HOW?

As we continued to ponder, pray and question what God wanted for us answers were at times elusive.  At that time I must admit I was impatient and did not understand, we are only getting older....

But God knew all along, He knew what He  had in store for us.....and his answer was.....WAIT 

I have never claimed to be patient, but alas, God never intended to leave me as I am.  As those winds of trial whirl around me, my patience is tried, it seems as though my prayers don´t make it beyond the ceiling above those moments of struggle each step is illuminated before me and I continue to cautiously step into each illuminated footstep, waiting upon the Lord.

I wish I could say that the time frame from the day I knew in my heart that God was calling us to adopt a child to the time in which we began our adoption was short.....but it was was THREE YEARS!  In the grand scheme of life, not significantly long, but in the middle of the winds of trial it seems an eternity.

I never lost sight of what God had called me to do.....

In the midst of confusion and doubt, deep in my heart I knew, I knew what God had called me to do.  I continued to press forward, not knowing what God´s plan would be, but knowing that somehow, in some way, He would show me.   I wish I could shout from the rooftop how God opened doors, how he led me to know that the time was NOW!  However, it is such a deeply personal and spiritual journey that I do not want to share it in such a public forum.  

I want you to know, that there was no doubt, no question in my mind, nor in Dave´s mind that now was the time.  We both talked at length, for hours at night in our room, we prayed, we fasted, and we began to move forward in faith that God would show us the way and Oh how He did!  

Dave´s hesitation was finances....he knew that we were to adopt, but finances seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle.  What a miracle, what an awe inspiring miracle that happened....doors opened to provide, not all, but enough to help Dave take that next step in faith.    I will hold this experience dear to my heart all the days of my life!  If you could peer into my life and see all the absolute miracles of  God that led us to move forward, to select the adoption agency we used, to finding our little girl amongst a list of waiting children.....every moment, every step of this process has been so divinely inspired and so intensely spiritual and dear to my heart.

I cannot express to you how heart wrenching it is to have well meaning, however misguided, individuals question an adoption process that has been so dear and precious to our hearts, as we have seen the hand of God in every step of this process.  

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