Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Welcome to our journey!

I begin this journal today as a lasting record of our family's adoption journey. The concept of adoption has been on our hearts for years, though the timing and circumstances never seemed to be right. Steve and I first talked about wanting to adopt someday before we even talked about getting married. That was probably 18 years ago when we were dating.

After Joseph's birth, we were unable to have any more biological children. At first our lives were so full with our 3 children that it didn't matter. By the time that Joseph was about 3 or 4, I began to feel like someone was missing from our family. Mikaela began praying for a baby sister at the age of 4. She was--and still is--very faithful in her prayers for her little sister.

Things began to change with our move in July of 2003. Our marriage was becoming stronger, and by May of 2004, we were enjoying our church family and growing closer to God. We met more people, both at church and in the community, who had adoption stories to share. We began to realize more and more how blessed by the Lord we were. As a result, we started to think that adoption could be a great way to share our blessings. By early summer 2004 we built a garage and decided to add an extra room over the garage for more space--in case we needed it. About this time I began to investigate adoption on the internet. My desire for another child grew. Although Steve and I discussed the possibility of adoption, we always seemed to find more reasons why not to adopt. I prayed to God asking if adoption was His will for us. I asked Him to take the desire away from me if this was not His will. If anything, my desires increased for this already loved child.

Circumstances seemed to point to adoption. However I knew that adoption was not the answer for us unless Steve and I were in agreement. I decided I would not bring it up anymore in discussion. I prayed for God to place adoption on Steve's heart too if it was His will. Within days, Steve brought up the subject of adoption. He told me that God had been speaking to his heart about adoption and felt like God had blessed us so much that perhaps we could share those blessings with a child not born into our family. Steve said he believed that adoption is a great picture of what God does for us when He takes us into His family when we accept Christ. At that point I knew God had something special in mind for us, I just didn't know when.

One Saturday evening at the end of October, I asked God for encouragement in the adoption process. Nothing had been firmly committed to by this time. The next morning during church, God used the sermon to bring to my attention some of the wrong attitudes that I had been holding on to as a wife and mother. After church that afternoon, Steve and I discussed some unsettled issues. By the end, Steve said he felt like some important things had been cleared in his mind and that, as a result, he now was ready to proceed with adoption.

Over the next several days, we put together a letter telling about our family and our desire to adopt. We included pictures of all of us and mailed them to several area OB/GYN doctors on November12, 2004. Later that evening, we decided to tell Mikaela, Jacob, and Joseph about our plans. First we went out to see "The Incredibles" and to eat supper at Steak and Shake. After the meal, we told the kids that we were going to try to adopt. They seemed a bit surprised, but very excited! Jacob had a big grin on his face the rest of the evening. Mikaela reminded us that she had now been praying for a baby sister for over six years. This should be quite a faith-builder for her. Our decision to let the kids be a part of the process was made in order that they could see the Lord working and experience the joy with us.

On December 26, the sermon centered around the Thompson family's story of adoption. It was so exciting to hear how God brought so many wonderful children into their home. It served to cement our own decision as well. By this time we had heard of a missed opportunity to adopt a baby girl born over Thanksgiving break. We were happy for the family that she went to be with for her first Christmas and tried not to be too discouraged that it was not our family.

Meanwhile, we still didn't have the money to begin our homestudy, the first step in the adoption process. I was becoming impatient, knowing that we wouldn't be able to afford a homestudy until at least March. God gave me several verses of encouragement. My heart felt comforted despite my struggle with impatience.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,"declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

1Peter 5:7 "Casting all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you."

Jeremiah 31:3 "I have loved thee with an everlasting love."

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

Psalms 84:11 "...no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

Philipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

We are still unsure of the direction the Lord wants our adoption to go, whether domestic or international. We are, however, very excited to see how the Lord will bring our baby home. Hopefully soon our longings will be fulfilled as we hold this new child in our arms and not just in our hearts.

1 comment:

vmc said...

I just checked your website after receiving your request for the materials for the 100 Wishes Quilt several weeks ago. I am amazed by your story and what a beautiful family you have, Monica!
This is Vicki C. and I remember you as a special young lady growing up way back at GBC! God has certainly grown you up in Him and your whole family as well! I have been so very blessed to read about your journey, the kids letters to their Baby Sister, your thoughts, your prayers, your insights, your Biblical encouragements - every part of adopting your little China doll. Paul and I will be praying for all of you as continue this adoption jouney, in His time. (I can't wait to share all of this with him!)
You'll be receiving the quilt squares soon and I'll keep watching the website for the wonderful news of your newest additon! God bless all of you!