We're adopting and we've gotten many questions about why we are chosing to adopt and the route we are taking. I just wanted to pop on the blog to be able to share some of our thoughts!
Normally, this blog has been a place to discuss decorating, cooking, and fun family projects! Well, adopting is the biggest family project we've ever undertaken! Our journey to adoption probably started before Kurt and I were ever married or ever met! I think we've both grown-up being exposed to adoption and the joy that it can bring. Kurt, coming from a larger community than me, saw several families in his home church adopt and he already had a love for helping kids and youth--which explains why I met him when we were both camp counselors! I remmber saying when I was pretty young that I'd love to adopt becasue I knew there were already so many children in the world who needed homes. I remember on one of our first dates, Kurt and I discussed families and children and we both remarked that we'd be open to adoption. In fact, I'm pretty sure the topic also came up in our premarital counseling.
Fastfoward nine years and here we are with two beautiful daughters of our own. I have to admit that when we were able to get pregnant pretty easily with our first daughter--adoption wasn't a prominent thought of mine. However, when Hazel was still small, I witnessed, via the powers of the media, the horiffic events during the earth quake in Hati. I was glued to the screen as I tried to process in some sense the devestation the beautiful people of Hati were dealing with. One image struck me to the core: a tiny child in an orphanage who had the same exact kind of paci in her mouth that Hazel used. I realized at that moment that the child I saw was "a Hazel"-- someone who desperately needed to be resuced, loved, and made a part of a family. I remember sobbing that night because physically I couldn't go there and rescue these trapped children. I felt God speaking to my heart that night and reitering in greater detail what I already knew deep down--that those precious children were just a valuable to Him as my darling daughter. Both Hazel and the little girl with the paci ultimately belonged to Him--He'd graciously given me the opportunity to parent Hazel and, if I was willing, I could also parent a child in need.
It was later that year, we discovered that we were pregnant with our second child. Because of health issues after Hazel's birth, I poured myself into being as healthy as I could and felt "guarenteed" to have a much easier time after this little one arrived. Mabelle arrived as healthy as one could wish and for the first eight weeks my health seemed as though it was stable. Shortly after that time, things took a turn for the worst. After weeks of testing, heart monitors, and different medications, I was left with an indefinite diagnosis though feeling better. It wasn't until two years later (after dealing with relapses of all my strange symptoms and feeling pretty hopeless), that I was able to see a wonderful doctor who "listened" and did thorough testing that I finally got a dignosis: I had hypothyroidism, was vitamin D deficient, and I have a genetic mutation called MTHFR (you can read more about that here: MTHFR). I have a mutation on the C677 gene and thankfully it is a milder form of the mutation, though I can still cause symptoms and is probably linked to my lower levels of B12. Never have I been so glad to see some abnormal test results! I immediately started treatment and have improved so much! There are still days when I am more tired than normal, but I'm doing great!
All this goes to say, that before Mabelle was even a year old, we made the decision that we wouldn't have any more biological children. We felt like God had closed that door. Shortly after we'd made that decsion and while it was on my heart, I remember getting into our van and hearing the song "I'm Adopted" come on our radio. If you haven't heard this song by Randall Goodgame (who is also an adoptive parent) on his album "Slugs and Bugs: Under where?", then you should listen to it now! I'm Adopted Song. My heart felt broken in some ways and, at the same time, as though it was about to take flight on a new adventure.
Last Fall, we made the decision (after Kurt received a job offer) that we we would move to be closer to my parents. I am an only child and had been dreaming about this for a long time. It was a very big, scary, and hard change though. I've sworn now that I'll never move again!! Ha ha! But, boy was God working for us--even though things were terrible at times! We could not sell our house! Offer after low offer came; days with nothing. We replaced carpet, we treated mold in our crawl space (and lost money when the first company we used wemt out of business suddenly), we waited and still it didn't sell. We took a leap of faith, in order to take some of the stress off of Kurt from driving every day, and bought a home. Our house still didn't sell. We didn't really understand why God wasn't allowing it to sell and I am still not sure I see the "whole picture" but I desperately wanted to be in control and sell that house myself! God had other plans and led us to a renter.
It was during this time that we felt like God was teaching us more and more about "not living for the dot" as our pastor was teaching us. We had spent most of our time thinking about the future in terms of vaction, family time, what we could buy one day...and while there isn't anything necessarily wrong with that, we were putting any dreams of adoption on hold. We wanted to be in control of that too and do it at a time when "we had the money", "we'd been in our house longer", "we woudln't need to ask for help from others", We were living for the "dot" right now and not thinking in terms of how God wanted us to make a greater eternal impact. We wanted to be in control and not take a "leap of faith". I know I was in the boat with no plans to bail out! There were many days when I convinced myself that I was the last person who should adopt--the least patient mother, the mom who hates to get up at night, the mom who needs time to herself, the mom who just couldn't have a baby again!
And this was the time, right when our house rented, when God told us to "get out of the boat". What? Now? This is the worst possible time! Why not before we moved? Why not in another year when we've been saving? Why not another mom who was better suited thatn me? I can't speak entirely for Kurt (maybe I can coax him onto the blog one day!), but God clearly said to both of us that it was time to stop talking and just dreaming and actually do something.
There is so much that went into this that I could go on and on about forever: how God brought us to our church here, the adoptive families we met this year, friends in our small group who are/have adopted---but I'll bring this to a close before I write a novel!
So, we got out of the boat...and we're scared, crazy excited, and just keeping our eyes on the One who is in control and who knows the little one that He wants us to parent. He doesn't need us but we are very thankful to be used by Him.
In the next post, I'll share more about our specifc adoption plan!