Today ends National Adoption month. I didn't want it to pass without taking an opportunity to share a bit about what adoption has meant to me.
Adoption was something I always hoped would be a part of my life someday. When Steve and I dated and talked about having a family in the future, we both wanted adoption to be a part of our story. But then years later when we were faced with three children 3 years old and under, I thought it would probably never be possible. Eventually the chaos that was our lives in those early years gave way to calmer times and the realization that we had been so very blessed. Blessed enough that we had plenty to share with another child.
Our family adopted Maimie Beth GuoZhen in February of 2007 and Saidie Beth ShenJiawen in December of 2010. The time leading up to both of these adoptions was filled with hope, fear, excitement, uncertainty, and many months (and years) of waiting. Never once did I feel as if it was outside of God's will for us to bring an orphan into our family, but there were many times I feared I was unqualified to accomplish the task. God, through His grace and mercy, has shown me I truly am woefully unequipped to deal with the many adoption and childrearing difficulties that I encounter. However, God has been faithful to meet me in the midst of my tears and failure.
I would say that our wait, the circumstances God orchestrated to bring about our adoption, and our trip to China in 2007 to meet Maimie absolutely changed my life. Knowing about all of the children left behind has had an immense impact on the person I have become. There is an ever present desire to do more, to give more, to love more, to make a difference. Realistically I can't bring them all into my home and give them a family. But I am continuing to seek God for ways to fulfill His command to care for the orphan during this season of my life.
"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12