I haven’t had time to write about this until now, but Josh and I are reconsidering child options once again. We started talking about it again in December and told our close family and friends to pray. We don’t feel like we have to have a child now, immediately, but we think in two years or so we’ll be ready to grow our family a bit. Since most adoption processes take a minimum of 1-2 years, I guess that means we start soon.
I mentioned before about the possibility of adopting from the Philippines. When I was in the Philippines in 1998, I spent some time at the Children’s Shelter of Cebu. I loved it there. I remember walking in and seeing all the volunteers and all the kids and thinking that if Eden still existed, it had to look something like that. The other shelters I went to were sad places, but here the children were laughing, running, smiling (see photo). I felt a strong bond of love between the staff and kids. I remembered then deciding that whoever I married would have to want to adopt kids from the Philippines because I really wanted to share in that amazing place.
Then I saw the connection that shelter had to Minnesota and Bethel in particular. I went to a few Bethel/Cebu Children’s Shelter Christmas parties. Kids who had been adopted from the shelter would go with their families to a big bash, they would have picnics together in the summer, and do more together. I was amazed that these kids weren’t alone in the world — they had the people at the shelter, their fellow orphan families (who continued to connect after adoption), and their adoptive families. Such powerful love.
I didn’t think it would, years later, end up so close to my heart though. I was frustrated a few weeks ago because I realized that I was angry that people would look at us and think that we were forced to adopt because of our infertility. It made the whole concept seem less noble, being that I originally wanted to adopt even though I thought I was fully capable of physically having children. I know that my friends and family are not that shallow, however, and that these kids would be fully embraced and spoiled as good as any child that came from my body. That was further made clear to me when a family member approached us over Christmas and said they wanted to help fund the adoption. I am amazed at how prayers of past have led to the moving of hearts today.
At this point, we are just in the researching and praying phase. I have started reading several books about international adoption and have also subscribed to a number of blogs of people who are going through the process themselves. It seems so nerve-wracking yet so exciting all at the same time. Josh and I keep reminding ourselves to be patient, to be smart, to be realistic. But also to be fully dependent on God. I have to quiet all of the what-ifs and wonders (Should we adopt first? Try to have our own again? Quit trying to have our own ever again? Try to make both happen?). My thoughts can be so loud and obnoxious sometimes. Sometimes my head starts asking questions and I have to just say, “STOP!” and force myself to breathe and be still before God.
Anyway, just wanted to fill everyone in and ask for continued prayer. In the meantime, Josh and I have been working hard at paying off debt and working our tails off. This master’s program has given me a lot to chew on to keep my mind busy. In a nutshell, I have been enjoying my work, eating, and drinking (mmm…latte). And I’ve been in good spirits. God has given me a gentle stillness and inner peace even though it seems like I should be in turmoil. That’s what rocks about God, he gives us calm during a storm.
“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.” -Ecclesiastes 8:15, NIV